L.A. Cobra has been around since 2005. They have released two albums and are busy recording their third. They are the Sleaze Rocking Hair Metal Stars from Pretoria. They bring back those memorable guitar solos and “balls to the wall” hard rock show, while their music and image portray an 80’s feel to modern rock, which drive ladies insane with their aesthetic of pants tighter than skin. Their music style and look makes this band not only unique to the South African scene, but also to the international scene. They break away from all modern hard rock and nu-metal genres. They combine hard hitting 80’s rock with modern power and fitness.
What is your music background?
None of us except our bassist, Ewald Honey, studied music. I, Don Cobra, started playing guitar and listened to tapes; I would rewind it with a pencil and work out the riffs by ear. L.A. Cobra’s “Cherry Hill” was released through Intervention Arts on 27 January 2007 at a Sleaze-Rocking Party at Zeplins in Pretoria with more than 1400 people in attendance. We are hoping to complete our new album soon and it should be on digital platforms such as iTunes before the end of the year. We will also print a limited number of CDs that will be available at our shows.
Tell us a little bit about L.A Cobra, why did you pick this name and how did you guys form?
The band name was actually picked out by two of our friends. They wanted to start L.A Cobra, but before they chose to do this they played for a punk band called The Terrorists, so they decided to start a new thing. They approached Dan Cobra and asked him to join the band. Since November 2005 we were known as L.A. Cobra. The band members are Don Cobra on vocals and guitar, Slade on lead guitar, Ewald Honey on bass guitar and Calli the animal on drums. A few members have left us throughout the years, but that did not keep us from finding new members. We are all best friends, that’s what make it so cool these days.
How would you describe your style? Rock ‘n Roll is fairly basic, can we get a little more feelings towards the music you create?
The previous two L.A. Cobra albums were very much based on the glam and sleaze rock scene that originated in Los Angeles in the 80’s. Our latest album has maintained elements of this but is much more contemporary and has a fresh sound to it. We want to create music that the 80’s glam fans can associate with but that will appeal to today’s audience as well.
Who are your musical influences?
We are largely influenced by 80’s rock bands such as Mötley Crüe, Guns & Roses, Bon Jovi, White Snake, Poison, Kiss, WASP and Skid Row.
Where do you usually gather song writing inspiration? What is your usual song writing process?
For everybody in the band, it is a different process. Some songs we write while rehearsing, others we will write on our own and then shape it together as a band. I guess all our inspiration comes from rock ‘n roll legends such as our musical influences. Our lyrics are usually based on something that happened in our daily lives, or has meaning to us. Callie, the animal, wrote a song called Danger Danger which is about true life events that he has witnessed. It’s actually different for each song, everyone writes lyrics and then we decide as a band what we are going to use or loose.
What made you first realise you wanted to pursue a career in music?
The fans out there appreciate what we are doing. We love recreating music from the past even though it doesn’t mean selling out, but sticking to our guns. We get local and international attention so we would like to take it further, should the opportunity arise.
Who handles your daily business activities? (Bookings, promotions etc.)
Slade and Don do most of the daily activities. Don does most of the bookings, marketing and promo’s. We are in the process of getting some external help, so we are keen to see what happens.
How does it feel playing live in front of big crowds and what can the fans expect for the future?
We played our third Oppikoppi this year and we have also performed at most of the major festivals in South Africa over the years. The big shows are always fun but we try to give our audience the same lively performance whether it is a festival crowd in the hundreds or a club audience of 40. Everyone can expect a scorcher of upcoming shows featuring new songs and the new album will follow shortly thereafter. Our fans can keep checking our Facebook page and website for updates.
Featured image by Wyatt Photography