Interview: Kobra From Kobra And The Lotus

Canadian metal band Kobra and The Lotus recently blew into the UK alongside Delain and Evergrey. We were lucky enough to grab a quick chat with Kobra herself, and on the day that Donald Trump won the US presidential race there really was only one place to start… So, with news that the Canadian immigration website crashed due to the large volume of internet traffic… how many of your American friends have asked you to put them up? “HaHa! Actually, our drummer is American, and he doesn’t even want to talk about it!” He’s packed already? “Yep! But sadly for most people, they won’t be getting into Canada anytime soon” 2017 is an exciting year for Kobra and The Lotus, with not one, but two albums (‘Prevail’ and ‘Prevail II’) on the way. What was the thinking behind that? “Not many people from our generation do that anymore, and I thought that this would be a wonderful challenge, especially if we can make them both really good albums. That was the biggest challenge… how do you put out that much material and make sure that it’s strong. You don’t want to have these dips or half of both albums are complete crap” So no repeat of Guns N’ Roses ‘Use Your Illusion’ I and II then?! “Exactly! It’s quite ambitiou,s but it was in my head, and as soon as it was, then it had to be done. We went in there and rose to the occasion. We release album one in February, and people will have six months to absorb it, then we’ll release album two” The dictionary has many meanings for the word ‘prevail’, but the one that I like is “conquer or overcome” “Yes!, it’s the overcoming that’s relevant. It’s kind of a metaphor for us, prevailing within this industry, saying that we’re not giving up, we’re going for this. We’re getting close to our ten years as a band, and it’s getting more stressfu,l this industry, so we’re giving it our all”
‘TriggerPulse’ is available now as a single. Is this an indicator of what fans can expect from the new albums? “There is a very versatile range of songs on the albums that go from heavy rock all the way to heavy metal, so people can expect absolutely the heavy stuff that they know us for, but there’s also evolutions like ‘TriggerPulse’. On this set of albums there is more virtuosity, I’d say… on the musicianship and also the vocals” Did your time on the road with Kamelot as a guest vocalist change your vocal style at all? “Kamelot made me a better performer, I’d say. It was a different experience from what I was used to as a front woman. To back someone up was super-cool, and I loved it. I think that I got to know some parts of myself that I didn’t really know so much about beforehand.” With 2017 being such a busy year for Kobra and The Lotus, would you have time to go back out with Kamelot if the chance arose? “I would love to if Kamelot invite me. I would love to be a part of whatever they are doing” As well as this tour with Delain and Evergrey, you’ve also toured with bands as varied as Kiss, Def Leppard, and Fear Factory. Is this factor a testament to the band’s versatility? “It is, actually. It’s pretty wild sometimes, as we didn’t know how it was going to go, especially on the Kiss/Def Leppard tour, but they all worked out really well. We’ve toured with bands really different from us… like Kiss and Leppard, as well as Fear Factory and Buckcherry, but this tour that we are on right now has been perfect for us. Completely different flavours of heaviness and melodies through each of the bands, but it works. It suits us really well. We count our lucky stars that we get invited onto tours. The problem is that so many bands today are looking for buy-ons, so we lose tours all the time as other bands are willing to pay $30,000-$50,000 to get on a tour. We don’t even have that cash in the first place!” You’re signed to Napalm Records who are beginning to make some waves in the industry. What do they bring to the party?
“First of all, they’re young. They have people that are really eager to grow the label, and they have so many innovative ideas in how to operate in this new age where CD’s aren’t what counts anymore. That is valuable, because a lot of other people don’t know how to deal with that, but Napalm do. They also give me a lot of courage, because of the confidence that they have in the band” Regarding new ways of operating, you’ve got a really interesting blog. I especially liked the post about the band being invited to actor Dan Aykroyd’s house, and there he is looking like everyone’s Dad on holiday, complete with shorts, black socks, and black shoes! “Wow, thank you. That’s cool! I think bands today need to have an idea how everything like social media, blog,s etc work. The blog is quite a new thing, and we’re trying it out. It seems that people need more personal contact today. More of what you get up to when you’re on the road, that kind of thing” Lastly, how ballsy was it covering Rush for the ‘Words Of The Prophets EP’? Not only covering Rush, but covering ‘Spirit Of Radio’! “Oh yes! That was my favourite on the EP. We weren’t nervous about trying it, so we just went for it. But yeah, it’s a hard one with all the different changes throughout the song. We enjoyed recording it, and whenever we’ve played it live, the place erupts” Thank you for your time, Kobra. Interview – Dave Stott
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