KOBRA AND THE LOTUS are a band from Canada who released their self-titled album on Spinefarm Records in the UK back in August 2012, toured with Buckcherry recently and played Hard Rock Hell in Wales. The album is highly recommended and we were very impressed when we saw them playing in Glasgow recently. We did our best to encourage them to come over to N Ireland when they tour again, but in the meantime lead singer Kobra Paige agreed to do a quick interview for Rock Radio NI.


Kobra And The Lotus are : Kobra Paige on vocals, Jasio Kulakowski and Charlie Parra Del Riego on guitars, Pete Dimov on bass and Griffin Kissack on drums.



NI ROCKS – Kobra, thanks for taking some time to answer a few questions for Rock Radio NI. You’ve just completed a heavy schedule of touring across Europe and North America. Did you get much time to unwind and spend some time with family over Christmas and the New Year?

KOBRA We were very fortunate to make it home right on time for the holidays. We have a few months put aside specifically for writing right now, so we are getting plenty of time to rest up!




NI ROCKS – The recent UK dates incorporated a tour supporting Buckcherry and an appearance at the Hard Rock Hell Festival in Wales.  Have you already noticed an upturn in awareness and support for the band on the back of that tour?

KOBRA Every time we come back to the UK we see another shift forward in support. This tour, we really started to notice people knowing the words to our songs. That was a very surreal feeling!



NI ROCKS – Any specific highlights for you from that tour?

KOBRA The coolest thing about this tour was that it was a new challenge. We weren't playing to a particularly heavy metal demographic. Every night we went out there wanting to show everyone that metal could be for them too. It was nerve wracking, exciting and exhilarating!



NI ROCKS – Support bands can frequently suffer from poor turnout as some people don’t come into gigs before the main act – something I’ve always failed to understand, but I suppose support bands have gotten used to. However, judging by the gig in The Garage in Glasgow that we attended, you were getting pretty strong support. Was that reflected throughout the tour?

KOBRA We didn't know what it was going to be like coming into the tour. We had the mindset that whether it was 2 people or 1000, we were going to give the best show we were capable of. Much to our surprise, there were full rooms for us all the way across the tour! We couldn't believe it! Amazing!


NI ROCKS – I thought that the band had a great stage appearance and persona and delivered a performance rather than just playing songs, which was fantastic. That obviously demands a lot of the lead singer but the band in general gel very well, particularly given that there are two fairly new members.

KOBRA- Thank you very much. We put a lot of thought, effort and evaluation into new members coming into the band. Chemistry is extremely important, especially live. Just like you said, it is just as much about the performance as it is about the music. The live show needs to make people want to come back.



NI ROCKS –  It was great to see that KATL and The Howling who were opening the show both gave up some time to mingle with fans, pose for photos and sign CDs after the gig. Do you think that the importance of that personal interaction with fans is something that the “bigger” bands sometimes lose sight of?

KOBRA I think bigger bands handle it in ways they feel are appropriate for themselves. I've seen many great fan efforts by some of the big bands but there is only so much they can do when there are 40 000 people wanting to talk to them in every city! I love interacting with the crowd after. Every single person counts and I want to hear what they have to say. I also want them to know how much we appreciate their support. We're only there because of them in the first place!



NI ROCKS – The last year has been a fairly successful one for the band. Signing with Universal at the end of 2011 has obviously been a big springboard for the band. I believe that Gene Simmons had some involvement there. What is the story behind that?

KOBRAIt has been a complete year of awesome insanity. He was brought into the picture via Mark Spicoluk, the Universal Rep at the time. Mark had been keeping his eye on us for quite some time. As soon as we brought him the debut album, he thought it was time for the music to be introduced to Gene. It turns out it was right up Gene's alley! I went to meet him within a few days after that happened and now he's my team mate. Holy sh**!



NI ROCKS – The new self-titled album was released in Europe through Spinefarm Records in August and has been getting some great reviews. Tell us a little about the making of the album and the progression from your debut “Out of the Pit”.

KOBRA After touring our very first album, we learned a lot about ourselves as individuals and as a band. We got to see how the crowd reacted to certain things. What turned them on and what fell flat.  We also learned more about what makes a composition stronger. We needed some major shifts. It took a lot of ripping rock'n roll history apart and looking at why certain songs, people, and bands hit it on the nail for people. This newly released album reflects our first creation with this new attitude and sound. We became much more close to the sound we feel represents the band as well. We are still learning!


NI ROCKS – The deal with Universal has obviously allowed you to produce some great videos for some of the tracks from the new album. How crucial do you think those are in helping to promote the band and have you enjoyed working on those or is it more a case of something that has to be done?

KOBRA I personally love doing videos. I think it's great to put a visual to things. For me, it's all about the live show. Listening to an album is one thing but why not also show people the physical form of the energy as well!



NI ROCKS – Kobra, you’ve a classical music training I believe. The vocals on the new album are outstanding, whether it be the hard hitting “Forever One” or the slower “Sanctuary”. How much of that classical training impacts or is reflected in the tracks on the album?

KOBRA You know, I am grateful every single day for that classical training. Not only did it teach me to read music but it made me very sensitive to paying attention to pitch and breath support. I want the most power I can get out of my vocal chords but that requires knowing where and when to put my breath behind it. I would recommend lessons to all vocalists. It is going to be my saving grace to vocal preservation as well.



NI ROCKS – Were you the student with the leather jacket playing Iron Maiden rather than listening to Verdi and Puccini? I’m guessing that you’re one of those people who has a general love of music of all kinds? What music did you grow up listening to?

KOBRA I do love music of all kinds. There are elements you can learn from every kind if you open your mind. When I was young, I grew up listening to Queen, The Beatles, and Nina Simone while my dad played Bach on the piano all night. These are all very different kinds of music from each other but completely timeless. That's a good lesson to learn at a young age. Right now I’m listening to Vivaldi and The Doors. I'm in constant need of different inspiration.


NI ROCKS – What plans do the band have heading into 2013? Are we likely to see the band back in the UK – and hopefully N Ireland?

KOBRA I hope so! We usually visit the UK a few times a year but we are focusing on North America for 2013. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed!



NI ROCKS - When I think of rock bands from Canada the obvious names are Nickelback and 80s acts like Helix, Loverboy and Lee Aaron. But I’m also aware of quite a few bands out there at the minute and we get quite a number of submissions to Rock Radio NI from Canadian bands. How would you rate the rock scene in Alberta specifically or Canada as a whole?

KOBRA I think the rock and metal scene is amazing in Canada. We have all extreme's as well. Canadians really love to rock and the crowds get really loud here!!



NI ROCKS – Finally, I always like to find out what music bands are listening to. What gets played on the stereo on the KATL tour bus and what would we find if we borrowed the band members iPods / MP3 players and hit shuffle?

KOBRAYou would find a shitload of Devin Townsend and Wintersun. We are all big fans of those bands. Then there would be: Protest the Hero, Muse, Wolf, Ghost, Vinnie Moore, Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth, Kamelot, Ensiferum, Blind Guardian, Misfits, Axewound, Chuck Berry, Rival Sons and the list is absolutely endless.



NI ROCKS – Thanks for taking some time to answer a few questions for Rock Radio NI. I hope that we can get to meet again some time in the future, maybe in N Ireland this time. All the best for 2013 and beyond!

KOBRA - Thank you!! We hope so too! Horns\m/\m/



You can find out more about Kobra and the Lotus on their website, including links for their Facebook and Twitter pages, tour dates, videos etc.



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