CAGE

I like it when a band is pure heavy metal and no gimmicks. Cage is just that. Metal for metal’s sake. Anders Ekdahl ©2011

The band name isn’t very sexy. Who came up with it and why did it end up as the band name?
-Ha! It is a very metal name and we wanted a one syllable name like FIGHT. We found it was available and have loved it ever since. Good name to be chanted by metal crowds also.

One band that keeps popping up in everything written about Cage is Judas Priest. How soon did that reference feel old and not so fun anymore?
-They are my favorite band so it will probably never get old for me. Especially being the singer since the Metal God is the best who ever lived. They had great songs that will reign on forever I am sure. We are influenced by all the great metal gods so although they are my favorite, there are many others we get compared to on a song by song basis. Songs like ANNALIESE MICHEL for King Diamond and now FLYING FOTRESS for Sabaton. We love to pay homage to other bands we like.

You are a couple of albums (six) into your career. When will the big break through come or do you work in small steps, taking album by album?
-Man we do this for the love of metal and have had some great experiences with this band. People that have experienced us live know where we rank in that category so in that regard we are quite happy. We need to tour more to really get to that next level but that is all in the plans now. We have no regrets and have enjoyed the slow progression as we get exposed to more and more metal heads. We sacrificed our band success for personal success by giving the time to our families and outside careers. Because of that now we have fulfilled our family obligations and most of us are so well off we can devote time to the band and push it farther than ever.

In playing heavy metal you pretty much found a loyal following from the first day but where do you have the greatest fans?
-The second best thing next to performing is meeting all the super cool people that metal fans are all across the globe. The greatest fans are probably in Germany although we have diehards all over the place. Mexico has probably been the most memorable of all the shows we have ever done but in the USA we have some great people that swear by us also.7

Releasing albums on German/European labels might not give you the exposure you’d like in the US. How do you go about promoting your records in the States and what kind of responses do you get?
-The USA has lots of great metal heads we sell about the same amount of cds each year here with a slow and steady increase. We have toured in the States way more in the last 3 years or so than the previous 16 so now we have a serious investment here that has paid off. We promote heavy on the radio and we have a decent distro network. We move lots of product right off our website www.cageheavymetal.com

Is there a greater concept behind the booklet? How came up with the idea to have different art work to each side?
-Well as always we want to have the best looking product over anybody. Despite not being supported (ripped off) by a major label, we put out product that rivals the 4 panel booklets of most other bands. The artwork we have for SUPREMACY OF STEEL was very expensive but we always want to give our devoted fans a real value for their money as the spend it. We always put free stickers and other stuff in the mail orders we send out. The booklet this time has 5 different artists that we hired for this and the results speak for themselves. It is one of the most beautiful booklets I have ever seen in metal for sure. Each page has a story being told or at least lots to look at. The cover artwork I really love as you can lose yourself in it as the cd plays. That is how I grew up on metal and we wanted to give the same experience to our killer metal warrior Viking fans!

In doing such an elaborate booklet does it ever feel like you might have gone overboard in this age of digital downloads (illegal or legal)?
-No because when we go to shows we often find people that have already downloaded the album but still buy a hard copy for their collection. This packaging will ensure people always buy a copy I believe. I am a comic book fan and I love to hold it in my hands and lose myself in the story verses staring at a computer screen all the time.

Does a fancy presentation put your albums over from the competition? What does it take to make your album stand out when the music isn’t enough?
-Well we have never had a problem with the music not being enough as you well know. That should be left for some other bands that put out mediocre metal that has no lasting memory placed upon the listener. So far reviews for our latest have been off the charts and we have been spoiled over the years as the press has 99% of the time loved our stuff. We focus on a good song and not trying to outsmart or out think what makes metal great. We just put out what we would want to hear as a fan of this genre of music and artwork that we feel is badass and people would want to have on a shirt.

How important is the structure of song placement on the album in order to build up maximum impact on the listener?
-That is a good question and always tricky for me. Somehow we have been lucky and it has always worked out good for us. HELL DESTROYER was especially tricky being a story being told. With SOS I worried that we had too much blasting fast stuff crammed in the front ( most of the whole album is like that ha!) but it seemed to work out good. I knew we would have the epic HELL DESTROER VS METAL DEVIL as the last track and BLOODSTEEL as the first track and I just fit it all in from there.

When you write songs how do you avoid repeating yourself and constantly coming up with new and interesting songs?
-It is really hard. I am always really concerned with each album saying to myself “Is it really better than the last album?”. I have been super concerned with each release and really doubted it each time but the fans and media have pretty much said that each album has continued to best the previous one which is an unbelieveable feat if you buy into that. I could break each progression down and some people have their favorite CAGE albums but even now our hardcore inner circle fans are swearing SUPREMACY OF STEEL is our best. For it even to be a discussion is really gratifying as I can think of no other metal band that has 6 releases where this can legitimately be argued can you?

What will the road to the 7th album bring with it?
-Ha! We have been leaking this a bit so we might as well do it here too. I was about to do a side project with some well known guys that fell through. In preparation for that I wrote a horror story that was a massive 30 full pages of detail. The Cage guys liked it so much we have committed to it and will be doing a full on horror concept album in the vein of King Diamond’s Abigail,Them, or The Eye which are my favorites. Several people have read it and love the shit out of it so there you have it! we have a good head start on it too as lots of music is already written.

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