Battery Cage is an American electronic music project led by Tyler Newman. The project has been active as a performance group since 1995, and is currently releasing CDs through the Philadelphia-based record label Metropolis Records. Battery Cage's musical output to date has been dance-oriented Industrial rock, with elements of Cold Wave, and Post-punk.
The name of the project is a reference to battery cage, a method of mass food manufacture in the meat industry, where hens are kept tightly confined in cages for the purpose of laying eggs. Founding members Tyler Newman and Jeremy Page are vegan and are concerned with animal rights causes.
The band's line up has undergone several personnel changes since its inception, and this is reflected in the variation of musical styles in the discography. The original line up consisted of Jeremy Page, Tyler Newman and AJ Kaelin. Their original sound was a distillation of distorted breakbeats, danceable synthesizer programming and confrontational lyrics, with Kaelin and Newman trading off vocals in an aggressive style. The delivery was similar to the music of Front Line Assembly and Nitzer Ebb. Their debut CD Product was to be released on Boston's Sinless records, but it could not get a national release at that time due to the dissolution of that record label in 1997.
AJ Kaelin and Jeremy Page left the band after Product was completed. With the addition of guitarist Joshua Greco and later, drummer Michael White, Battery Cage continued for several years as a performance group, distributing Product as a self-released CD-R.
Over the next several years with no record label deal for Product, Tyler Newman continued with his other electronic music projects Informatik with Da5id Din, and American Electronics Corporation (AEC) with singer Stacey Purcell. Drummer Michael White left the Battery Cage project during this time.
With the addition of keyboardist Paul Savio and drummer Roland Adams to the group in 2002, material for what became the 2004 release World Wide Wasteland was developed and performed. The change in personnel contributed to a more accessible style of EBM which combined dark and introspective lyrics with a guitar driven synthpop sound. Battery Cage was signed to Metropolis Records on the strength of the material, and the Metropolis debut was released in North America and Europe to critical praise. The record deal with Metropolis also enabled the group to release their debut CD Product in 2005, with Metropolis doing the distribution.
In 2003, Tyler Newman and Paul Savio relocated from Boston to San Francisco, where the material for the 2006 CD release A Young Person's Guide To Heartbreak was developed. This recording was a departure from the EBM style established in 2004's World Wide Wasteland, marked by a narrative presentation of the subject matter of the trauma caused by crossed relationships, and a more diverse range of musical styles and influences. The exploration of styles enabled more involvement from drummer Roland Adams and guitarist Joshua Greco, to create a more traditional sounding Rock record with live drums, guitars and bass. The 19 track CD included examples of Industrial metal, Post-punk, Rock Ballads, ambient soundscapes, as well as Battery Cage's traditional dark synthpop, delivered in a style reminiscent of Joy Division, Ministry, and more recent Wire.
In early 2008, the band released Forever Never Ends, a double EP featuring 7 new tracks and 5 remixes from their previous album, as a digital release on Metropolis Records.
Presently, the bands activities appear to be suspended indefinitely, while Tyler continues his work with Informatik and other projects currently under development. In a recent interview with Zillo Magazine, Tyler was quoted as saying "As far as Battery Cage is concerned, the band is on hiatus at the moment. No real plans to continue for a while, but I wouldn't say we're "broken up" exactly".
Battery Cage Live:
Battery Cage has toured in support of Covenant, Cut.rate.box and Stromkern.
Additional members for Battery Cage performances have included bassist M Crazz from Boston industrial band Big Catholic Guilt, and singer Gabriel Shaw from Boston's EBM/Futurepop group mindFIELD.