Several members of Cage the Elephant were previously in a band called Perfect Confusion. After being discovered at the 2007 South-by-Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, the band relocated to London, England.
The band name Cage the Elephant actually came from a fortune teller. Frontman Matthew Shultz was having his fortune told when the woman pulled out a card and started panicking, repeating "Cage the elephant! Cage the elephant!" over and over. Shultz was so freaked out that he just got up and left on the spot.
In 2011, Cage the Elephant drummer Jared Champion's appendix suddenly burst while the band was on tour in support of the Foo Fighters. Champion required immediate attention and was forced to miss several of Cage the Elephant's shows. Luckily, Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl stepped in and played the drums in Champion's absence.
Cage the Elephant's song "Shake Me Down" features drummer Jared Champion playing on a set of toy drums. The guitar riff of the song was taken from a different song written by bassist Daniel Tichenor's father. The bass line of the song was inspired by The Shins.
One of Cage the Elephant frontman Matthew Shultz's favorite books is Of Mice and Men. Shultz says the book is "so sad yet so beautiful." The singer also likes reading Jack Kerouac, C.S. Lewis, and fellow musician Leonard Cohen's poetry.
When talking about his brother and fellow band mate Matthew Shultz, Cage the Elephant guitarist Brad Shultz says "he loves to push boundaries." This includes stage antics such as painting his whole body red, wearing skimpy underwear onstage, and swinging off chandeliers when possible. Shultz says when the band played in England, his brother's confrontational stage presence "scared some people away."
Cage the Elephant band mates and brothers Matthew and Brad Shultz grew up in a very religious household in Kentucky. The family didn't have a lot of money but they went to church together every Sunday. Guitarist Brad Shultz says their dad played Christian music in their lifetime but was also in a rock 'n' roll band before that.
Cage the Elephant lead singer Matthew Shultz played football in high school but quit because his mother started dating the coach. After his parents were divorced, Shultz moved into a trailer with brother and band mate Brad Shultz and the two began writing songs to pass the time. When the boys played in a talent show together and came in second, they realized they had something worth pursuing.
Matthew Schultz likes playing chess. "I'm always challenging our roadies to chess matches and also other band's roadies to chess matches," he told Spinner. "I play Risk, too. I guess that's kind of nerdy."
Brad and Matthew Shultz have been writing songs together since they were young. Matthew Shultz told American Songwriter magazine: "We didn't grow up in a financially stable household, so there wasn't much money - there was no money, really - so we'd write songs or do other things like that to keep ourselves entertained when we were younger. We started a band and started really writing songs when we were about 13."
Asked during a Reddit AMA about his lyric writing process, Matt Shultz replied: "Usually it starts with a random stream of consciousness and once I figure out what I'm trying to say, I then try to narrow it down to a specific item/sentiment."