Monday, March 9, 2015

Iron Kobra Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
1. Not that much,actually. We were always busy mixing and mastering the album, finishing the layout of the CD and now it's almost there. We're busy with our personal lives as well, that's always a pain, haha. But we already started thinking about our next release, a 7" which will hopefully come out later this year.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
2. The new album starts where the last one ended. Our songwriting ability vastly improved during our first album, and I think you can hear the difference. But it's not like the music or attitude changed, we just went back and asked ourselves "What is Iron Kobra music really about?". A lot of bands have several goods songs and some fillers ont heir albums, we wanted to avoid it and give people a very compressed version of our music. To quote Antoine de Saint Exupéry: "It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove." This was our guideline all along. For the sound of the album, we wanted to keep it very organic, it should sound like a live session and not like as sterile and modern as many bands like it today. People should listen to the record and be uncertain if it was recorded in 2015 or 1975.

3.This is the first album to be released in 3 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time period?
3. After we recorded our first album Dungeon Masters, we were heavily focused on writing our second album. Some people complained that we used too many songs from our demos on it, so we wanted to give people a whole new set of songs that represent our musical style at the time. For every song, we needed a couple of weeks or even months to finish them, we wanted to get every small detail perfect, so it took a lot of time. We were also busy playing some amazing live shows which gave us even less time for writing songs. In the end of 2014, we finally went to the Förderturm Musik studio in our home town Gelsenkirchen and recorded the damn thing. Mixing and mastering also took a lot of time then, again, we didn't want to leave a single detail to chance.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
4. The lyrical themes are essentially the same: just whatever we like! We were never focussed on a single topic. However, we wanted to put the low-Fantasy theme a bit more in the foreground with this album. We are fans of Robert E. Howard's or Michael Moorcock's writing, so that should be reflected. But of course it also features classical topics such as Heavy Metal, youth culture, Satanism and so on, but all on a very basic level. We don't want to dictate people what they should think or tell them stories they already know, we want to get them thinking and discussing about our music.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Iron Kobra'?
5. It dates back to very early times. Lord Python and Sir Serpent already played in another band which was essentially a Black Metal/Pagan Metal band. They wanted to explore the Heavy side of metal and thought of a name for that band. "Iron Cobra" is a manufacturer of drum equipment, so they got the idea from that, changing the C to K to reflect our German origin.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
6. That's a tough question as we played dozens of amazing shows! Of course, our adventures outside of Germany have always been very special to us, the fans in Portugal, Italy, Spain or Netherlands are simply amazing. The best one was probably our first gig in Italy. it was at an amazing underground metal fest with a lot of Italian bands and also NWOBHM legends TANK. We went there by bus, with 50 German friends of us, and had an amazing party.
Our stage performance is pretty.. wild, i guess. We never planned what we do on stage and just go with the flow. I would say no Iron Kobra show resembles another because always something weird happens. But we just live with it and love it.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
7. We don't plan a tour for the new album, as our works and finances simply don't allow it at the moment. But we already have some pretty cool gigs confirmed for this year - playing with Night Demon in Germany and at the Harder than Steel Festival which will be amazing. We also wanted to do a release gig for the new album, but our favourite venue wasn't free at the time. So hopefully, we can do it later.

8.A couple of years back you did an 'Anvil' cover, what was the decision behind during your own version of one of their songs?
8. We always were big fans of Anvil, somehow, they reflected our view on Heavy Metal perfectly. But we never quite got the chance to do a cover of them. One day, Bart gabriel approached us and asked if we wanted to be part of an upcoming Anvil tribute sampler and of course we agreed immediately! We did a cover of Mothra, probably our favourite song of Metal on Metal. It also gave us some new ideas to experiment with in our own music.

9.The new album was released on Dying Victims Productions, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
9. This is a very personal story. Florian Grill, owner of the label, has been a long time friend of us. When he started Dying Victims Productions in 2009, he asked us if he can release our first demo on tape which was a huge honour for us. Our collaboration didn't end there, he also released our EP and first album and we plan to work with him ons everal other releases in the future as well. We got some offers from some larger labels, but we decided "Fuck them!". Flo is not only our label boss, but a very dear friend. He is the perfect mixture between professionalism and keeping the spirit.

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of metal?
10. Of course, our main group of fans hails from Germany, but we always get amazing feedback from bands and people from all over the world. It's amazing to see people with so different cultural backgrounds working together, collaborating, trading stuff etc. Underground metal is not dead and in some places in this world it's really big. So the feedback has been pretty good, haha.

11.What is going on with some of the other musical projects or bands these days that some of the band members are a part of?
11. Lord Python and Sir Serpent are half of the band known as "Iron Thor", a cover band of the Canadian rock warrior THOR. They play a lot of live shows and I would recommend everybody to go to one of their shows as it's just a lot of fun.
Lord Python's other band, Warhammer, had some line-up changes now. They have a new bass player, a new drummer and a new additional guitar player. They played their first gig in this line-up recently and it was really good.
Sir Serpent also has another band which is just getting started. It's based on the German Thrash metal band "Destroyer", but when Sir Serpent joined them as singer, they decided to change name and the musicla style a bit. We'll see what comes from there"
Finally, Ringo Snake is session drummer in "Nucler Magick". I think they'll record their first album soon, so keep an eye open.

12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
12. I don't know. there are still a lot of lyrical topics to explore and a lot of melodies to be played. I guess we still have enough creativity to release at least two great albums. After that, we will see. We don't want to become one of those bands that release stuff only to make money. But I'm pretty excited where our journey together will lead us to in the future.

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
13. The new album has a very traditional sound and a lot of Thin Lizzy style double lead guitar parts. I don't know how that happened, it's note like we listened to more Thin Lizzy now... We're always inspired by our favourite bands, so you wills till hear a lot of Running Wild or Saxon in our music. In general, the scope of the album is a bit more epic, so the Manowar, Cirith Ungol and Manilla Road influences are bigger. But overall, what we listen to not really affects our music. Sometimes, when we listen to a lot of Hardcore or Punk music, we write faster songs, but that's about it.

14.Does Occultism or Paganism play any role in your music?
14. No. Of course, we also deal with subjects as death and fantasy, but I wouldn't call our topics occult. A lot of bands try to jump on that train and try getting famous, but that's not our way. When we deal with these topics, we always do it with a slight grin on our face, you shouldn't take it dead serious.

15.What are some of your non musical interests?
15. We are huge nerds, so we like video and board games and movies. Whenever we drive to a gig, we have discussions what our favourite games or movies are, what we have recently watched or played. I'd wish that metal in general would become more geeky again. A lot of people try to take it so seriously that it's funny again, but if we'd just let people enjoy themselves, it would be great.

16.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
16. Thanks for the interview! Don't forget, the Dungeon has opened its gates again and out came the loudest, wildest and heaviest band Germany ever brought out! Come to our shows, raise your fists, bang your heads and share a beer with us. We are born to play on ten. 'Nuff sa

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