Kobra and the Lotus – Priestess and ProphetsTuesday, 18th August 2015
Dead Rhetoric: Having the opportunity to tour abroad, where do you see Kobra and the Lotus gaining traction in terms of countries- and which do you prefer, smaller club/theater tours or the larger festival gatherings?
Paige: Oh man, I can’t actually compare those shows because we love all of them, and they are all very, very different from each other to play. The festival shows are much less intimate, but at the same time you can do things with big crowds that are so fun to do. There is strength in numbers so I find that when there are more people, they have more confidence to do things together like chant or sing with you. When you are doing the intimate gigs, it’s also magical because those are your diehard fans that come to the shows. Everyone that comes to small shows, they are there just for you so they love it. You are having an experience that is very shared.
The UK has been gaining traction for us because it’s the territory we’ve spent the most time on. And Canada is starting to grow, finally. We didn’t focus on it at all and we just came back to do the Calgary, Vancouver, and Edmonton shows a month ago and it was really successful. The Calgary show, which is a home town show was really good and it was so nice to see some local support finally coming back.
Dead Rhetoric: Looking back at the three full-length albums you’ve recorded to date, how do you assess your discography in terms of highlights and maybe areas that each differ?
Paige: Hmm. There is such different stages of the band, and it’s so fun to have a discography that you can look back on all the history and what you’ve been through and what you’ve learned. The highlight for Out of the Pit for me was having Rik Emmett come in and do a solo on “Ace of Spades”. That was a big deal for me, as I love Triumph and loved them until the end, to watch him in there doing his thing was just so epic for me. I think for the self-titled album one of the coolest things to do was create “Forever One”. It was the first organic songwriting process for us that happened in the studio, which was a totally different experience for me. To make something inside the studio, on the spot and under pressure, everyone was using their creative minds and that was awesome. And High Priestess – was just such a great experience all around. I really clicked with Johnny K, and that was my best production experience with a producer. The way he opened my mind and the way he pushed me to my limits. I had never been so frustrated in my life doing an album. He frustrated the crap out of me, because he always pushed, always pushed- and he was so frank all the time. He knew I could do this better, re-write all the lyrics again- but he always made things better. High Priestess was amazing.
Dead Rhetoric: When looking at your life, has there been any particular moment when you think about where you were able to breakthrough a certain challenge or barrier that may have been imposed either mentally or physically?
Paige: Yes, there are moments when I look back and think, there was a time in that tour where I thought I can’t do this. This is not going to be possible and my spirit was completely broken, and then I made it through the situation. It’s amazing to look back on those things, I can’t actually imagine not doing this because I’m too passionate about it so it takes a lot to get me to that point, I very rarely reach that point. There was a moment on the Fear Factory tour in 2012 – the chemistry had become so toxic and corrupt within the band, and we were still a young band, even younger then. We had worked with some people that made it a toxic environment. We had a tour manager that brought out a lot of the worst in a lot of people, and it became a nightmare. We were on the road for two months in a bus on top of each other. There were some shows where I was crying really hard, and I just had to suck it up and go right on stage and put it all aside because people don’t deserve that, they didn’t come here for that. I look back on that and say ‘Yeah, I made it through!’. We’ve experienced some bad people- it’s an industry that has a lot of crooks in it. It’s something usually that you can only learn by having experiences that it doesn’t happen to you again.
Dead Rhetoric: You already have studio time booked in February 2016 for the next album – how have the writing sessions gone and do you foresee different dynamic nuances coming into play again based on musical chemistry and what you’ve been exposed to over these past couple of years?
Paige: Totally. This album I am so excited about because it’s going to be very different in a lot of ways. Not sonically necessarily but in the way that I really want to work with the band in a different way. We are going to go there and write a lot of the album in the studio like they used to do in the 70’s and 80’s. Where you just lock yourselves down and you just jam, record everything. We are going to take a very different approach to it and lean on each other a lot. I’m nervous to do it this way.
Dead Rhetoric: Growing up when rock bands were able to sell out 10,000-20,000 seat arenas, worry sets in about the state of heavy metal when a lot of the older acts retire. Given the current climate, what will it take for the next generation of musicians to ascend to that level?
Paige: Oh… there are always going to be bands that hit the mark, but I think they are going to be more rock bands. Muse and The Foo Fighters will hit that capacity to fill the arenas but for metal I’m not convinced it will be possible for there to be bands now that are like the bands that will be retiring. I think it’s going to be double headlining and triple headlining things that are the way our generation will be able to do things.
Dead Rhetoric: You’ve made some great videos through the years – my favorite being “Soldier” from your last album High Priestess. Were the battle sequences based on any particular true life event?
Paige: No, they weren’t. They were set up that way specifically to become attached to the main guy, which was to show his benevolence. We were trying to dramatize that benevolent and selfless act of just sacrificing your life. Showing that there are a lot of people out there dying every day, hopefully to have an emotional response come out of that video to remind people. For my personal self, I don’t pay it very much thought and it is happening. There are people losing people every day because they are fighting for our freedom, and have fought for our freedom. We live in a really great country, and this isn’t something that’s specific just to Canada, it’s all over the world happening.
Dead Rhetoric: What activities do you like to engage in for downtime/relaxation away from music?
Paige: I love to hike and rock climb and kick box. Anything that involves moving my body, I thrive off that. After this last UK tour I went straight to Romania and backpacked in the mountains for 2 weeks. That was awesome and restorative for me.
Dead Rhetoric: Can you let us know what the next 12 months look like for Kobra and the Lotus in terms of touring and promotion – as I know you are doing some short excursions in North America and abroad?
Paige: The next year or so is looking like, touring these West Coast dates, and then doing a European tour with Kamelot. I’m not sure if anything will happen for the end of November and early December, we are still waiting on that. The New Year will be focused on doing the new album, and then we will start touring on that, probably in June. That’s what it is looking like so far. We have some surprises coming, to scatter about through the next eight months. We have some singles we will release, and vinyl as well.
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