Cage Fighter
by Two

Album: Pull the Knife Out (2020)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Two is a duo comprising vocalist Aja Volkman and producer Dan Epand, both former members of the rock trio Nico Vega. After Nico Vega disbanded in 2018, the pair formed Two. Volkman is also known as a wife of Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds.

    Two recorded this fiery song for their debut EP Pull the Knife Out. It finds Volkman singing of summoning her inner strength to get through hard times.
  • In April 2018, Reynolds announced the end of his marriage to Volkman. They never actually divorced and Reynolds re-proposed to his wife at the end of 2019. The problems in her marriage and the thought of becoming a single mother to three small children served as inspiration for the song's lyrics.
  • When you're small
    It's a good thing cause you don't need to prove anything at all
    It's an opportunity to have humility and fall
    Be a wallflower
    Be a superpower
    Be a ball of fierce
    Compact energy
    Waiting to explode


    Volkman told American Songwriter the bridge is her favorite part of the song. "It's about learning to cultivate confidence and power, but not needing to prove it to anyone," she explained. "Owning your energy and strength."
  • Epand already had the production mapped out when he went to Las Vegas for a writing session with Volkman. At the time it was going to be "this James Bond anthemic production," with horns "and a ton of elements." However, Volkman asked him to take out almost everything except the guitar riff. Then she penned the topline in around five minutes and laid down her vocals in one take. Afterwards they didn't change a thing and the vocals are exactly the same as from the writing session.
  • Dan Epand directed the visual, which is inspired by the divisions within America. "This video for 'Cage Fighter' is all emotion," he shared on social media. "For us it was a reflection of the anxieties, the antagonism, the fear, the judgment, and the anger that have torn at American society. And to capture ALL of it. At the same time, Aja and I know where we stand socially and politically, but the irony is everyone feels attacked. And judged. And misunderstood."

    "Pointing the finger isn't working," he added. "So maybe spreading love and acknowledgment might be a better way of bringing people back together."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Barry Dean ("Pontoon," "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools")

Barry Dean ("Pontoon," "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools")Songwriter Interviews

A top country songwriter, Barry talks about writing hits for Little Big Town, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean.

Matt Sorum

Matt SorumSongwriter Interviews

When he joined Guns N' Roses in 1990, Matt helped them craft an orchestral sound; his mezzo fortes and pianissimos are all over "November Rain."

Rick Astley

Rick AstleySongwriter Interviews

Rick Astley on "Never Gonna Give You Up," "Cry For Help," and his remarkable resurgence that gave him another #1 UK album.

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"They're Playing My Song

When a waitress wouldn't take him home, Jack wrote what would become one of the Eagles most enduring hits.

Don Brewer of Grand Funk

Don Brewer of Grand FunkSongwriter Interviews

The drummer and one of the primary songwriters in Grand Funk talks rock stardom and Todd Rundgren.

TV Theme Songs

TV Theme SongsFact or Fiction

Was a Beatles song a TV theme? And who came up with those Fresh Prince and Sopranos songs?