Kobra And The Lotus interview (10/2009)

With: Brittany Paige, Griffin Kissack, Matt Van Wezel, Chris Swenson, Ben Freud
Conducted by: Doc G., ThePhotoMan (in person)
Published: 06.10.2009

Band profile:

Kobra And The Lotus

Kobra And The Lotus - a relatively new band to the local Calgary metal scene, within the past few months has been receiving a considerable amount of promotion that has turned a lot of heads. I decided to sit down with the band before their performance opening for Stratovarius to learn a few things about what is undoubtedly going to be a big name in Canadian metal.

Brittany Paige - Vocals
Matt Van Wezel - Guitars
Chris Swenson - Guitars
Ben Freud - Bass
Griffin Kissack - Drums

Luke: Ok, so first off, you guys are a fairly new band - let's hear a brief bio of what you guys are about.

Chris: Metal man...guitar riffs. Soaring vocals.

Matt: Our first album is coming out, it's all about the old classic 80's sound for the most part. We've also got a bit of a newer sound in there as well as far as the music goes...

L: So in-depth, what can people expect to hear from the debut album?

Brittany: A mix between hard rock and metal. It's musical in a power metal way, but there's lots of rocky riffs.

Matt: Lot's of classical influence.

Brittany: Yeah, classical singing. Some power metal singing.

L: Was there any specific bands or albums that really impacted you during the writing process?

Chris: Guitar-wise probably ...And Justice For All, Master Of Puppets. Megadeth too.

L: So where did you guys come up with the band name "Kobra And The Lotus"?

Chris: Actually it was Brittany - it was a mix of a few names, she could tell you about that...

Brittany: Well we first called "Lotus", then we had a new drummer and he wanted to change the name to something more masculine. So then it was "Metal Bomb"

Chris: That was a week! For a week we were "Metal Bomb."

Brittany: Then it accidentally slipped onto a bill, at one of the shows at The Stetson. Then we switched it to Kobra with a "K." Then when we searching Itunes when recording our album we were looking for all the domains for Kobra and everything we need for the release of the album. Someone was rapping under the name "Kobra" in Montreal, so all our dreams were shattered. So we put the two names together - it worked out for the better because now we've got the girls and guys in there...

Matt: Our first name was "Judas Cradle". You have to look that up when you get home to figure out what that means.

Brittany: I was pretty horrified.

Chris: Yeah, it's actually pretty inappropriate considering we have a girl singer.

L: You've probably seen in metal lately a lot of new bands wanting to play a lot of old-school style stuff, how do you guys separate yourselves from all the overly derivative, generic crap that's coming out these days?

Matt: I guess just don't pay attention and do what you do.

Chris: Yeah I guess that's the easiest way to put it. Don't even look at what those guys are doing and just do what you want to do I guess.

Matt: At the same time, if we're listening to a song and we hear something that catches us, we'll go back to it and try to come up with idea from it. Usually we just sit down, figure our stuff out, Brittany does her thing, just working together a lot.

L: Speaking of separation, you've probably noticed around Calgary a good portion of the bands are very technical-prog type stuff, what gave you the inspiration to do something more basic and stripped down?

Chris: I think it was our song writing and playing skill at the beginning. Maybe we weren't even able to do stuff like that - come up with the complex rhythms and stuff like that. We just like to have fun on stage too, just play stuff that gets people pumped.

Matt: Yeah, funny thing about the new album is it's what we could do back then - when we wrote it. Actually it was a long time ago when we wrote most of the songs on the new album...we kind of think of it as the old album.

L: According to my sources you guys have only been together as a band for 9 months and you've already got UK dates booked, does this whole push seem a bit surreal happening so quickly?

Brittany: [Laughs] No! Not natural at all!

Chris: I think whenever anybody starts a band they expect that kind of stuff, but at the same time they don't expect that kind of stuff to happen right away. Obviously you're hoping for that, but in a way...

Brittany: The push is awesome, but the push is crazy. I think we feel like we're streaming along on the end of it trying to keep up with it. It's also like "This is happening, the this happens..." and we're sort of like "What the hell? Why is this happening?"

Chris: So much work...

Matt: We're already finding we don't have enough time to do everything we need to do. We're just starting, it's crazy!

From Left to right; Ben - Bass, Chris - Guitars, Griffin - Drums, Matt - Guitars, Brittany - Vocals

L: I also noticed you [Brittany] have something booked with Metal Hammer Magazine, whats that all about?

Brittany: They are doing a "Metal Maidens" calendar for 2010. The guy from Metal Hammer that is putting it together found our band - I don't know how, but he really liked it. He just got a hold of us and said "Can we have your metal maiden on one of our months?" So I did a photo shoot and I'm going to be one of the months for the Metal Hammer magazine calendar.

Griffin: [Whistles]

Brittany: Yeah that's kind of weird, people having pictures of me up for a year...

Griffin: On some mechanics wall...

Band: [Laughs]

L: I've also looked into some of your individual myspace pages and noticed some of you do other various projects around Calgary, what made you decide this was the band to push? Or do you still maintain your other projects the same way?

Griffin: Well for me, in terms of the previous projects I was in, they were sort of slowing down. Everything was pretty slow at the time, then when I heard about these guys we jammed and I enjoyed what was going on, I love playing live with them.

Matt: He [Griffin] fit in so good we forgot to tell him he was in the band...

Griffin: [Laughs] Yeah, they really didn't tell me what was going on.

Chris: He just showed up.

Matt: Eventually he was just like "So I'm in the band then? Is that whats going on?"

L: Might be a hard decision - but say you had to get someone into your band, and you could only show them one song, which one would it be? Which one represents Kobra And The Lotus the best?

Matt: Wow....I think live, I'd say 'Cynical Wasteland'.

Griffin, Brittany & Chris: Yeah, 'Cynical Wasteland'.

Brittany: Or the ballad...'The Ballad Of Jane Doe'

Ben: I know for me, 'Ride Like Sugar' was awesome for me when I auditioned. That was the song that I was really excited to show off.

Matt: I would have to go with 'Cynical Wasteland' myself, I think it's the strongest song overall.

Brittany: Yeah, it's the most anthem-like song. People can catch on to the words really fast...

Matt: We hear a lot people dedicate it to other people on the internet too.

Griffin: I think live too it's got a ton of energy.

Chris: It's the most driving too.

L: Okay, so before we do the final statements, is there any Spinal Tap moments so far, for any of the sadists out there reading?

Matt: Shut up!

Band: [Laughs]

Matt: I'm telling it! I want to tell it right! We were in Edmonton a few days ago, we went out to get some air, and this guy was out there. Britt and her mom bought some shoes off this guy earlier that day, I recognized him so I said "Hey, hows it going?" That was it. Then I walked away and started talking to Chris and Ben. He then just comes up to me, puts his arm around my shoulder, and opens up his mouth - he wanted to go in for a wet-one! I didn't go for it though - underline that! I did not go for it! If you could write this in there - I'm flattered guys, but I don't swing that way...But if any ladies want to grab me by the shoulders - anytime!

L: Okay, so wrapping things up, it's time for the obligatory "Any last words for the MetalStorm readers?"

Brittany: Yeah, stay true to yourself.

Matt: We're coming.

Brittany: Oh yeah, that too.

Chris: I don't know...buy our album!


*Special thanks to Susan Bullen of KobraMusic for setting up the interview
*Photos courtesy of James Frayn-Wilks


Posted on 06.10.2009 by Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 183 users
06.10.2009 - 09:50
Fat & Sassy!
Enjoyable interview.

"Luke: Ok, so first off, you guys are a fairly new band - let's hear a brief bio of what you guys are about.
Chris: Metal man...guitar riffs. Soaring vocals."

*That* is a good attitude to have. Judging by their MySpace songs, they sound like a promising upcoming heavy metal band.
You do you, brozzio.
06.10.2009 - 10:42
Doc. Get me Brit's phone number next time. Thanks.
06.10.2009 - 22:19
Heaven Knight
If nothing else (gotta check out first), i like the band's name

edit: the singer sounds regularly like chipmunk...
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


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