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- Posted on Feb 9th 2010 1:54PM by Paolo Balboa
How did you form the band?
Rafa [Martinez] and I met around 1997, and we'd been writing music together for a while. We made a conscious effort to really start writing when I was living in New York and he was living in Los Angeles. Along with drums, he plays guitar as well, so he would send me ideas and I would send him ideas. I flew out to Los Angeles and we recorded our first demo. That became the EP, our first three-song release. It was around 2002 that we decided to really start pursuing it more seriously.
How did you come up with your name?
We're both into cult films, and Black Cobra was the name of an Italian movie series in the late '80s. We're also into nature and wild beasts, so we both agreed that the name of a vicious snake reflected the ferocity of our music.
What are your musical influences?
We both grew up listening to early Metallica, but that's a blanket influence for any metal band. Cavity was the band I played in early on, and they had a huge influence on the approach that I took to writing riffs. I know Rafa has been playing [drums] since he was 16. [His other band] Acid King has a big influence on his drumming and songwriting. Through school and music history classes, we were exposed to a lot of classical music and jazz. Rafa always says that [Richard] Wagner had a big impact as well. Really, anyone who tries to push the envelope, because that's what we try to do too.
How would you describe your sound?
We've gotten tagged as sludge and doom, and we definitely like a lot of that kind of stuff, but we consider ourselves to be more than that. We like a lot of thrash, death metal, punk and progressive. Our music is a loud and heavy amalgamation of those things.
Did you guys take any cue from other loud and heavy two-piece bands?
For us, bands like godheadSilo and Cark were big regarding the whole two-piece thing. I've read articles where people compare us to Death From Above 1979, but I've honestly never listened to them. I'm really curious to hear them, though.
Do you have any vices?
We work and tour a lot, and we're always on the road, so that can be a strain on our personal lives. In a way, the band has become our personal lives. When I think of vices, I think of drugs and alcohol, but neither of us are really into that kind of stuff.
Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
I love the Carpenters and Fleetwood Mac. We're really into exotica and lounge music like Martin Denny. We listen to him all the time on the road. There's a French composer named Jean Michel Jarre that Rafa got me into, so we listen to that stuff a lot, too. It's totally the other end of the spectrum, as far as heavy music goes.
How do you plan to spend the day at SXSW?
I'm really stoked on the Tone Deaf showcase that we're playing. I'm going to see Rwake and Black Tusk, so I'll probably be hanging out there for most of the day.
What's the craziest thing you've experienced on tour?
We saw albino kangaroos in Australia. In Japan we saw a lot of mini-sanctuaries and some really cool temples on the side of the road, so that was a nice change of pace from the rest stops in the States. We haven't seen anything gnarly or anything like that. Just some cool and strange sights.
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