When Vlad Holiday chose the name Born Cages, it was meant as a statement on his view of human nature. Drawing on the experiences of his youth into being an aspiring New York musician, it appeared that from the outset, people are trapped, boxed in, restrained. Likewise, the perceived negativity in the title of Born Cages’ bold debut LP I’m Glad I’m Not Me hides a relentless optimism. As opposed to despair, there’s triumph in the breakthrough of recognizing how “me” belongs in scare quotes, that the self is most often comprised of the assumptions and projections that society places on a person. Born Cages. I’m Glad I’m Not Me. It’s lyrical in a way, a call-and-response chant that cries freedom.
Call it populist music for those no longer willing to take solace in solitude, a soundtrack to be shared on the path to self-discovery. I’m Glad I’m Not Me was recorded at Mission Sound (Arctic Monkeys, Metric, Matt & Kim) in Brooklyn, NY and was produced by Jon Kaplan (Cage The Elephant, Walk The Moon) and co-produced by Vlad himself. On the album, Holiday, bassist/keyboardist Matt Maroulakos and drummer Dave Tantao conjure festival-ready, truly modernist modern rock that is every bit as grand as its song titles would predict: “Bigger Than Me.” “I Just Want The Truth, Baby.” “Don’t Look Back.” “Finding Beauty in a Broken World.”
I’m Glad I’m Not Me touches on pop, rock, electronic, dance, alternative and everything in between, reaching listeners thought to be quarantined from each other. It’s a record celebrating togetherness in fractious times, music that finds commonalities rather than chasms. Throughout, Born Cages play with an urgency that posits their music as something essential, from brash lead single “Rolling Down the Hill” to “Bigger than Me”, a song inspired by a fan’s failed suicide attempt and subsequent spiritual awakening. Holiday wrote the song as a tribute to the restorative powers of music itself, which is why he considers it the culmination of everything the band has tried to accomplish. “I wanna be a part of something bigger than me”, he belts during the chorus, a mission statement if there ever was one for Born Cages and I’m Glad I’m Not Me.
Born Cages is Vlad Holiday (lead vocals/lead guitar), Dave Tantao (drums) and Matt Maroulakos (bass/keyboards).