I first saw Kobra And The Lotus a few years back in Nottingham, and the band understandably received a terrific response form the crowd. Since then I’ve been a fan and it’s been tremendous watching them develop and earn more fans on their journey. Some bands churn out the same album in various incarnations, just with different song titles, but Kobra And The Lotus aren’t afraid to test themselves.
Their latest Youtube upload, “Light Me Up” is simply a beautiful track that just raises the bar yet again showing KATL’s quality. Kobra as always is an absolute joy to talk to, and was kind enough to give us her time and answer our questions:
Hi Kobra, great to see you’re back out on tour again. How’s it going and how on earth do you guys maintain energy levels!?
Thanks for having me! It’s been fantastic to be back out and busy on the road again. Some days it’s harder than others to maintain energy. When it comes to a show though, everything else must be put aside and the best of what we have must come forward!! I still get nervous and adrenalized before every single show.
I first saw you at Nottingham’s Rock City a few years back (High Priestess) and it was pretty obvious you were rapidly gaining fans, what does that swell of support mean to you? Does it feel as though you’re almost playing to friends / family when you’re on tour around the world?
Thanks for the encouraging words! It takes hundreds and hundreds of shows to gain exposure to a small minority of people but every time we come back somewhere, we see familiar faces…..some that have stood strongly beside us for many years now. The UK has been one of those organic but unbelievably devoted places around the world. There’s a huge feeling of unity and friendship within those relationships. At those shows, yes, it feels like family and it feels like joy.
You’ve developed as a singer and have always pushed yourself, such as on tracks like Trigger Pulse. What drives you and gives you the confidence to do that?
I have no other explanation other than I feel it necessary to keep evolving, expanding, and growing. I still have yet to explore all the depths of how I can use my voice. I will be learning and training until the final day! The new music also inspired and called for some different vocal expression and elements which was very exciting for me. I experienced fear often when we were writing ‘Prevail’ but I chose not to let it grip me.
“Light Me Up” is a beautiful epic song and shows to some extent how the band have developed (As a fan, for me you’ve knocked it out of the park and then some!), could you tell us a little about what inspired you to write that?
Thank you very much for the kind words, this song means a great deal to all of us because of it’s message. Jasio had written a song and I thought there was something very special about the chorus specifically. I decided we should take it into the studio with producer Johnny K and rework it. We three re-wrote the song musically and lyrically around the chorus and then further evolved the chorus. It’s very cool because it’s literally an even co-write between the three of us over a mutual connection to the message. We’ve all had our own personal and intimate experiences regarding mental illness, depression, and its severity within the human race. This was something the whole band could stand beside in the end in their own personal way and I believe most people can.
Who did you work with on the video “Light Me Up” and how much was your vision for the song incorporated into the final version? When you saw the final version what was your reaction?
We worked with Director Ivan from iCode in Belgrade, Serbia. He’s a gifted director that man. The vision was very much intact with what I had written in the storyline. Ivan made it achievable by altering how the story would be reenacted and he completely took it to the next level. We had no idea what the child actors were going to do or look like and what would specifically happen with the child to express his struggle. When we received the first edit I think most of us cried at the end.…..it was exactly what it was supposed to be.
There was a time when rock was predominantly led by male singers, it seems we’re finally getting to a point where rock music is far more accessible for women musicians, just wondered what your thoughts on that were and if you felt we still had a way to go?
I agree that it has made a shift. I believe classic rock particularly has always had a couple woman that could hold their places there and it was fully excepted such as: Heart, Fleetwood Mac with Stevie, ABBA, Jefferson Airplane etc. but metal has always been a tough one. Even over the last 9 years that I’ve been a part of the metal industry, it has shifted. It’s becoming way more common to see a female front woman out there and no one thinks anything of it other than they like the music or they don’t like the music. It’s very cool. The people that don’t accept women in metal strictly for that reason are also quickly becoming a minority and they just look like assholes when they say anything!
You signed to Napalm Records nearly a year ago, what has their support meant to you?
It’s meant a great deal. Napalm has been a wonderful team to work with and by far the most actively involved label we have ever been signed to. They are a very connected, hard working, and youthful group of people. I feel as though we couldn’t have been with a better choice for these new albums.
You’re living the rock dream and hopefully enjoying yourself! Do you ever have to pinch yourself to check tat this is really happening? Could you ever picture yourself doing anything different?
Haha I don’t want to say too much about this because the real answer will crush people. I’ve talked about what ‘the dream’ means with my bass player recently and it’s a bubble that really gets popped hard once you’re legitimately committing your whole life to doing rock’n roll and being in a band for years. The reality isn’t what people think. This path is not glamorous and it is not for the faint of heart or lazy. You had better be ready to work very very hard. This band has played possibly over 1000 shows now over the last 9 years and most people are still just discovering us. We have a long way to go in terms of reaching a sustainable level and consider ourselves as the smallest fish in the pool of successful mid-sized bands. There are several stages of “the beginning” in this career path so to speak and we’re now at the beginning of another one. The saving grace is remembering to acknowledge the baby steps as they happen and having immense gratitude for the bigger bands that bring you out on the road with them and the fans that believe in you. I’m tour managing, selling merchandise, and sometimes driving as well while we are on tour. Sometimes it’s hard to have faith or the energy for solving so many things so sometimes I pinch myself just to see if I’m really crazy enough to be doing this and yes I am haha. Playing shows though, any size, with passionate fans of music makes it instantly worth it.
Marcus (Lead Drums), Brad (lead Bass) and Jasio (Lead Guitar) all seem to have a great sense of humour, how important is it to have those sort of people around you in a band?
It’s very important! These are the people we all spend most of the year with so you’ve got to hopefully be able to operate well and kindly together. Brad will keep me laughing for a lifetime.
Prevail I & II seem to be a statement of intent! Are there some personal favorites on there, and if so why those particular ones?
Hmm that’s a tough question. I really am enjoying playing these new songs live. Right now we’re playing: Gotham, TriggerPulse, Specimen X, You Don’t Know, Light Me Up, and Hell On Earth. They all bring a very different energy to the show and I love each one!!!
With a wealth of great material, how much of a headache is it going to be now trying to decide on what songs are going to make it onto a set list now!?
Haha! It’s certainly a tough one. Something that really helps is asking our fan base what they would like to hear. There’s always a majority of comments written about certain songs from the past so those make for our song choices from the previous albums. So….we know we will be playing those ones. Second step is to place in the highlighted singles from the new album and then choose our favourites and there you have it!!
There have been a number of challenges for you personally, and I’m glad to see you and the band still making headway, are there times that you think there is still a lot of work to be done on educating people on mental health issues, and that support for people suffering still needs further investment?
I do, largely. I believe we are living in a time where there is too much negativity and we’re also forgetting the good capabilities within ourselves. There’s also a massive amount of poor self-confidence and self-victimization. I don’t think our modern world of social media has helped with that either. Comparing oneself is toxic but those modern outlets make it too easy. Mental illness seems to be as high as ever. 1 in 4 individuals will be dealing with some form of it to a degree. Depression….almost affects everyone. We need to cultivate ways to offer more support, public knowledge to inspire more empathy (and that goes for mentally ill and not mentally ill)to promote a better sense of understanding, and approachability to the human race. We humans in general need more tools for grounding ourselves and also reflecting and distinguishing what the truth is. We are lacking tools for coping with life in the modern world where people “need” a purpose and that’s scary.
A huge thank you for your time!
Thanks for your time James and really hope to see you this fall!! I’m really looking forward to coming back to The UK with the new songs this year and rocking out!!
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