Q&A: Brad Shultz from Cage The Elephant is stoked for the new tour

Shultz chatted with The End about the new music and recording with Dan Auerbach

March 8, 2016

The good news is that Cage The Elephant is making a stop in Seattle on their recently-announced tour! The two-time Deck The Hall Ball headliners just can't stay away (and why would they want to)? 

The better news is that guitar player Brad Shultz is an awesome dude and decided to chat with us for a little bit so we could ask him about the tour and recording with Dan from The Black Keys. Get to know Brad and start getting pumped for Cage The Elephant on June 19 at WaMu Theater! Here are a couple ways you can get tickets to see the Nashville boys live in Seattle:

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THE END: Hey Brad, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. How are things going on your end?

BRAD: They’re good! I am at home just soaking up the down-time and recharging my battery for a little bit.

THE END: I’m sure it’s been wild with the new album just a couple months old, what have the last few months been like for you guys?

BRAD: It’s actually not too crazy. We’re just starting the whole cycle of things I guess. We did just get off of our first tour after we released the record. We went over to the UK and Europe. It’s been really awesome and great to just play new material and even refreshing. Every time you make a record, you feel like you have a different outlook on lighting and play and all that stuff. You find nuances in the old material that you change and add your new perception into the new material. Just being able to play stuff live has been really great.

THE END: When was the last tour you guys were on before this UK tour?

BRAD: We have been doing spot shows previous to the Europe and UK tour. I guess the last time we were TOUR touring was on Melophobia (2013) about a year ago.

THE END: It probably feels good to be playing live on a more consistent basis then.

BRAD: Oh yeah, totally. Just to see people’s reactions to the songs and to see what songs they are connecting with is really interesting to see. When you first start playing, you don’t know how much of the material people know, you don’t know what’s going to be THE song. You always have surprise songs on the record that you like and you always love the music that you write, but you don’t know how it’s going to translate live. There’s always a surprise song. I think for this tour so far it has been “Punching Bag.” Live, it’s just been a killer. Then the obvious ones like “Mess Around,” “Trouble” and “Cold Cold Cold.” But it’s crazy because “Sweetie Little Jean” in the UK people knew it and it was fun to play, but as soon as we went to the rest of Europe that was one of the songs that they popped off about. It’s really interesting and fun. I am enjoying myself right now.

THE END: How about the tour in the States? When are you guys getting started over here?

BRAD: The tour kicks off on [March] 11th in Fresno I think, so we are getting real close here. This is a tour we have been counting the days down. We have been super excited because we have a bunch of our friends on the road and my only hope is that we all live through this tour. When you get with your friends for a month long a lot of mischievous stuff happens.

THE END: And it looks like you guys are playing with Foals, what’s it like playing with such good friends?

BRAD: Foals are the first bands of all the bands we are playing with. We were releasing our first album in the UK at the same time they were releasing their first record and they built up a pretty good following fairly quick. We became really good homies. I love what they are doing right now and it seems like they are making a lot of headway in the States.

THE END: Going back to the album a bit, working with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, what was that experience like for you?

BRAD: We had gotten really close with Dan touring over the last five years. I think we did three tours with them. We became good homies with all of them. With Dan we would sit around after shows in the dressing rooms and just talk about music. He would play records and we would talk about our different takes on recording or song-writing and found a lot of similarities in one-another. We had been talking about these songs we were writing so much that he said that Matt and I should stop by his hotel on an off-day to play some of the songs so we did and as soon as we were done he texted us to say “I am producing this record.”

Recording was great. It was like going to your friend’s house and jamming all day. I think he brought a lot to the table as far as having great instincts about when the vibe is right for the song. There were a lot of scratch vocal takes that we kept and Matt was nervous about. We usually did a lot of takes and chose the best one, but sometimes you lose the spirit of the song doing take after take. Dan was good about knowing when you hit ‘that one.’

THE END: With your experience touring the album so far, what do you think people can expect when they see you play in Seattle?

BRAD: I think you can expect us to give an honest performance and make a connection with people. A lot of the antics people talk about with our live shows, it’s out of spontaneity. What happens depends on the night! We put our hearts into everything we do and we are going to try to make a connection with people. Seattle is a city we look forward to coming to. Every time we go there people are down to throw down on the show.