Artist Interview: Born Cages – Coming to Philly on 8/24

Not familiar with Born Cages? You should be. This indie-rock group from New York City is about to hit the ground running. Their first EP, The Sidelines, was recently released by Razor & Tie, a full length album is in the works, and they’re currently touring across the country. Before they make it to Milkboy Philly on August 24th, Rock On Philly chatted with Born Cages’ frontman, Vlad Holiday.


How did the band come together?

The band started with the simple idea of playing music that makes a statement, makes you think for yourself and question the things around you. But besides bringing up the inevitably negative things in your life, or these “cages” that constrain you, the goal is to stand together with the listener and kick ’em down. I always use a line from Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris that goes, “The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.” It was obvious from the start that the four of us shared this goal.


Can you describe the group’s musical writing/composing process?

It’s perhaps not the most typical approach to songwriting for a band, but I write all the songs isolated from the group. To me a song is so much more than a half-assed idea on an acoustic guitar. It’s the mood, the vibe, the energy that it creates in the listeners brain – which has SO much to do with the production of the piece. The meaning and message behind the song needs to be dressed a certain way, and having one person align all the pieces (vocals, lyrics, synths, guitars, drums, etc.) seems more honest to me. More of a complete thought rather than a medley of different ideas.


Where do you draw inspiration from?

I think we all try to look for the romance in things. It’s hard to find these days, but it’s still there. It can be in an old quote by some poet long gone, or it could come out of a little kid’s mouth as they’re babbling about seemingly nothing. Things that make you think. They’re all around, you just gotta be ready and vulnerable to take it in. That’s what I hope this band and these songs do to people!


How did music come into your lives?

As kids, we all were inspired to play music. It was never something forced down our throats. Actually, when I was very young my parents tried getting me guitar lessons and I hated the idea. It wasn’t until I discovered it for myself that it changed me forever. 


What was the group’s first show like?

Pretty nerve-rackingly fun. I remember Amanda and I drove home from Brooklyn and stopped for a celebratory meal at Stateline diner. We were buzzing about it for days, I’m pretty sure I barely slept that night.


What is the craziest story you have from being on tour?

As of right now it might be Axl Rose’s Escalade almost hitting Amanda’s mother’s SUV in Chicago when we opened for Guns N’ Roses. Yes, we drove to open for GN’R in our parents’ cars.


What would you consider the band’s greatest achievement so far?

It’s hard to measure achievements because different experiences mean different things to people. For example, our song “Don’t Look Back” was on NOW 45, which is a compilation album that debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 charts. Pretty wild to think about, but it wasn’t a physically rewarding moment. Our greatest achievement is probably going up on stage and having people sing along to our songs. The high from a great show is really … it doesn’t get better than that.


What can we expect from Born Cages in the future?

Expect a full-length coming soon paired with heavy touring. The album’s finished and ready to go. The Sidelines EP, which is the only music we currently have out, is an introduction for this larger idea. I hear fans saying the EP is such a tease and that they want more than 5 songs, but it’s just as big of a tease for us to have to keep this full length on the hush! It’ll be worth it though, can’t wait to share it with everyone.


You can buy tickets to their Milkboy show here, and in the meantime, listen to their EP The Sidelines below.


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Born Cages Plays in Perfect Harmony at Milkboy Philly - Rock On Philly

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