Cage the Elephant's Resilient Return with 'Neon Pill' Amidst Personal Trials

Published May 16, 2024

Cage the Elephant, the renowned rock band, has surmounted a series of heartaches and setbacks, emerging with their resilient new album 'Neon Pill'. The journey toward its release was fraught with adversity, including the untimely demise of family members, the global pandemic, and the legal and health challenges faced by lead vocalist Matt Shultz.

The Struggle Behind the Music

Shultz's personal battles came to a head in January 2023 when he was arrested for having firearms in his hotel room. Following his arrest, he came to terms with a harrowing realization: the prescribed medications he had been taking were inducing a state of psychosis.

His encounter with this alternate, medicated persona deeply impacted the creation of 'Neon Pill', a process that spanned five years. Post-hospitalization, Shultz spent two months in inpatient care and an additional six months in outpatient therapy. Throughout this period, he revisited his earlier work to decode and reconnect with the music that his 'other' self had been a part of.

Fortunately, Shultz managed to avoid jail time by pleading guilty to the weapons charges and has since then expressed gratitude for the support and medical attention that played a crucial role in his recovery.

Exploring 'Neon Pill'

Cage the Elephant's collaboration with producer John Hill, their partner in the Grammy-winning album 'Social Cues', blossomed anew in 'Neon Pill'. A varied rock soundscape, the album showcases different facets of the genre, from the glam strut of 'Ball and Chain' to the introspective piano ballad 'Out Loud', encapsulating a sense of musical and emotional depth.

Two tracks on the album pay homage to the Shultz brothers' late father, who passed away in 2020. These poignant pieces emerged from the pair's exploration of their father's songwriting, discovered in crates of old cassette tapes, and serve as a retrospective and tribute to his influence and memory.

In a departure from the band's past, 'Neon Pill' represents a more authentic and self-assured musical direction for Cage the Elephant. Shultz highlights the shift away from imitation and emulation, suggesting a greater focus on creating music that resonates personally with the band.

loss, recovery, album