Interview: Born Cages
Tue, 09 Jun 2015 14:17:48
Born Cages Videos
Singer and guitarist of New York indie band on everything from the themes of debut 'I'm Glad I'm Not Me' to a particularly crazy night back in high school that changed everything.
Born Cages' full-length debut I'm Glad I'm Not Me [Washington Square/Razor & Tie] is a striking combination of synth-laden soundscapes and timelessly catchy rock hooks. The New York trio—Vlad Holiday [lead vocals, guitar], Matt Maroulakos [bass, keyboards], and David Tantao [drums]—could either fuel the dance floor or an arena with their inimitable and irresistible style. You might've heard the group's hit "Don't Look Back" or seen them alongside everybody from Magic Man to even Guns N' Roses. It's that adaptability that makes this indie outfit so undeniable. In this exclusive interview, we chatted up Holiday about his vision for I'm Glad I'm Not Me, a pivotal teen-hood evening, and so much more.
What was your approach for I'm Glad I'm Not Me?
These days, musicians don't focus on making a whole album. I wanted to keep that in mind while writing. The lyrical themes are woven throughout the songs and ultimately the whole record. I definitely had the whole thing in mind. After releasing an EP in 2009 with a collection of songs from the album, it did feel a little out of context and ultimately was kind of incomplete for me. That said, I am really excited for everyone to hear the whole album.
What are some of those themes that tie it all together for you?
I guess there is a lot of wanting to get out and to move on from my current living situation. I always had big dreams for the band, and we were in a place where nothing was happening yet. I was writing a lot of these songs while living with my parents. There was a negative undertone, but I was also very hopeful. I think this is kind of what the songs all revolved around. It's that feeling that you need to get out and do what you are meant to be doing.
What encouraged that? Was it the mindset you were in?
Definitely, yes. I am in a constant state of trying to improve myself and do a better job. I want to move on to the next level of being in a band—as a songwriter and whatnot. It is hard to live in the moment sometimes because of the need to always want to be better, which involves looking forward to what is coming next. If I ever said to myself, "I am good where I am at right now," it would be a bad place to be creatively. As an artist and songwriter, it is very important to be conscious of this.
Hear "Bigger Than Me"
What's the story behind "Finding Beauty In a Broken World"?
The song actually evolved from this guitar effect, which is running through the whole song. It sounds like a spacy, crystallizer type of sound. It was a really shitty day and very depressing outside. I started jamming on this little idea which was comprised of a simple chord progression. I read something along the lines with a title that said, "Trying To Find Beauty In a Broken World." A lot of the outro part of the songs is tying in all the other songs on the record, which is why I wanted it to be the final song on the album and there are a bunch of nods and references to the previous tracks contained in this song. I think that it really is a good closing statement to this album.
Hear "I Just Want The Truth, Baby"