Strange Cages and the Silver Queen

Photo by Tom McConnochie.

Photo by Tom McConnochie.

Brighton’s reputation for producing bands we dig is growing. The scene is constantly spewing out new music from it’s stoney beaches, perhaps it’s something in the salty water. At the forefront is Strange Cages, a four piece that are loud, abrasive, yet melodic and thoughtful. The band have made their mark in their home and have since made an impressive impact around the UK and Europe. Having recently released their new E.P Silver Queen out now, that starts with a gut punching intro, it’s impossible to not hear the sounds of Strange Cages. We caught up with singer and guitarist Charlie McConnochie for a little chat.

Hi Strange Cages. How are y’all doing today?

It’s just Charlie. I’ve assigned the other three to a strict songwriting regime. They are currently going through the process of walking over hot coals to remind themselves that they can feel something and that they can accomplish anything.

Congrats on the release of the new E.P ‘Silver Queen’. How does it feel to share that with the world?

It feels extremely satisfying. It’s been 8 months since our last single and over a year since our last EP, so it’s great to finally have something out that shows more about what we’re doing at the moment. 

Tell us a bit about how the E.P came about. It’s a bit of a concept record, about a fictional cult leader known as the Silver Queen, right?

The songs on the EP show different sides to the personality of a fictional cult leader called The Silver Queen. For this EP we wanted to try something that wasn’t just a bunch of random songs and had themes to convey like the need to belong, every flower fading from bloom, but the cycle continuing anyway and, erm… being silver. It’s been fun to immerse ourselves in the odd little world we’ve created.

How did you find writing about a specific topic? Do you find it harder to write in that way, or because you have some form of guidelines is it easier?

It’s really important to me lyrically that it all makes sense, so that was interesting when writing for the ‘Silver Queen’ concept. At times it was harder, at times it seemed easy, but overall it all just flowed in to place in the end when we didn’t force it. I think the music manages to convey exactly the kind of feelings I wanted to capture and that helped the lyrics and overall themes flow.

The E.P goes through a wave of different genres, from the aggressive, kick in the gut opening of ‘False Prophet Death Waltz’ to the calm, Jonestown Massacre vibes in ‘Silver’. Other than the Silver Queen, what was inspiring the more sonic elements of the release?

For ‘Silver’ we’ve always had that side to us, but never actually recorded/released anything like that before. We recorded that one all in bass player Joe’s bedroom, with him producing. Last year in Italy, the people endearingly shouted ‘posh nosfaratu’ at him and I really think this sums up his producing style in some ways, mature and freaky. I went through a bit of an obsession with Spiritualized and Spacemen 3, so I wanted to capture an element of that in ‘Silver.’ It’s definitely the kind of sound we’re going to explore more in the future, but we’re always ready to fuzz up and get lairy.

Recently you’ve added a fourth member to the band. How’s that addition been? What prompted it?

We’ve thought about bringing keys in for a long time and when we finally jammed with Ben on synth he came at our sound like a sleazy electro angel. The extra layer brings many possibilities to textures and songwriting. Ben really gives 110% every time too and you just can’t fault that.

You guys are from Brighton. Hows your local support and scene?

It’s a stellar place to be, because people love going out to gigs every night. We run a night here called the Deadbeat Disco where we get to put on our favourite locals like Guru, Heirloom and Pussyliquor. We feel it’s important to lose yourself in to a wild state of ferality every now and then and the music scene in Brighton provides a lot of opportunities for this.

What’s the future plans for yourself and the Silver Queen?

We’ll be taking our silver manifesto in to the darkest alleyways of Europe very soon. More news on that to come. There will be more visual treats from us too.

Listen to Sick With Desire from the Silver Queen E.P below. Keep up to date with Strange Cages on Facebook here.