Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Catching up with The Kobras

At first glance you would be forgiven for thinking The Kobras were formed in 1967, their recent single ‘The Sun Song’ draws comparisons to The Byrds and the hippie movements of the ’60s and ’70s with its psychedelic sounds and opening lyrics of “I just wanna talk about the sun”, however, the Kobras were actually born out of the 2020 pandemic and formed in London. 

The self-proclaimed ‘Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Band in the World” is made up of Bulgarian-born Dessy Baeva and London-born guitarist Harry Thacker who credit a mushroom-induced faith in love and oneness as a driving force behind their authentic rock sound.

Between their Deee-lite aesthetic and a vast range of musical influences from Jimi Hendrix to The White Stripes, The Kobras are a refreshingly eclectic postmodern Rock “N” Roll duo who write songs about everything from Fuckboys to the Sun. We were able to talk to the band and find out more about their influences, their creative process, and working together. 

1. You cite a lot of artists as being influences on your sound, how would you say you manifest those influences, and is there any artist you would pinpoint as being a particular inspiration for your sound? 

Harry- In as much as we manifest influences, I wouldn’t say it’s something that we sit down and try to concoct when we’re writing a song. I think it just naturally comes out and you can’t fight it or force it. Being a musician means you should be able to play the same two notes as anyone else but make them sound unique to you. In terms of my most inspirational artist they’re too many to list but Hendrix is up up near the top as well as Neil Young, Zeppelin and I hear a bit of the white stripes in our sound too.

Dessy- I often drive inspiration from live performances and the feeling I get from watching a certain artist. Not only their sound, but the energy from their movements and words. David Bowie and Pattie Smith are at the top

2. What would you say was your creative process? Is there anything in particular you like to do to get the creative juices flowing? 

Dessy- Being in a comfortable bright space helps a lot. For me it always works best in the day time. Harry starts playing the guitar, I make him repeat the same chords again and again and then I start chanting something on top. Then we take it from there.

Harry- I wouldn’t say there’s any particular method to our madness. We just play around and something usually comes out. Lyrics are probably the thing we work the hardest on getting to fit and making coherent. 

3. What is your favourite song that you’ve written so far and why? 

Dessy- Right now it has to be ‘Stranger’ which is coming out on the 4th of June with the rest of our EP.

Harry- I like them all. They all have a moment when they’re my favourite but you can fall in and out of it. Sometimes you really enjoy playing one then a couple of days latter you’ll find it boring and tedious. 

4. Is there a particular track that started as something entirely different to what it is now? If so, what was the process for that?

Harry- Not yet. When we recorded the EP the songs all got a bit more developed and additional parts added on top of the original idea but the roots always stayed the same. 

5. You were both raised in different places, how would you say this influences your sound and how do you pay homage to your roots? 

Harry- We come from very different places but what brought us together and why we click so well is that we both love music and appreciate the same aspects of it. I was raised on so much good and different music that it’s hard to say what my roots are in that aspect but like I said in the first answer you just play what you feel and I think that’s what translates over any genre or song into sounding good.

Dessy- I grew up in Eastern Europe in Bulgaria just after the Communist regime had ended so as kids we were quite deprived from rich musical influences. My parents loved playing disco and I really hated it. I used to record myself singing and talking on top of my dads disco cassettes. On the other had Bulgaria has a massive folk music heritage  that’s deeply ingrained in our culture. I have become very fond of it in recent years and would love to find a way to incorporate it in my singing for the band.

6. What does your dream collaboration look like? 

Harry- Playing with the Rolling Stones

Dessy- Pink Floyd 

7. How would you describe yourselves as artists to anyone who hasn’t heard your music before in 5 words or less? 

Harry- Intuitive

Dessy- Yes

8. What is the best and worst thing about working together? 

Harry- Working together on any level is the best because we get each other and our styles mesh. The worst thing though is that Dessy never likes an idea of mine the first time I play it even though she nearly always likes it after hearing it a few more times. And she doesn’t like when I noodle. 

Dessy-  We love arguing about music haha. I am not a fan of Harry’s noodling, but I love his creativity and determination. He’s a keeper.

9. What do you feel like you’ve been able to achieve together that you wouldn’t have been able to do with other people? 

Dessy- I have no musical education and very little experience, but Harry makes me feel like I can share any idea with him as he never judges me. It’s nice to have such an open-minded partner.

Harry- I’m not sure all I know is that it’s hard to find people who are on the same wavelength and it’s even harder to find people who’ll commit. But I think we’ve found that with each other.

Dilara Ball

Image: James Kennedy

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