Kobra and the Lotus – Prevailing OnwardSunday, 7th May 2017
Dead Rhetoric: How do you feel about the development of Kobra and the Lotus on the touring front in the United States? Is this country truly the hardest one to conquer in metal due to the sheer size and time commitment necessary, and what circumstances need to take place for building a healthier, steadier following?
Paige: Touring is so hard, because one of the biggest obstacles I find is actually letting your fanbase know you are there and in the city. Facebook was a really big and important platform at one point when flyers were becoming not what people did anymore. We used to have flyers that we pasted around the city when we started the band, and it became Facebook and digital marketing. Facebook is now an algorithm – your post doesn’t even get seen by all of your fan base, which is just so sad. So that’s the biggest obstacle- it’s not actually gaining the support, we have really seen the support growing organically with all of our effort. Letting the people know we are there has been the hardest part- I think the hardest country to break has been Canada for us. Canada was not a country for us to initially be accepted in- Toronto was the only city that really paid attention to us in the beginning. Other than that, there was no love- even in my home city (Calgary). Now it’s changing, but it’s taken us seven years until we came back and saw some support in my home city, which is really ironic. The states I think is actually one of the best places. I love it, I think it’s great- it’s just that one obstacle, which is a massive one.
Dead Rhetoric: You mention in a recent interview discussing mental health with New Noise Magazine using mindfulness to help cope with people who are struggling or stepping outside of yourself to develop an empathetic viewpoint. Could you expand your thoughts upon this concept, as far as what’s worked for you not only within your family but also in terms of the band and fan engagement when it comes to mindfulness?
Paige: Absolutely. It really has been helpful for me if I can try really hard to step back from a reaction that I initially have before thinking about maybe that there’s some other reasons why that other person did their action. It helps, it makes it easier to cope with being a human actually. At least for myself, now when things happen I really try to be more curious about it. I think about what made them how they are, and the fact that actually I really have no idea. Definitely having these personal experiences with mental health in my family was a big help for me and forced me to explore. The people that have affected me in my life, ultimately I love them so much I needed to find a way to have them in my life and not have our negative interactions start to be what the foundation becomes in our relationship. So that took a lot of exploring- just being with myself and saying ‘okay- what is the truth and what is belief’. That is massive, so many times its belief- there’s no truth in what I’m thinking, there’s no truth in speculating. It really diminishes a lot of the power of the negative emotions and interactions if you can pull yourself out of that. It’s a constant struggle daily, we are all humans and we can all be hurt by things. I have hurt people as well, but having that realization and trying to be mindful about it, helps to bring the level of compassion and positivity up again.
Dead Rhetoric: Does it still feel like gaining a proper grasp of the changes within the music industry is an on-going, learning experience for yourself and the band? What tools do you sense are going to be necessary or mandatory to master in the long term?
Paige: I honestly feel like, no- we still haven’t grasped it. It’s like trying to keep up with a cheetah! That’s how it feels. I don’t know how it works half the time, and we are still trying to find new tools to get our name out there, our music out there- any way we can for people to hear that we exist. It’s really challenging. The only thing that I’ve found mostly helpful right now is interacting with the people that are really there for you and care about you. For me that’s being a very active participant and paying attention to that network that is growing- because that loyalty really happens. I feel a big responsibility to everything that is provided to us by these people around the world who come together and support what we are doing. That’s been the most important thing- being active inside social media and interactive above all of it. Everyone has a different approach- that’s just my perspective, I find it’s been the most important thing for our band and keeping its presence alive and appreciated. I’m scared for what happens when there is something after Instagram- because Facebook is a challenge, so Instagram seems more important. And that’s still just a small number of people that love music in the world. It’s puzzling and frustrating.
Dead Rhetoric: I can imagine. Especially since many in the younger generation want to stream their music rather than necessarily owning the music. It’s hard for me growing up on vinyl, tapes and CD’s to understand how people would prefer streaming as a favored platform for music consumption.
Paige: It is. I don’t know how that even happened – this actual loss in what is necessary to support the arts out there. It’s really something that should be important. I love Spotify, and I make playlists for myself all the time- but at the same time right now we are experiencing with the track “You Don’t Know” it’s important for active radio stations to see that people are downloading the music, but the younger ones aren’t downloading it because they are just playing it on Spotify. They are not getting that number and that is something that is so critical for them to move forward. Even though people are loving the music, as you said it’s just not what happens. I don’t know how you change that. It’s like people have to re-teach that value or something. It’s something that is really lost- this may sound a little off base but I feel there’s a sense of entitlement that has been increasing since my generation and all the ones younger than me. I see this entitlement to things that people don’t have to work for, it’s an expectation almost because we have so much more freedom now in our generation. My life is so much different from my parents even, they had to work and work hard, had kids earlier. I am even now focusing on my arts, I have a very free life compared to them and it’s a massive blessing. It’s also provided some kind of cultivation for some other monster that’s been growing a little bit.
Dead Rhetoric: What are your feelings on YouTube and the visual medium for the band?
Paige: I still think YouTube is very important. I think that visual aids for people an experience that is always going to be important. That’s why we do a lot of music videos, I think it makes things more interesting in a whole new way. Some people are more visual than in any other sense, so I don’t think YouTube is affecting anything in a negative way, I think it’s a positive thing- I love it. I am a big advocate.
Dead Rhetoric: What are your expectations regarding this upcoming North American tour with Xandria and Once Human – do you believe this diverse tour package could help Kobra and the Lotus hit different fringes of fans because of the mix of styles?
Paige: I think it absolutely could. I think that this is a very interesting and strong touring package. I’m personally so excited for it- I think all the bands are awesome and people are going to come and be introduced to a lot of new things. Find things that they haven’t heard before and possible like more. One of the cool things about this tour is we are seeing how well Kobra and the Lotus has actually been doing in terms of people hearing us, because this is the most success that we have had with ticket sales. I was not expecting this, as Toronto is already a sold-out show. That is really encouraging, that we are a part of this happening.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you see the rest of 2017 and early 2018 looking for the band- obviously part two of Prevail will hit the streets later this year; will there be more videos, touring, special appearances, products, maybe more acoustic oriented action?
Paige: Absolutely. We are going to be doing a lot of different things this year. We will be doing some festivals, more tours, and we are going to be releasing several visual things that we haven’t done before on the other albums. This has the most prolific amount of different mediums- the first album with vinyl, and there will be so many things to keep this fun and interesting as we go along with the release. The acoustic thing, it’s interesting that you brought that up because we are going to be playing acoustically with several radio stations and try to also hopefully do some cool things for people that enjoy our music. More interactions in a more diverse way. We will do more music videos in the summer for Prevail 2 – so that we can be prepared for that too when that launch comes.
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