Having good taste in bad women is the motto of L.A Cobra. The band hailing from South Africa delivers Rock’n’Roll of awesome quality. The band complies every rocker cliché in a likeable way. Hair Metal as it couldn’t be better. STALKER talked to singer Don Cobra about the band, the Rock scene in Pretoria, South Africa, and about his trip to Switzerland in October 2012.
Hello Don, hope everything is well. Could you first introduce the band and its members?
L.A. Cobra consists of Don Cobra on Vocals and Guitar, Slade on Lead guitar/Backing Vocals, Drums : “Callie The Animal”, and on Bass we’re auditioning new members at the moment, but we have session guys to fill in when we gig till we’ve found a permanent member and make him a part of the Cobra.
How would you describe the music that you are doing?
Our music is catchy, energetic Sleaze Rock, and easy to listen to and bang your big hair at the same time, with balls to the wall guitar solos you’ve all craved and if you’re in the mood to party, we’re your band, if you want to impress your lady, introduce her to us, I mean our ballads…..
How did everything begin with L.A Cobra?
In a nutshell it all started way back in Nov 2005, when we wanted to give South Africa its own Sleaze Rock/Glam Rock/Glam Metal Band ever, and to shock them like no one else has before. I got asked to audition for vocals, and when I joined, the band prior to me “The Terrorists” changed to L.A. Cobra, since then we’ve been rocking the world
Why did you choose the band Name L.A. Cobra?
It’s what suited us best, and it’s very catchy and dangerous
Don, you’ve been playing a couple of acoustic shows in Switzerland last October, that’s where we met; I think it was the first time you had been in Switzerland, right? How did you like it and how did these shows come up?
Yip, that is where we met Yes it was my first time in Switzerland, and my first solo international show/tour. I loved it, it was the best experience ever, I had the privilege to open for Reckless Love and Bloody Mary on my birthday, so it was very special, and had the opportunity to meet John Corabi and watch Steel Panther, thanks to my special friend Sue at Rock City in Uster, and I hope to go back with the full band next time, and maybe do a full tour if we can get connected to someone that can help us over there and promote us.
Your last record “How much snake can you take?” was released 2011, are you already working on a follow-up? When will it be out?
We are currently working on our 3rd Studio album, it’s still untitled, but the material is amazing, everybody’s gonna like whether they want to or not, our best work yet. We are writing it with our new Lead guitarist “Slade”. We’re also just recorded our new single “Rock ‘n Roll Pretoria” Pretoria is our home town of course, and alternate version “Rock ‘n Roll South Africa”. We´re also negotiating to collaborate with members of “Guns & Roses” and “Pretty Boy Floyd” to maybe do a guest appearance on our new album.
You had some problems with the record label you had signed to and lost the contract, so you don’t have any record deal at the moment, will you release the upcoming record yourselves or what is the plan?
We didn’t actually lose the contract, we chose not to settle on an agreement with them, it wasn’t worth our while at all, and the bands best interest wasn’t a concern to them.
At the moment bands don’t need a record deal to put them on the map, the internet is amazing, there is so much you can do on your own, but I think we’ll sign a distribution deal though to get our new album out all over the world. And we will sign a record deal with a company if it is worth our while, because we are more than willing to work hard, and make our Rock ‘n Roll dreams come true.
You are hailing from Pretoria, South Africa, can you tell us more about the local Glam/Sleaze Scene there? Does something like this exist?
Since we started in 2005, it’s getting bigger, everyone knows bands like Guns & Roses, Motley Crue, Poison and Bon Jovi etc. over here, so there is a market for what we are doing, and people seem to love it. We use to get strippers in cages while we are playing, that made it more sleazy then anything else, a couple of guys got into shit by their girlfriends though, but it all good fun I suppose……
Is it difficult to get gigs in South Africa, with that kind of music you play?
Not at all, we get invited to shows, events and festivals all over the country, it’s something people crave all over I reckon, its good ol’ rock’n roll, you can’t go wrong with that. With face melting guitar solos and tunes to party on with rock anthems to sing and bang your head to, everyone wants a good time and come out for a good show.
How about the people, do they respect you the way you are, with the long hair and everything, or do they have prejudices against you?
There is a lot of respect from people for what we are doing, and of course there are prejudice people everywhere, but we have worked hard to earn their respect, and we love our fans, they love us. Only in small towns people will look at you very funny, if you rock up with leather jackets, spandex and cowboy boots, and hair bigger than their mom’s, there are still conservative people everywhere. We were on tour once, and as we sat down to have breakfast, this little kid yelled to his mom, “Mom, The Darkness is here”… hahaha, we were like,” what, where?” and he pointed to our drummer The Animal.
You told me in Switzerland that you had the feeling the people had been looking at you like you would be a freak because of the long hair when you went to the shop in Uster, so do you think that the people in Switzerland are less open-minded than for example in Pretoria, if you have a different look than the “common” people?
I thought people would look funny at me, but they were very nice, and treated me very kind heartedly, some people just couldn’t believe that I am from South Africa with long blonde hair, apparently I look Swedish, especially in Châtel St-Denis at the John Corabi show, when they heard i am from South Africa, they came and talked to me and asked me all kinds of questions, very sweet people. I guess you get narrow minded people everywhere, but i would say people in Switzerland are more open minded.
If our readers would be interested in visiting Pretoria, are there any places you would recommend that are worth to be seen for Rockers?
Firstly they should join the L.A. Cobra Facebook page, find out where we are rocking and join us for the party of their lives. Then there are also a couple of places that rock such as clubs like Arcade Empire (Pta) The Assembly (Cape Town) etc. and certain events. I’d suggest that if they are in South Africa they should go and see our wild life and go on a Safari, pet lions and visit the beaches. Over December there are lots of beach parties round the coast line, which rocks of course.
What goals do you have? What do you wanna reach with your music?
What goals do I have, personally there is a lot. Don’t know if i told you, I am in a movie called “Bustin Chops – The Movie” it’s a comedy like Jack Ass and The Dudesons, with some real acting bit, I’d like to pursue that with an career in music, touring the world.
Here is our movie trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0NLwAIpPdA
With L.A Cobra, I wanna put South African Sleaze/Rock ‘n Roll on the map, so that one day our legacy will live on along with Mötley Crüe, Guns and Roses etc…… That is also why I’m very proud of Seether, they put South Africa on the map along with Duncan Faure (Bay City Rollers) and Trevor Rabin (Yes).
Why are you the band people should listen to?
I’d rather say, I would like to be the band that people want to listen to, because we don’t follow any modern trends, we do what we love, and we just play what we grew up with and sticking to our guns. Although L.A. Cobra is in South Africa, and cut off from the rest of the world where our target market is which is Europe, USA, Scandinavia, Japan..Etc… it makes it very hard to reach everyone, and people to reach us. And to get hold of agents and promoters Etc. and have face to face meetings with them, coz we work our hearts out and asses off with the cards that we’ve been dealt to give our fans the best, while in the pursuit of happiness in reaching our Rock ‘n Roll dreams.
Is there a question you always wanted to be asked in an interview, but nobody asked you so far?
What makes you sick?
There are a lot of things that makes me sick…hahaha, but I think most bands and hardworking musicians would agree, that it is fucked up that certain bands “BUY” their Facebook and Twitter followers just to look great online, but haven’t even played one show or have a band together but only 5 people of your 10000 “Fans/followers” respond maybe. The internet is amazing to reach people overseas, but give them the option to like your page themselves, promote your music put it in their faces, if they like it you will get the credit. If you work hard you’ll get true fans and not bull shit fake bought likes…. it’s just my opinion, maybe I’m wrong…hahaha
Any last words?
Please share our new Music Video “Stray Cat” it’s part of a trilogy, this is video nr 2, watch “L.A. Cobra – Back Roads” the first video to get a grasp on the synopsis.
Also invite your friends to like our pages, and follow us on twitter.
THANK YOU FOR ALL THE SUPPORT, ALL OF YOU HAVE BEEN SO GREAT ON OUR JOURNEY SO FAR IN HAVING GOOD TASTE IN BAD WOMAN!!
Thank you very much for your time and all the best