Cage has shared the stage with legendary artists such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Dio and they are preparing to once again hit the road in support of their newest release Science Of Annihilation. This record has lots of very catchy hooks and tons of guitars that are sure to please metal fans everywhere. I recently spoke with enigmatic lead singer Sean Peck who answered the following questions for PureGrainAudio.
Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
Sean: No, it is very much a collective situation. Everyone usually jams it out and we get the vibe on if the song is killer or not. Songwriting is the key to what separates the killer bands and the conglomeration of just really good musicians. We wrote this new CD probably faster than any other before, so that was a new level of production for us. With our new drummer, he spends a lot of his own time perfecting his approach so it is always moving along. I only had to request a few drum changes this time around which was refreshing and he quickly complied.
Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the bands and artists that have greatly influenced your songwriting and performance?
Sean: Old Savatage, Testament, King Diamond, Priest of course, Maiden, Metal Church, WASP, old Crimson Glory, Lizzy Borden, and stuff like Dokken and other hard rock. I have implemented the hook oriented hard rock bands with the Testament and King Diamond technicality, with the bad assness of Judas Priest. We are not necessarily innovative but in our genre, too much innovation will kill the vibe and emotion of what heavy metal provides. That being said we look to bring this genre forward.
If you could jam with any famous musician, dead or alive, from any century, who would it be and why?
Sean: Wow, Randy Rhoades, because he wrote some great shit and who knows where metal would be had he not passed so soon. Other than that, I would love to jam with Judas and write something badass.
How has MySpace and the internet impacted your band and do you think downloading helps or hinders the artists?
Sean: I think that MySpace has been awesome. It allows us to discover like minded metal heads and book shows etc. with people you would not otherwise meet. Downloading affects other genres much more than us I believe. I feel we have 10,000 fans or so who will buy our CDs, and shirts to support what we do whether or not they already downloaded or whatever. We just played a show and I was trying to make change for CD sales at the merch booth and people were so stoked on the show they were saying keep the change, paying like 20 bucks a CD just to show the support. I can see that, as I would do the same for some of my favorites as well.
When playing together and ultimately recording this CD did you find that you could express yourself creatively enough?
Sean: Absolutely. That is why we do it. We have no one limiting us and we have few disagreements when it comes to the final production and song structure. That is why to this point I have turned down many opportunities to head other bands and do not need a solo album or side project. CAGE is everything that I need and want!
The band keeps things interesting thematically. Can you talk about some of the subjects you tackle on this record?
Sean: This CD has a cosmic vibe to it I think., “The Science Trilogy” at the end has the demi-God, The Spectre of War meeting God at the end of time and witnessing the final star being extinguished. We destroyed the Earth on the last CD this time we destroyed the Universe! We also talked about Creation with “The Power of a God” song. I wrote two literal tracks of Marvel super heroes with Planet Crusher and Spirit of Vengeance, and some cliché metal topics like Scarlet witch and Speed Kills. There are two historical songs, one with some conspiracy thrown in with “Die Glocke” and “Operation Overlord.” That about sums it up, it was a mixture of themes that allowed us to write a no holds barred, drive fast as hell and party, heavy metal record.
What is your musical background?
Sean: Not much! I just grew up being a loud mouth class clown of sorts. Always making funny voices and getting in trouble in class for being disruptive. I then fell in love with heavy metal very late compared to other metal heads I know. I would sing along to Priest albums and the like trying to air guitar at the same time. I then joined a cover band and honed my skills eventually becoming what is now known as a vocal mutant! I write a lot of riffs just by humming them out and I arrange the majority of the stuff so I love being able to write without the pain in the ass of having to learn to play guitar.
How does it make you feel when the emotion or power you envisioned while writing a song comes to life in front of an audience?
Sean: This CD was the first time we wrote and recorded the CD without testing out any of the material live. It was a little bit of a concern since it was a departure from the normal procedure, but the set we play now is half Science Of Annihilation songs and they were unveiled for the first time to the crowds in Europe before the CD was even out. The new songs go over so good and the feeling of pure power is fantastic. Being a singer and delivering this is a rare thing that only a handful of people experience.
Along those same lines, how do you feel your live shows differ from your CDs?
Sean: Like all my favorite bands I believe we are much better live than on the CDs. There is an extra amount of power you get from when you are in front of the amps. It is easier to sing live for me than recording for some reason it is really weird. I love just wailing to the speed of this new CD and seeing the awe in peoples faces as it rocks the shit out of them. We just played a great show in Phoenix and came back from a three week tour in Europe and we flat freaked people out. The live reviews from the European media were just unbelievable.
What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
Sean: Wow! Maiden, Cage and Dio was pretty sweet. Opening for Priest twice was awesome. The Mago de Oz fest in Monterrey was amazing and is our DVD performance that is coming out. We played a show in Athens Greece and it was a blast as well.
What does the future hold for you guys as a band?
Sean: We are working on the next release now. We have a DVD coming out by Christmas 2009. Three of our CDs are coming out on vinyl, which is very exciting. And we plan on playing the East Coast in September. There is a lot going on as we promote this CD and the word gets out that the moniker “American Power Metal Kings” is for real. Everyone please say hi to us at www.cageheavymetal.com.