Cage The Elephant's Matt Shultz On 2023 Arrest: 'It Saved My Life'

By Katrina Nattress

February 29, 2024

Photo: Neil Krug

On Thursday (February 29), Cage The Elephant announced a new album called Neon Pill and ahead of the news singer Matt Shultz opened up about getting arrested last year for illegal possession of a weapon.

“It’s a miracle that I’m here today,” he wrote on social media. “I was arrested last year, and it undoubtedly saved my life. After my arrest, I went to the hospital for two months followed by months of outpatient treatment. I can finally explain what happened.”

“Over the last three years, I was unknowingly fighting my way through an utter mental health crisis. In a short time, I had slipped into psychosis due to an iatrogenic response to a medication I was prescribed,” Shultz confessed before praising his family, bandmates, and wife for helping him get to the other side. Their support “coupled with professional treatment helped me to regain my grip on reality and fully recover.”

That experience led him to the songs that make up Neon Pill. In addition to the album announcement, Cage The Elephant also shared the second single off the album, following the title track. "Out Loud" is described as the "emotional centerpiece" of the album and sees Shultz singing vulnerably backed by stripped down instrumentation.

“‘Out Loud’ is very connected to my father. My dad’s the reason we discovered music in the first place. When he died, ‘Out Loud’ just poured out of me. My efforts towards the song were deeply rooted in paying honour to him, and I knew it meant a lot to Brad too,” Shultz said in a statement. “That, also in connection with the difficulties that I was dealing with at that time. It was almost a subconscious apology of sorts before I was fully capable of grasping the gravity of it all. Subconsciously working through it while channelling all of the adversity my family faced growing up coming full circle into my adult life in this one song.”

The singer also shared some insight into the album as a whole. “To me, Neon Pill is the first record where we were consistently uninfluenced, and I mean that in a positive way,” he explained. “Everything is undoubtedly expressed through having settled into finding our own voice. We’ve always drawn inspiration from artists we love, and at times we’ve even emulated some of them to a certain degree. With this album, having gone through so much, life had almost forced us into becoming more and more comfortable with ourselves. We weren’t reaching for much outside of the pure experience of self-expression, and simultaneously not necessarily settling either. We just found a uniqueness in simply existing.”

Neon Pill is slated for a May 17 release, which corresponds with the first date of Cage The Elephant's supporting tour. Check out a full list of dates here and listen to "Out Loud" below.

Cage the Elephant
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