KOBRA AND THE LOTUS are a new band that employs the classic heavy metal sound from days of yore, I am happy to report. Twin guitars, machine gun bass and drums, and a powerhouse vocalist named Kobra Paige who routinely draws comparisons to people like, oh I don’t know, Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson! Kobra and I had a brief chat by phone a few hours before they, along with Amaranthe, conquered a packed house on a Friday night. She’s sweet and endearing, and showed me a different side of the one who prowls the stage in war paint:
Amps: So, you just toured with Fear Factory. One seriously badass band. That says a LOT about you guys, being invited on a tour like that, you know that, right?
Kobra: Well, thank you. It was definitely intimidating at the beginning because I wasn’t sure where we going to fit on the bill, but we played that first show in Denver and it was all positive from there, so it ended up being an awesome tour.
Amps: And now you’re out with Amaranthe. In fact you played my hometown NY at the Gramercy Theater the other night. How’s it going?
Kobra: Oh, the Gramercy was an awesome show! It was packed, and the crowd was very energized! We’ve only done two shows, but they’ve been great, really. Everyone has been really getting into it, and they’ve been showing up for the start of the show and staying for all the bands, and that’s just awesome! So far, so good. If these two shows are a sign of how the tour is gonna go I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun!
Amps: You guys have a definite Iron Maiden/Painkiller-era Judas Priest vibe to you. They also call you the “female Bruce Dickinson” for Pete’s sake! How do comparisons to such great bands feel?
Kobra: Oh man, you know they’re such huge compliments. I can’t believe it when people say things like that because those are the legends. Everyone started by looking up to one of those bands, I’m sure of it. And it just really, really is a huge compliment, and we feel incredibly blessed that people put us right there in that sound pocket because that’s what we’re going for. We wanna bring that traditional heavy metal vibe that is not a niche, but is something everyone can listen to. We wanna turn people on to the addictiveness and the energy that comes through the music, you know?
Amps: Speaking of traditional, I found out about the band the old fashioned way. A photographer friend of mine told me to check you out, and when I heard the record I knew I wanted to do a feature on KOBRA AND THE LOTUS.
Kobra: Oh, cool! That’s how it should be. Word of mouth amongst friends, and hopefully we put on a good show so that keeps happening. That’s really cool to hear that you found us through a friend.
Amps: How was working with Kevin Churko as a producer? He’s done some great work (In This Moment, Gemini Syndrome, OZZY)
Kobra: He was awesome. Kevin is a great producer. He’s very well-rounded. He’s not just a producer, he’s also a writer, and a drummer, and he did some things in the studio that we wouldn’t have done, or thought to do by ourselves, which is what a great producer should be able to do. We really learned a lot. He really has a fantastic ear.
Amps: Do you have any do’s/dont’s as a vocalist?
Kobra: I do. First of all no caffeine, if you can help yourself. It’s one of my biggest rules. It really sucks all the moisture out of your vocal chords and you won’t sing as good as you can if you have caffeine, so you should avoid that at least three hours before you play. I don’t drink any caffeine when we’re on tour, and it’s tough because we’re tired a lot, but it’s way worse if you go onstage and nothing will wet your palette. I also really believe in cardiovascular exercise, 30 minutes a day wherever you can. It opens your lungs up so much more, and you can hold your notes longer, run around more and sing at the same time. And obviously vocal warm-ups. You don’t wanna go out there and blow your voice out on the first song. Oh, and In-Ears are a Godsend, especially when you’re singing five, six days in a row.
Amps: Are you enjoying this advent of female-fronted bands we’re seeing? How cool would a tour be of the REAL Women in Rock, you know? I’m talking In This Moment, Halestorm, Huntress, Butcher Babies, and of course DORO?
Kobra: Oh yeah, absolutely! That would be a power tour, that’s for sure! I think that would kick ass, especially because every single band would be different from each other!
Amps: I tell ya, if I won the lottery tomorrow I would do everything in my power to make that tour happen!
Kobra: (laughing) well you know what? You put a really good idea in my head, so thank you!
Amps: Is there anything you’d like to say to the KOBRA AND THE LOTUS fans out there?
Kobra: Oh, hell yeah! I just wanna say a huge THANK YOU to everyone for supporting us, and to the believers from the beginning, thank you for hanging in there and believing in us, because it’s that faith that has been keeping us going, and believing in this team. And we are in this place we are and moving forward only because we have the fans that support us, and the music enthusiasts, so we owe you everything. Thank you very much!
No, Kobra. Thank you for flying the flag of heavy metal high and clear.