Kobra and the Lotus’ overall sixth studio album Evolution was released on September 20th via Napalm Records (order here). Their latest effort shows a groovier side compared to their double record Prevail I and Prevail II. This new edge has brought the group to support Sebastian Bach’s special 30th Anniversary tour for Skid Row’s debut album. At first, one would think to see Kobra and the Lotus open for Bach as an odd combination. However, their stellar stage presence shows it doesn’t matter who they open for as they can fit with just about anyone in the hard rock and metal scene. We recently caught up with vocalist Kobra Paige to discuss Evolution, following-up on her Lyme disease recovery, and more.
Evolution is the third album you released within three consecutive years. Was any of this material used from the I Prevail sessions, or how was the process for this one?
This is a good question. Actually, none of the material on this record was from the past at all. It was all created inside the studio with our producer, Elvis. [Michael “Elvis” Baskette – Alter Bridge, Linkin Park, Slash Sevendust].It was myself, Ronny Gutierrez, Jasio Kulakowski, and Elvis. We wrote for five weeks solid, all in that room until we felt we had the material. We had very firm goals in place for this record, sonically. Particularly to integrate the hard rock with metal and define ourselves one step further to what the hell is Kobra and the Lotus because we have a lot of flavors. And I think we did it. None of that was from previous stuff, and it couldn’t have been, I don’t think.
I do hear a variety of flavors, and I also see it live. Can you share some of themes on the album?
Absolutely. The record itself is about the evolution as an individual, and also as the band. I wrote from a very raw place of expressing my honest truth about my journey so far. Not just as a person, but also as a woman inside this industry pushing a band. I am the founding member, and the force driving the ship in the background. There’s a lot of me coming into my own as well as a woman on this record. Such as “Thundersmith.” It’s a track for empowering people.
It’s really about realizing how important it is to live authentically and be proud of who you are. And start to stand beside yourself in doing that. And it took me this long. But I think that’s what your 20s are for. There’s also been a lot of music to get there. Other things on the record are a little more emotional. Such as “Wash Away,” where maybe there’s grief in your life that is so hard to get through, you don’t know how you’re going to get through it. You know you will somehow because you’ve gone through things in the past, but in that very moment, you’re just praying for a new chance to start again and take whatever’s happening away, so that you can move through and move on with your life.
I would say it’s quite a deep album. I refer to critical things, what I believe, topics that need to be addressed in today’s society, such as social media, and how out of control I think it is right now. “We Come Undone” is bout that. It’s about how we’re already vain creatures as it is, but there’s a monster that needs to be fed more now that we have these platforms. And it’s becoming not just a problem for, I think, people to find tools to reground themselves and remember who they are and remember what really matters. I can get lost in it, too, and I find we can make ourselves sick.
I think it’s important to put a little spotlight on that. I do think it has changed the game for music, as well, because we don’t have street teaming anymore. We’re now in a place where people look at their phones to get updates and see what’s going on. There are algorithms. It’s become this crazy world that I don’t even know how to navigate.
Things have definitely gotten crazy. Moving back to “Thundersmith,” I wanted to say that song is a pure example the wide range you guys have. It shows an edgy side. In a way, it’s a mix between Lita Ford and Halestorm. That’s what I heard when I listened to it. I wanted to ask you, what does the song sound like to you, personally?
To me, it sounds like, honestly, my essence. I think that it’s so groovy, and the guy’s really also brought the grooves with the music, too, which was wonderful. I have a lot of soul in my voice, and I haven’t expressed myself that way, publicly, yet. But it’s there, and it’s very natural for me. If I have an attitude, that’s where it lies. That’s where my fierceness comes from. It felt so like me. That was one of those songs when the music started to come together, the lyrics and vocals just came off my tongue. It was like, yeah. I feel true in this song.
We had spoken during Prevail II and I wanted to say, because I’m also someone who struggles with extreme fatigue and had Lyme disease and I still find your story very inspiring. Last time we spoke, you had mentioned the Prevail recording sessions were difficult for you due to experiencing exhaustion and short memory loss. I wanted to know how have things been for you since, and are you still struggling with this?
Well, first of all, I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with that.
It was like six years ago, but fatigue is ongoing.
Yeah. I know, I understand. I’m doing very well now. I have to be very careful. I’m sure you understand that. Your immune system is much more fragile. I’ve found at least mine is, ever since then, and I have to be very careful about what I do with myself, what I eat if I don’t sleep enough. I have had a lot of problems with my gut since I’ve been treated taking many antibiotics. It’s been tough to heal. I think I’m allergic too. It’s ridiculous. It shouldn’t be that way, but it just became leaky and inflamed. Otherwise, though, I have my whole life back. I’m grateful for that. My memory has fully returned. I don’t have problems thinking, and I feel very fortunate that I got treated.
How did you land supporting Sebastian Bach on tour?
We were looking for a tour for the new record. And this is what came into our vicinity from our agent. All of us love Skid Row. We were like, “All right, let’s do it.” We think we have the hard rock edge that’s on our side, especially this new album to play for this audience, as well. We just took it as a good opportunity, we were hoping.
What plans do you have later this year?
I wish I had something to tell you. This has been a popular question because everyone overseas is wondering when we’re coming back. I don’t know. This is the first time where I feel like the unknown is what’s out there. Our band is one of those bands that’s been trapped under the surface at a certain level for a long time. Even though it may appear different from the outside, we are stuck in a place that is becoming tough to sustain. I don’t have the answer, and we’re hoping that it’s not over yet.
You released a great album three years in a row. You can’t give up now.
Thank you. We haven’t thrown in the towel yet, but someday we either got to be cut a break somehow, or it just isn’t possible to do what we do, you know?
Keep following your passion.
Thank you. The intentions are definitely there.
Is there anything you want to say or add?
Thank you guys for supporting live music. Thank you for supporting the artists that you enjoy. And if you listen to music, please choose to either purchase the music, or stream it from a legitimate platform, because it makes a difference to us artists out there. And it’s not about some money coming into us. It’s about promoters seeing the numbers so that we can be given opportunities to come out and see you again. We need people to put that little effort in. It’s not even about buying the record. It’s about using legitimate platforms. Thank you so much.
Check out photos from Kobra and the Lotus’ performance at Sony Hall in NYC on September 25th, 2019 below: