Marilyn Monroe was once quoted with saying, "Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you $50,000 for a kiss and 50 cents for your soul." The sign alone towers above the city like a colossal goal to be reached; nine shimmering letters that collectively promise a multitude of dreams, a potential for fame, and all the glitz and glamour the two combined can accrue. But as Monroe put it, things of actual worth are of little value here.
"'I Am Hollywood' just mainly harps on the creepy side of the city that is acclaimed for making your dreams come true," explains He Is legend vocalist, Schuylar Croom of their debut release on Solid State Records. "It just seems like such a joke...where everything is fake and over-produced."
The hope of sudden success or instant discovery may be enough for aspiring actors to that city, but for the five North Carolina natives that comprise He Is Legend, success has been a continuous endeavor since their inception four years ago. After forming in high school and experimenting with different styles, names, and members they finally found their niche and were soon discovered by Tribunal Records.
Already having the reputation for releasing music from the hottest up and coming groups like Atreyu and From Autumn to Ashes, Tribunal found a spark in He Is Legend that motivated the label to release the band's debut EP, "90125" in June 2004. The EP not only received rave reviews, but also peeked curiosity for what their full-length album would bring. Now with the mastermind of producer Adam Dutkiewicz (Killswitch Engage, Every Time I Die) and a new label home, Solid State Records, He Is Legend is poised to release what will surely become a hard rock must for 2004. I Am Hollywood not only supplies listeners with clever lyrics mixed with cathartic vocals and catchy beats, but every song is so convincing of their heartfelt sincerity that when Croom shouts "shake that thing!" in the midst of their title track, listeners will find themselves doing just that.
"I think that '90125' foreshadows the Hollywood debut a lot," Croon explains, "It has some of the same sound, but I do feel like we have grown up a bit and I think that 'I Am Hollywood' can fall on anyone's ears to be enjoyed. We definitely got a little bit sassier, a little bit more dirt rock." And though the band is taking a sort of satirical look at Hollywood and all its glitz and glamour, He Is Legend themselves are not lacking in the confidence of upcoming stars.
"We wrote this music knowing what we liked to hear," Croon elaborates on the subject. "We are just tired of hearing these ridiculous bands doing the same things, sacrificing the talent and musical ability for a crazy live show, ripping off the same lead singers, doing the same ol' moves. We decided that it was time for something a little different, and we are confident that people will like it...because we love it."