Credit: Todd McConnochie
Brighton's psych-garage-punk trio Strange Cages - who describe themselves as a "garage/psych band with cruel intentions” - follow their recent cover of 'The Cutter' with gritty new single 'Hypothalamus Blues', released yesterday (February 16) via Vallance Records, that has already caught the ear of Radio One's Huw Stephens.
Who are you?
I'm Charlie McConnochie and I play guitar and sing with Strange Cages. Joseph Thorpe plays bass and Ellis Dickson plays drums.
Tell us something about yourself and how you came to be where you are today?
We were born and raised together in the sewers of Brighton. Our music is very popular down there amongst the rat communites, but it was never going to be enough. We had to come above ground to find new audiences.
Give us an idea of your musical style and influences.
We're very influenced by 60s psychedelic and garage bands like the 13th Floor Elevators; post-punk sounds like The Pop Group; The sweet repetitions of Neu! Also modern bands like Hookworms and Thee Oh Sees, and a few musicals like West Side Story or The Sound Of Music.
Explain the production and writing process behind your songs.
There are a lot of different ways we write, but we've recently settled in to a good system. Me and Ellis sit Joe down on a tiny piano, take our tops off and then beat him with pointed sticks until he comes up with something. He doesn't like being whacked incessantly like this, so he usually write songs pretty quickly.
Tell us a little about your new single.
'Hypothalamus Blues' is an ode to the highs and lows of life. We've been playing it as our set closer for a while now and it feels good to have it released.
Can we catch up with you at any forthcoming live shows?
We're playing some UK dates starting Monday:
Feb 19 – Portsmouth, Edge of The Wedge
Feb 20 – Southampton, The Alex
Feb 21 – Bristol, Hy
Feb 22 – Cardiff, The Full Moon
Feb 23 – Brighton, Green Door Store
Feb 28 – London, The Lock Tavern
How's the rest of the year looking, plans-wise?
Exciting. We're playing in Belgium for the first time for Stellar Swamp psych festival in April and are working on more Euro dates. There will be more release news soon.
We have two EPs and the new single on Spotify. There is the Echo & the Bunnymen cover and some old stuff on Soundcloud.
What social media platforms can we find with you on?