Canadian hard rockers Kobra and The Lotus are getting ready to release their forthcoming double studio album next year.
The band recently penned a deal with Napalm Records which will see the band’s debut record on the label released as two separate volumes of the double album. The record will be titled Prevail I and II with the first part being released February 2017 and the second part will follow in October of 2017.
Kobra And The Lotus are currently out on tour across Europe with dutch symphonic metal outfit Delain and Swedish progressive metal group Evergrey. National Rock Review recently caught up with the band’s lead vocalist Kobra Paige whilst out on tour with Delain in Glasgow, Scotland.
NRR: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us here at National Rock Review today, we really appreciate it.
So you are currently out on tour across Europe with Delain and Evergrey, I was just wondering how have the shows been going so far?
Kobra: The shows have been awesome and I think that people have really enjoyed this package that’s been put together. It’s quite versatile and it’s worked very well for the crowds.
NRR: Obviously with a shorter set on this tour, how do you go about picking a setlist for a show like this?
Kobra: It’s really tough, we’ve experimented a few times with switching a few songs around and then we settled with what we thought was the best set to mostly energise the people actually before getting off the stage and excite them.
NRR: What would you say has been the highlight of the tour so far?
Kobra: Just seeing new people, meeting new people and also we are travelling with Evergrey on the same bus and they’ve been wonderful people to be sharing a bus with and that’s been really fun.
NRR: Have you had the chance to see much of the cities you’ve played this tour and is there anywhere that you’ve played on this run for the first time?
Kobra: Yeah, there’s been quite a few new places actually – Budapest, Munich, Vienna, Dublin is going to be new, there are other ones in there. We played also by ourselves previous to this tour in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and two other cities in Finland we have never been to before and yeah it was just great. I wish we had more time because I have not seen the cities really at all and there have been some really special places. I like being in Scotland too.
NRR: You just recently signed with Napalm Records and you are about to release your fourth album Prevail, which I believe is going to be a double album. We got a little taste of the album with “TriggerPulse”, which is really cool. I was just wondering if you could tell us a little bit about the album and the inspiration behind it?
Kobra: Sure, the album is very different in some ways. In sonic ways, it goes from heavy rock to heavy metal, so it’s a very versatile album and it’s very virtuous. It shows what the guitarists are capable of and that goes beyond shredding you know that’s songwriting, riffs. Also, my vocals are using more of my voice than probably people have ever heard. People can probably hear that in “TriggerPulse” too, there are some different use of my vocals than before, that’s been really fun.
It’s a very vulnerable album, it’s the most realistic in terms of the lyrical content than any of our albums before, it’s really not sugar coated, it’s very pure and there’s a lot of things that are simply said but I think they hit the heart.
NRR: I know that you also did a Pledge campaign for this album. I was just wondering how did you find using that form of crowd funding and would you ever do that kind of thing again?
Kobra: Yeah, I think it’s a brilliant option for artists these days and also for the people that support them because, essentially, in the end, you all made that album together to a certain degree. Really it’s the people that support you that are putting their faith in you and your capabilities and what you are going to make for them.
I thought it was really cool and it really helped us as well to be able to go into the studio right away and do what we needed to do because as people know its art so we are not really making a living, we are not even close to it yet and so we need all the help we can get to get to the next step. Yeah, it puts pressure on us too, we’ve got to make it really good (laughing).
NRR: Which track on this tour has been getting the biggest reaction?
Kobra: “TriggerPulse” people enjoy. I still feel like people are very excited for that classic song off our self-titled album “50 Shades of Evil” and I think that’s always going to be in our set, it’s just one of those songs (laughing).
NRR: Obviously, you are a classically trained singer. How did you end up singing metal and what made you change your musical direction?
Kobra: I saw Judas Priest when I was a younger teenager and that was basically the point where I thought there’s a place for me where I don’t have to sing in a classical way, I don’t have to be an opera singer, but I can use the vibrato and timbre in my voice and do something more raw that suits my personality a little more (laughing).
NRR: Obviously, you’ve got a great voice. On a long tour how do keep your voice in shape and do you have any particular vocal exercises that you adhere to or any routines that you stick to on the day of the show like not talking?
Kobra: That’s been the main one actually is not talking, not really using my voice at all, that’s the best thing I’ve found I can do for myself. I used to do scale runs, different kinds for breath extension, for different parts of my range, I only do that now if I feel like part of my range hasn’t dropped down and relaxed yet, but rarely do I warm up very much anymore because I feel like I need all the energy and freshness for the shows.
There is a special soft straw that I started to try using and you are just blowing into water, a thin layer of water inside of a water bottle and it’s something that a lot of people use out there and I only recently started to try it and it can help to really relax you without using your voice. Otherwise, sleep is very important.
NRR: You also perform guest vocals with Kamelot. What’s it like performing with those guys and do you have any plans to do anything with them again anytime soon?
Kobra: I never know when I’m going to be invited on there, it’s very spontaneous, but it was very fun, I love doing it. I also loved actually being part of the background in the band, it was something just refreshing for me, it was like kind of experiencing maybe what almost my bass player or the guitarists feels like sometimes, they are all making a picture and I just loved it. So I really hope I get to do more with them.
NRR: I think it was last year you released the Words of Prophets EP which was largely cover songs from some of the Canadian artists that you grew up with. Songs like “Black Velvet” and “Spirit of Radio” by Rush. If you could choose any band to cover one of your songs, which song and artist would you choose?
Kobra: Oh, that’s a really crazy idea, that’s so cool though. I’ve never been asked this before. Now I’m running through all of the bands, I’m like who could do a cool version of this. I don’t know why this is coming to me but I feel like actually, I would love to hear Lzzy Hale sing something, just because of her rasp and stuff, I think it would be super cool.
NRR: In terms of your own record collection at home what’s the one album you couldn’t live without?
Kobra: Ohh, Led Zeppelin “I” yeah. Actually “I and II”, and Fleetwood Mac “Rumours”, there’s a few (laughing).
NRR: What else do you have in store for the rest of this year and into 2017?
Kobra: We are going to film two music videos right after this tour ends and then we are going home and doing an acoustic set in Calgary where I’m from for some of the Pledgers. They’ve purchased a dinner, we serve them dinner and we play some of our new songs acoustically and then we listen to both albums, and that will be the year. Next year you know, release the album and hopefully just tour our butts off and get the new music in front of new faces.
NRR: What made you decide to release the album in two halves?
Kobra: Napalm actually. I always thought it was going to get out as a double album all at once, and it’s all done, it was all recorded at the same time and everything. But Napalm said, this is too much for people at once, and the way they wanted to promote it they just said you are going to have good songs go right over people’s heads because there’s too much to take in.
I mean that was a good thing actually, you know so now I think it makes sense because I don’t want people to loose some of the music because they got twenty songs all in one moment. So a six-month gap they have (laughing). You take a breath and then bam.
NRR: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us we really appreciate it.
Kobra: You are welcome. Thank you so much for having me.
â€œTriggerPulseâ€ is available for purchase via iTunes and Amazon. The first chapter of the forthcoming Kobra and the Lotus album Prevail will be released via Napalm Records in February 2017.
Kobra And The Lotus
Website | Facebook | Twitter