Kobra and the Lotus: Flying High in the City of Angels
Kobra and The Lotus recently made their way back to the Southland, on a grand and massive cross country tour with Xandria and Once Human. On a rare and wonderful event where all of the metal collectives would be vast and varied – as well as fronted by charismatic female vocalists – this tour would prove to be an enlightened experience for the bands as well as the audience. As the tour was beginning to wind down to it’s conclusion, we caught up with lead vocalist Kobra Paige to discuss life on the road with Xandria and Once Human, the new Kobra and the Lotus album Prevail I on Napalm Records, previous adventures with KISS and Judas Priest, plus other topics of intrigue. Read on as we chat with Kobra Paige on their tour bus just right outside The Regent Theatre in Downtown L.A.
How has the tour with Xandria been going and what have been some of the highlights?
Well, the highlights are definitely touring with Xandria and Once Human. They’ve been really great people and Xandria have been awesome to us to be on a bus with. It’s been a very peaceful tour. It’s also been a very awesomely successful tour. People are really enjoying this package. I think it’s because it’s so diverse. It’s very fresh for anyone walking in because they hear something from one of the bands that they haven’t heard before so they’re all walking out with new music and they came to see the music they love, whoever that was for. It’s just been a real positive tour.
It must be nice to have other girls on the tour.
Yes. No it hasn’t happened so much for me. For specifically our band, we have toured only two times with other females and the most recent time was last year with Delain. That was wonderful. That was the first time we’ve toured with Amaranthe and Delain, those are my two experiences. So this has been very nice. I haven’t been on a bus with another woman, I’ve always been on a bus with like, 15 guys [laughs]. Dianne is lovely – I’ve just absolutely loved being on a bus with her.
What can one expect from a live Kobra and the Lotus show tonight?
You can certainly expect tons of energy. I feel like maybe every band says that, but we’re gonna give it to you guys and it’s gonna be so much fun. We’re playing half old music from the other albums and half from new stuff. We’ve been really jazzed and pumped up to play the new stuff. It’s just been so nice to see how everyone reacts to it every night.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the album title Prevail I?
Yes, Prevail 1, specifically is one because it’s a double album. So there is a Prevail II that was written at the same time. Coming soon! Prevail is supposed to just be, basically an ode to the human experience. The album is completely written about just feelings and people can put their own situations into them and it’s about good things and also hard things in life. We hope that it just really brings people some kind of strength when they listen to it mostly. If it can lift them up out of some hard times or encourage them and make them feel stronger. Anything. Just something positive, you know? They can prevail through their own journey…
Select any two songs from the album, what inspired the lyrics?
If we talk about songs like “Light Me Up” for instance, that song is really to do with someone that is having trouble hanging onto their life. It’s something that we’re seeing, we just saw it in the industry with Chris Cornell. It’s things like mental illness and depression that more people suffer from and keep it private then I think we know. We don’t discuss it all the time and also, there isn’t support for a lot of people out there who are suffering from different mental illnesses as well. I think it’s one for people that are, to a degree, suffering from something. A lot of them won’t ever get the help that they need and so that song is – you know, one of those songs that’s very close to the heart and very emotional. I hope people connect to that feeling that’s in there to not let go. Don’t let go. Hopefully not feel as alone.
Might as well go for something positive, “Prevail.” That was the anthem for the song. It’s the closer, it’s there just to live you up at the end of the album. It’s kind of viking-esque, it’s like here we go. We’re charging forward and everybody can do this. Let’s just go and take life by the horns kind of deal.
What was it like touring with KISS and did you get to hang out with them at all?
Yeah! It was an amazing tour. It was just a complete luxurious situation that I don’t think we’ll ever experience again. The catering was unbelievable. We heard Def Leppard and KISS play every night and the shows were incredible. The sound, the venues, it was just a totally different experience that we had never had before. On the flip side, it was probably the toughest tour we ever did in terms of trying to get people’s attention when we were opening that stage. We looked like ants on those amphitheater stages [laughs] and there were so many people there that were just scattered over such a large capacity of space when we would go on. It was really challenging to get them to pay attention to what was happening. They were just there like, woo! KISS! We’re here to party! And here we go, a bunch of kids in a nu-metal band. But it was fun and the bands were great to us. Both Def Leppard and KISS. They always came out and interacted, they told us stories about even them getting shit on when they were coming up in the industry and they were trying to encourage us like, hang in there guys even though you’re in a different generation, you gotta stick with it. We had to go through this and if we can do that, you can too. It was really cool.
Did Lemmy ever heard or comment on your cover of Ace of Spades?
No! No, I’m not sure if he ever heard it. I hope he did.
Do you have a Lemmy moment?
I never did. I saw him several times at different festivals, and I never approached him. I just didn’t know – I’m pretty shy that way. I don’t really walk up to people in the backstage areas or anything. I just kind of give them their space. I am curious, though. I am hoping he heard it at some point and thought, ah cool!
You opened for Judas Priest as well. What was that experience like?
That was super cool because Judas Priest is what got me into metal in a big way. In the way that I wanted to sing in metal and be a part of it with my own band. Judas Priest was the first band we ever supported. I thought it was interesting that of all the bands it was the band that started this metal love for me. So it was personally really sentimental and we also played in The Apollo, which is a very epic venue in London. So, it was just a really historically, awesome moment.
What goes through your mind when you find a tour like this is coming to an end?
Right now, I just kind of – don’t even know what to think. It’s kind of confusing because it feels like we just got started. This was not the longest tour, May 8th to May 31st is when we’re leaving, that’s shorter. It’s weird to me that we’re already here. I feel sad that I’m not gonna see some of these people for a while or have the same group of crew. Things like that I hate letting go of, I really love the people that we have together right now. I know, though, that there’s always more great times down the road with new people but that’s the hardest thing to let go of – the family that we have here now, here on the road.
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)
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