Entering the orbit of Kobrakai

Intergalactic heavy-rock lords Kobrakai have set their phasers to stun with their epic new single, ‘Planets’.

The track, which we review in the New Music column for June, takes the band’s metal and prog tinged, fuzzed out template and launches it into the stratosphere, off the back of a trip through the mind’s eye in the shape of its spectacular video. It’s a heady trip to the outer realms of the cosmos and beyond, resplendent in images of galaxies, supernovas, nebulas and distant, mysterious planets. In short, it’s a sci fi buff’s starry eyed dream!

Being renowned sci fi nuts themselves, the band impressively enlisted the services of the mysteriously monikered Palabara, who’ve worked on some of the most recent Star Trek films! Read on to find out more, as we enter the interplanetary orbit of the Kobrakai collective, Cloudy (guitar and vox), Fuzz (bass and vox) and Loco (drums)…

Congratulations on the new track, ‘Planets’. Can you take us through the origins of the track and how it came together in the studio?

Planets was conceived after having a couple of rogue riffs kicking around rehearsal for a few weeks. We gradually worked on making it tight enough for some studio time that was booked in advance.

The lyrics and melody came along about three days prior to recording. Having being influenced by a binge of Sci-fi at the time, like the deep movies Ad Astra and Interstellar, and John Wyndham books, the lyrical idea of a cosmic reset for the human population was the focus. The idea that a utopian society could be forged and nurtured on a virgin planet appealed. Especially with the dilemmas the world faces at the moment – who wouldn’t love a do-over?

In the studio, it came together perfectly under the influence of Nik Carpenter at Core Studios. He guided us in a new way of recording that we hadn’t tried in our past efforts – and I think the results speak for themselves. It is the most dense song we have done up until this point, with many layers and a lot going on in the mix. It was also the first time we had done a spoken word delivery – probably after listening to a lot of Henry Rollins at the time. The track was mastered by Paul Blakey from 12th & Vine Post.

I understand that you’re working on a new EP and that ‘Planets’ is the first of three new numbers recently recorded at Core Studios. How is the EP shaping up and when will it see the light of day?  And is ‘Planets’ indicative of the style and sound of the other new tracks that’ll be on the EP?

Yeah, we are stoked at the prospect of releasing an EP, but at this stage the date hasn’t been set. We have the fourth and final song ready for a basic demo. So that will be done relatively soon. We’re super excited to get this song down, as it’s another evolution of our sound.

All three songs are produced and mixed and ready sonically. We are in the process of developing videos for the two remaining songs. Can’t wait for that! ‘Planets’ is definitely an indication of the heavier direction we are headed, while still keeping melodies, subtle harmonies and meaningful lyrics as our backbone.

The film clip is a stunning visual trip through the cosmos… great stuff! Are you able to shed some light on Palabara and how it came about that you collaborated on the ‘Planets’ video?

It was blind luck that we stumbled across the skills of Palabara. We’d be searching online for the services of a videographer and animator, and we saw some sci-fi themed snippets of their work which seemed in line with what we had in mind. To our knowledge they hadn’t done a music video before. They seemed excited by the prospect and we were mighty impressed by the final product. We still don’t know if Palabara is one, or one of many. Maybe that’s just how it is supposed to be. They cite sci-fi animators Allan Mcckay and Andrew Framer as their biggest influences.

As self-confessed sci-fi nuts, what are your top three space themed shows or movies? And do you have a favourite sci-fi movie score or soundtrack?

We don’t think there is any doubt that sci-fi is a means of mental and emotional escape. That being said, here are our favourites from the genre:

Loco (drums): Star Wars and Ex Machina (if you’ve never seen the latter, do yourselves a favour!) Best soundtrack, The Crow.

Fuzz (bass/vox): Watchmen, Interstellar and Running Man. For the best sci-fi soundtrack, Fuzz can’t go past The Crow.

Cloudy (guitar/vox): Interstellar, Event Horizon, the first Star Trek re-boot film, The Matrix and the mighty Red Dwarf. For the best sci-fi soundtrack, Cloudy recommends the Back to the Future trilogy (especially the ZZ Top cameos .. the outros to The Matrix films are rad too).

How have you guys been coping in these crazy COVID-19 times of lockdowns and no live music? And has this zeitgeist filtered into your creative processes and steered you towards new outlets, inspirations and opportunities when it comes to your music?

Initially, we just accepted it for what it was and did what we had to do. As time went on, the idea of jamming with your mates, (whether it be in a dark rehearsal room, or on stage in the middle of metropolis) is a welcome change for when the curtain finally comes down. We’ve been swapping video ideas for new songs (as we would normally do), but the pandemic forced us to make a call on whether we release our new material as one EP now, or drip feed the songs over time in line with a video release. We chose the latter, got to work on the video and we’re pretty proud of the product that you see before you. Stay tuned for more!

You can take a ride through the awesome world of ‘Planets’ by Kobrakai right now below – be sure to, cause it’s well worth the trip! Follow fb.com/kobrakaimusic for all the happenings.

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