Interview by Tony CannellaFor anyone hungry for a true, authentic metal band look no further than Canada’s Kobra and the Lotus. With their just released 3rd album “High Priestess” the band has proven that their self-titled 2nd album was no fluke. Lead vocalist Kobra Paige is definitely one of the brightest front women to emerge on the scene in quite some time. They also happen to be on the road supporting KISS and Def Leppard. That was good enough reason to catch up with Kobra Paige and get the scoop with what’s going on with Kobra and the Lotus. Kobra and the Lotus are currently on tour with KISS and Def Leppard. You are only a few shows in but how has it gone so far?
It’s been amazing! We’ve had a great time and had a very positive reception. The crew is really awesome – the whole crew for KISS and Def Leppard. Overall it’s been amazing so far.How nervous were you before that first show?
Oh man, you have no idea (laughs). I was so nervous for about a week building up to it, I was just feeling more and more nerves. I felt so relieved once it was over.I wanted to ask you about your new album “High Priestess”. I’ve been listening to it a ton and I think it is the best thing you’ve done to date. What can you tell us about it?
Well, “High Priestess” is a lot of duel lead guitars, its classic vocals, its heavy riffs, melodic riffs and a lot of story-telling.I was very impressed with the lyrics. They’re are very good.
Thank you.What were you inspired by when you were coming up with the lyrics for this record?
So many different things inspire me. There are a lot of different branches of lyrical inspiration on the album. From the way of the samurai and how we can take the shield into our life practice to talking about addiction to talking about the journey of life – “High Priestess” represents that actually. She represents the future and the journey you must take to get there, which essentially I guess all of those concepts underlie through there, because you have to go through experiences to get farther in life and figure out what you’re really doing here.How did you come up with the title “High Priestess” and why did you decide to call the record that?
We just wanted to call it something off of the song titles and we all decided on “High Priestess”. We thought it was metal and it had a good idea for imagery and that’s the direction it took. Also, because of the significance of her being the future on a tarot card and everyone finding their own journey to get to where they want to be. That is something that can relate to everyone.So this is your 3rd album. How do you feel this album compares to your previous two?
I think they’re all different from each other. The first one was the first expression and so there are a lot of different sounds and there is also the very beginning introduction of sounds to come. Basically it’s just becoming more tuned in with your style and authenticity to yourself. I think that happens a little more every time we put out an album and this one is just another expression of what we’ve learned and what we’re feeling musically. It’s still Kobra and the Lotus but there is a lot of new dynamics, I believe, introduced on this one as well as rawness and that has to do with production style. There’s a little more of an edge to some of the vocals.Are there any particular moments that stand out for you on “High Priestess”?
I’m proud of the whole record and I think we’re all very happy with it. If I had to pick something that I enjoy on a very intent level, It would be “Lost in the Shadows”.I really love “Heartbeat” and “Hold On”. Those songs are a bit different, but they are still metal. Those two songs really stood out for me as a fan.
That’s really cool. Thank you. There’s something similar in the history of the songs actually. There’s different tempos and everything. There’s something softer about it or intimate may be the appropriate word.
But they still have their heavy moments.
Absolutely, oh yeah (laughs). Can’t leave it completely out.I’ve been reading some of the reviews online and everything has been really positive towards the new album. Are you happy with the way the media has reacted to it?
Yeah. I think we’ve been very blessed and it’s very exciting. You never know what’s going to happen because you’re really putting yourself out there and it’s up to the world to tell you what they think. After it’s out it’s out of your hands. It’s been awesome.You’ve made a few line-up changes. How did those come about?
Yeah, we actually have new drummer and a new guitar player right now. The bass player is fairly new, but he’s been with us for a few tours already. It just is the way it goes sometimes, unfortunately. I wish I could have a better explanation, but the fact is it’s very tough to keep a band together. It’s a really unconventional career choice and it’s not easy. You have to have a lot of faith. You have to be willing to give up everything basically so it’s really hard for a lot of people. You also have to be able to survive with each other in closed spaces for most of the year. It’s tough to have a good relationship with more than one person as it is, so you’re having a relationship with a family essentially. It’s a lot tougher than people know it is to keep a band together.It’s a really different lifestyle, too.
It is. And anything can happen. That’s the thing, it’s also very volatile. We’ve had everything under the sun happen that you can think of. Health issues to visa problems, something will always come up (laughs).You released a video for the track “Soldier”. It’s a cool video, with a great concept. Everyone should see it.
Thank you.Tell us a little about the concept and why did you choose this song?
We chose that song because the message is very important for me to put out there. I think that a lot of the time – for me, I know – I think about the fact that people are fighting all of the time and families are affected by it and people are dying. Also, we have the freedom we do because people have fought for that for us and I just really wanted to honor the soldiers. It’s something that I think is also a global thing. That’s why that video was put out there. It supposed to have some impact and pull on your heart a little bit.Any plans for a new video in the future?
Yeah, we do. I won’t tell you which video though, because we want it to be a surprise, but hopefully it will happen. We want to do something pretty cinematic, so hopefully down the road there will be another clip. We usually do a couple of videos, but we can’t do it right now while we’re touring.What are your plans following the KISS/Def Leppard tour?
Our plans are to keep touring. It’s too soon to tell what we will exactly be up to, because tours seem to lock into place very close to the tour. It’s very volatile because we are supporting bands too, so it’s not our schedule. But we’ll continue to tour, that’s the plan.Are there any tours in the works or is it too soon to tell?
It’s too soon to tell. There’s always something in the works, but we can’t disclose that information (laughs).Getting back to the KISS tour. Being that you are third on this bill, how long of a set-list do you have and do you feel like you’re just killing it every night?
We have 30-minutes – exactly 30-minutes actually. Yesterday we got cut because it went to 7:31. The whole set up had been behind all day. We threw our stuff out literally on stage at 7:03 because that’s when Def Leppard stopped sound checking and the doors had already been opened. The tech guys were still testing their stuff out so we had to start our set late. We threw stuff up hoping it was all going to work and luckily it did in some miraculous way. I think that Jake plugged his guitar in a dummy head. Initially there was a bunch of little things because we were all flustered. The show went off and it was great but we had no idea that the sound was cut in the last song because we still had our in-ears in so we could hear ourselves. Eventually I realized that my vocals weren’t coming out anymore after I had sung already half another verse (laughs). Jasio looks at me and he says “we got cut”, and Jake is on the other side thrashing around still because he’s got sound in his stage amp, so he didn’t know, so he’s still on the other side going hard. Brad is still playing his bass, Bones is full out on the drums and I finally walked over to Bones and I was like, “Stop! Stop! Stop!” and it took like five seconds for him to stop and realize what was going on (laughs). It was pretty funny. It was pretty epic I guess, because it was so ridiculous. Yeah, so we all threw the horns and got off the stage (laughs).It’s kind of like a Spinal Tap moment.
Yeah totally.Are you playing many new songs off the new album on the KISS shows?
Actually, we’ve only been playing new songs. We’ve been testing them out. It’s been a set that starts with “High Priestess” and then another track that hasn’t been released yet. It’s a single that we’re going to release in a little bit called “Zombie”. Then we’re playing “Battle of Wrath”. Then yeah, we throw in a fun cover for everyone, then “Lost in the Shadows” and “I Am, I Am”. We might switch it up; we might put “50 Shades of Evil” Back in there.We’ve come to the final question Kobra. This is the second time we’ve interviewed you for Femme Metal and we thank you once again for taking the time to talk to us.
Thanks for having me again.Is there any final words the fans to wrap things up?
Oh yeah! I just wanted to say thank you so much for all your immense support. We can’t actually do this without you. We have endless love for you and we hope to see all at the shows.
Tessa Queen for Dirty Queen Productions