Kobra and the lotus are an up and coming Canadian band that is currently touring the UK. The band are being chased by major record labels, so if you haven't heard anything by them before then its only a matter of time before you do - this band is going to be big !
Festivalphoto caught up with the band before their show at the Man on the moon, Cambridge and spoke to singer Brittany Paige.
Festivalphoto: When did the band form and how?
Brittany: The band started I guess back in 2008 was when Kobra and the Lotus started, but the project began when I searched for people to play with basically and that was 2006 I believe. I put out an Ad looking for two guitar players, and I found Chris and our original guitar player Matt online. Both had similar interests in terms of music so I emailed them and they got back to me and said to come on in and we'll jam together. They were actually looking for a drummer - they weren't even looking for a singer but I wanted to play music so bad with someone, just for fun you know, so that's how it started.
Festivalphoto: You're from Calgary in Canada?
Brittany: Yes that's right.
Festivalphoto: In November 2009 you played your first UK shows to an audience of around 20 at a mini-festival in London.
Brittany: Yes that was our first experience of playing overseas and we didn't really know what to expect, we didn't really know what we were coming for, but it was fun and something really happened for us in the UK after that, so I guess you know, no matter how big the crowd is, it's always a blessing.
Festivalphoto: I believe it was just a few days before you came over that Metal Hammer printed their calendar with your photo in it.
Brittany: Yeah that was crazy because they actually found us on MySpace, so in a way Metal Hammer discovered us, so yeah that was like the coolest thing ever.
Festivalphoto: Nobody finds anyone on MySpace now.
Brittany: No, MySpace is dead. I can prove that it can work, because they found us.
Festivalphoto: The power of the internet.
Brittany: Yeah exactly.
Festivalphoto: You've had line-up changes since your first visit to the UK, what were the changes?
Brittany: Our bass player and our lead guitar player. Basically what happened is our first tour, the first big summer tour, where we did Canada twice, that was 2010. We did Canada twice touring our "Out of the put" album and we did a (United) States tour and we were just preparing to come to the UK for the second time to do our first UK tour extensively, and our bass player decided that it wasn't in his interests to live the lifestyle that a band lives and wanted to do something different which was awesome because he was honest with us and you need to be honest because this lifestyle is definitely not for everyone.
Festivalphoto: It was probably good for it to happen early on.
Brittany: Totally, because right now it's like you're committed 200% or nothing. And the lead guitar player - sometimes it just doesn't work. So we came over to the UK with two session musicians because we didn't have time to audition people and do things the right way, so we came with two session musicians and they were awesome. When we were in the studio in Spring 2011 recording our second album we put out the audition and we did the process correctly, and that's how we came about finding Pete Dimov on bass and Tim Brown for lead guitar and they're wicked you know.
Festivalphoto: In November 2009 you played to an audience of around 20 people - since then you've played a lot of shows and the second stage at Hard Rock Hell. are you surprised how fast things seem to be growing?
Brittany: In a way it's not surprising because we've played so many shows and it feels like we've been playing forever, so it just felt really good, really natural by the point it came I guess, so time is not really clicking right now it doesn't feel like this specific date it just feels like a work in progress and a giant mush of time, so in terms of the time as a specific date yeah it feels early, but in terms of what we've done, no it didn't feel early.
Festivalphoto: You were announced for this year's HRH, having gone down very well last year. Were you surprised to be asked back so soon, and are you looking forwards to it?
Brittany: We were surprised in a way in that we know that they don't like to repeat bands but we were pumped, Yeah, we're stoked to be coming back.
Festivalphoto: You recently played Hard Rock Hell Road Trip in Ibiza - how was that?
Brittany: That was killer, an amazing time, it couldn't have gone any better than it did. It was phenomenal, we played way more than we expected to play we played more than any band that played in the festival which was kind of strange but it was because there were so many cover sets so we did a Bon Scott tribute and we did a cover set for the end finale and we played our set with our music on a different day, and I actually ended up singing in a set that was thrown together one day which was completely unexpected. So it was like four times for me playing, and three for the other guys so it was a ton of times for us to get our faces in front of everyone and it was such a blast.
Festivalphoto: Is it true you didn't know you were going to do a Bon Scott tribute till you got there?
Brittany: No that's not true, we didn't know till about a week before and we were on tour in Canada thinking "oh my god" we all had the panic buttons pressed thinking "holy crap how are we going to pull this off without practicing and stuff", but we did, we did the set and it ended up being so much fun.
Festivalphoto: Your first album "out of the pit" came out in 2009, but has only recently become available in the UK. ITunes still don't sell it in the UK Are there any plans to have it available on iTunes in the future?
Brittany: Yeah September 27th 2010 I think it was released in the UK. I know it's not available in the UK iTunes - we only had a global iTunes distribution agreement. I hope we'll get it on iTunes in the UK yeah, but we're not really focussing on the first album right now, because we've got the new one.
Festivalphoto: When is the next album likely to be released and what can you tell us about it?
Brittany: Hopefully it will be out by February. The album has been finished for over a month now, mastered, album art, everything - it's a complete package, all final and we're just sitting on it.
Festivalphoto: What's the album going to be called?
Festivalphoto: I understand you're in negotiations with large record companies at the moment - its been described as a bidding war going on?
Brittany: Yeah shopping around. Well yeah we're doing what we can with the album, just sending it out there.
Festivalphoto: You're in a good position as you've got the album all ready to go as soon as you sign a deal.
Brittany: Exactly, its ours - they don't have to do anything, we've got the product ready.
Festivalphoto: You tour a lot both in Canada and the UK - do you actually get to spend much time off?
Brittany: No not really, this last year especially has just been a whirlwind and we haven't slowed down at all and I don't even know what happened. I was thinking, the last two birthdays I've had, I don't know where those years have gone, they've just blended into time you know. Our drummer is having eye surgery in August, so we need to have that month off, but that's been kind of forced on us, but it'll probably be good because a lot happens in a year that we all need to catch up on. It'll be good to be back but it'll feel weird for sure - being in our own beds and stuff.
Festivalphoto: Festivalphoto: Brittany, you were classically trained as a singer. What caused the move to metal - was it something you always wanted to do or was it something you got into later?
Brittany: Yes I was doing classical training from when I was very young, and then it wasn't my thing anymore, I wasn't interested in Opera, and I guess high school - those years of being an early teenager got me into the metal and the rock and roll. I was going to go to university actually with no intention of doing music seriously, all I knew was I loved metal, I really wanted very badly to start a metal band, and once I started singing with those guys, it was like "Oh my god, I love singing again and don't want to do anything else", and we started writing music and that was the end of university - for now anyway.
Festivalphoto: What bands would you say are your musical influences?
Brittany: Oh my god, it depends what type of music you thinking. I look at all kinds of music for production influences, guitar influences, the sounds of the music, the way we want the solos to be even if its not meant to be an attention point, just more melodic. I look at all kinds of things from the older stuff, like Iced Earth and Ronnie James Dio, stuff like that, through to folk metal, Eluvetie, Amon Amarth, you know I draw from everything I can especially classical music. Beethoven is a huge influence on my writing so if you listen for it, you can definitely hear where classical music comes into my writing. The band draws from all sorts of areas. Chris is the other main writer and he draws from a lot of the pop-rock and punk music and things like that, all the way from Green Day to meeting me at Amon Amarth, so yeah we keep our minds open.
Festivalphoto: Brittany, thanks for your time.
Kobra and the lotus website: www.kobraandthelotus.com