Interviews anglais


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In the middle of a very busy week in the capital city for Cage The Elephant, RockUrLife has met up again with the band’s charismatic frontman Matt Shultz for a quick interview, after their passionate show at the Trabendo.

Let’s talk about the big news first. How was the Rolling Stones? We’re currently talking to someone who has actually opened for the legendary band two nights in a row.

Matt Shultz (vocals): (laughs) The first two shows have been amazing, the guys are just super sweet.

One more round tomorrow.

Matt: Yes, one more show. And then sadly we have to go home.

Let’s talk about social media and its effect on mental health, more precisely the ups and downs of always being online. It’s a huge amount of pressure to put on yourself, beyond the job of just being an artist. You leave the stage, you log on and you’re never left alone. There are constant demands from people on social media for celebrities. How do you feel about that?

Matt: I pay attention to it when I want to, and when I don’t, i don’t. If it’s stressing me out, I’m moving to another direction. I’ve recently been trying to be super sincere with people. I don’t think social media is inherently evil. We all use it in different ways. A lot of what I do to a very high degree is theatre that’s representative of my life, and sometimes that confuses people. But what I try to do is raise questions. I think confusion is destructive and bad. Confusion is either planned and projected on people, or it happens when someone tries to take something pure and beautiful and try to make it fit their own doctrine. Those are negative things that lead to a question mark, but I think question marks are beautiful.

The music business seems to get more and more concerned with social issues, such as mental health, gender inequalities, gender identities and so on, trying to make it a better and safer place for everyone. Last week, your brother [Brad, guitar] called someone out from the crowd at your Alhambra show after he saw him behaving unapproprietly with a young girl. How important is that for you?

Matt: I think it’s as important as it is in every day life. There’s this sort of feeling of disbelief at shows, but it doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want.

David Bowie, whom you love, once said that “The music is the mask the message wears – the music is the Pierrot and I, the performer, am the message”. What’s the message behind Cage The Elephant?

Matt: There’s definitely a message, and it’s in all of our songs. But I think part of why you make art is that you don’t have to have those conversations unless it’s in an intimate environment. In interviews, I generally don’t explain the meanings of the songs, just because I’m hoping that my music speaks to that message anyway. I don’t want to become plastersized and part of some kind of commercial product.

After touring in so many places, what does home mean to you?

Matt: (smiles) That’s a good question. I don’t feel home anywhere. Except for in France, Argentina and Japan where I feel very strong feelings of home.

It’s like a giant triangle.

Matt: (laughs) Perhaps. Anywhere else I’ve never felt that draw.

What do you do outside of music that contributes to your musicality?

Matt: I think everything cross-pollinates. I do a lot of stuff. I love to do art direction, paint, write, read, I also love business. Business is very creative. I mean that in the way of trying to make everyone happy, I like that part of it.

Last question before we leave you. Same one that we asked you last time. This year, what rocks your life?

Matt: Change. Metamorphosis. So much good change.

We’re done. Thank you!

Matt: Okay, merci beaucoup!