DATE OF INTERVIEW:
KOBRA AND THE LOTUS
4th December 2010
BRITTANY PAIGE; CHRIS SWENSON; GRIFFIN KISSACK; BRYAN BUSS; PAT LAWTEY
METAL DISCOVERY: Have you sold much merch or CDs, do you know, since playing last night?
BRITTANY: I don’t know how it’s worked for Hard Rock Hell exactly, but it’s been really great on the UK tour. Better than Canada!
(Brittany Paige on working with renowned producer Kevin Shirley)
"...it was cool because he’d never accepted a completed project to be part of before; he’d never done something like that so it was an honour."
Kobra and the Lotus outside the press room at Hard Rock Hell, Pontin's, Prestatyn, UK, 4th December 2010
Photograph copyright © 2010 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
Kobra and the Lotus Official Website:
Kobra and the Lotus Official MySpace:
KOBRA AND THE LOTUS DISCOGRAPHY
Out of the Pit (2010)
Thanks to Claire Lloyd at 7pm Management for offering, and arranging, the interview.
MD: You seem to be asked about your musical influences quite a lot in interviews but are there any writers or lyricists who inspire you to write the words you write for your lyrics? Who actually writes the lyrics in the band?
BRITTANY: I’ve written all the lyrics. I haven’t actually been influenced by writers per se. I’m influenced by what I’m seeing happening around me in the world…so a lot of it’s just written about things I want to bring awareness to, like if it’s abusive of people in any sense.
MD: Okay, I have to ask then, you have a song called ‘Teaspoon of Metal’ – what the fuck is that about?!
MD: That’s like an Anvil song title, or Spinal Tap, or something! I’m sure there’s some irony in there…
BRITTANY: Yeah, and I think the funniest part of it all is…well, of course, the album is supposed to be taken seriously but that song was like a funny tribute to 80s glam and my love for that. It’s just pure fun.
MD: So literally what it says on the tin.
BRITTANY: Yeah! [laughs]
MD: You covered ‘Ace of Spades’ on the album, but did you have any apprehensions about doing a cover on your debut album, particularly an iconic metal song like that?
BRITTANY: Yeah…er, actually no, there wasn’t really that much apprehension. We thought it’d be fun and a lot of people know it. Even people that listen to country will know ‘Ace of Spades’, you know, it’s just that song is out there for some reason, so we thought it’d be sweet to do that.
MD: It sounded great live.
CHRIS: We wanted to pay homage but still be very aggressive at the same time.
BRITTANY: And, actually, it’s played a lot faster live too.
MD: You got Kevin Shirley to re-record the vocals and remix the album for its re-release – obviously a man with a very impressive CV in production terms – how did you manage to get him involved?
BRITTANY: We actually just emailed him and we asked him if he would be interested in being part of this project. It was a surprise because he was interested, and he had ten days…he said he could come in and re-record the vocals from start to finish, and he’d remix all the guitars and do his thing, which was appreciated because we needed the broadness to come out in the music. Yeah, it was cool because he’d never accepted a completed project to be part of before; he’d never done something like that so it was an honour.
MD: Did you end up with the better vocals and better mix you hoped for?
MD: The band was only formed a couple of years ago, but a couple of you have only joined this year?
CHRIS: Yeah, Bryan and Pat have been in four or five months.
MD: That’s impressive as you seem so together live.
GRIFFIN: Yeah, we were on our four month Canadian tour and we were losing our bass player so we recruited Bryan. He’d learned the songs before we even got home, and jammed with us twice and then started gigging.
BRYAN: I literally had just started playing bass a month before that!
MD: [To Bryan] And you’re actually called Octobuss?
MD: Where does that nickname come from?
BRYAN: Well, my last name’s Buss…and, basically, a friend tagged me with it and I decided, I don’t know, I’ll go with it.
MD: Simple as that.
MD: It sounds more metal than Bryan maybe!
BRYAN: I just have a girlie name!
MD: For a metal band, maybe!
BRYAN: In another project I always use Octobuss. It’s good to have an alias, I think.
MD: So only two years in existence but have you had any mad, disastrous Spinal Tap moments on tour? Probably a few this week, I guess, from the snow…
GRIFFIN: Actually, it hasn’t been too bad. Onstage, there’s always something that can go wrong. We had an interview yesterday and we were talking about this, a show where Brittany and I both had embarrassing moments. I fell off the stage! My stall just kind of toppled right off!
CHRIS: Six to eight inches behind the stage, and there was just nothing!
MD: Any alcohol involved in that?
GRIFFIN: No, completely sober! [laughs]
MD: So no excuse there then, you just toppled!
BRITTANY: And, meanwhile, somebody else spilt beer all over the front monitor and hid or whatever, and I just completely had my face splattered. And we recorded the whole show because we were trying to see what we needed to shape up on, and you can hear no vocals for a section, and then, “uhhh, oh, shit…beep, beep, beep” and laughing!
GRIFFIN: It was a good show, regardless!
BRITTANY: Yeah, it was still awesome!
MD: Have you picked up any obsessive fans along the way?
MD: Glasgow? Why?
BRYAN: Everybody’s just a crazy, obsessive fan there. Not too clingy but it was getting that way.
CHRIS: There’s a guy back in Calgary, Doug…he must be 6 foot 7 tall, and he comes to every one of our shows, and yeah…he’s dedicated, that’s for sure.
MD: Finally, if you could choose three words to sum up your band and your music for people who will be reading this and have never heard you before, what would they be?
PAT: I would say heavy…melodic…metal.
MD: If you could choose five words?
PAT: Heavy fucking melodic…
MD: …fucking metal!
MD: If you could choose any words…a couple of sentences…
MD: For people who have read the five out of ten reviews, come one, now’s your chance…
CHRIS: A work in progress. We’re always trying to progress.
GRIFFIN: We’re constantly progressing. I mean, on the new album too, the songs we’ve been writing have just gone to a different level as well so it’s really exciting for us to be here, to be playing, to be going back to Canada and getting into the studio. We’re extremely pumped, especially having Pat and Bryan too, because we’re gonna be writing so much new stuff. By the time we get to the studio, we’re probably gonna have two album’s worth and pick out the best ones.
MD: Cool, good final words. Right, thank you very much for your time.