Interview by Miriam C.
Oh hell, winter is coming (and no, this hasn’t any reference connected to Game of Thrones) and I wish sometimes to skip this long Dutch winter and feel (again) the sun on my skin while enjoying a good damn festival like MetalDays in Slovenia. And yes, this past summer in Tolmin, for the first time in my life, I had the chance to attend this amazing festival and have a nice chat with Kobra Lotus. The Canadian singer took some time, after their explosive show, to share some more details about their recent album “Prevail I”, the upcoming sequel and how the signing deal with Napalm Records affected (positively) their career.
Hi Kobra, welcome back to Femme Metal Webzine, how are you?
Thank you very much for having me back! I’m doing great, thank you!
So, first of all, is this your first time at MetalDays? What are your expectations?
I was told that it was going to be very beautiful and a very fun time and it’s exactly been that. I’ve never been to MetalDays or Slovenia, the band has never come here so it was a wonderful first experience.
And on top of this, how do you manage your setlist when you play for a festival compared to headliner tours?
We tried to keep it very energized, mostly. To the way, you know, maybe a couple songs for breath but mostly is it. If you are not headlining, I find important to have an high energy impact especially with our music because there a lot of new listeners.
“Prevail I” is your latest release and in a way it marks a new beginning: it was published via Napalm Records on the 20th May 2017. How was your first approach with the Austrian label? I mean you used to be signed also onto Simmons Records and Spinefarm Records….
It been a lot of different stuff and really different people. The experiences were completely incomparable, Napalm Records has been unbelievable to work with: they’re such a good team, they really really care and they put a lot of effort and energy into the project, so I’m really happy that we signed to them. We couldn’t chose a better label for “Prevail I” and “II”.
If we exclude the two EPs “Words of Prophets” and “Zombie”, “Prevail I” is your full-lenght after “High Priestess” that was released back in 2014. Why it did pass so much time between these 2 albums?
It’s because actually I was actually very ill, I have had Lyme’s disease but it progressed to the point of being not able to tour and that’s actually we did “Words of the Prophets”: it was away for me to do something fun with my bandmates and also release something for our supporters out there, so we didn’t just disappeared from the scenes because we could be on the road to tour “High Priestess” anymore.
According the press release, “Prevail I” is part is part of a bigger project because I’ve learnt is that later during the year, it will follow the second part. Would you like to shed some light about this?
Yeah, “Prevail I” and “Prevail II” were written all at the same time and the order wasn’t even picked – it was a just a big body of songs that we wrote to choose from a double album and then, when we signed to Napalm they suggested to split this in two releases and as you said, people are expecting the second release soon. I think that it’s going to a little more delayed because we just launched “Prevail I” and people are just starting to get on board with it and it’s only two months so probably “Prevail II” will be released in the new year just because it needs time to get…
Absolutely and I’m really glad that Napalm Records made that suggestion to split them up because I think a lot of our efforts would have been missed if we have released everything together.
Instead, what you can tell us about “Prevail I”’s musical genesis?
The recording was really unique because we basically relocated to Denmark for a couple of months and we wrote a lot of the material inside the studio with a very organic process and we were all there: that was really interesting, I think we made some magic we not experienced before with a new way. Our generation works, people send files all around the world through wi-fi and this was just really special to have just everyone in the room together. It was really challenging, we learnt a lot while we were there and also we pushed ourselves more than ever.
I had the time to listen a bit here and there of “Prevail I” and for what I get it has a sound markedly more modern compared to “High Priestess” but still it has some elements of the previous album and you did conserved those hard rock-y, really à la Alannah Myles sound , you know what I mean….
I mean you come from Canada and I love Alannah Myles, you know “Black Velvet” is so huge….
[laughs] That’s awesome, yes, thank you for saying that! It was really part of our goal: it was make a sound that we’re recognisably from our generation but keep the authentic elements that we had before are still in there, you know.
According Metal Archives (and I hope it’s right), KATL features 2 different studio and live line ups and recently, Italian guitar hero Andrea Martongelli was welcomed as a live member. How did this collaboration born?
Andrea was a really special opportunity for us because we have many friends in common in the industry and they all suggested him, they said that he’s an awesome guy, a great guitarist and even a great person and they couldn’t be more right. It’s been amazing to tour with, he has so much energy and such a positive light. I mean, when he says hi, you just can’t help not to smile.
Here at Femme Metal Webzine beside music we’re really interested about the social impact of how woman that generally play rock are treated. On a more practical daily routine, did you ever encounter any problems about being a woman in a musical context? Did you felt that sometimes being a woman was a problem for you?
I think it has made sometimes a bit challenging, hard for a woman. I used to really cover the shape of my body because I didn’t want to attention to focus on it but now, more than ever, I really realize that people that don’t support female fronted metal or whatever is with a woman is becoming a small minority of people and it really comes down if they prefer the voice or not and there will be always a small group of people in the world that say stupid things and they should be given neither the time of day and we see those comments underneath the videos like “This is just stupid! Woman don’t belong in metal” or they write really vulgar, disrespectful things…
But we should consider that the first women in metal were Joan Jett, Doro and Lita Ford. Mind me, we’re speaking about the 80s, it’s more than 30 years, in a way…
Yeah, yeah, absolutely and as I said it has become way smaller this group of people that is ignorant to it. The majority of people they choose what music they like.
So, Kobra, it’s time for your parting words – I really thank you for your time – please greet freely our readers and your fans. Thanks again!
Thank you so much for supporting us and we really hope to see you again out on the road!