Aside from being known as another middle of nowhere town, Bowling Green, Ky., has a few claims to fame: Fruit of the Loom, Corvettes and the alternative rock band Cage the Elephant.
Over the past few years, Cage the Elephant has played various shows and festivals across the states and the United Kingdom. Most recently, the group was one of the headlining acts at Starry Nights, a music festival that took place in their hometown Sept. 30-Oct. 2.
The band received their first big break in 2007 after their performance at Austin, Texas-based music festival, South by Southwest. They were signed to a label in the United Kingdom and moved to London, where they toured for two years almost nonstop. The question is, how did a group of guys from Bowling Green set out to establish their band in order to get to where they are today? Cage the Elephant guitarist Brad Schultz was able to sit down and answer this question, along with many others.
“Starting in Bowling Green, Ky., you really don’t have a ‘scene’ to cater to,” Schultz said. “Bowling Green has a music scene, but not like New York or Nashville. Musicians group together and support each other.” This support made the group curious as to how their music would fare outside of Bowling Green.
“It was pretty weird and unexpected the way things happened,” Schultz said, “Coming from Bowling Green, it’s a little cliché, our eyes weren’t opened as far as we thought they were.”
Since they have been touring consistently over the past four years in promotion of their first release, Cage the Elephant is eager to drop their new album, which is “all over the place,” Schultz said.
“We just wrote songs, we put everything on the table in the studio. If it turned out and we loved it then we put it on the album. It’s all about that honesty.” The new album is due out in January.
In the meantime, Cage the Elephant could not have been more excited about the Starry Nights Music Festival on their home turf. Not only were they one of the headliners, along with Ghostland Observatory, Daniel Johnston and Keller Williams, but they also worked very closely in coordinating the festival as a whole.
“It’s really strange that something like that is going on in a city the size of Bowling Green. We wanted to help that along in any way,” Schultz said. Upon being asked, they immediately began brainstorming about ways to make the festival the best it could be, including going after national acts.
It already had “great vibes there, and just needed that little push. I think it’s going to be a festival that is really going to grow,” Schultz said.
What sets the Starry Nights festival apart from other festivals is that it has its own “very pure, honest vibe,” Schultz said, “We’re just trying to be a supporter of the community of musicians than thinking of money. It’s more about community and bringing people together and trying to incubate that.”
For upcoming opportunities to see Cage the Elephant, they will be participating in the Voodoo festival in New Orleans on Oct. 30. They also anticipate more Nashville shows in the next coming months, though nothing is confirmed. The Nashville show “will be when we debut our new stuff give people a sneak peak of new album… We’re excited to play Nashville next time we do,” Schultz said. From Bowling Green, to the UK, and across the charts, Cage the Elephant is positioning itself to be a band with a well-known name.