James caught up with Matt Shultz from Cage The
Elephant to talk about being back in the UK supporting
the Foals and plans for the future.
released your third studio album ‘Melophobia’
back in October how has the album gone down with
your fans and the press?
They hate it. I’m joking, it’s going
really good, were currently on tour with the foals
and the reactions have been great, so let’s
see how it goes from here.
themes and stories feature within the songs on
Allot of it has to do with personal experiences
and our interpretation of the times; it’s
definitely from my perspective, lyrically speaking.
Different things I’ve seen or noticed, allot
of its internal, adversity’s and a wide
array of topics, and there all different within
did you come up with the album title ‘Melophobia’?
Melophobia means a fear of music, and for us it’s
not actually a fear of music, but a fear of creating
music to project premeditated images of self rather
than just communicating. I mean writing a song
to be preserved as intellectual or artistic or
anything for that matter, god forbid genius. Rather
than it just being a transparent peer of communication.
did you find the whole writing and recording process
for ‘Melophobia’ compared to your
previous album releases as each album is different
There were some challenges that we faced that
we hadn’t in the past, similarly because
leading up to the band getting together to collaborate
together we’d had a few months to write
as individuals. Previously we’d been on
tour for 5 years solid, so there was always this
general awareness of where the band is going as
you’re always sharing ideas and what you’re
listening too and you formulate this thing. Whereas
this record we came together and we all had ideas
that where polar to each other, and so the challenge
was to marry those opposites and make it work
and maybe let go of some ideas that maybe you
might have been in love with but not everyone
else was. It was a really interesting record to
make, it was almost like the first fruits or child
labour, it was very painful but now that we’ve
started working that way it’s the best way,
for us, to create works that have allot of depth
and I hope to continue doing it that way in future,
and hopefully it will get easier.
in December Lincoln Parish left the band, how
has it been without him? and how is Nick Bockrath
Well so far, we’re not making any permanent
replacements, and no like permanent statement
we’ve made or what we’re trying to
do. Lincoln started playing with us when he was
15, so when we moved to England we had to become
his legal guardians, his parents had to sign over
guardianship to the band. So he missed out on
allot of stuff, and when we went home this last
time, he must have really enjoyed that, so when
we went back on tour he just wasn’t feeling
it, so we don’t hold any animosity or anything
like that and where just feeling it and seeing
how everything will take hold, but Nick isn’t
a permanent replacement or anything like that.
I mean Nick is a great guitarist and came highly
recommended from our buddy’s, he came and
sat in a couple of times and he’s very very
are currently back in the UK supporting Foals
how did this chance come about? And how have you
found the shows on the tour so far?
The Foals have been good friends of ours for years,
and when we first moved to England they were one
of the first bands we befriended and they took
us out on tour. When we first came over we had
these sugar plum fairy tales of rock and roll
across the pond and when we came it was totally
different, and at that time it was that new wave
angular guitar dance music. The funny thing was,
if you weren’t in one of those bands then
you weren’t perceived to be artistic, so
if you don’t get this then you can’t
be an artist. So we didn’t make allot of
friends at first, but the Foals where really great
and they took us on tour, and we became buddy’s
and have kept up with each other over the years
and it’s great to have a reunion tour and
have some incredible fun.
UK tour comes to an end with a headline show at
the Electric Ballroom in London, how much are
you looking forward to playing your own headline
show here, and what can people expect from that
show compared to your support slots?
We’re very much looking forward to it, it’s
our first headline show in 2 years. As I said
before, when we first came to England we moved
to London several years ago and where there for
2 years and we really got our start here in England,
so London’s like our second home for us.
The fact it sold out so fast surprised us, as
we weren’t sure if the roots had stuck.
As for what you can expect I don’t know,
a longer set and hopefully with people being familiar
with the material it’ll be a little crazier
although this tour has been pretty freaking crazy,
so as in terms of what to expect, a longer set
and a good honest performance.
seem to be pretty busy touring right up to the
summer with shows across mainland Europe, Chile,
Argentina, Brazil, Canada and America are you
looking forward to playing any particular shows
Absolutely, none of which I can talk about right
now, but I am so very excited, ‘laughs’
it’s the truth. There are contracts and
things which you sign, you know.
spent a lot of time on tour in the UK, what is
it about the UK you like the most?
The crowds, honestly. Yeah, the crowds. It depends
on where you play but they’re very over
the top in a great way. I also love the architecture
of the UK, as we don’t have buildings like
that in the US, the history and the use of the
English language, it’s great, I mean it
should be as you invented it but it’s very
admirable. It’s kind of like, the English
look at Americans the same way the French look
at French Canadians.
we expect to see you back in the UK later in the
year for some festivals or headline shows?
Defiantly, those are the shows I can’t talk
you met someone who had never heard of Cage The
Elephant, what one song would you suggest they
listen to get what the band is all about?
One song, man that’s tough. I would ask
them to listen to our next single Take It Or Leave
would you say the best thing about being in a
Just to be able to do creative things, and yeah
continue to be creative.
do you hope to see Cage The Elephant in a year’s
Playing stadiums across the world, playing stadiums
in Russia. No, just to continuing progressing,
writing new material and to be able to tour, and
just to be able to continue existing I think.
last random question that we ask every band, if
you could be an animal out of a zebra or Giraffe
which one would you be and why?
I would rather be a giraffe because at least….
no nah, I don’t know zebra, yeah zebra because
they have stripes.
for your time is there a message for your fans
There are allot of incredible bands that are up
and coming right now in Nashville like Fly Golden
Eagle, Clear Plastic Masks, Plastic Visions, Bad
Cop, Ranch Ghost, Pool Jole and allot of really
good stuff that people should check out.
Interview by James Daly