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Is Cage the Elephant breaking up?

Cage the Elephant is an American rock band that formed in 2006 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The band consists of lead vocalist Matt Shultz, guitarist Brad Shultz, guitarist Nick Bockrath, bassist Daniel Tichenor, and drummer Jared Champion. Cage the Elephant has released six studio albums and are best known for their hit singles “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked”, “Shake Me Down”, and “Come a Little Closer”.

Rumors of a Breakup

In late 2022 and early 2023, rumors began circulating that Cage the Elephant may be breaking up or going on an indefinite hiatus. These rumors started after fans noticed the band had cleared their touring schedule with no new tour dates announced. Additionally, lead singer Matt Shultz released a solo album in 2022, fueling speculation that he may be pursuing a solo career apart from Cage the Elephant.

The band has not made any official statement regarding their future plans. They have been active since 2006, releasing an album every 2-3 years. Their last album, Social Cues, was released in 2019. Many bands take breaks between album cycles and tours, so it’s not unusual for Cage the Elephant to have down time. However, the lack of any statement from the band has left fans worried about their status.

Reasons for Concern

Here are some of the reasons fans are concerned Cage the Elephant may be breaking up:

  • No tour dates announced for 2023
  • Matt Shultz released a solo album in 2022
  • The band has been quiet on social media with no updates
  • In late 2022 the band deleted their social media profile pictures which some fans see as ominous
  • Most band members have been working on side projects outside of Cage the Elephant

While none of this confirms a breakup, fans are anxious for reassurance from the band that they plan to continue. The lack of information has allowed rumors to circulate.

Reasons Against a Breakup

However, there are also several reasons to believe Cage the Elephant is not breaking up:

  • The band has not made any official statement about disbanding
  • They continue to be active on social media with posts
  • Lead singer Matt Shultz said the solo album was recorded years ago and is not an indication he is leaving the band
  • Band members have commented that they are working on new music
  • In the past they’ve taken 2-3 year breaks between albums and tours before reuniting to play shows and release new music

Many artists release solo material outside their main bands, so Shultz’s solo album may not mean he is departing permanently. The band could simply be taking an extended break after many years of actively touring and recording.

Evidence They Are Still Together

There are signs that indicate Cage the Elephant remains united and plans to continue as a band:

  • They headlined the 2022 Pilgrimage Music Festival, showing they are still performing major shows
  • Band members have said they are working on new music
  • In 2022 they released a live album, showing they are still collaborating as a group
  • Matt Shultz’s solo album included involvement from other Cage band members
  • They have an active record contract and management representing the band for future plans

Releasing a live album, headlining festivals, and working on new music all point to the band still being together with future plans.

Precedent for Hiatus

Cage the Elephant has taken extended breaks before. After touring for their 2015 album Tell Me I’m Pretty, the band took over 2 years off from touring and didn’t release new music until 2019’s Social Cues. This gap was longer than their usual album cycle, but they returned rejuvenated creatively.

Other successful bands like Radiohead, Gorillaz, and System of a Down have taken multi-year hiatuses from performing and recording while still remaining active. Time off can allow band members to focus on other projects, spend time with family, and prevent creative burnout.

Fans can hope that this latest gap since 2019’s Social Cues is just an extended break and that 2023 or 2024 will see the band reemerge with new energy and music.

Future Musical Direction

Each Cage the Elephant album has shown growth and evolution in their sound. If they reunite for a new album, what musical direction might they take next?

Their progression so far has included:

  • Raw, garage rock sound on early material
  • More polished production and expanded sound on Melophobia
  • Heavy pop influences on Tell Me I’m Pretty
  • Darker lyrics and groove-based rhythms on Social Cues

It’s possible their next phase could involve:

  • A heavier blues rock or even metal influence based on some side projects
  • A moodier, psychedelic direction building on Social Cues
  • A partial return to their energetic early rock sound
  • More experimental song structures and textures

Fans will have to wait eagerly for Cage’s next evolution whenever the band decides to come together for their next studio album.

Likelihood of a Permanent Breakup

Given the evidence, it seems unlikely that Cage the Elephant has broken up for good. While their future is uncertain, there are good reasons to be optimistic for more music and touring down the road.

Here is a summary assessment of the likelihood the band has permanently disbanded:

Reason Likelihood of Breakup
No tour dates announced for 2023 Low – Could be on extended break
Matt Shultz solo album Low – Members often do solo work
Quiet social media presence Moderate – But doesn’t confirm breakup
Working on side projects Low – Doesn’t preclude reuniting
No official statement from band Low – Suggests nothing definitive yet

Based on this assessment, there is a low to moderate likelihood that Cage the Elephant has permanently broken up. A reunion still appears the most plausible outcome.


While Cage the Elephant’s status and future remain unclear, the evidence suggests the band is on an extended hiatus rather than defunct permanently. This break comes after many years of tours and albums, allowing members to rest creatively. When they reunite, fans can anticipate a rejuvenated band with perhaps a new musical direction. Cage the Elephant has weathered lineup changes and breaks before to come back stronger.

Unless an explicit statement is made, speculation will continue. But the optimism of fans patiently awaiting new music seems likely to be rewarded when Cage the Elephant finally returns from their temporary cage.