The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter played host for The GRAMMYs At Lollapalooza during the festival's 20th anniversary installment from Aug. 5–7 in Chicago's Grant Park. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including alternative rockers Cage The Elephant and indie singer/songwriter Haley Bonar.
Cage The Elephant guitarist Brad Shultz and drummer Jared Champion discussed music licensing, performing live, the production of their music videos, advice for aspiring musicians, and their plans for the future.
"It's just another avenue for bands to express themselves," said Shultz on producing music videos. "The videos [are] a pretty significant part [of the music]."
Formed in Bowling Green, Ky., and also featuring Lincoln Parish (guitar), Matt Shultz (vocals) and Daniel Tichenor (bass/vocals), Cage The Elephant first garnered a following in the UK in 2008, cracking the Top 40 in the UK with their self-titled debut and the single from the album, "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked." Their self-titled album was released in the United States the following year and made headway on the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 59. Their sophomore effort, Thank You Happy Birthday, was released in January and shot to No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The band is currently on tour throughout Europe, Canada and the United States.
Indie singer/songwriter Bonar spoke about her recent release, Golder, the influence of the Minnesota music scene, songwriting, and her biggest career risk, among other topics.
"I feel like my music is a little bit of everything," said Bonar. "[I develop my sound by] challenging myself, trying to write better songs and always [staying true to] myself."
Born in Rapid City, S.D., Bonar's music combines elements of folk, alternative and country, drawing comparisons to the likes of Elliott Smith, Mazzy Star and Shannon Wright. At the age of 18 Bonar relocated to Minnesota where she had plans to attend college and study English, but soon dropped out to pursue a career in music. After garnering the attention of Alan Sparhawk of Minnesota indie rock group Low, Bonar released her debut album, 2002's The Size Of Planets, on Sparhawk's Chairkickers' Union label. Several albums and EPs followed, including Lure The Fox (2006) and Big Star (2008). Released in April, Bonar describes Golder as an "evolution into something brighter, heavier and stronger."
Come back to GRAMMY.com next week for more exclusive backstage interviews from The GRAMMYs At Lollapalooza.
(The GRAMMYs At Lollapalooza: Videography by Colleen Mares and Thomas Brankin; Interviews by Jackson Abbeduto, Kiana Basu, Liz Gassner and Max O'Kane)
The GRAMMYs At Lollapalooza 2011: Arctic Monkeys, Atmosphere, Black Cards, Haley Bonar, Cage The Elephant, Cults, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Deadmau5, Dani Deahl, Deluka, DJ Lady D, Fitz And The Tantrums, Foster The People, Gold Motel, Ellie Goulding, Skylar Grey, Mayer Hawthorne, Kids These Days, Le Butcherettes, Maps & Atlases, My Morning Jacket, Tab The Band, and Young The Giant