Kobra And The Lotus

Kobra And The Lotus

Launched in 2009, KOBRA AND THE LOTUS is the lifeblood and passion of Canadian vocalist Kobra Paige. Eight years into their journey, the band has gone through significant changes in sound and personnel to the point that they were able evolve and create what is easily the strongest album in the KOBRA AND THE LOTUS catalogue. In fact, the aptly titled "Prevail" is such a show of strength that Kobra and her bandmates chose to make a double album to be released in two parts over the next year; a venture very few artists have the backbone to attempt. Metal Temple Writer Brad Karr recently had the chance to interview the band.
By Brad Karr
April 28, 2018
Kobra And The Lotus interview
Please allow me to give you a big welcome from Metal Temple! Can you give us the story of how Kobra and the Lotus began?

Thank you very much! It all began when I was a rowdy teenager. I had a great desire to form a metal band after seeing Judas Priest in my home town. A couple years later I found myself gathering people together to form a fun, casual group to jam Megadeth, Iron Maiden, and Metallica songs with. We played a few covers and immediately started writing our own songs together. The first demos were born for our very first album 'Out of the Pit'. Then, with whole hearted devotion and passion, the fire was lit and the band began shaping, evolving, and paving it's way forward into the music industry.

Who were some of your influences growing up and now?

My influences are quite diverse. While I was growing up they were the likes of Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, and Guns'n Roses classics. This began changing into Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Skid Row, Iced Earth, Avenged Sevenfold, The Distillers, and other mix mash of bands like Radiohead. Now it's a giant mix of many genres and styles. I don't listen to much metal anymore to be honest but when I do it's artists like Devin Townsend and Porcupine Tree.

I came across Kobra and the Lotus when I happened upon your great cover of "Black Velvet". I have also heard your renditions of "Ace of Spades", "Holy Diver", and "Barracuda". Is there any other song that you would like to cover on a future album?

It's great timing to ask about this because we have just covered 'The Chain' by Fleetwood Mac on our upcoming album 'Prevail II'. This cover excites me the most because we really made it our own and it's a diversion from what our metal fans were expecting which I think makes it even more special.

I listened to the new song "Losing My Humanity" which I though was a great song. It talks about how humanity is kind of going downhill. Do you think we as a people can pull ourselves up and turn everything around? What role do you think music plays in shining a light on humanity, its triumphs and failures?

I absolutely believe the humanity in our world has not been lost. It's very easy within our own patterns, insecurities, beliefs, and the beliefs we place on one another to create hatred and destruction. At the core of our true nature though, we were always born kind and capable of kindness. Kindness to others and most importantly to ourselves. This song is interesting because it can be taken in so many different ways. One of my favorite perspectives to look at is reflecting it on to myself and seeing how I can find pieces of how I am corrupting, hurting, and slipping away from my own humanity at times. It can be as simple as blaming someone else for my own suffering in certain situations. My mantra is "everyone guilty, no one to blame".

The new album that is out on April 27th is "Prevail II". What similarities does this album have to "Prevail I" and what are the differences?

They both encompass the same blend of hard rock mixed with heavy metal. The general theme in the lyrical messages carry through but contain an entirely new set of emotions in each song. The guitar tuning also remains mostly in drop C which is a new characteristic that we've introduced in the 'Prevail' albums lending to a crunchier and more updated sound. 'Prevail II' is a whole new set of songs entirely. It also touches on a darker look into the corruption of our humanity. We will take you on a sonic journey through ballads, hard rock, heavy metal , and also some surprises that 'Prevail I' did not have. This album is also longer and has two more tracks.

I saw that "Prevail II" is being released with a limited number of vinyl copies, which I think is awesome, I love vinyl. What would you say to someone that only listened digitally to get them to consider vinyl?

Vinyl is a whole different experience. It's not only about treasuring the music, it's about the individual art and adding to a priceless collection of good memories. Vinyl has a warmer sound than a CD or digital download as well. Like this subtle, cozy hug. There's also something really special about having to value and care for an album you really love and go through the ritual of taking it out carefully and placing it onto the turntable.

Since the inception of KOBRA AND THE LOTUS, how has the sound changed and how has it stayed the same?

Hmm it's a very fun and natural evolution. The first album had elements of traditional metal, hair metal, gritty rock, and punk rock attitude. Moving forward the music became tighter, cleaner, more melodic, and leaned towards the duel guitar sound of traditional heavy metal. As we moved onto our 3rd album, more elements of unique expression began to color some of the songs here and there. This can be heard in songs such as 'Hold On'. Zoom forwards in time and we arrive at the 4th and 5th double album series, Prevail. These have evolved towards a more honed in characteristic sound for the band. There are currently: more dynamics musically and vocally than ever before, a balanced blend between hard rock and heavy metal, and the presence of duel guitars but this time with a modern flare.

You guys are going to be touring with Texas Hippie Coalition. What do you do to get ready for a tour, and is it hard being on the road for long stretches of time?

There's a lot to organize before a tour from logistics, to show production, to rehearsals, to merch designs, to stage outfits. Right now we're also welcoming a brand new guitarist, Ronny Gutierrez, into the fold. It's a really fun and busy time due to the fact that we're also going to be playing all new music. Some of us in the band love being on the road more than others. I personally don't enjoy it all the time anymore because I miss simple consistencies in my life such as: kitchens, closets, gyms, seeing my loved ones etc. For the time being though, it's part of the deal!

What is one venue, festival, or tour that you will remember forever?

I'll always remember playing the Hammersmith Apollo in 2012 in London, England supporting Saxon and Judas Priest. It was the first major band we had ever supported and was the first band that made me want to start Kobra and the Lotus in the first place. It was quite amazing that it came full circle.

Who would be your dream to tour with?

Hmm at this point I would really like to tour with The Disturbed actually.

I noticed you are pretty active on social media. Do you think social media helps bands to reach an audience they normally wouldn't have, or do you think it creates a hardship for bands where so many are vying for the attention of the fans?

I believe both things. Social media platforms are a necessity in modern day promotion. I miss the days where street teams pasted posters down the light posts on city streets. The fact is more people are plugged into apps like Instagram or Facebook than ever before and that is where most of them are finding out about shows. I have found social media to become very overwhelming to maintain and be a part of. I never had Instagram, twitter, or Facebook until we signed to our first label in 2012 and they told us to get the profiles because the were necessary to have. I currently manage our social media pages from an app manager called Hootsuite and it has really freed up so much time and energy I didn't realize I was spending on literally nothing. Unfortunately I can't connect to the fans as often and don't receive their messages on those platforms due to this app manager but I honestly am much more healthy and grounded without these distractions on my phone. It's easy to fall down a worm hole looking at videos on Instagram and realize that you've just wasted 2 hours of your life you'll never get back haha. I'm not into it.

Where would you like to see Kobra and the Lotus in the upcoming years?

I would like to see us continue to pave our way towards a unique sound that is easily recognizable. I would also like to see us pass the growth point where we can make tours financially sustainable. Up until this time the cost of everything to do with the band has heavily outweighed the revenue. The goal is to not roll in the dough but to just be able to pay for everything necessary to keep this band alive and operating. It's pure passion and determination that's gotten us this far and I'm sure that holds true for the projection of most alternative bands that hang in there.

Looking back what advice do you wish you could give yourself when you were starting out?

Hmm you know, I've been heavily sinking into a new mindset lately and that is just embracing what is. I would not be who I am today, representing what I believe in, writing the music that have written, and come this far if I didn't go through the exact lessons in life that I have had to learn up to this day. I regret nothing otherwise something would be different right now. I'm content with where we are at and where we are going.

Thank you for this opportunity. Is there anything else you want to share with us that I might not have asked?

We hope to be back in The UK very soon. It was the first territory that we were welcomed into and we have endless appreciation for that. Hope to see you soon!

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