Kobra and the Lotus can not be stopped, ever since their inception in 2009 they’ve been on a mission across the globe to bring metal to the people. Last month I had the pleasure of speaking with vocalist Kobra Paige about the band’s journey, the new double album Prevail, supporting Judas Priest and their relationship with the fans.
Jack: Hello, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you?
Kobra Paige (Vocals): I’m great, thanks for having me Jack!
Jack: Kobra and the Lotus formed in 2009, did you think you’d still be touring the world eight years later?
Kobra: No. In all honesty, when I started the initial idea for the band, I never ever thought this was what I was going to be doing with my life at this point in time. It’s exactly as it should be though.
Jack: Canada has a really good emerging metal scene, what makes Canada so great for metal bands?
Kobra: I truly believe part of it has to do with Canada being a massive melting pot of different people from all over the world. It makes for some very creative diversity and expression.
Jack: How did your recent tour of Europe with Delain and Evergrey go?
Kobra: It was amazing. A great fit for us and a great package all around for the people coming out to support the shows. Every band brought something sonically fresh to the table. It also doesn’t hurt when you’re touring with some good people on a personal level as well. We were sharing a bus with Evergrey and it was one of my favorite bus shares. They were so fun, really good musicians too.
Jack: What do you do on your off days?
Kobra: Since I’m usually the only girl out of an average of 15 men on a bus, I am almost always far away and shacked up in a hotel room on an off day. I work out, do some work for the band on my laptop, and watch Netflix in the glory of my private female space! [Laughs]
Jack: You’re due to release Prevail as a two-part album. What was the choice for splitting the album?
Kobra: This was actually a suggestion made by our new label partners, Napalm Records. Prevail I and II are both full length albums and each song is completely different from the next. They asked us to consider splitting it to avoid overwhelming people with too much material at once. I fully agree. A lot of good things would have been completely missed if we released this all at once.
Jack: What is the theme to the album, if any?
Kobra: The theme of the whole body of work is the human experience. These are the most real and vulnerable lyrics ever written in the history of our band and, for the keen listeners out there, the music compliments every single story and message in each song too. It’s very emotional music. These albums are supposed to express how relatable we really are as humans. Despite the different circumstances in each life, we all struggle in our own ways. I hope this album inspires strength, courage, and compassion in people, as well as the feeling that they aren’t so alone.
Jack: Do you pay attention to critics reviews at all?
Kobra: I do, however, very selectively. For example, you don’t go on Blabbermouth and look at comments for fun. That’s just self-destructive behaviour! In today’s day and age, everyone can be a critic especially with the internet but sometimes there is some criticism that’s very good to hear and can be used constructively. The first evolution I ever made within our music was when I wrote the full song “Welcome To My Funeral” off the self-titled album. My shift was literally because we got some serious criticism from someone I very much valued in the industry. I took a good look at what I was doing in “Out Of The Pit”. My ego was bruised at first but once I moved past it, it was one of the best things to ever happen to me. It made me gain more awareness, forced my authenticity to the surface, and encouraged me to start setting the bar far higher for myself.
Jack: Was the writing process and recording process changed at all for Prevail?
Kobra: Yes, it was significantly different. This time around we only came into the studio with a small handful of songs and a bunch of loose ideas. The goal was very specific though: keep it organic and all in one span of time of creation. The majority of the album was organically written in a very collaborative way inside Hansen studios. For the first month in Denmark, all we did, was live, breath, analyse, and dream music. When we did our Canadian classic rock EP, I got an idea to go into the studio like they used to in the 70’s. I wanted to see if that would really cultivate magic for us the way it did for those old bands. Let me tell you, it was brutally challenging, our brains were exhausted, the stress was immense, and no one was sleeping….but hell did it ever create an inspiring amount of magic like never before. I truly believe we have written our best music to date on these albums.
Jack: Why did you decide to do a pledge campaign for the album?
Kobra: It initially was because it provided a lucrative financial platform for us to get into the studio and book Jacob as our producer.
Jack: Do you think pledge campaigns and websites like Patreon will be more common in the future?
Kobra: I do believe they will continue to be a popular choice for people. It can be very helpful in making a project possible.
Jack: Would it be fair to say that Prevail marks a new chapter for Kobra and the Lotus?
Kobra: Yes. I would say Prevail is a good representation of our musicianship, creativity, passion, and ability to also keep evolving.
Jack: Do you have fond memories of supporting Judas Priest on tour? What was meeting them like for the first time?
Kobra: It was a very special show for us. Judas Priest was the band that got me into metal in the first place and inspired me to start a band. It was also the first big band we ever supported. The show was held in the legendary Apollo in London, England, a truly humbling experience.
Jack: You played Bloodstock five years ago, would you like to return someday?
Kobra: Hell yea! We’re waiting, where do we sign up?!!
Jack: At the festival I met you and posed for a photo, how important are these fan meets to you?
Kobra: Incredibly important. Personally, it’s one of the biggest priorities. The fact is, we can’t do anything we do without the people that believe in us, connect to our music, and show up to share this passion. Art does not exist without it’s believing force. I will never loose sight of how much gratitude I have towards anyone who stands beside us and defends the faith. That goes for anyone supporting live music out there. I salute you!
Jack: You’ve played lots of amazing festivals and tours, what’s been a favourite?
Kobra: There have been so many incredible and different experiences. I value all of them and I especially value all the bands that have given us the opportunity to support them. One show particularly was on a whole other level of epic though. This was in Nashville at The Bridgestone Arena. We played a full roaring 20000 person arena supporting KISS and Def Leppard. I had never seen so much energy projected down on to us in my entire life!
Jack: What are your upcoming plans? Are there any plans for an extensive UK tour?
Kobra: Right now we are getting ready to do our first little North American run with Xandria and Once Human. We will pop over to Europe afterwards for four festivals. In between those we will be doing all the photos, videos, and prep work for Prevail II. In the fall we are coming back over to Europe and really hoping to pull together a UK tour!
Jack: Finally, is your song Gotham related to Batman in any way?
Kobra: You got it. What better city than Gotham to parallel with the real humanity crisis we are facing in our very own world?
Jack: Thank you for your time and good luck with the album.
Kobra: Thanks very much for having me! I hope to see you in person with the new album and the gang very soon!