Cage the Elephant brothers Matt and Brad Shultz recall dumpster-diving, the emotional peaks and lows of making an album and getting embarrassed by their lyrics in a new interview with Rolling Stone.
Growing up with artists for parents, money was tight, Brad Shultz remembers. But the brothers were resourceful when it came to acquiring instruments. “We would dig a drum kit out of a dumpster,” Matt laughed. “And the only drumsticks we had were coat hangers, and my dad was like: ‘That’s awesome.'”
The pair also discussed a more tragic side of their childhood, the unsolved kidnapping and murder of their neighbor Morgan Violi, which inspired a track on their LP Tell Me I’m Pretty, “Sweetie Little Jean.” Matt said writing the song helped him move past the lingering pain since it required a great deal of vulnerability.
“If you’re singing lyrics that don’t make you slightly embarrassed, then you’re probably not writing good songs,” Matt said, quoting his friend Isaac Brock from Modest Mouse. “The truth always sounds more poetic than trying to sound poetic.”