The Cage - EP

Billy Idol

The Cage - EP

For the follow-up to his 2021 EP The Roadside, rock icon Billy Idol and his trusty longtime guitarist Steve Stevens reunited with songwriters Tommy English and Joe Janiak to create four songs centered around the pandemic. “We were writing it last December, so we’d lived with the coronavirus for a couple of years, and everyone had gone through a million lockdowns and things like that,” Idol tells Apple Music. “We’d really enjoyed working with Joe and Tommy on the song ‘Bitter Taste’ from The Roadside EP, so we started writing with them. We realized they could produce as well, so we started recording the music as we went. It was a really fun experience.” Below, Idol discusses each track. “Cage” “Because we’ve been living with the coronavirus so long, we’d all gone through a couple of years of not really knowing what was gonna happen to us or what the long-term effects of the virus really were. So it was easy to come up with the idea that we all felt caged in. We all felt like we’d been living in Night of the Living Dead, where the zombies at the window have got in and we’ve had to make friends with them. The lyrics practically wrote themselves because we were so in touch with what we’ve been going through. Even though it was written during the pandemic, it could really apply to any time in your life when you feel society or everything around you is constraining you.” “Running From the Ghost” “For us, the ghost we’ve been running from for years is the drug addiction we got involved with in the late ’70s and ’80s. We’ve been running away from these desires that we’ve built up in ourselves. Of course, drug addiction feels like you’re going nowhere. You’re in a dark void of your own making, really. Somehow, you’ve got to get yourself out. Like ‘Cage,’ it’s another thing that holds you back and you’ve got to break free. Steve Stevens told us about how he’ll wake up from a nightmare and still thinks he’s high for about 15 minutes. He wakes up fighting the ghost in his sleep. For me, it's a Jekyll and Hyde thing—I change personalities. So we just put all these things that happened to us into the song. It came out like a sort of miniature epic.” “Rebel Like You” “My little granddaughter, Poppy Rebel, she’s a year and a half, and she’d just come to see one of my shows in Vegas. She’d never seen what granddad does for a living. They dressed her up like me in the ‘Dancing With Myself’ video from back in the ’80s, with the skeletal top and pleather pants. We’d been working on a song that had a line ‘I never thought I’d meet another friend like you,’ but then Joe suggested changing it to ‘I never thought I’d meet another rebel like you.’ It seems like I could be singing about anybody in the audience, but it just so happens I’m singing about my little granddaughter, who’d been dressed up like me.” “Miss Nobody” “We were in downtown LA recently, and there were so many homeless on the streets. It was a massive problem—still is—but a lot of people just can’t help it. It’s just what’s happened to them during the pandemic or over the years. Life has dealt them these cards, and it’s not really their fault. There was one lady in particular that we talked to, and she was kind of owning her situation, even though it wasn’t her fault and there was nothing she could do about it. I never really thought of a song from a lady’s perspective—or from the perspective of someone living on the street—so that’s what we did. It’s about somebody coming to grips with their circumstances but deciding that they’re still going to be themselves.”

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