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Rage Against the Cage

If you've ever dreamed of joining a grunge choir to let out your inner billy goat dude voice, Rage Against The Cage is here to take you away on a heavenly cloud resembling Layne Staley's beard.
September 7, 2011, 12:00am

If you've ever dreamed of joining a grunge choir to let out your inner billy goat dude voice, Rage Against The Cage is here to take you away on a heavenly cloud resembling Layne Staley's beard. Headed up by beast drummer/stuff clanker/Guinness World Record hula hooper Aaron Hibbs, Rage Against The Cage is coming to literally everywhere in the world over the next five-ish years. Start learning lyrics.

VICE: What the hell are you doing, and why are you doing it?
Aaron Hibbs: I'm raging! Rage Against The Cage (RATC) started as an exploration of a genre. I wanted to know what “a capella grunge” sounded like. From this came melody and a lyrical base that I believe expresses some of the deep spiritual undertones of the yeah/no generation. It's a generation flooded with information, attitudes, and perspectives, bombarded with real and unreal shit at such a high rate that we are left confused and bewildered. Yet, we appear to be all right, and we are all right. Within this hyper-real spectacle, questions are being asked of us, and our answer is yeah/no. We like it. We don't like it. We are left neutralized. We have the answers, yet still feel empty. The meaning is no meaning. The truth that we seek is everything, including nothing, and that shit is warped.

It’s like Pump Up the Volume!
The RATC videos are something of a call to arms. This is a way for us to get together and express our frustration and ambivalence and at the same time feel satisfied with expressing nothing. It is simplified and inherently true and untrue. It is powerful, and in this time of fragmentation and isolation, it is important to express some sort of unity. It is the Yeee-ieee-ieee-yeah. It is the N-nooo-wee-oooh-wee-oooh.

And there’s going to be a tour of this?
In the next month, I begin training to hoop/ walk around the world. I liken this to the aboriginal “walkabout.” It is a search for reality at the ground level. This will encompass roughly five years of my life. During this time I will hoop/walk, talk, eat, shit, and sleep. I also intend to sing. I will share RATC wherever I go.

Ideally, people will use the RATC videos and included lyrics as way to learn the songs. Read 'em, repeat 'em, sing along.... Maybe people will start chapters? Then, when I walk through town, we rage together!

Who is joining you in singing?
With some luck, anyone and everyone will be singing. RATC has performed with as many as 15 members and as few as 2. Recently, I performed solo as RATC at an event in Baltimore. It can and will happen in any form.

Photo via

How will people find you?
Although I am in so many ways disconnecting from regular social activity attached to a sedentary lifestyle, the intention is to stay connected through the internet, announcing performances as I go along. I have been participating in the noise/experimental music scene for well over ten years, with Noumena, Sword Heaven, RATC, Twink Bully, and Jampong, so there are a handful of people that know I'm out there. Hopefully, more will find out.

Where will these performances take place?
Due to the fact that I'm hooping/walking from place to place, performances will be sporadic and flexible. I may run into some gnarly weather, or get injured, or hit a nasty incline that takes longer than expected. The performances will happen when and wherever possible. Maybe a bar, club, gallery, or, more likely, someone's living room. I am into it all.

Are you really going to remember these exact lyrics?
Absolutely. The lyrics are set. You can read the lyrics while watching the videos and they should sync up. I expect that people will make up their own renditions, and their own songs. This is great! But when I come to town for a show the shit will be tight. I will even bring choir-style books for people to follow along with.

When do you start?
I start walking in mid-September. This will be considered training for the world hoop/walk. My first route will be a short 210-mile walk from Baltimore to my dad's place, close to Morgantown, West Virginia. From there, I walk 600 miles to my twin sister's place outside of Atlanta for Thanksgiving. Training will conclude with another 600-mile walk from Atlanta to Stuart, Florida for New Year's. 2012 will see me hoop/walking across the USA from Miami to San Francisco.

You're planning to hula-hoop around the world singing a capella grunge. Are you a crazy person?
Yeah! No!