“KOBRA AND THE LOTUS” INTERVIEW by Shibalika Tamuli
Kobra and the Lotus was formed by Calgary, Alberta vocalist and songwriter Kobra Paige in 2009. In 2010, the group released its debut album Out of the Pit, which caught the eye of Kiss bassist Gene Simmons who signed the band to his own Simmons Records in partnership with Universal Canada for the release of the self-titled Kobra and the Lotus in 2012. The following year, Kobra and Jasio welcomed former Unleash the Archers bassist Brad Kennedy and they recorded High Priestess in 2014, produced by Johnny K. The group recorded Words of the Prophet in 2014, a tribute to the Canadian bands that inspired them, featuring songs by Rush, April Wine, and Triumph. In 2015 they dropped the two-track EP, Zombie. Kobra and the Lotus released Prevail I on May 12th, the first of a two-record set recorded in Denmark with Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Pretty Maids, Doro, Primal Fear),also welcoming drummer Marcus Lee.
Welcome to Metalheads Forever Magazine, how have you been?
I’ve been great!! We are very busy on the road so I can’t complain. Thanks for having me!
So tell us how “Kobra and the Lotus” came to pass? What have your musical endeavours been like with Kobra and the Lotus in particular throughout the years as you’ve worked in many musical groups before?
Kobra and the Lotus is actually the only true project I have ever been a part of! The very first song was written twelve years ago if you can believe and I have dedicated my whole adolescence towards this project. This includes dropping out of university at age 20 :O. This is my baby and I have been lucky enough to have amazing people join my side. Together we have created what it has become.
We know you’ve grown up to Classic Rock. What bands does your music root back into?
Vivaldi, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, The Doors, Queen, and The Distillers…now there’s a mixed bag of a starter kit!!
Tell us about Prevail I and Prevail II. Is the second instalment going to be different (musically and thematically) from the first? If yes, how?
Prevail’ contains the most virtuous and fresh sounding music out of all four KATL albums. It includes everything we have learned and become creatively over the last several years. This album sounds like it represents our generation. There is a modern flair without loosing the heavy metal nuances we have had the whole way throughout Kobra and the Lotus. This is also the first album that contains metal AND hard rock which will follow true for ‘Prevail II’ as well. There is the same balance of new sound with past sound. There are no two songs that sound the same on these albums and it will again have new surprises.
You guys wanted to go for a two album set and a pledge campaign, but then you were signed by Napalm Records. Why did you choose to crowdfund it? I mean I’ve heard it’s a tough process to go with.
It’s a very tough process to go through and it’s refreshing to see that recognized! Initially it seemed like a very cool way to get the fan base involved as well as provide a lucrative way for us to have the finances to go back into the studio. It was a massive gift to see which people came forward in investing in our future. By being involved in the pledge they were basically letting us know they believed in us. I wouldn’t, however, choose to do this again. It ended up costing us almost the same amount as we raised when it came time to fulfilling the items. It severely backfired and defeated the purpose!!
What’s the evolution you wanted to achieve for the band? You’ve said that you wanted to do something outside of North America to add a little difference to your music, so will you be willing to do that again, I mean in another whole new place?
The main goal was that we needed to start sounding like our generation, not a throwback. We needed to find a way to be fresh and relevant within the world for old fans and new and establish an originality that wasn’t concrete yet. For me personally, it really comes down to which producer we work with. This wasn’t just about doing it outside of North America, it was also about working with Jacob and having his specific mix and flair. I’m very careful and thoughtful about what we are doing every time we do an album. It’s possible we will do another one outside of North America again but it will be a very purposeful and embellished plan.
Do you have any favorite tracks from the new album? Which of your songs do you like to play live the most?
Oh this is like choosing a child!! I really thoroughly am enjoying playing ‘Hell On Earth’ lately because of it’s high energy and dramatic style.
Do you mind explaining some of your tattoos?
Certainly! All of my tattoos have an underlying sense of universal unity. You will find spiritual prayers for the whole earth, everything that lives on it, and universe. This also includes symbolism to represent: earth, sky, heavens (or universe). They are mostly on my left side which is the feminine side according to more eastern medical practices!
So what do you do outside of the band? How do you manage being the main part of the band and pushing it forward as well as taking all the responsibilities? You’ve mentioned you even get anxious sometimes.
I struggle often but I have a wonderful family, friends, and partner who support me. Sometimes I need to be reminded of why I am doing this when I break down from all the obstacles. The fact is though. I love music and I’m specifically passionate about the way it connects people. I don’t have very much free time anymore but I can say if I have it, I enjoy spending quality time with my loved ones. I also am game for any form of physical outdoor activity out there. I love to move and be in nature.
So what has the band been doing these days? What are your plans for the future?
Currently we are in Berlin, Germany waiting to kick off a run of tour dates in support of Steve Harris’ British Lion. We have a lot of promoting to do for the new album which won’t see us off the road this year until December 18th!!
Thanks a lot for talking to us! Leave a message for your fans!
Thank you very much for having me! Your support is much appreciated and I’m throwing you the horns. To anyone out there who has been standing by our side…I can’t thank you enough. Music works because we are all in it together. I really hope to see you out at a show and shake your hand!!
Shibalika Tamuli/MHF Magazine