Interview by Tony CannellaWith their self-titled debut album, Canada’s Kobra and the Lotus have released an album packed with a pure metal attitude. The band has been tearing it up on tour with the Swedish band Amaranthe and judging and delivering their brand of metal across North America. Recently, prior to the bands set in Cambridge, Mass. I had the pleasure to sit down and have a chat with lead vocalist Kobra Paige. Her enthusiasm for her music (and growing) fan base is very obvious. Here now, are the contents of our conversation. Your debut album has been out for a while now. For those who haven’t heard it, how would you describe it?
It’s just a straight up traditional heavy metal album. There is no specific metal genre to it, it’s just driving riffs, soaring whaling vocals, duel lead guitars and lots of energy.You’ve been described as New Wave of British Heavy Metal influenced. Do you agree with that comparison?
We do. You know, I’m not opposed to anything that anyone calls us. Music is such an open ended thing for people to take with it what they will. I’ve heard a few different things regarding what people think the sound of our music is. Yeah, I would agree with that because we are a new wave of bringing back that vibe, but with our own twist.How has the reaction been from the media and the fans to the album?
It’s been very positive and very exciting for us to see how it’s been received. We’ve been doing quite a few tours with various bands that aren’t even bands that you would normally put together on a bill and it’s been interesting to see how the crowd reacts at each one. So far it’s been very positive which has been very encouraging for us.This is the third date of your tour with Amaranthe. How has that been going so far?
Oh man, this tour is wild! This tour has been so great so far. I actually can’t believe it’s only been two dates. The way the crowds are so far for these past two shows has been very immense in terms of its energy – people are very energized. They come right from the beginning and stay to the very end of Amaranthe. I think that’s really cool when you see people that are so excited to support the music, that they’re there for the whole show and watch all of the bands. It’s quite an incredible thing.With your debut album, you came to the attention of one Gene Simmons from KISS. How did that come about and what are your thoughts on that?
It’s crazy. It’s been great. He’s been a wealth of information. He’s been around for decades. He has so much knowledge to offer, so we’ve really been learning a lot, we can ask anything and that’s really how he’s been helping us. How that came to fruition was through Universal. The A&R rep at the time had been watching us and had us on his radar – he brought the debut album to Gene Simmons and he really dug it, so the next thing you know, I’m meeting with him and we’re looking at what kind of deal can we put together.That must have been mind blowing.
It was absolutely mind blowing; I actually thought it wasn’t real at first. (Laughs)I wanted to ask you about your videos. The videos for “Welcome to My Funeral” and “Fifty Shades of Evil” are pretty cool looking clips. Who came up with the concepts for those?
I usually come up with the concepts for the videos. On “Welcome to My Funeral”, because it’s a song about self-sabotage and really digging yourself your own hole and finding a way to come out of it; that’s how that synopsis came into play with me at my own funeral – crazy and off my rocker and directing it. For “Fifty Shades of Evil”, that was initially my idea, but then we brought in this director, Lisa Mann from Canada. She does a lot of apocalyptica videos, she’s got a real dark, artsy scene. She’s got a particular style to her, so it was more elegant than we had done before, but I actually loved it because it was just nice to do something different.
I was reading somewhere that you have a reality show on Spike TV coming up. What’s the status on that?
Yeah, we’re still waiting for this to pan out. Right now we’re on the bus that the show is sponsoring but we’re not being filmed or anything, so right now we’re just taking advantage of the free gas and that’s wonderful. The show is basically a rockumentary to show what it’s like to be an upcoming band on the road and what happens behind the scenes, so that people can get a glimpse on what it’s like to tour and the reality of it actually, because there is so much that people wouldn’t know, like for instance, no matter how nice someone might think I look on stage, I’m probably dirtier than the whole crowd. (Laughs)Yeah, it’s probably not as glamorous as people think.
Yeah, it’s not nearly as glamorous. It’s very hard and we work very hard, but there are also really fun things and also crazy things that happen. Stuff breaks down all the time and you barely make it to shows, like we barely made to the first show on this tour, the bus was breaking down all over the freeway. I think the show will be interesting for a lot of people.Who are some singers that you admire and served as influences?
Well, the first thing that initially got me into metal was Judas Priest. It was everything about Judas Priest. It was the way the crowd erupted when “Painkiller” started and the massive amptitude of the energy. The way it brought everyone together, all the people together. Metal is also such a loyal community, it just became appealing to me from then on. I also realized that there is a place for me to use my voice that didn’t have to be classical or use the classical direction. I’ve done that for many years and it wasn’t my thing – I didn’t want to do opera. So yeah, when I saw Halford, I thought there is something for me out there. Then of course I started listening to more and more and when I found Dio and Matt Barlow from Iced Earth in particular, those I really aligned with just because our ranges are similar and just the style. So I would have to say those two, I really love.What are your lyrics inspired by?
Those are influenced by things that happen in my life. Things that I think people will relate to emotionally. For example, on this album that just came out there’s “Heavens Veins” and that is actually written about addiction and waking up out of addiction. “My Life” is written about something completely different, it’s about generations that carry history forward on and on and on when it didn’t actually happen to them but history is so twisted for most people in the world that there is going to be problems forever, and it’s just about taking your life into your own hands and putting things in perspective, which I know is not that simple.Any songs from the album that really stand out for you?
Oh man, I would have to say probably “My Life” I really enjoy. It has this wave of movement through it, it kind of pulses, I really enjoy playing it and it’s also one of our more progressive songs. It’s different in a way from a lot of them, so it’s fun for us.Are you working on new music at the moment?
We are.How is that going?
It’s going great! I’m really excited and hopefully we’ll release a track in the not-too-distant future just so we can let people know what we’re working on.Final question. First of all thanks for taking the time to do this interview.
Oh, absolutely.Is there anything you’d like to add or say to the fans to wrap this interview up?
Yeah. I would like to say thank you to everyone for defending the faith. We really owe where we are and every step we take forward is because people are supporting us and putting it out there that metal is alive and well. Thank you all so very much.
Kobra Artemis Photo Band by Tessa Quinn
Kobra Ritual Single Photo by Tessa Quinn