2015 Kobra and the Lotus interview with Kobra Paige
Canada has long been a hotbed of hard rock and heavy metal talent, but over the last few years, more and more bands are rising out of the frozen north. Calgary’s Kobra and the Lotus are among those making the biggest splash globally. Born of singer Kobra Paige’s passion for heavy music, the classically trained vocalist put the band together in 2009. The band’s debut, self-released album, Out of the Pit, made its debut in 2010.
Kobra and the Lotus caught the eyes and ears of KISS co-founder Gene Simmons who inked the band to his Simmons/Universal Label based on the strength of the material written for their second album. After signing the deal, the band went back into the studio with famed producer Kevin Churko (Five Finger Death Punch, Ozzy Osbourne, In This Moment) to record four new songs, and remix and remaster the entire self-titled effort. The album immediately turned heads in the heavy music community, and Paige’s amazing vocal prowess earned her widespread acclaim and respect. Paige earned Top Women in Hard Rock and Metal nods on Metalholic in 2013 and 2014.
In 2014, the band would enter the studio with Grammy nominated producer, Johnny K. The resultant album, High Priestess, elevated the band’s already rising status and found them touring with KISS and Def Leppard. The record ended up on many a “best of” year-end list. This year the band returned to the studio to record a special EP of cover songs celebrating iconic Canadian artists. The EP, entitled Words of the Prophets, features one song each by Triumph, April Wine, Alannah Myles, BTO, and Rush. Recently Metalholic and Metal Nation Radio sat down with Kobra Paige to talk about the new EP.
“It all started because we had been off the road for a while and wanted to do something different with the band,” offers Paige. “It’s paying tribute to some of the nostalgic music from our childhood and really this started what developed our taste. A lot of those bands were those classic rock bands. It was the first thing we heard on the radio. It was the first thing our parents played for us. So it was a really fun and great way to show our respect to those roots and be proud of where we come from. And maybe also bring some of that music back to the world again: Maybe even some places that it hadn’t reached.”
Paige talked about the process of weeding through what she considered the songs that made the biggest impact and those that could provide different flavors to the album. She also stated that she wanted to showcase the band’s diversity in the process:
“Like, ‘Sign of the Gypsy Queen’ was fun because everyone can sing—the guys can sing, and it was cool to bring back some of those harmonies. Triumph of course, we just absolutely love. It gets everyone jacked up. ‘Let it Ride” is something that makes me feel happy. Rush was so fun because it was such a challenge. We can’t really find a lot of Rush covers on YouTube so we thought, ‘what the hell’, we have to do this. There’s like nine different tempo changes in [‘The Spirit of Radio’]. It’s just ridiculous. We wanted to do it, and see if we could do it. ‘Black Velvet’ is specifically chosen because Alannah Myles really was supportive when I was younger and starting to just come into my career. She really was encouraging.”
Paige and the band toured extensively with Kiss and Def Leppard in 2014, and the experience left a significant impact on the band:
“That really was inspiring in a way that I couldn’t have been inspired if I’d never had the opportunity to do that. I think the guys felt the same way. Because we really saw some craftsmanship and magic moments that I haven’t seen in some of the music in our generation. Just things that they do that made me inspired, for instance, why we covered ‘Sign of the Gypsy Queen’. Because I saw Def Leppard playing—and their singing, and they’re just so good live. And the show was so good, and the KISS show was so good. They really gave everything they’ve got. Vivian Campbell—such an inspirational guitar player to a lot of us—and he was sick. He was so sick with cancer on that tour. And he got out there every single show. We could see him coming behind the stage and holding his head in his hands because he was so ill, and they would go out and start the encore and he would pull all the life in him he had would stand up and he would go. He would just stand in one spot, but he would make it for the fans. I thought it was so incredible.”
Kobra and the Lotus, who will spend the summer touring the U.S. and Europe, will release Words of the Prophets on August 28 through Titan Music. Paige admits the band is already looking ahead to making the next full-length studio record:
“We do have studio time booked already. February 8th is the first day we’ll be going into the studio and it’s going to be great. I’m so excited to work on another album again.”
Listen to the full interview below, pre-order your copy of Words of the Prophets now, and catch the band on tour this summer in the U.S. with Hatchet, and this fall in Europe with Kamelot and Gus G.
Words of the Prophets tracklisting:
Triumph – Lay It On the Line
April Wine – Sign of the Gypsy Queen
Alannah Myles – Black Velvet
B.T.O. – Let it Ride
Rush – The Spirit of Radio