I got to have a nice chat by phone for the third time with KOBRA AND THE LOTUS’ frontwoman Kobra Paige not too long ago. The band has an EP coming out soon via Titan Music, and it’s called Words of the Prophets, an homage to some of the Canadian bands they grew up listening to (RUSH, APRIL WINE, TRIUMPH, and more). We talked about that and everything else going on in the world of KATL. So check it:
Amps: First of all, I’m so glad I finally got to see the band live in Dallas on the KISS/DEF LEPPARD tour last summer. Seven songs was too short, but you sounded fantastic!
Kobra: Oh, thank you. It wasn’t even bad the heat at that Dallas show. We had some epicly hot shows other nights in Texas because we were playing right as the sun was setting. It was literally on us, and we were all wearing leather, of course, and I remember gulping for air some nights. Nevertheless it was fun!
Amps: We touched on it briefly when it was just announced last year, but now that it happened and is in the books how did you feel when that tour ended?
Kobra: Oh man, I felt depressed. My immediate reaction when we came off that tour was sadness because it was done. I was like, “Nooooo!!” But then once I settled in and I processed everything that happened I thought, “OK. There were so many amazing things that we learned and saw right before our eyes, and now we have so much to work towards, and improve upon everything.” It was just a really inspiring tour for all of us. And what was cool about it was gaining new fans that typically wouldn’t have been able to find us if we hadn’t done it. Some of them weren’t even fans of metal, so that was really rad.
Amps: Now, onto this new EP of yours, Words of the Prophets…it takes a LOT of balls to cover “The Spirit of Radio” from one of the World’s Greatest Bands RUSH. You all made it look fuckin’ easy!! How does that happen?
Kobra: (Laughing) well, thank you so much! It’s funny to hear you say that because it is the farthest thing from easy. I think those guys were pulling their hair out when we recorded it because there are nine tempo changes in that song. It was pretty brutal to lock it down but it happened. And now we’ve been practicing it so much that we can play it live and we tested it out on the last tour. It was fun to accomplish that. We were like, “We’re gonna take on RUSH” who you don’t just cover anytime.
Amps: I’m a big APRIL WINE guy, so that was really cool. And then you bust out TRIUMPH…TRIUMPH!! A band that never EVER gets enough love and you did an amazing job! You must tell me how did the EP come about and how much fun did you have doing it?
Kobra: It was a lot of fun to do and that was the main way that this came about. We had been off the road for quite a few months and I felt that we needed to do something to bring the band together, raise the morale, and have it be fun. I thought, “Well we don’t need new material yet, because I want to keep High Priestess on the road for a little while, so why not an EP of some covers?” But we wanted to make it something special for us, and that was nostalgic songs from our childhood. The stuff that gave us our first taste of rock, stuff played by our parents, or that was on when we played in the summers as kids. So all those songs mean a lot to everyone in our band. It was a great experience all around. Even though RUSH was hard the guys wanted to prove to themselves that they could do it.
Amps: I find it funny that you think, “We don’t need new material.” The world NEEDS new material from you every few months, you kidding me??
Kobra: (Laughing) well, I have some good news about that. We have scheduled studio time, so it’s set in stone February 8 we are going into the studio to record a new album. I think it’s important to build your discography and stay out on the road.
Amps: Our staff writer/photographer Dana Zuk caught you headlining Calgary Metalfest and she did a great piece for us.
Kobra: Oh no way! I know who you’re talking about! She took some GREAT photos. Thank you so much. That was a really, really fun show, too. Because we haven’t really done Calgary very much and it was good for us to see what kind of hometown support we were gonna get. It was late, too. People had been there for hours and they had to wait till 1 am! It really showed who wanted to see us (laughs).
Amps: Since you’re so busy, how’s the voice doing?
Kobra: I’ve had no problems with my voice. I take care of it; I’m really careful. I don’t abuse it or push my voice ever. If I’m tired vocally I just stop talking for the whole day to conserve it as much as I can. I try to take care of my health as much as possible. That doesn’t sound very rock n’ roll, but I really prioritize my health.
Amps: You’ve done a lot of live performing in support of High Priestess. From the newer tunes what are the ones that get YOU all fired up?
Kobra: Ooooh…I really love playing “Battle of Wrath” because I love telling the story and I love the dynamics of that song. It’s the ultimate shred song, the guitars and bass constantly moving. I also love to play “War Horse”. That song gets me really riled up when we play it live. “Lost In the Shadows” is a big favorite, too. It’s a very vulnerable song and I get lost in it when we play it. You really want these songs to come across live, and if they don’t live up to the standard of the album, you’re in trouble.
Amps: I described your cover of “Barracuda” last summer as “HEART on Steroids”, by the way…
Kobra: (Laughing) that’s awesome! We still have to find a place for that song. We have it recorded it but haven’t had a place to release it. We’re gonna have to just slip it in for fun for everyone, you know?
Amps: Are there any covers on your wishlist?
Kobra: Yeah. I would love to cover a LED ZEPPELIN song. (Amps squeals with delight) Thank you! That’s encouraging (laughs).
Amps: I brought one of our young writers to the show last year and she was blown away by you and KISS. When it was all done I looked at her and teased her with, “Let’s see some of your fuckin’ Hot Topic bands do THAT!“
Amps: What are you doing outside the band for fun? You still an avid hiker and fitness demon?
Kobra: We haven’t really had much time for anything because we just started touring again. But I did just have a couple of weeks at my leisure, so after the UK tour the guys went home and I went to Romania and backpacked through the mountains. That was a hidden gem. I never thought to go to Romania but I was invited and it was really quite incredible to see the country that way. I’m still adventuring around but now I’m home and it’s time to get focused.
Amps: What’s next?
Kobra: We have a tour with HATCHET. I’m really excited to meet those guys. Then of course we’ll have a couple of weeks to get ready for the KAMELOT tour. We go through Europe with them and GUS G. I can’t wait for that! Europe hasn’t had us for a couple of years, 2012 essentially. That’s exciting because we’re so compatible and we haven’t really done a tour where the genres line up like that. We’re very different bands, but the audience crosses over in so many ways.
Amps: What would you like to say to all the KOBRA AND THE LOTUS fans this time around?
Kobra: Thank you so much for your support. We can’t do it without you. We absolutely love seeing everyone out there and enjoying themselves and sharing the songs with us. Keep supporting live rock n’ roll and metal. And we can’t wait to see you again!
Really, what can I say that I haven’t already about Kobra Paige and the kickass band that IS KOBRA AND THE LOTUS? Once again she demonstrates why she is always one of my favorite interviews with the way she makes people feel at ease. This band works hard to give the people what they want and their ever-growing fanbase is proof positive of that. Words of the Prophets comes out August 28 via Titan Music…and that is NOT a suggestion, that’s an order.
LIVE PHOTOS: DANA ZUK PHOTOGRAPHY