Formed in 2011, Born Cages is an alternative-rock band out of New York, New York. Their first release was a 2013 “The Sidelines” EP, with their follow-up single “Rolling Down the Hill” coming the summer of 2014. The bands debut, full-length “I’m Glad I’m Not Me” album just dropped June 2, 2015.
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Sean Ritchie: Talk about growing up in New York City. What spots stand out?
Vlad Holiday: When I was younger I would go to Saint Mark’s Street a lot. I think when I was 15 I started going there with my group of friends — getting tattoos in really sketchy places. Where they sell sunglasses for two dollars — the back of those places. Other than that I don’t know. I still love the Lower East Side, the East Village and our label is located in Greenwich Village-Washington Square so we’re there a lot.
Photo courtesy | Andrés Nieto Porras
SR: Describe New York City’s atmosphere. What about it sets it apart from everywhere else?
VH: That’s a hard thing to describe. The energy I think there’s been so many songs written about that. The thing that just popped into my head for some reason is Chelsea Hotel by Leonard Cohen. It’s really hard to capture the essence of it. You go there everyday and you don’t full understand it — so mysterious. You get lost and it’s haunting. It brings you in and I love it. There’s nothing like it.
Matt Maroulakos: We’ve seen a lot of cities in the last run we did and there’s just nothing like New York.
SR: That’s the thing for me too. Being from around the city and then traveling somewhere else, I just crave it’s nightlife. For me, there’s nothing like New York City in that respect.
VH: Yeah, there’s so many types of things going on in New York — bros from Hoboken will go into New York City and have a great time. Even though I hate that, there are just so many different cultures — so many different streets, neighborhoods and little sub cultures. It’s kind of crazy even just talking about it. It’s so overwhelming.
SR: You just touched on culture. One of our motivations behind SCP is the ability travel and music have bringing people together. They break down any personal barrier there are. No matter what country you play in, whether people know the music or not, people just want to have a good time with good music. How important are they in that way?
VH: Even just doing Vans Warped Tour is an example of that. Maybe people even look down at bands that play here. You know the emo’s, the screamo’s. But, you’re right, with the culture here some of the bands are completely different than us and I love that. It really does bring people together. Obvious ways, two people having the same kind of mentality will gravitate towards a certain band. That crowd could be best friends for life kind of thing — happens a lot. Even further people will go to something like this with completely different tastes of music, still get along and really find a common ground. That’s what’s beautiful about it.
SR: How is traveling different while on and off tour?
VH: Well, you really need to tour and play music in front of different people every day — be out there and hustling. The one difference I’ll say between touring and traveling is obviously we’re going to different cities, and a lot of times we don’t get to explore them as much as we want.
Photo courtesy | Tsai
MM: Touring is sort of like a rose colored glass, which is awesome, but we would like to really see these places. Like Toronto. We were just there, but could only see the city in the distance. It was just like, “Man it would be cool to break free from the parking lot and go.” But we’re here to do our job, to play music.
VH: I think when you’re on the tour, not like this, you get to do it a little more, but not so much. For example, we were in Toronto for a week once and I got to experience it a little more. Montreal I love — upset we couldn’t go there this year.
MM: On a tour like this it’s all day. When you’re doing the clubs you get to the venue in the evening, unload your gear, play your set and then you can hang out in the city the rest of the day. Here it’s like you have to make your bus call and then you’re off to the next one.
Photo courtesy | Born Cages
SR: What other cities stand out to you?
MM: I would say Austin, Texas — had a good time there. When we went down this past March for [South by Southwest] we got to chill with the people and really hang with some friends — experience the culture.
VH: That’s what’s so appealing about SXSW, you’re there for a week. You’re there hanging out with the people. You’re staying in the same spot. There’s not so much “downtime,” but at the same time you’re in the city, not traveling every day. You get a little familiarized with the culture there. It was a great time, that’s definitely a highlight.
SR: Is there a destination that you guys haven’t performed in that you really want to hit?
Photo courtesy | Nelson Lourenço
VH: Yeah, the United Kingdom. We want to go to England. We want to tour oversees in Europe. A lot of the bands that we like, listen to, and drew our inspiration from, have always gone there. I feel like a lot of people are receptive of our music there. We get that we sound like Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and The Strokes a lot — all those bands are big there. It then took them years to bring that to America.
SR: When you guys go for a personal getaway, are you more city people or do you like the beach atmosphere?
MM: In this moment I’m thinking beach for sure. That would be nice.
VH: Whenever I visit my parents on the Pennsylvania/New Jersey boarder it’s always so quite. It’s kind of crazy how you can notice that now. Just from being in the craziness of everything that is touring. I do love cities, but if I were to getaway for a little bit I’d like to go somewhere tropical — only for a second, a couple of days. Longer than that I’d get bored.
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For more on Born Cages visit their website:
Additional thanks to Warped Tour: