Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
Cage The Elephant, Come A little Closer. Album: Melophobia (2013)
This was released as the first single from Cage The Elephant’s third album, Melophobia. Vocalist Matt Shultz told the story of the song to MusicRadar.com. “We were in the Buenos Aires airport, and I saw this amazing flamenco guitarist who was busking,” he recalled. “He had this whole gypsy thing going on. The music he played was very hypnotic and powerful – you could hear the burdens of his heart. I got inspired and grabbed my guitar. I went to the next terminal – there weren’t that many people in this one yet – and I started playing what in my head was Bulgarian folk.”
“I wrote the verse at the airport, inspired by the thought of things appearing different at first and then seeing them in a new light,” Shultz continued. “We went on to San Paulo, and I remember being in my hotel and looking out one morning at this makeshift city on a hill. There were tarps and scrap metal, all of these little boxes with people inside of them. It made me think of an ant hill, but then I also thought, ‘No, wait, these are people living their lives.’ It made me want to look closer. That became the chorus.”
“Once I showed the parts to the band,” Shultz concluded, “we went to a rehearsal studio, pieced everything together, and there was the song. But it all started in that airport in Buenos Aires. Funny how that works sometimes.”
Guitarist Lincoln Parish told Loudwire how the song came together: “After we had written it, we liked it when we first wrote it. But then we went and demoed it in my studio and we kind of felt like polka,” he explained. “The verse had a different feel and beat to it. Kind of a polka feel. Then we listened to it back and were like, I don’t even think we ended up turning that version of the demo in to management, we weren’t that happy with it. We just let it sit and then we were back in the studio with Jay (Joyce, producer), it wasn’t even a song that we were trying to cut. Then he was like, well what other songs can we do? Towards the last little bit we were kind of, well what songs do we have left to cut? Or what songs do we want to cut and not cut. We decided and Jay was like, we should do this one. We’re like yeah, but the verse, we didn’t like the feel. He was like, figure it out. So, we just sat around and actually just dumbed it down and made it a little more simple than it was originally. The chorus is the same, but the verse changed as far as making it more straightforward and simple.”