UNCUT INTERVIEW: Kobadelta | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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“I don’t want to sound like a bit of a dick,” Kobadelta drummer Jon Marley says, “but I think we’re trying to create an experience.” Marley doesn’t actually sound pretentious at all; Kobadelta are a band adept at creating a completely atmospheric experience with their blend of grungy, psych-tinged feral rock. Their first EP, Ritual (Time Flies) produced their anthemic crowd-pleaser When It Rains It Pours, while last year’s Remain Distracted showed off the breadth of the band, with the blistering riffs of Repetition contrasting against the brooding Siam.

They’re now releasing their fourth EP, Open Visions, which, as guitarist Alex Malliris explains, “is possibly a lot heavier.” They don’t necessarily mean bleaker, though. “It’s got more guitar, but I don’t think in terms of lyrics that Dom [Noble, vocalist] has written, I don’t think it’s any darker.” Open Visions is certainly a record that carries on the distinctive elements of Kobadelta’s sound, this time featuring even more in-your-face riffage (as on the startling beginning to Black Pyramid). There’s still a deep enigmatic element to their songs though, which is mostly brought to the fore with Dom’s Nick Cave-like drawl and ambiguous lyrics. “We like our songs to have a bit of mystery, and that includes Dom’s lyrics,” Malliris says, “they can be quite weird, but they’re based on personal experience. Personal experience and elements of the supernatural.”

There’s still a deep enigmatic element to their songs though, which is mostly brought to the fore with Dom’s Nick Cave-like drawl and ambiguous lyrics

An obvious question arises. Since this is Kobadelta’s fourth EP, are there no plans for a full-length album? “EPs just seem like the best way to do it right now,” Marley says. “Yeah, I think there’s definitely more scope for us to release singles with EPs and we wouldn’t want to rush an album out. It’s good just to test out some of the material live first and then put collections of songs together,” Malliris adds. Gigs form a large part of Kobadelta’s core identity as a band, as Marley explains: “Part of it is the reception, but also how they fit, how they flow with the rest of the set. Some songs we’ve done aren’t bad songs, but they’re not Kobadelta tracks, so we’ve just left them to one side.”

Despite only being around formally since since 2012, the Kobadelta crew have found themselves becoming the elder statesmen in an increasingly burgeoning local scene, something that Malliris and Marley both find exciting. “It’s not a scene as in a scene within a certain genre,” Malliris comments, “it’s a scene in the sense that there’s a huge group of bands from across different genres that go to each other’s gigs, support each other, promote each other, and are just generally willing to help each other out.” Do they think the scene is healthier now than it was even just three years ago? The answer is a resounding yes. “It’s probably the healthiest it’s been since we’ve been gigging,” Malliris says. “Bands like Coquin Migale and WAKE are really young and exciting and are getting a massive amount of coverage, and there are bands coming from all over the region now rather than just in Newcastle, which is great.”

Kobadelta also have a bright future ahead of them, though the pair like to be realistic about their prospects. “We don’t want to be one of those bands who say they’re going to take over the world,” says Malliris, “so we don’t have a lot of long term aims, we just think one step at a time. We want to play festivals and around the country more.” Despite their gloomy take on rock, the pair have incredibly positive outlook and genuinely love what they do. “We’re just loving playing gigs and being in a band and always trying to write new songs. We just want to enjoy every minute of it.”

Kobadelta release Open Visions on Friday 1st May. They play Sonic Union at the Georgian Theatre, Stockton on Saturday 30th May.

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