The UK's finest Metal Festival 2012 - 9th to 12th August.
This years Bloodstock was a great year, the weather really held out with a little rain on the Sunday but other than that it was a hot one and a great one. With a bigger attendance than last year but with 2 bigger main acts been 'Machine Head' & 'Alice Cooper' who both went down a storm, but I wasn't sure about 'Behemoth' been the headliner on the Friday. This page is a combination of 4short interviews I did at the festival so instead of having short 1 page interviews I have decided to combine the 4 into one. I hope you enjoy reading these interviews and look out for the live review very soon. Horns up metal head!! \M/.
Kobra And The Lotus hail from Canada, a new young band with some fresh and interesting ideas formed back in 2009 by female vocalist Kobra Paige mixing such influences as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio, Iced Earth to name a few. Kobra soon found Griffin Kissack (drums), Pete Dimvo (bass), Tim Vega (guitars) & Jasio Kulakowski (guitars). It wasn't long before the band recorded their debut album 'Out of the Pit' in 2010 which got the band noticed by Kiss bassist Gene Simmons and the band were soon recording their next album which was self titled released in 2012. I managed to have a chat with the beautiful sing Kobra at Bloodstock to find out more about this new band that supported Judas Priest throughout Europe and having played festivals like Download, Graspop, Wacken and now Bloodstock. Here is what she had to say:
The band was formed back in 2009, was this the only name you had for the band?
"Well I formed the band 7yrs ago but it was under a different name back then but 5yrs ago we chose the band 'Kobra and the Lotus' with my drummer Griffin so we have been in the band from the beginning. The other members have been changed a few times but it took a long time to find this final line-up and now we are really happy."
So where did you all meet? Was it in high school or the local metal scene?
"We have all been playing for many years in different bands, I was 17yrs old when I first started and I am almost 24 now and we are pretty young in our band & we are all in our mid 20's. We have all been playing music for so long now I think it has taken us a step further to get noticed and have been playing some of the biggest festivals around the world."
So who are your influences as a band?
"Oh my God! In the beginning we were very much influenced by the traditional Heavy metal bands and that is what we play straight up Heavy Metal with our own flavour in there. That would have to be the Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Iced Earth and bands like that. As we have grown up our influenced have revolved into other artists like Devin Townsend."
What's the metal scene like in Canada right now, do you see signs of improvement over the years? What Canadian bands have influenced you?
"I would have to say that I am not influenced by any bands from Canada, I think the scene in Canada is great and there is a lot of metal that keeps on growing. There is a lot of extreme metal mostly with Death & Black Metal but there is a little bit of Speed Metal popping up & Traditional Metal."
Just how many demos did the band record prior to the release of the debut album?
"Well we actually only did 1 demo which contained 3 songs which appeared on our debut album. The production on the album versions was different but there wasn't a huge difference as the music stayed the same. We have recorded 2 albums so far and at the moment we have just been touring for the new album and we are trying to grow as a band. It took a long time to evolve and a lot of touring for people to figure out who we were and our live performances is were we saw how the crowd reacted."
So who came up with the bands name?
"Well I did actually, it is my real name (Ed: No shit? Please don't spit venom into my eyes, I have no antidote lol) Haha it really is Kobra Paige, it's a different name but I really feel alive with it."
For those who don't know you're band, what was the title of the debut album and did it sell was?
"It was called 'Into the Pit', it is very different in sound and it has a baby Kobra feel to it which shows that we have potential to grow on the next album. It sounds like a underground metal album that could of come out in the early 80's. We wanted to capture that 80's vibe with the roughness thrown in as well. It sold pretty well, it was a independent release."
So let's move on and chat about the new album, which is self titled, why didn't you have a title for this release?
"It is our debut album for our new label & we feel that this is what Kobra should sound like and have Gene Simmons involved has really helped us a lot. We are signed to Spinefarm in Europe with Universal in the U.S. Gene actually approached us and there was a rep from Universal who has been following us who took our album to Gene and he really loved it so he called our manager, so when we got back from our UK tour we had a email from him saying he wants to sign the band. We were like Holy Shit!! We could not believe Gene was so interested in us, I thought it was a joke email so I went to Heavy Metal Montreal festival and I met him there. (Ed: Is the album selling really well for you guys then?) It is doing really great right now."
How did the Judas Priest/ Saxon tour come about?
"Well that was so cool, we actually got paid and we have been fortunate were have not had to buy our way onto a tour so we are going to try and keep it that way. We met Judas Priest and they are such nice guys."
Let's move on how did you find today's performance at Bloodstock?
"Well Bloodstock was a killer show, the culture here is just really cool as it is like a family and I like the way it is just a straight up metal festival. The line-up is also killer too."
So before we go what are your future plans for the band besides the next album? More touring before this?
"Yes we will play tons of gigs, then the new record."
Well Kobra it's been a pleasure speaking and meeting you, do you have anything to ad before we finish the interview off?
"I would like the say thank you for supporting us and keep defending the faith!!
Next interview was the mighty 'Anvil', no introduction here I hope, but just a brief recap for those who still don't know about the band. Formed back in 78 by Steve 'Lips' Kudlow (vocals/ guitar) and Robb Reiner (drums) in Toronto Canada. Having met as school friends the 2 of them pretty much grew up together with the bands original name been 'Lips' but soon changed it when the 2 found Ian Dickson (bass) and Dave Allison (guitars). The band recorded their debut album 'Hard & heavy' on Attic Records back in 81 and was considered the start of Thrash Metal along side Motorhead, for their heavy sound and Robb's double bass drumming who inspired Lars Ulrich and more.. This was the 1st time the band had played Bloodstock and about time too, I was really looking forward to see in my old buddies again, especially hitting the main stage at Bloodstock. I think just about every metal head there must of seen 'The Story of Anvil' and if they didn't well I am sure they would of done after see in the band live. I managed for a change to interview Robb, which was a honour so here is what Robb had to say to the following questions, enjoy metal heads!!
It's always a pleasure meeting you guys, Robb so how the festival been for you?
"Well it's great to see you again Jason, I'm having a blast, it's a great festival, very friendly and family Orin tainted. The young audience have been wanting to see the band who have never seen us before. There is also a lot of energy here too which for a small festival is great & I would play here again for sure."
Have you had a wonder around yet to check out the whole festival site?
"No not yet, I will wait till it gets dark so nobody will recognize me haha! (Ed: Will you be watch Alice Cooper today, as seen as you have supported him in Canada?). Yeah I will watch him, I've seen him several times and he is great he puts on a great show and he still loves doing it."
I guess Robb you have done plenty of interviews today right?
"To be honest I haven't you are the 1st one, Lips usually does them (laughing). If people want to talk to me I will do them all the time but sometimes they want both of us but it's mainly Lips who does them."
Moving on what actually happened to G5 (Glenn)? Why did he leave the band and are you still friends?
"I haven't talked to G5 at all, we don't really talk, he is known as G Zero, he got sick and he had to go. He got ill psychically and mentally and so he moved on & I think the success of Anvil was something that bothered him because it wasn't his success and in the end it mentally destroyed him. He Lips and me nothing has changed but for him he was suppose to of finished the whole tour even here at Bloodstock."
I see you have Sal Italiano from the band 'Cities', who record 1 album with the drummer from Twisted Sister A.J Pero. How did you get in touch with Sal?
"Sal is a great replacement, we will make a new album with him and we toured with him all year and people love Sal so I think we have found the perfect replacement. He understands the reality of what he is doing G Zero never understood the reality and I couldn't fix him.
I heard you called him on New Years Eve and asked him to join the band, is this true?
"Yeah you are right Jason, I called him twice and before Glenn had his childish meltdown he tried to cash his check but I already had Sal in the band so that was the end of it."
What do you think of the 'Cities' album? I love it.
"Yeah I have heard it, it was early to mid 80's Power Metal, a great album indeed. I have known Sal for a long time since 82 and he is a big Anvil fan and he comes to our shows. Lips and myself had already decided what was going to happen with G Zero and Sal came to one of our shows in New York City and 6 wks alter I am calling him asking if he wanted to fill in."
Did you audition any other bassist besides Sal? Who were they?
"Yeah we did it was funny, we had a few guys turning up and it was a joke to see so many bassist wanting to be a rock star and now we are really famous since the movie (Ed:I'm pleased for you it's about time!) We had guys turning up who thought they we like Nikki Sixx with the image and like his style to our music which didn't really work. Nobody impressed me like Sal did and I think I can speak for Lips too. He have a Steve Harris kind of guy in the band with the sound."
What songs did you use for the auditions?
"We tried 'Winged Assassins', '666', 'Metal on Metal', the harder songs we play live. Some guys learnt them all, some learnt only half the set."
So all systems are go with Anvil, no problems here then?
"No not at all, we are totally happy and we are working really well together as a 3 piece and we are getting more famous and the band is rising and we are selling more records now then we did before."
I notice that SPV have re-released some of your previous album which were on Massacre records, I bet you are happy they are finally getting recognized and available to the fans right? Did the albums get remastered?
"Yeah we are happy as more and more people are discovering our music and that is what Anvil has always been about, we have always made great music but it has been hard for the fans to get a hold of most of them till now. I do believe the albums have been re-mastered with liner notes and some different package images."
When I was you back in 83 I wanted a 'Forged in Fire' baseball jersey which I couldn't afford will you be reissuing them? Please say you will haha!!
"(Laughing) I could reissue all that stuff again but I'm sure we can, who knows?"
Moving on do you have any new songs wrote with Sal?
"Yeah we do, the new album will be called 'Open Hell' and Lips came up with the title and we have half the album already wrote about 6 tracks and we will write 14 , (Ed: could it be recalled 'This is 14'? haha!!) We will write 14 song but I think it will have 13 songs on it with bonus tracks with the same producer who did the last one. We are hoping to record it in November this year and we love to rock and we will make another movie too."
Great tell me more about the next movie, maybe I could submit some pictures for you. When you watch the previous movie you see people like Lars from Metallica or Tom from Slayer praising the band, why don't these bands take you on tour? Are they scarred you will blow them the fuck off stage? haha!!
"What would be great Jason. They like to watch us rise that's all. I'm not sure why they won't take us on tour, we may blow them off stage you will have to ask them. We are building our own fan base so there no worries there. The new movie will be a step up the ladder for us, you will see how the band have progressed over the years since the last movie. The movie will be called 'Anvil 2 -The Quest for world Peace'"
Ok Robb how many festivals have you played this year?
"Not too many actually, we did 'Keep it True' in Germany (Ed: I need to go there 1 day), this year we have pretty much been touring the U.S. and Canada and Taiwan & Brazil. We have become very big in Taiwan and also in Brazil, we are more mainstream then we were before. I would love to go to Russia, Poland, and the Middle East & India to play some shows."
Ok Robb before we finish what has been the highlights for you today at Bloodstock?
"Just getting to play in front of the crowd here, who actually really watched the band, people want to see the band who have seen the movie but want to see us live.We are heading back home tomorrow and we will continue to write songs for the next album."
Well Robb it's always great see in you all live and in person, do you have anything to ad?
"Yeah 'Friday 13th' rocks!!"
Brazilian Thrasher's 'Sepultura' have really made a name for themselves over the years, creating some the the finest South American Thrash Metal, with such albums like 'Beneath The Remains' and later albums like 'Roorback' & now the bands new album 'Kairos' through Nuclear Blast. Having seen the band in the early days of 89 it's good to see them still making heavy music. Only original member is Paulo JR along with 2nd guitarist since 87 Andreas Kisser, who are joined by Derrick Green (vocals) and drummer Eloy Casagrande. This is the debut performance at Bloodstock for these guys, who were very warmly welcomed by the crowd who just loved their music, and a special appearance by Tim Owen's was also cool to see. I managed to chat with Andreas here is what he had to say.
Hi Andreas, welcome to Bloodstock, how r u? How you finding the festival so far? Why has it taken so long for the band to play this festival?
"Nice to be here and nice to see you again it's been a while. Well we never had many opportunities to play here till now. So we are playing Bloodstock and Belfast & Dublin in Ireland which I always love to visit. We have had a fantastic 2 yrs with the new album 'Kairos' promoting it. This is the final week of the European tour and there is no better feeling then to be finishing it here at Bloodstock & in Ireland."
If you look back at all the previous albums with the band which one would have to be your favourite and why?
"Well that's a tough question, I consider them as my kids and you don't have a favourite kid they are all the same. They all have there differences and and that is why there suppose to be different people, the same goes with each album we have done. I don't like bands that try to copy each album if they had a successful album and they think they can carry it on with future albums. We try to do something different every time and and that's why 'Kairos' is different from 'Bestial Devastation' & 'Morbid Visions' were good albums even if I wasn't there and I still like the 1st album. I joined for the next album 'Schizophrenia' and we were trying to get the better production for that album and it was very hard to find people to record Heavy Metal back then in Brazil. I respect what we did in the past because it is a landmark in our history."
Has the scene in Brazil changed for the better over the years?
"Yeah it's like water to wine (laughing) it is totally different and and heavy Metal is pretty big now in Brazil and we have great studios now and people who know how to work with metal bands and all the great bands come down to brazil to record now. In the 80's you could not see anything and it was hard to get a tape of a band or LP's, we had no internet nothing at all and no guitar lesson through 'You Tube' but that is how we grew up."
I guess Sepultura is a full time thing now and do you teach guitar lessons online when you're not on tour?
"No it is a full time thing now, I don't have time to teach online either. I have a son who is 14yrs old and I don't have patience with him either and he can play guitar. I do a lot of different stuff in Brazil, playing different styles. (Ed: I heard you're going music like Reggae or Blues, is this true?) Yeah I have recorded with Reggae bands in Brazil and I love to jam but I play in a Blues band with Brazilian musicians who are amazing. It is all types of Blues all into one."
Let's talk about the current album 'Kairos', why the title and what does it mean?
"Well I was looking for a concept of time because the album reflects on what the band is today like it or not and we live the presence and to re-record the old stuff just isn't our thing or reunions. So I was on the internet looking for a concept of time and 'Kairos' is one of them and it means it is not a time were it is either 0-1-2 or 3 because nobody can define time and time is an invention. I have a lot of books which I have read and people telling me that time is an illusion and does not exists. I almost believe that because for me if you have a watch that is prove that time does exist. So the title is what we are doing now."
I have noticed that the album is broke up into different sections, why was that?
"It is because of different religions and different politics and different years for that ever purpose but it is to show what Sepultura is today. We have a 27yr old history with many changes in and outside the band and we are still here jamming with a very strong label and a strong album. Of course we do all the history of the band live and our set is 4-5 new songs from the current album which is great and they go down well. The album talks about our families, the fans and the press & business etc.... and I think the fans feel more part of this album which is great. It is a more direction and straight forward album with no percussion but basically the band playing their instruments."
Do you still feel it is important to have the Brazilian roots in your music?
"Yes always!! I think Brazilian roots for us really took off on the 'Roots' album which was a concept album about Brazilian culture and music and Brazil is always there if not musically in our topics and I still live in Sal Paulo and we all live in Brazil and it will never go away."
Which songs on the new album do you like and why?
"I like 'Mask' and 'Dialog' because I think 'Mask' is a very demanding song and very thrashie to play live and it feels great. There is a message to people who hide themselves behind the internet were they don't have a face or a name. So it's like fuck you and show your face!! The song 'Dialog' is a heavy song and very different from anything we have done in the past and it's great to play live."
How long did it take to record that album?
"Well we spent a month recording it or 6 wks at the most and we repair ourselves a lot doing pre-production and we go into the studio with about 80 -90 % knowing what to do and we do leave room for improvisations & extra stuff."
Who did the artwork for the album and were you happy with the end results?
"We are very happy with everything, Roy Z produced the album and he mixed the album and I am happy with the response too."
Which important festivals do you enjoy playing?
"Well I always like the festival atmosphere, always did and I like to play 'Rock in Rio' festival which has a lot of different artist and music and I also like festivals like this, total metal, Wacken and Bloodstock. (Ed: how happy are you to be playing this festival for the 1st time?) I like this festival and after we have played I am hoping nobody else will play (laughing)."
In you're career which bands would you like to play with that you haven't yet?
"Well we have played with all our idols Judas Priest, Metallica, Anthrax, Motorhead."
What do you remember of the 1st time you played in the UK back in 89 at the Marquee Club in London with Sodom, I was there and the crowd well most them left after you played leaving a small crowd for Sodom, how did you feel that night?
"Well that was such a surprise, especially in England (London) and we felt so powerful (laughing), and it happened in Paris as well. I think Sodom were kind of pissed off with us for that but it wasn't our fault. It made a stamp statement for us, saying we are on the right track and we intended on staying on that track."
Will the band be doing another live DVD soon?
"Well we do plan to do another DVD next year with the guys who were on stage with us at Wacken this year, like 20 guys playing metal drums. It's on You Tube the full show and it is insane and we are confirmed for 'Rock in Rio' 2013 and we will do the DVD with them there."
Do you have any ideas for the next CD? Titles or the way it will sound?
"Well we are just starting and we are talking about it with Derrick and it is great to have Eloy as our new drummer who is 21yrs old who is also insane. He played with Andre Matos who was once in 'Angra', that band was called 'Shaaman', I al so glad we have found him, he is very metal. We didn't audition many drummers and he has brought a new fresh energy to the band."
Well thanks for doing the interview, enjoy the show and I hope we meet again soon.
"Cheers Jason, we hope to rip the stage to pieces today haha!!!"
It is with my the highest pleasure to see Sanctuary live again after 20+yrs here in the UK, having seen them support Megadeth on the 'So Far So...' tour these guys had just started out with their debut album 'Refuge Denied' which was produced by Dave from Megadeth. Having become friends with Warrell and Jim (Nevermore) the band that went on after the departure of Sanctuary I have become good friends with these guys. Now they return after a break from Nevermore with the return of Sanctuary and to see them at Bloodstock was incrediable. A new album is in the works right now and 2 new songs were played at Bloodstock which sounded great. I managed to interview Warrell and Jim about the reformation of the band and what the future holds for the.
It's great to see t you guys at Bloodstock, this is the 2nd time you have played here right Warrell? First time with Nevermore but without Jim due to medical reasons. So how are you now Jim? Indicates who is speaking W = Warrell, J = Jim.
"I'm good Jason, I am healthy and happy to be alive and I enjoy performing once again. (W) He is not quite dead yet (laughing). There were some rumours on the internet that I had died but I am still here."
So what was the reason the band reforming Sanctuary? I remember asking you Warrell about this some time ago and you said the band would never reform without the original line-up.
(W) "Yeah that's true, Well we had become friends again and it worked for a while and we didn't see each other for a while so we slowly worked into it and everybody except for Sean didn't want anything to do with the reunion. It wasn't the fact that we had any personality problems or conflicts just think he is into doing different things now with film making. We are not in contact with each other but we don't hate each other we have just run in different circles now. (J) You can call him but he properly won't answer the phone."
With the band reforming and you seem to be working with Century Media again will they release the next album or are they just promoting the band whilst on tour?
(J) "We are signing with Century Media again, we have had a good working relationship with the label and we understand each other and we know them well and they treated Nevermore really well. We were at the head office in Germany were we had a big meeting with them and we ironed out all the issues we had with Nevermore."
Playing Bloodstock as Sanctuary how well did the set go down with the crowd compared to that of Nevermore's appearance?
(W) "It was fucking awesome, it was great to be back here and I had a great time and I could not be happier with our performance."
The last time you played the UK with Megadeth was in like 90/91 but you were suppose to come back with Secrecy and Fates Warning but it never happened, why was that, can you remember?
(W) "I don't think the bands cancelled the shows it was down to the promoters and maybe we didn't sell enough tickets (Ed: I was gutted as I really wanted to see you with those bands), it was a great tour too and good times and good memories."
When you look back at you're previous 2 albums which is you're favourite and least favourite & why?
(W) "Well mine is 'Into The Mirror Black', because it was more nature and I didn't have to scream my ass off like a banshee with a sea clamp on my nuts (laughing). (J) I can't answer that because it is like having 2 children, which is my favourite kid but if I had to pick one it would be 'Into The Mirror Black'. I think everybody in the band would say the same thing. (W) I still love playing the songs off the debut album like 'Battle Angels', we kind of can't get away from playing that song live and it is fucking hard to sing live!! (J) I would say that 'Refuge Denied' is my favourite to record but to listen too it would have to be 'Into the...' and working with Dave from Megadeth was priceless."
So I guess Dave taught you a lot back then?
(J) "Yes he did!! (W) If it wasn't for him we wouldn't be sitting here right now. It is very hard to get your foot in the door in the music business & Dave discovered us & I have ultimate respect for him & he is a good guy and he gets a bad rep in the press and he has his opinions if you agree with him or not it doesn't change the fact that he is a good guy. (Ed: He doesn't smile much does he?)"
Later on as Nevermore we went on tour with Megadeth on the Gigantour', was it really cool doing that tour with Dream Theater, Symphony X, Fear Factory? Why didn't that tour come to the UK?
(W) "Oh yes it was great! I don't know why it never came to the UK but it would of been a killer show."
So hooking up with the guys in Sanctuary at 1st was there any strange vibes within the band?
(W) "No but it's more weird now that we are on tour that's for. We rehearse in Seattle."
Today we saw you playing 2 new songs, so who does the new songs compare to the old material from the 90's? How many songs do you have wrote for the new album?
(W) "Well we played 2 songs today, the ballad 'I am Low' which is about conquering depression without chemicals because I believe that people can do that as it was one of my life experiences and I love to write songs about life experiences & not everybody can do that. Some people do need antidepressants & I was told I had depression a long time ago and doctors were trying to put me on antidepressants and I didn't want to take fucking drugs. I could do it on my own and drinking myself into a coma everyday kind of helped me a lot, I use to be a bad alcoholic and I still am, it's there for life & I don't drink that much anymore. The next song is called 'The world is Wired', I am not sure what that song is about. (Ed: I have noticed that you write some strange lyrics in Nevermore, is this something you like to do?) I guess you I always have strange things going on in my head and I do write some strange lyrics from time to time. (J) We have 12 songs wrote so far, they are classic Sanctuary but with a more modern feel. (W) The album is going to be called 'The year the sun Died' with songs like the 2 already mentioned, but I am not going to give away too much just yet (laughing)."
Do you have any idea's who you will use as producer for this next album? Andy Sneap again?
(W) "Well that would be our dream but we will have to wait and see."
So I guess recording the album is the next priority followed by a world tour and maybe a Sanctuary live DVD?
(W) "Yeah that's pretty much it, not sure about a live DVD though. We will see."
Well thanks for taking your time out and doing this interview, it's always a pleasure hanging out with you guys. Best of luck with the new album. I'll cya next year at some point.
(W) "Well it's always a pleasure meeting you Jason, we have done so many interviews with Nevermore I have lost count (laughing). (J) Yeah good see in you brother, thanks to our fans for their support at Bloodstock and world-wide fans too."