“Cage the Elephant” is an American rock band from Bowling Green, Kentucky consisting of members Matt Shultz, Brad Shultz, Daniel Tichenor, Lincoln Parish, and Jared Champion, where they were originally known as “Perfect Confusion.” The band became surprisingly popular after their single “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” reached number 32 on the UK Singles Chart and was recently featured in the Gearbox Software video game “Borderlands.” The next year, it became a hit on American alternative radio, peaked at #3 on the Billboard’s Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart. The follow-up single, “Back Against The Wall”, peaked at #1 on the same chart last month.
“The music comes from a pure place,” Matt says. We really like the energy of music that feels passionate, raw, unplanned emotion. That’s what we were really trying to capture in the studio.”
The Shultz brothers grew up poor, sharing a tiny room in the family’s two-bedroom apartment with two other siblings. At age 12, Brad bought a beat-up guitar from a neighborhood kid for $20 that he played until it literally fell apart. Not long after their parents were divorced, Brad snuck home a cassette of Jimi Hendrix’s “Live at Woodstock,” which the brothers listened to obsessively for three years, cementing their love for rock and roll. A few years later, Matt bought Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” calling it a ‘huge life changing album’ for him. After the brothers’ parents divorced, the music floodgates opened and they began to devour everything they could find from the Beatles, The Ramones, Led Zeppelin, Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones, Nirvana, and the Pixies, to name but a few.
“A lot of bands put themselves in a box and say, ‘We’re not going to be influenced by anything,’ Matt says. “We don’t mind being influenced though. I don’t think you should force influence but to fight against it would be like fighting against nature. You have a responsibility to innovate but a lot of the time people mistake pretentiousness for innovation and allow that pretentiousness to taint their creativity. What you end up with is very contrived soulless music. Everything we love about music we wanted to put in our own music. When it comes down to it, we just want to make music that we love.”
You can watch the video for their single “Back Against The Wall” above.