Pretoria, South Africa: the Rock n’ Roll spirit of 80s/90s ‘Hair Metal’ still lives in this country, as evidenced by L.A. Cobra which is prepping for the release of it’s 2017 album Shotgun Slinger. We caught up with Don Cobra to hear about the spectacular progress the band has made on it’s crowd funding campaign from fans locally and abroad to fund the album – and congratulate them for having met minimum target yesterday! But minimum target does not mean that all necessarily is hunky dory. There is much to still be done for the band to realize it’s vision for the album release, which includes a European tour…
“Yes, it’s the first time we’ve tried crowd funding, and actually we didn’t have any other choice but to give it a go. It’s just too expensive to fund it out of our own pockets. We were approached by a few record labels but the deals were very one sided, so after a long debate we said let’s do it independently, and for us it worked out great.” ~ Don Cobra (vocals/guitar, L.A. Cobra)
It’s not been all smooth sailing, and the band shows that it has been prepared to work hard and smart to build enough momentum for the campaign to yield results. It started with the release of single last year, ‘Rock n Roll Pretoria’, followed up with a music video launched at the height of the campaign with the album’s title track ‘Shotgun Slinger’. A huge push has been underway to also raise funds via merch sales and the solidification of an ironically tasteful “sleaze” brand, and which includes Swedish model Marielle Tengström starring on the Shotgun Slinger album cover. Lots of press activity, and communicating with people all over the world has played it’s role. The independent route seems to be paying off:
“There’s so many benefits. You build up hype till the release date. You see the interest in your band and album locally and abroad, and what I love is your friends, fans and family get involved and everyone starts to work as one huge team which was very cool to us; to see after the twelve years we’ve been around that people have our backs. It’s obviously hard work, and now we have to deliver a high quality product for the people who believed in us and supporting our dream without doubting us.” ~ Don Cobra
Somewhat predictably, considering the genre, the core theme is about… boys and girls. Don describes the recent music video which shares the album title.
“The ‘Shotgun Slinger’ video is our first song-driven performance video actually, with only one character which is ‘Shotgun Slinger’ and is portrayed by local alternative model Michelle Swart, and Slade, Ewil and Callie The Animal and myself performing. We decided to rather concentrate on the song and band’s performance this time, keeping it simple. The video is in black and white. It symbolizes the ‘Yin Yang’ symbol and as you know the Yin and Yang is a Chinese symbol for balance and harmony, and the opposite forces of nature; basically, this symbol represents the positive and negative forces in the universe and that’s what we’re portraying in this video with the wardrobe and different background colors. Lyrically, the song is about that ‘one’ girl that is just out of your league, but you decide ‘fuck it’ and go for it anyways, even though you know she’s gonna put a bullet in your heart and make you miserable, even “dead” inside… haha! It happened to all of us I guess at some point in our lives. Everyone can relate.” ~ Don Cobra
Shotgun Slinger will add to a legacy of “sleaze” consisting of two earlier albums with 2007’s Cherry Hill debut followed by the 2010 How much snake can you take?, which has opened many doors for the band in the long lead up to 2017’s much anticipated album. As mentioned earlier in the article, L.A. Cobra is seeking to tap it’s international potential with the new release, and negotiations are at play for a European tour to connect with already eager fans in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and maybe Italy. Already, the release promises to be of an international caliber with Don revealing a name on the production team.
“Swedish rockstar Martin Sweet (CRASHDIET, Sister and Sweet Creature) is mixing, mastering and producing our new album, which is a first for us having someone out of our circle working with us on international standards. I must say I’m very honoured and proud to have Martin working on it. He is super talented and an expert in the genre, and I’ve stated previously he knows what we want before we even want it! Our new album is a bit heavier than our previous albums, I must say, and our songwriting style has changed a bit. I like our new sound. You can obviously hear the 80’s glam influences all over but it’s got more balls, if you know what I mean.” ~ Don Cobra
As if you needed any more convincing, go and make your contribution to this exciting next chapter for one of SA’s champions at Thunderfund. There are only 7 days remaining for you and L.A. Cobra to make this dream unfold exactly as planned!