I first interviewed Kobra Paige back in July of 2013. Fast forward to now and her band, KOBRA AND THE LOTUS is everywhere! They have a new album, High Priestess coming out on June 24, they are on everyone’s mind and lips, AND they recently secured a spot on the coveted KISS/DEF LEPPARD summer tour. We had a little chat she and I, once again. Apparently she didn’t hate dealing with A&GS the first time, so that’s good, right? Here’s what we got into:
Amps: First thing I have to ask you is this…How crazy has this ride been since we spoke last July?
Kobra: Oh my God, crazy. It’s unbelievable the things that have happened, even in the last month. It’s like every year it just gets a little faster you know?
Amps: Let’s talk about some of the songs on this new album High Priestess…HOLEEEE SHIT!!
Kobra: (Laughing) awesome, I hope that’s a good “Holy shit!”
Amps: Oh yeah, I had this thing on all last night. I think “Lost In the Shadows” has gotta be my favorite.
Kobra: It’s my favorite too, actually.
Amps: It’s so epic and a perfect way to close things out. “Willow” and “Battle of Wrath” were two more that REALLY stuck out to me. Excellent writing across the board on this record, but these three really grabbed me, so tell me about them.
Kobra: OK, sure. “Battle of Wrath” was actually created in the studio between me and our producer Johnny K. That was a song where we felt that we needed something that is epic and driving and why not a battle of wrath, you know? So we tried to write for what that would sound like. And probably our most progressive song so far. The song is written about fighting an addiction. It can be in many regards, and listen to the lyrics again and see what you think it’s about, but basically it’s about hoping you’ll come out of this dark hole. And hoping and praying for it. “Willow” is a folklore fable I basically made up to convey the story of Bushido which is the way of the Samurai. So “Willow” is about honoring the samurai which I thought is a very brave thing and also a very metal thing so that’s what it’s about, the tree that cries for the fallen soldiers under the stars.
And then “Lost In the Shadows” has to do with feeling lost and not knowing where you are in life. Sometimes losing your bearings, looking out there thinking, “Am I doing the right thing? Where am I? What am I supposed to be doing?” And I feel like a lot of us have had that feeling, whatever it is. With me it’s this career, you know it takes a lot of believing and it’s the story of the wanderer and believing you’re on the right path.
Amps: Do you feel that this past year and all the accolades has changed you as players and/or people?
Kobra: It always changes us a little bit and hopefully for the most part makes us grow. I know over the last year a lot of experiences where we’ve really had to stretch our mind, like the last studio experience, we were very challenged by Johnny. He really put our brains to the test and it really was an unbelievable experience of seeing how much we could pull out of ourselves and what we were really capable of. And he kept pushing and pushing and changing things. He pushed me to a place I didn’t know I could go and I love it. I feel like it brought out an even bigger expression for me, anyway. We’re constantly shifting, I’m constantly trying to grow and learn.
Amps: With that in mind, tell me about working with Johnny K as your producer. What was he like?
Kobra: Every producer does different things and inspires you differently. Johnny K was extremely inspirational to me. He really had a vibrancy in himself that excited me. It made me even more excited for what I was doing and the purpose of all of it because he is very successful but he still has that lust for the creation and it was just amazing to see. I hadn’t had dreams for two years because my brain was just tired and I started dreaming once we got into the studio and it was crazy. I was just really inspired.
Amps: I noticed you’re doing some different things vocally this time around.
Kobra: Yeah, I think that there are certain notes that are like the cherries on top of a sundae and I don’t wanna overdo certain things. Sometimes things call for more high notes than others, but I wanted to really work what is the lower register of my voice and throw in other notes as special things. There are more textures in there if that’s what you mean; a ZEPPELIN throwback in “Battle of Wrath” and there’s some higher, softer, more vulnerable notes and harmonic chanting in “Lost In the Shadows”. I really just try to serve the song. And if there needs to be some kind of some harmonic chanting I’m gonna do that, you know?
Amps: How excited were you when you found out you were on the KISS/DEF LEPPARD tour? I know I was excited!!
Kobra: Oh my God!! I just realized yesterday that I’m going on tour with KISS and DEF LEPPARD and I STILL can’t believe it. I think it’s such an unbelievable honor, this is something if I told myself ten years ago when I was the hair metal teenager seeing DEF LEPPARD, in the nosebleed section I might add, that was a HUGE thing for me and it felt like we’re being given the opportunity to honor that stage with them. It just blows my mind, it’s amazing. We’re really riled up over it, that’s for sure! We were not able to sleep after that for a few nights.
Amps: That really is huge for you guys and I couldn’t be happier for you getting that platform to show your music to the world.
Amps: And you’re here in Dallas on July 13. I’m gonna be there bright and fuckin’ early, you kidding me?!?
Kobra: (Laughing) awesome! I’m very glad to hear that. I hope we can meet you after talking to you a few times now.
Amps: After this KISS run, what’s next? Do you have things mapped out that far yet?
Kobra: We’re not too far mapped out. It’s too soon to know exactly what we’re doing, but we’ll be on tour. Probably for a year, or so. Hopefully we circle the world a few times.
Amps: (Giggling) oh man, I can’t wait…I can’t wait!!
Kobra: Yeah, me too (laughing)!
Amps: Sorry, I still haven’t gotten over fanboying from our last interview!
Kobra: No, it’s SO good to hear the excitement, you know?
Amps: What would you like to say to the ever-growing legions of KOBRA AND THE LOTUS fans out there?
Kobra: I just want to say thank you so very much for all of your support, and supporting the scene, the live hard rock scene because it’s important to keep it alive and you are what keeps it alive. I thank all of you from the bottom of my Metal Heart.
KOBRA AND THE LOTUS is an awesome band. Kobra herself is one of those great people in rock that you feel happy, honored, and proud to know. Make sure you see them on tour this summer with KISS and DEF LEPPARD. You’ll be thanking me once you do.