In the massive melting pot of alternative rock, Cage The Elephant are one of the stars shining brightest. With their eccentric creativity in the studio and their live shows that border on sheer madness, the band is reaching new heights in their career. Yesterday, the band was one of the highlight acts at the Radio 104.5 (Philadelphia) 7th Birthday Show at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ. Before their set, I got a chance to sit down with guitarist Brad Shultz to talk about the tour, their latest effort Melophobia, and much more in the chat above. At the end, Brad shares his intimate thoughts on what Cage’s live show means to the fans, and to him.
The band is currently touring with Foals, who were also on the bill yesterday. “It’s been great, those guys [Foals] are our really good buddies from back in 2007 when we were living in London. They were one of the first bands to take us on tour.” This tour is also the first to feature new guitarist Nick Bockrath, a Philly native. Brad confirmed what many believed as a more than amicable separation with original member Lincoln Parish. “He [Lincoln] had been touring with us since he was 15 years old. When he was 16, we moved straight to London, and he lived their for two years and had just been on the road pretty much solid for the last 6 years. When it was time to go home and start writing this last record, I think Lincoln just fell in love with being a homebody”. Brad also said that Lincoln has always loved working with other bands and producing, which is what he’s doing now, and Cage The Elephant are very happy that he’s doing something he loves.
This fall, the band will be hitting the road with good friends The Black Keys. The two bands toured together previously back in 2011. “We got on that tour, we became friends, and we ended up playing soccer three times a week; a big group soccer match every time. And Dan [Auerbach, The Black Keys] would always score these goals and we would be like, ‘what the hell is going on, how is Dan a freakin’ soccer shark?” Well the guys looked him up, and it turns out that in addition to being one hell of a songwriter and performer, Dan Auerbach was a high school soccer standout back in the day. “Dan, we’re comin’ for you man. We’ve been practicing.” I wanted to confirm that a challenge had indeed been issued, and Brad simply replied, “I called him out.” This upcoming tour just got even more epic, and I didn’t think that was possible.
Cage The Elephant hail from Bowling Green, KY. The band formed in 2006 and broke into the mainstream two years later with their debut self-titled LP. The disc included their smash hit “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” and landed on the Billboard Top 200 chart at #67. Over the next few years, the band toured with the likes of Stone Temple Pilots, Manchester Orchestra, and Silversun Pickups. They landed slots at festivals like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and others. In 2011 the band released their sophomore effort Thank You, Happy Birthday. The disc debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and the album’s first single “Shake Me Down” shot to #1 on the rock songs chart.
Cage The Elephant released their third album Melophobia last October. Last fall, the band played a handful of U.S. arena dates with Muse. Now, the band is currently on their own headlining tour with Foals, and are set to play Firefly Music Festival in Dover, DE on June 21. On August 3, the band will make their return to Lollapalooza in Chicago.This fall, the band is set to tour with The Black Keys on their Turn Blue World Tour. The U.S. leg kicks off in Columbus, OH on September 5 at the Schottenstein Center and Cleveland, OH on September 6 at Quicken Loans Arena. The tour wraps up on December 21 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO. – by Matt Bishop (The_MattBishop)