Wes Cage is an up-and-coming musician (as well as an actor) who combines the sounds of metal, industrial, symphonic and world music in what he proudly refers to as Ghost Metal. And if that last name just so happens to strike a chord with you, it’s because he is the son of Academy Award winning actor, Nicolas Cage. Wes recently released the first single off of his debut solo album, Prehistoric Technology, which is set to be released in January 2015. I spoke with the remarkable rockstar about how he got into music, how he and his dad have bonded over music throughout the years, becoming a solo musician and more.
Alex Obert: What led you to making the decision to become a musician?
Wes Cage: At about eight years old, I was experimenting with various instruments. Drums, Spanish guitar, and piano. From there, a deep love for music developed. As I grew older, composition came about. It was when I was fourteen or sixteen that I was able to make songs.
Alex Obert: Who have some of your favorite bands been over the years?
Wes Cage: The music that was always on in the house when I was younger was Enya and Buddha Bar, it was very atmospheric. When I heard stuff like Dimmu Borgir or Emperor, I got very connected to it because of how atmospheric it was. Bands that were huge gateways for me were System of a Down, Rammstein and Nine Inch Nails. Currently, I’ve been listening to a lot of Gojira.
Alex Obert: What was it like for you when you first listened to bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Rammstein? How did you react?
Wes Cage: When I first heard Rammstein and Nine Inch Nails, I was in ecstasy. I was so happy that there was something like that out there. I remember the first time I ever heard Rammstein, I was on the German Airlines sitting down and I put my headphones on and Du Hast was on there. I was just rocking out to this song on the airplane and thought it was bizarrely awesome. (laughs) never stopped listening since.
Alex Obert: With your solo career, what has your experience been like in the studio?
Wes Cage: There’s much more freedom. I feel a lot more liberty. I can make some choices that aren’t as critiqued. And that’s allowed me to reach my new genre and to really manifest this sound that I had within me my whole life. I am doing all the guitars and I’m bringing a lot of instruments such as the bouzouki and the sitar and the mandolin. I’m composing all the symphonic stuff. It does take a lot of time. Each song is a day from 3 PM to 3 AM and its nonstop. It’s really gratifying.
Alex Obert: What are some of your favorite albums throughout the years that felt like a journey when you listened to them?
Wes Cage: Toxicity from System of a Down was definitely a journey for me over the years. I really resonated with that record. Another one would probably be Now, Diabolical from Satyricon. And lately, L’Enfant Sauvage from Gojira, it’s pretty powerful stuff. Comalies from Lacuna Coil was one of the most powerful journeys for me. Also, anything from Han Zimmer.
Alex Obert: What’s the influence behind your particular track, Tell Me Why (Matriach of Misery)?
Wes Cage: It’s a song that I needed to make. For me, it’s a little bit about some of the childhood tumbles that I went through. It’s about the toxicity of another person. It’s about how a venomous person can really affect you and lead you into misery. That’s why I made that song. Unfortunately, that person for me was my mother. In order for me to really detach from that pain, I had to make that song as a vehicle for me to escape. I hope it’s cathartic for others as well. I wanted my wife, Danielle, to write the lyrics to that, she showed me some lyrics and I fell in love with it. I felt that it was very powerful. She did an excellent job on that. If I were to write lyrics about my mother, it wouldn’t be as graceful as what Danielle wrote, it’d be a little more brutal. I think it definitely worked out. My lyrics can sometimes be a little too philosophical and verbose, but I saved that for the other songs. I did the lyrics for everything else.
Alex Obert: On a lighter note regarding your family, do you and your dad ever go to concerts together?
Wes Cage: The last concert we went to was Mötley Crüe in Vegas where Tommy Lee almost started a fight with me. (laughs) We went to see Lacuna Coil with Rob Zombie, they played together. That was great. I want to show him Amon Amarth, that’s one band that I really want him to get into because we both have a love for Viking mythology and anything Norse. My dad has always liked Nine Inch Nails, that was always on in the house. He listens to a lot of Rob Zombie. He was also playing a lot of classical music such as Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and Chopin. All these outstanding composers were playing throughout the house. I think that’s maybe what molded me the most and brought me to wanting to compose. When I was eighteen, I binged on nonstop symphonic classical music. I did not stop listening to counterpoint and things that I wanted to branch into a little more and Beethoven helped with that.
Alex Obert: I understand you will be at the Vegas Rocks! Music Awards this month.
Wes Cage: I’ll be playing there on 23rd. I’m very excited because I’ll be able to play two songs there.
Alex Obert: Are you a fan of the Las Vegas environment?
Wes Cage: Vegas is not my favorite, but I do love the desert a little bit outside of the strip. I love the look of it, but I’m definitely not a gambler. (laughs)
Alex Obert: Do you feel as though your location has helped to shape you?
Wes Cage: Yeah, I can be pretty affected by my surroundings. New Orleans is where I would go if I needed to make something extra special.
Alex Obert: Is there another country that would fascinate you to go to and live in for a while?
Wes Cage: I miss the Czech Republic very much. I miss Prague, it was just so gothic in a beautiful way. The architecture there was gorgeous. A country that I’ve never been to that I really want to go to is India. I’m pretty fascinated with Hinduism and I just love the gods and the way they look. The images of Shiva and Kali are very powerful.
Alex Obert: What did you think of your experience at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards?
Wes Cage: That’s definitely something I’ve always wanted to do. When I was younger, I looked online and I saw that there was a Black Carpet that existed at the Golden Gods Awards. I was like, “Woah man, what is this?” (laughs) Finally attending that with my wife, it was very nostalgic because I felt like I’d been there before due to the fact that I was always looking at it. It was very fun and the experience was pretty jaw-dropping for me.
Alex Obert: Did you get to check out the performances?
Wes Cage: Yeah, I saw a quick set from Slayer. Much like the set that I will be doing in Vegas, it will be short and sweet. I saw Axl Rose do a performance, that was pretty great.
Alex Obert: Before we wrap up, what do you have to say to those who have never listened to your music?
Wes Cage: For those who haven’t heard it, my music is definitely something I encourage others to listen to because it’s something that’s gonna keep evolving and getting closer to a sound that’s never been done before. It’s something that can bring someone back to their ancestry and bring someone back to their innermost self. If someone definitely wants to embark on that journey within them, my music is definitely the right way to go.
Alex Obert: After the album release, what are your plans for 2015 with your music?
Wes Cage: Gonna be playing a lot of festivals. It will consist of huge festivals all the way into 2016, which will be nonstop tours.
Alex Obert: In closing, do you have any plugs for readers?
Wes Cage: I have a website right now, but the best way to see me would be my Facebook page or my Twitter. The record has been fully mastered now and it’s ready to go.
Alex Obert: Looking forward to it all. I’d love to thank you so much for your time and a very informative interview.
Wes Cage: My pleasure. Thank you!