Interview: Brad Shultz of Cage the Elephant

I hadn’t seen Cage the Elephant perform since I lived in St. Louis 2 years ago. They completely destroyed this venue called Pop’s with an hour’s worth of pure shit-kicking rock n roll. That was two years ago and since then, the band hasn’t been back to a venue I could afford to go to. They put out a new album in between then called Thank You, Happy Birthday, which I wasn’t entirely sold on at first. It wasn’t until when they played Nashville a few nights ago that I was really sold on the new material. When played live, it’s truly a different animal. Onstage, the band gives it their all, delivering an hour and a half of pure energy. Not many frontman are as brave as Matt Shultz is. He’s in his own little world while the rest of the band acts as more than back up on a crusade to deliver their idea of a good time. I caught up with his brother and guitarist Brad after the show. He was cool enough to answer some of my questions at the Foobar after party about drugs, Menudo, and new material. Check it out.

That song you guys wrote called “Aberdeen,” is that a Nirvana reference (Aberdeen was the band’s hometown)?

Um, I’ve always said that if anyone ever asked that question, I was just gonna say yes. So yes. (laughs)

Drugs: do they hinder or encourage creativity?

I think hinder. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with having a good time, but I think that’s destroyed a lot of bands. It becomes more about the drugs than the music and that’s when your creativity kind of dies.

(At this point in the interview, Mikey and Mike of Bad Cop come over and inquire about Brad’s triple-sided dildo (with prongs) and the side ska-dupstep project they’re forming, appropriately called Blood Bubble Fart. I’d type it all out, but it went on for about 2 minutes)

What’s your guys’ reaction to the success of your first album, particularly “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” appearing in video game commercials?

I don’t know, man. I appreciate the first album for what it was but I think we’ve grown past that. It’s where we were in that time of our lives.

How do you choose the bands you tour with?

We do. We choose bands like Bad Cop, Schools and other good bands we hear along the way.I hate going in and not knowing the bands that are going to open up the show. It never ends up good.

You guys have been a band for about 6 years now, which is a pretty long time. Favorite parts or any regrets?

Nah man, I just think it’s all just a growing experience. Just take it in stride. There’s good times and bad times. I’d still rather do this than anything else. I get to do something I love.

It beats pickin’ cotton, right?

Right. (laughs)

Any word on new material or when you guys are going to put out your next album?

Yeah, we’re going into the studio in July. We have a lot of new shit. We’re going to these cabins in May where we just gotta seclude ourselves and do a lot of writing. We write individually so we just got to get together as a band and get it together. But after that, we go to the studio in July.

What’s the word on Starry Nights Festival for 2012?

Oh dude, so excited about it. We’ve been booking bands and stuff and it’s going to be better than it ever has been. It’s going to be something people are actually going to be excited about.

Shake Me Down – Cage the Elephant

You guys shot your video for “Shake Me Down” in Nashville. Why has it been 2 years since you guys have played Nashville?

I don’t know, honestly. Just routing of tours. We’ve been doing a lot of supporting tours with the Foos and the Black Keys so…..I don’t know. We love Nashville. This was like our semi-hometown show.

Yeah, I heard a bunch of you guys live here.

Yeah, me, Lincoln and Tichernor do. But I don’t know. (laughs)

Drunk Guy at the bar shouting: Hey Brad, are you a Cage or are you an Elephant?

It actually means choking your chicken.

You’ve opened for the Black Keys and the Foo Fighters. Is there anyone you’d want to open for or tour with?

The Chili Peppers would always be awesome (laughs). But I don’t know. All my shit would be like the Butthole Surfers or the Pixies.

Until recently, Bowling Green wasn’t known as much of a music town. What was it like growing up there?

Bowling Green has had its secret little thing for a while. It just hasn’t been as exposed or as focused. There’s a lot of cool bands there and it’s cool to see what happening. It’s the biggest scene Bowling Green’s ever had.

Favorite venue you’ve played?

Tidballs

Britney Spears, Norah Jones and Ke$ha. You gotta fuck one, marry one and kill one. Go!

Kill em all. (laughs)

Craziest show you’ve ever played?

Tonight. (laughs) I don’t know. Having Dave (Grohl) drum with us was pretty surreal though.

If there’s a hell, who’s playing music there?

Menudo, even though Ricky Martin’s not dead yet. (laughs)

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen on tour?

I saw a lizard have sex with a chicken. It was crazy.

Thanks Brad! The band’s on tour right now. If they cross your path, check out their show and buy them a beer afterwards. They’re cool dudes. You can check out the tour dates HERE and some of their music below.

In One Ear – Cage the Elephant

Aberdeen – Cage the Elephant

Right Before My Eyes (Acoustic) – Cage the Elephant

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