Cage The Elephant
It's a tale that's as old as Rock n' Roll. A pious father who hates secular music - especially Rock -drives his sons to just the thing he most despises. The kids trade eternal salvation for a drag race down the highway to Hell. Jeez, that was a surprise.
Meet the Shultz brothers - Matt and Brad. That's pretty much their story.
So how does a band that gets started in Bowling Green, KY, end up relocating in East London. Well, play South By Southwest in Austin and impress a label (in this case EMI Records). Move to England to record and find an audience inclined toward your sound. Simple.
The recent precedent was set by the Kings Of Leon who were popular in the U.K. before they broke in the U.S. - even though the band was from the Deep South.
'08 single, "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked," reached #32 on the U.K. chart. A self-titled full-length album rolled out first in the U.K. then the U.S. where the reception was more positive. From that set, the second single "In One Ear," nailed the #1 spot on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart.
Since their debut sold 400,000 copies in the U.S. there was eager anticipation of their next effort - but it almost went sideways. Prior to the release of sophomore album," Thank You Happy Birthday," Shultz claimed the band nearly imploded. "We were close to band suicide. We were all ready to drink the Kool-Aid at once, together." Personal problems also plagued Shultz. "After really trying to control everything in my life, it just unraveled before my eyes," said Shultz. "I had a huge hypocrisy in my own world. A lot of the songs are written about that, discovering that."
Things weren't much better for Cage The Elephant's third album, "Melophobia." Shultz said the word referred to "the hatred or fear of music," which he claimed fit the mood he was in when writing songs for the album. "The whole process was riddled with adversity and growing pains."
"I don't want to make it seem like it wasn't rewarding, 'cause there were moments of peace and beautiful grace," added Shultz. "But there was no part of the process that was easy."
The '13 album was a mix of Indie, Garage and EDM.
Parish left later that year to focus on his production company, TalkBoxRodeo. "I wanted to be a producer before anything else," Parish said in an interview. Guitarist Nick Bockrath performed with the group on Jimmy Kimmel Live (the late night TV show) and at subsequent appearances.
"The Live EP" came next. The five song set, arriving in '14, was recorded earlier in the year at Denver's Ogden Theater.
Cage The Elephant's fourth studio album, "Tell Me I'm Pretty," dropped the following year. Produced by Dan Auerbach (Black Keys), the album, recorded at Easy Eye Sound in Nashville, was the group's first full-length effort since Parish's departure. It went on to win the '17 Grammy for Best Rock Album.
2008 Cage The Elephant
2011 Thank You Happy Birthday
2014 The Live EP
2015 Tell Me I'm Pretty
Cage The Elephant occupy a space between the Kings Of Leon and The Killers - not a bad place to be. No wonder they found an audience in the U.K.
They jump all over the stylistic map with impunity. Wherever they land, it works out great.