THERE are two things you need to know about Jackson Caged
Firstly, they have absolutely nothing to do with the late ‘King of Pop’.
Secondly, the Sheffield band release their first album tomorrow.
But let’s clear up that Jacko thing. “Everyone always thinks that and we get asked about it in interviews all the time,” says guitarist Richard Moulding. “Then there’s a Springsteen reference because there’s a song called Jackson Cage.”
Actually the name hails from a revered US penitentiary. “There was a headline in a paper one day when the guys were looking to come up with a name. It’s basically Jacksonville, the largest most, renowned prison, so ‘locked up in Jacksonville’, basically.”
Thankfully the meaning and purpose behind Jackson Caged’s music is more accessible and direct. And their first six years of action is gathered for the Sheffield/London-recorded Fall And Rise Of Jackson Caged, a digitally-released album that combines their EP Everyfall with newer and older remastered tracks from before Richard’s arrival two years ago.
With a physical release hopefully following, the album is first fruit of a deal resulting from the band’s run with the Live & Unsigned competition that took them to the London finals and the IndigO2 arena last summer.
“It was fantastic playing to something like 2000 people,” recalls Richard. “We got noticed by Raven Black Music, the label we’re now signed to – the only metal band signed to them.
“You have to put the work
in, but it was a kind of win, win for us.”
Besides distribution it gave validation to the work of Rich, Mike Cowen, Fraz Brears and Dave Wood, whose music has won over fans locally and beyond.
“It appeals to your metal crowd and your alternatives but at the same time they’re catchy songs, clear and not too scary.
“You’ve got your metal crowd but also mum and dad and they’ll enjoy it.
“It’s metal and out there in your face, but at the same time it has that catchy element.
“We play with plenty of other bands and you hear a lot of thrashy stuff where you can’t hear the words or it’s 1980s and on the cheesy side.
“The band has really developed since I joined and that’s because I want the same as everyone else.”
That includes making videos which have caught the eye of rock fans overseas, the first one a boxing ring setting for the punchy track Jaws.
Broadcast by Lava TV, it landed the band hits and messages from Denmark to Trinidad.
Saturday sees Jackson Caged headline Soundclash as a launch gig for the album, before recording more new songs “which blow everything else away”.
Also watch out for the video for Everyfall, recorded in death-defying style at Rotherham’s Magna Science Adventure Centre.
“I can’t believe they let us do it to be honest, health and safety wise,” grins Richard.
“There was the public walking around and we’d got the drum kit set-up blasting.
“It took five hours but it’s a very industrial song so the surroundings were perfect.
“We had to make a pretty generous charity donation, but it was worth it. It’s the next level.”
Visit RavenBlackMusic.com for album order details.