He Is Legend is a southern rock band from Wilmington, North Carolina. Formed by original members Schuylar Croom (singer), Adam Tanbouz (guitarist), and Matt Williams (bassist), the band has had multiple lineup changes while maintaining a uniquely heavy yet dynamic sound. First coming to prominence in the post-hardcore scene after the release of their debut in 2004, I Am Hollywood, the band would release three more albums before their 2017 album few. This album was crowd-funded by fans in 2015 and released after much anticipation since the band is not signed to a label after having been treated badly by their former representation. Though considered a relatively underground band, He Is Legend has cultivated a strong fan following and is cited as an influence for many of their contemporaries.
The Story and the Songs:
In addition to the continuing China White series and fairy tale motifs found throughout He Is Legend’s catalog, there is a plethora of references to pop culture in their work. The band’s debut album, I Am Hollywood, makes multiple references to pop culture with the eponymous song describing how the lure of fame and fortune can be too much for some. “The Seduction,” simultaneously the first track on the album and the band’s first single, makes a reference to the Nintendo video game character, Mario; the lyrics describe a princess being “in another castle,” which is a paraphrased line from the Mario video games. The song also references Juliet from Shakespeare’s famous play and verses from “The Seduction” are repeated in “Dixie Wolf (The Seduction of…)” from Suck Out the Poison.
Members of the band, Croom especially, are fans of horror and movies, so these naturally appear in the lyrics of their songs. The very title “Everyone I Know Has Fangs” from It Hates You references vampires, as do the lyrics of the song. The music is aggressive and evocative of being chased by fanged freaks like the character in the song. “The Vampyre,” off of 2017’s album few, also references the creatures of the night and takes its name from the title of John William Polidori’s famous story and segues from an intense opening to a sultry riff that exudes the sexuality commonly associated with vampires in the late 20th century.
“Call Ins” and “Eastern Locust” are also on the album and share lyrics with slight alterations that tell the story of a haunted house while pondering whether the house haunts the people, or the people haunt the house. In addition to these horror references, there are references to famous horror films as well. “Electronic Throat” tells the story of a mad scientist creating an undead bride for himself who gets free and is attacked by villagers, taking inspiration from Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Heavy Fruit’s song, “The Carpet,” makes direct reference to Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation of the Stephen King novel, The Shining.
As I touched on in the last post, these lyrical themes are found throughout He Is Legend’s catalogue. A heavy band like them typically will use heavier subject matter, but they do have plenty of other songs that cover a diverse array of subjects; I simply found these to be trends I easily picked up from being a fan of their work.
Please enjoy some song recommendations, a song from the album, and check out the band’s social media accounts below!
Song recommendations: “Everyone I Know Has Fangs” , “The Vampyre” , “The Carpet”
Previously: He Is Legend: Fairy Tales and Fantasy