Compiled in July 2003
West Coast Metal Invasion…
A biography of American Heavy Metal band CAGE
- Sean Peck (Vocals)
- Dave Garcia (Lead Guitars)
- Mike Giordano (Bass Guitars)
- Mike Nielsen (Drums)
- Anthony Wayne McGinnis (Lead Guitars)
SAN DIEGO, CA. - February 2003…CAGE, just the name implies the image
of unbreakable steel and an inescapable trap. The perfect moniker for the
heavy metal leader of the next phase of heavy rock music. Critics and fans
alike have tried to label or classify this 5 piece group from the
glistening shores of San Diego California, with terms like "pure
millennium metal", "classic metal for the new age" or
"modern day power metal". Whatever you want call them, you
should also add "contagious and infectious", as they inspire
people to continue to press replay when the CD is in their stereo, and
" let's go see them again" when they play live.
In 1992 as grunge, despair, and flannel shirts pushed the arena metal
sound of the 80's into the realm of extreme un-coolness, ironically CAGE
was born. Some bands are great musicians but just don't have
"it", that magic that makes certain performers special. CAGE has
that "it", and it comes from following their musical hearts in
an uncompromising way right from their earliest beginnings. They could
have tried to follow the 3 or 4 different musical trends that have come
and gone since then, but instead they wrote songs that inspired that
feeling that only the sound of heavy metal can deliver.
Although a full-length CD was recorded in 1995, it has still remained
un-released. It wasn't until 1998 that CAGE released their first
full-length CD appropriately called "UNVEILED".
This CD had the advantage of 6 years worth of material and news quickly
began to spread through the underground metal community that a new band
from San Diego had somehow captured the magic of timeless heavy metal.
CAGE had very little contacts but worked the pavement hard sending out
over 300 promo packages that contained some of the most illustrious
packaging an independent band had ever assembled. Backed financially by
singer Sean Peck who worked in the lucrative Southern Californian real
estate market, this independent band had better packaging and promotional
materials than that of a band signed to a major label. More importantly
though, UNVEILED was blowing people away. The reviews began coming in and
they were unbelievable. The CD began selling quickly as independent
distributors were contacting the band and sending cash orders in large and
Then the calls started coming in from Europe. This market was unknown
to CAGE but apparently they loved the CD so much that despite a massive
marketing campaign, even more contacts found their way to the band. A
journalist named Jurgen Tscmaler saw something in CAGE and believed that
they could be the start of something huge. Unbeknownst to the band, Jurgen
entered them in a prestigious best-unsigned band contest for ROCK HARD
magazine. The winner of the competition would be awarded the opportunity
to play at the world famous DYNAMO festival in Holland. The competition
for 1999 had over 600 bands competing and the winner was selected by the
fans votes, not the critics. CAGE has always been a band of the people and
this competition was no exception as CAGE won the contest by over a 2 to 1
CAGE was on their way to play the DYNAMO in Holland, which was
headlined by METALLICA that year. As they prepared for their biggest show
ever, the calls from record labels began pouring in. The competition had
carried with it a lot of exposure as the winning song SHOOT TO KILL was
featured on a CD that came with the magazine. Something like 80,000 copies
were distributed and SHOOT TO KILL was the first song on the CD. After
months of negotiations, CAGE settled on OMEGA RECORDS who made them the
number one band on the label. CAGE signed their first record deal
immediately after their ripping performance in front of an estimated 8,000
at the DYNAMO. CAGE had delivered a performance that sent shockwaves
through the metal press, as a virtual unknown had stolen the show in the
eyes of many journalists.
Being one of the few remaining metal bands in Southern California at
that time had certain advantages. CAGE was able to hone their live skills
in front of huge crowds on a consistent basis by opening for virtually
every touring metal band that came through the region. Whether it was
amphitheatres with IRON MAIDEN and DIO, sold out theatres with JUDAS
PRIEST and DOKKEN or simply headlining on their own, CAGE always made the
most of their opportunities delivering shocking power, and the instant
gratification to new audiences due to their catchy yet heavy material.
CAGE developed a huge fan base that kept them at the top of every
promoters list because they were professional and more importantly to
them, sold tons of tickets.
CAGE was clearly on their way and their string of huge local shows
continued. They began writing for their follow up CD, which put them under
tremendous pressure to avoid the sophomore jinx. Reviews were so
outstanding on UNVEILED that an incredible follow up was mandatory. Right
before the DYNAMO, CAGE had added drummer Mikey Niel to the band to
increase the power and speed of the group. This proved to be an excellent
move as his impact was a key factor to the success of their second release
"ASTROLOGY". The band had matured and was a close-knit group
after 8 years of big performances and recording together. This maturity,
and an increased musical proficiency, combined with great song writing, to
make the critically acclaimed masterpiece that is ASTROLOGY.
Omega Records released ASTROLOGY in September 2000 in Europe. The media
and fan response was incredible, and the praise was unthinkably even
greater than that of UNVEILED. An intense media campaign ensued and the
response was overwhelmingly the same.
How did CAGE deliver a second CD that had so much progression, that it
sounded like it was their 4th or 5th release? The success of the ASTROLOGY
CD allowed CAGE to make the next advance in their career by playing 2
festivals in Europe in the summer of 2001. They were selected to play the
prestigious WACKEN Open-Air Festival in Germany and the METAL DAYZ
Open-Air Festival in Switzerland. CAGE has been reviewed by local and
worldwide critics at shows abroad and have commented time and time again,
that they possess a special quality in their live performance. That
"it" happens when they play live, and that has garnered them
accolades time and time again as the "best band of the
festival". This was the case at the WACKEN and the METAL DAYZ as CAGE
captured the imagination and attention of everyone in attendance. These
were the pinnacle performances of their career to date and as always, they
delivered when it counted the most.
Upon their triumphant return from Europe, more good fortune awaited our
heavy metal heroes, as they would be signed to their first domestic deal.
A new upstart company called World War III Records wanted to release
ASTROLOGY in the US and Canada. WWIII Records believed in CAGE and
Astrology's wide spread demographic appeal so much, that they hired radio
publicists to fight for the cause. CAGE was the only band on the entire
label that received this sort of radio support. CAGE was featured on many
U.S. radio and internet based metal music programs receiving maximum
spins, that at times overcame such heavyweight acts such as SLAYER.
Now the sky is the limit as CAGE releases their 3rd album "DARKER
THAN BLACK". The album was recorded at world famous SILVER CLOUD
Studios (Bruce Dickinson / Halford / Rob Rock) in Burbank, California. The
recording was produced and engineered by Richard "The Guru"
Carrette (Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Steel Prophet, Wayne) and CAGE
vocalist Sean Peck.
The new album finds CAGE playing faster and more aggressive songs. For
the 1st time ever, vocalist Sean Peck will combine clean power and black /
death metal vocal parts on the songs WHITE MAGIC, CHUPACABRA and SECRETS
OF FATIMA. The new album also includes the already WACKEN road-tested
classic metal anthem KILL THE DEVIL and the unbelievable 8 minute plus
monster metal track WINGS OF DESTRUCTION which will feature out of this
world multi-track vocals and totally insane guitar playing. Special
appearances are featured on the album from ROY Z, who lays down 2
blistering lead guitar solos on the songs WINGS OF DESTRUCTION and MARCH
OF THE CAGE and from Joe Floyd, who lays a no holds barred lead guitar
solo on the song MARCH OF THE CAGE.
This long awaited release will surely elevate them, and the arena-metal
sound that they represent to newfound greatness in this second millennium.
CAGE has "it", and "it" is coming for you too!
The 1st advanced CD review of DARKER THAN BLACK has earned CAGE a 12
out of 12 review on Heavy Oder Was magazine in Germany and finished in the
#1 position on their Soundcheck chart list.