(Editor note: Interview conducted in November 2017)
Kobra and the Lotus are a hard rock band whose members all hail from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Signed to Napalm Records, the group fronted by Kobra Paige along with guitarists Jasio Kulakowski and Ronny Gutierrez, bassist Brad Kennedy and drummer Marcus Lee. Having recently released part 1 of their double album Prevail, the band are about to commence a tour of the United Kingdom with British metallers Brutai as support. Ahead of the tours first show at Southampton’s Talking Heads, I sat down with frontwoman Kobra Paige to discuss the band’s musical style, a look back on 2017 and how much of a gentlemen Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris is!
How does it feel to be kicking off the tour and playing in Southampton?
It feels awesome! I think its the perfect place to be kicking off the tour because we’ve been here quite a few times already and every time we’re in Southampton it has always been fun. People that came out were really great and the last time we played here by ourselves was at the Firehouse actually. It was a super fun show and it was the last show of that tour run and it was a really good way to end it. So it’s nice to be back and we’re excited for this UK run.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
I think that our music is alternative, hard rock and heavy metal blend. It’s something that is very melodic and comes with a fresh sound for our generation but also has the tribute to the dual lead guitars and heavy riffs that came with metal in the past. Also clear vocals, but with a lot of power and emotion, so it’s very, I feel visual.
Who are your main inspirations as a band? Anyone you looked up to when you first started out?
When we first started we had different inspirations to who we do now. Ten years ago and when I first found people to write with, the basics that brought us together were Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest. That is kinda where it all started and as we’ve moved forward its become very diverse, we’re now influenced by so many different things from different genres and different artists among ourselves. There’s a lot of places to draw inspiration from really endlessly.
What are your favourite songs to perform live?
That’s a really tough one because I’m really enjoying playing the new songs and it’s exciting to feel their energy on stage as they all have such a different feeling. It’s been really fun to play Victim honestly on this tour. Its a song that seems kind of mid-paced but it packs a lot of impact somehow into its pulse so it’s been really cool to make that one come to life.
If you could play any venue in the world, where would it be?
Madison Square Gardens, that would be wild!
What is one thing you can never go without on tour?
Probably my vitamins, that’s super nerdy but I do try and take care of myself and I won’t go without them. That includes probiotics, all of the gut starts in the health and I’m one of those people!
What advice would you give to new bands just starting out?
Did I say all the gut starts in the health? I meant to say all the health starts in the gut haha! The best way to get started I believe is how I did it which is make some music and get yourself out there. Getting a gig locally with whoever you can, whatever shithole will take you! Just get out there and start playing, that’s how you find yourself and your identity within your music too.
This year alone you’ve supported the likes of Steve Harris with British Lion and Kamelot on tours across the United States and Europe. But who has been your favourite band to support of all time?
We’ve had quite a good experience with quite a few bands, I mean Kamelot have always been nice to us, we really get along with those guys. British Lion this past summer were amazing people, very humble and down to earth. Steve Harris is an inspiration in the way he just handles things, such a humble man and never lost his passion for playing live music that’s for sure which is a rarity, you don’t see someone like that who just don’t care. They’re just playing because they want to play and they want to be with all the people that support live music and come out to show their support. He’s always out there after every show, and he’ll stand there until the last picture is taken, I respect that a lot. Xandria were great to tour with, we’ve had some good luck. We were on the tour bus with Evergrave last year and that was pretty fun too.
What are yours and the band’s plan for 2018? Any festival appearances here in the UK or future tours lined up?
Prevail 2 is going to be on the horizon so that’s another release coming down the line in the new year and that means a lot of touring. And coming back to also the UK, so you can be sure to see us again in the UK next year. I just think everywhere in Europe and North America and the UK are where we’ve been focusing on, hoping to go to Japan for the first time next year, we’ll see!
‘Prevail 1’ is out now via Napalm Records, with the second half ‘Prevail 2’ being released worldwide on April 27th!
Cover photograph and words by Rob Campion Photography.