Under the Radar: Born Cages ready to break out of confinement

Emily Gibson

The New York-based Born Cages have stayed under the radar since releasing their debut album, I’m Glad I’m Not Me, on June 2. But with a slot on the 2015 Vans Warped Tour and a top-ten song on the Alternative Specialty Radio chart, they’re ready to establish themselves in the music world.

Their single “Rolling Down the Hill” charted at number seven on the Alternative Specialty Radio, which features up-and-coming alternative acts. Front man Vlad Holiday’s first teenage drinking experience during a New Year’s Eve party, where he literally rolled down a hill, inspired the song’s title. But Holiday said the song isn’t about partying – it’s about breaking free from life’s mundane routines.

“The song is about being fed up with your town, your life, your everything – just your normalcy,” Holiday said. “It’s about that feeling you get when you’re going through shit and you just need to get out. But the song is a happy song, nonetheless.”

Releasing I’m Glad I’m Not Me was a years-long effort for the Brooklyn trio. Drummer Dave Tantou said it was “freeing” to complete a project that they spent so long working on.

“It felt before like we were maybe letting fans down by waiting so long to put it out, so now that it’s out it feels like that weight is off,” Tantao said.

Holiday said debuting music is exciting, but it can be stressful because of how vulnerable the artist becomes in the public eye.

“When you do something like putting out a record, you’re putting yourself out there and into the world,” Holiday sad. “You’re opening yourself up for criticism and that’s always stressful.”

With the success of “Rolling Down the Hill” and their album release, it’s been a big year for Born Cages. The members said the year’s highlights include dropping their record, being added to Warped Tour and getting to tour the country in a bus rather than a van, like most up-and-coming acts.

“This is our first tour on a bus – I’ve been waiting to do that for 10 or 15 years,” Holiday said. “First day I get in my bunk, I’m like, ‘Fuck this. I don’t want this.’ But no, it’s really great.”

Bassist and keyboardist Matt Maroulakos said he thinks one of the band members’ biggest accomplishments so far this year is becoming more cohesive.

“I think this year in general the band became a solid unit,” Maroulakos said. “And that feels really, really good.”

The trio came together through mutual friends in the New York music scene in 2011, but Maroulakos is adamant that the members have formed actual friendships through the project rather than being pieced together like members of a boy band.               

“Yeah, we aren’t a boy band,” Holiday said. “We’re just boys in a band.”

As they emerge into today’s music scene, the members of Born Cages aren’t looking to accomplish one, tangible goal but said they plan to continue growing and creating.

“We have a lot of goals,” Holiday said. “I don’t think we’re going to reach one and think, OK, we’re done.’ There’s always going to be higher goals to reach.”

Maroulakos said their current focus is forming relationships with their fans during live shows.

“I think we want to be on a stage in front of people and really connect with them,” Maroulakos said. “That’s what it’s all about and if we get to do that, we’ll be happy.”