Ask Cage the Elephant’s lead singer Matt Shultz a question, and you’ll most likely hear silence at first. It’s not that Shultz isn’t sociable — he perhaps seems most at home stage diving off the second floor balcony of concert venues — but he thinks carefully about his words. That same careful attention to detail and commitment to craft are unquestionably to thank for Cage the Elephant’s meteoric rise from Kentucky pubs to mainstream success.
Speaking ahead of the release of the band’s fourth album, Tell Me I’m Pretty, out today on RCA, Shultz shared his reasons behind recruiting friend and Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach to produce the new record. “As far as people who are able to bring that raw, gritty sound, there’s not a lot of people out there that are doing that at the level that Dan does,” he said of the record’s producer. “He’s able to make records that feel classic … and at the same time don’t lose people who have a contemporary ear.”
Shultz also discussed how Cage the Elephant was able to absorb the loss of founding guitarist Lincoln Parish in 2013 when he left the group to pursue a career in music production, and why he’s so excited to be opening for Metallica at next year’s Super Bowl pre-show.
Presented in partnership with RCA Records, this interview was conducted for Filtr Say It > Play It on Spotify, and can be heard alongside the new album and its influences via the embedded player below.