INTERVIEW: He Is Legend

Earlier this year We spoke to Schuylar Croom from He Is Legend about north carolina’s music scene.

North Carolina is really well known for its hardcore music scene. How did where you grew up influence what you do now?

Well its a southern state, a lot of music comes from there, mountain music from the west of the state and I think that we have a very tight net of musicians from there Between The Buried And Me, Codeseven, classic gaze all these bands which started off in that general region I think everything from Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, all of those places music was coming up at the same time so we obviously all listened to each other.

I think it’s a state that is rich in its musicality, there’s The Charlie Daniels Band, a lot of country music comes from there Alison Krauss those type of things kind of run through the life blood of those people. As far as hardcore is concerned I think it just sprung up as how you would imagine a bunch of bands playing and touring together and feeding off each others energy is kind of how it all started for us I think.

Everyone we seem to listen to is from North Carolina so we were thinking it must be in the blood or something?

Yeah it’s in the water, we only filter out fluoride.

Would you say the scene is very different to the UK?

Yeah absolutely. I guess I’m biased because I come from America, the scene seems a bit oversaturated with music but over here we’re not familiar with the land and where we are and so I think when people see us it’s a little off putting because we are a bit different than most bands, generally speaking as far as He Is Legend is concerned. But in North Carolina or America in general you can see your band at a Walmart buying underwear or whatever so here there is a little more curtain involved.

You guys had a hiatus in 2009.

We did way back then but I think that was at the cusp of a big shift in music in general and I don’t think that we really needed a reason to stick around for that moment. We kinda needed to do some soul searching ourselves but it was at a point right when dubstep and EDM scene, well we were on tour with From First To Last a few times and Sonny is a very dear friend of mine so I have a lot of respect for him but I think when that EDM stage hit, rock’n’roll took a big blow to what everyone was into, you’d go to a disco and see people dancing and getting down harder than they were at hardcore shows and that music hits really hard as well but I think this resurgence now in rock’n’roll that is coming out of the state of what’s going on everywhere in the world with this zenophobia bigotry and things that are just now rearing their heads that we all thought were long gone. I think that artists are pulling up their boot straps and taking it to the stage, not in a political manner at all but in a we need this to expell whatever demons are inside of us and our fans need it as well.

Talking about that political aspect and the curveball of Sonny Moore going from one genre to another genre. If there’s any other genre you guys could go into what would it be?

I think all of us like the hip hop culture. I’d say 75%-90% of the time we’re listening to Drake and Young Thug. We just like that, to me that is true punk rock right now they’re more punk rock than most of the punks that are out there now because what they’re doing is so for themselves and of themselves and it is anti-establishment and it is authentic. I mean not to say that He Is Legend would put out a hip hop album but I think we all really love that music and we’re not afraid to delve into different genres or styles. We have our sound nailed down, we trail off a little bit here and there but I don’t think that there’s like anything we could try to do but I think in general we all really do love the hip hop culture and I would put out a rap album. I would colab with Drake or Future. Yeah, tell Future to call me. That’s my dude! I love his music so much.

What do you do to rejuvenate your creativity in your free time?

I tend a bar and I find that that kind of puts you in a different mindset. Travel obviously. I live on the beach so I think for us we draw a lot of inspiration from the ocean, for me personally that’s a huge part for me but seperating from the public and being a servant of the public where you are kind of invisible and just pouring drinks and listening to people’s problems and laughing. Being someone that you’re not when you’re out on the road is important to kind of maintain a little bit of humanity and stay humble but when you have an old rich white fuck telling you to re-fill their PBR.

I’ve seen it over here in the UK actually. It would be a definite shitty beer import for posperity only I’m sure. You could probably find it at a crobar or something at a dirt bag place where youre drinking it just because it’s rock’n’roll beer but having said it is very rock’n’roll beer.

If you had your own drink what would be in it?

My drink would have to be pretty strong I guess. Burboun I’m imagining, I mean from the south that’s probably all we would say. I drink a lot of tequila in the summer time though. A white russian with bourbon instead, that would be my drink I guess like a white bourbon caucasian.

What are the perks and downfalls of living life on the road?

Perks is travel for sure and ultimate street culture learning from as you go along. The downfalls are the same, not being home and always constantly moving but you get to a place like this and you reconnect with old friends and see some new music and meet some new people. I think it’s really the festival which people forget that that’s where the bonding is where music kind of gained this momentum. Things like woodstock just bringing everyone together and just seeing a move for a cause I guess. Like seeing the boys in Underoath we haven’t seen them in a while and it’s things like that that makes it. Like we’re over here in Belgium just standing in a back lot just like we would in Florida. Those are the reasons it’s worth it to continue this constant dialogue amongst friends.

Interview by Kaori Manz and Hannah Smith.