At this year's Leeds festival eFestivals got a chance to have a Q&A session with Cage The Elephant who appeared on the NME/Radio 1 Stage at both Reading and Leeds.
What does the band name mean and where did it come from?
You know, it came from this children's book that I used to read when I was a kid - I can't remember much about the book, but I remember there was this part of the book… where the elephant had escaped from the zoo, and these monkeys had to capture it, and put it in a cage, so it's kind of where the name came from.
How did you all come to meet, and how did the decision to form a band come about?
Well, my brother and I have… well we've been brothers all our lives [laughs] and we always made music when we were growing up, and then in high school - it was so funny because it was like, something out of a movie. This kid came up to me and he was like, ‘I'm starting a band and I play guitar. Word on the street is that you sing like a bird.” I swear that's what he said! [laughs] And I was like, ‘Oh, cool'. I was 14, 15 years old. Anyways, we started a band with those guys - Jared, who's our drummer now - was in that band, and most of those guys quit, and then my brother joined the band, and some other friends joined the band.
Who were your main musical influences growing up?
Probably my father, he's always played music since we were kids. I had a little toy drum kit that I used to play beside him. But also, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Beatles, The Pixies, there's just so much, just a lot of people.
You've played at many festivals around the world, are there any in particular that you look forward to playing the most?
I always look forward to Leeds, and Reading, Glastonbury, and then I really love Lollapalooza Brazil. It's incredible; we had like 80 thousand people there. And then Lollapalooza Chicago.
Are there any other performances you're sticking around to see?
Today we have to leave right after the set, but yesterday at Reading, we watched Arctic Monkeys, and The Hives were incredible.
The song ‘Ain't No Rest For The Wicked' featured in the game Borderlands, did you have any idea how big the game would get, and how much of an impact it would have on the popularity of your band?
No, we had no clue, because when they send you the request they have the treatment - so it was like a piece of paper telling you what the game was going to be like, and our drummer is a big gamer, he loves to play, and he read the thing and he was like ‘I think this is going to be cool' and so we were like ‘Alright, if you like it and if it sounds like a game you'd like to play then we'll do it,' and then the game blew up. It was pretty crazy.
What was the main reason behind the band's move to England, and how do you feel it has benefited in the end?
The main reason was to maintain creative control. The UK label that we were signing with promised 100% creative control, and then also a lot of the bands that we looked up to started in the UK and we thought it would be cool. Rock and Roll! But it turned out that the label that we went on - there was a horrible situation, with creative control and all. But the people are great, so that worked out well. I've loved coming here.
Are you currently writing any new material, and is there a timeline for the release of it?
We are writing new material. We don't have anything that's finished right now, it's kind of very much in the searching stage, but we've definitely written some parts to some songs that I think will end up being catalyst songs.
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