Band of the month – February 2015 – Kobadelta
Here’s an enigmatic band that I’ve managed to catch a few times over the last year. They seem to progress with each show, both music and performances get better and better. They’re taking the Northeast gig scene by the bullhorns and playing as much as they can. Gaining some pretty tasty support slots, not to mention gaining a very loyal following. They released ‘Remain Distracted’, a corker of an EP late in 2014.
A one to watch for sure, that following will grow.
I caught up with Dom and Alex for a quick chat.
For those who don’t already know can you give us an introduction- who are you, where are you based?
“We’re Kobadelta, Gateshead or Newcastle based depending what mood we’re in! In the band we’ve got myself on guitar, my brother Chris on drums, Jon playing bass, Jordan on synths and of course Dom, our singer and frontman.” – Alex
What got you started?
“Friendship and a love of music really” – Dom
“That’s pretty much it yeah! The long version is that Dom joined my last band as the singer just as we were on the edge of imploding! He did 2 or 3 gigs with us before it went tits up and the band broke up. I spent the next year pissing about with guitar riffs but no band, and I’m sure Dom was doing the same with his lyrics. We were good mates by that point through my brother Chris and eventually I think we got so bored with not being in a band that we thought we’d just start something together from scratch, so started writing songs together. This was back in about 2009 I think, and it took a canny while for us to assemble the full band, we didn’t even start playing live until 2011. But yeah, I’d say it started without any master plan, just two mates pissing about with a few acoustic tunes. Now it’s five mates, still pissing about, just a bit louder!” – Alex
How would you describe your music to people? And how has the sound evolved over the years?
“This is always a difficult one for us, there’s a label of ‘psych’ going around which at times just feels like a lazy buzz word. There’s elements of that in our sound so we’d never reject it outright when applied to us, but I think ‘psychedelia’ gives people the preconception of some generic 60s sounding band, and that’s definitely not us. Essentially, it’s quite dark, brooding at times, but rooted in heavy rock. That was never really our aim though, we originally started off with a much more bluesy sound and over the years both the music and lyrics have kind of become stranger and darker. At some point I think we just felt that that was ‘us’ and I guess we’ve carried on down that path. I do find it hard to actually pin it down to a genre or phrase to describe it though.” – Alex
“I’d describe us as ‘dark consuming guitars and abstract poetic tidings’…” – Dom
Who is the biggest influence for the band?
“I don’t think there’s one overriding influence on the band, we all have quite different tastes in music. There’s very few bands we can all agree on to be honest! Musically for me, I’d say Black Sabbath, The Black Angels and Queens Of The Stone Age are all influences on my guitar playing, and I think the same could be said for the rhythm section.” – Alex
Why your band name? Any rejected names?
“Koba is the name of a fictional Georgian outlaw who appears as a character in book ‘The Patricide’ by Alexander Kazbegi. The character Koba was admired by, and later used as a pseudonym by Joseph Stalin, who was born in Georgia. Koba is seen as the embodiment of traditional Georgian knightly ideals, and his known for his simplistic moral code of honesty and loyalty.” – Dom
“We liked the name Koba, the story behind it and what he stands for. He’s the hero of the story who respects friendship, defends truth and enforces justice. It’s basically an amalgamation of that and ‘delta’ from the delta blues. We just thought it sounded good together, plus it’s a bonus that it isn’t a real word and means finding us online is a piece of piss haha. There’s probably plenty rejected ones with just as elaborate back stories but I can’t remember any!” – Alex
What was the pivotal thing that got you into music?
“My love of words and the imagination.” – Dom
“I honestly can’t remember exactly, but I think for me it was the idea of just being part of a gang with your mates. I started my first band at 13 playing punk covers by The Clash, Ramones, Sex Pistols and The Stooges with some mates from school. I don’t even think I liked the music at first to be honest but it was a good laugh and easy enough to play – and the next thing I knew I was hooked! Your tastes change over the years but I think whatever style I’m playing I just love the idea of creating something with your mates that’s bigger than the sum of it’s parts.” – Alex
Do you release your own material or are you signed?
“Pretty much everything we do we do ourselves, we’re not signed and don’t have a manager or anything. From getting CDs made, creating artwork to booking venues and making the posters it’s all done amongst ourselves. It can be hard juggling that with full time jobs but I think it’s definitely more satisfying when you know you’ve done it all yourself.” – Alex
You have played all over the Northeast, where is your favourite place to play and why?
“The usual places like The Cluny or Think Tank are always great but for me it’s got to be the Boilershop behind Newcastle Central Station, it’s an unbelievable venue. We played there last August supporting The Temperance Movement and it was a class gig. It’s essentially just a huge old warehouse building, George Stephenson’s original workshop so it’s got great North East history tied in and loads of character. If only we could play there every week haha!” – Alex
If you could play anywhere with any support bands of your choice, what would be your ‘dream’ show?
“I’d have us play at Pompeii, with Leonard Cohen, Steppenwolf and The Pogues.” – Dom
Best gig memories? And biggest disaster?
“Definitely last year’s Split Festival. It was a lush day in Sunderland and it really felt like we were part of something bigger – seeing local bands on the same bill as acts like Maximo Park, The Cribs and Dizzee Rascal is great for the music scene up here. The whole weekend was just a good laugh, and there was plenty of bands there we know like Schultz, Shades, In Vibes and Goy Boy McIlroy. I feel like we got a great reception there too. In terms of disasters, I can’t really think of any! That’s not to say we’re perfect every gig haha, we’ve had our fair share of fuck ups when playing when under the influence, but nothing I’d class as a full blown ‘disaster’. Yet.”
What are your plans for the immediate future and any long term goals?
“I don’t think we ever have long term goals in this band, it’s more like taking one step at a time and see where it takes us. Although this year I think we definitely need to start trying to play outside of our comfort zone and around the country. Middlesbrough is the furthest south we’ve played haha, but we’re trying to rectify that with a gig in London on Friday 6th February. It’s at The Garage which is a cracking venue with great history. Kasabian are even playing there the week before us and over the years the likes of Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon and Muse have all started out there so we’re buzzing to be doing the same. Generally though, as far as ‘goals’ go, I think as long as the songs are getting better each time and interest is growing then I’m happy. It makes me think we’re on the right track even if we haven’t got a clue where we’re going!” – Alex
“I think we just want to take our time for our next EP. It’ll be a 6 track release with our best material to date.” – Dom
Any gigs coming up?
Quite a few…
- Friday 6th February – The Garage, London
- Saturday 21st February – Think Tank? Newcastle (supporting Lola Colt)
- Friday 27th February – The Cluny 2, Newcastle (supporting The Voyeurs)
- Tuesday 3rd March – Mixtape at The Keys, Middlesbrough
- Thursday 2nd April – Doctor Brown’s, Middlesbrough
- Saturday 4th April – Independent, Sunderland (supporting Demob Happy)
Who or what is your top tip for local music?
“I can’t think of one particular top tip so I might just reel off a few! Some North East bands that I think people should definitely check out are Bernaccia, Goy Boy McIlroy, Schultz, Shades, Wake, In Vibes and Dead Light District. All fucking mint bands and all fucking sound lads as well haha!” – Alex
Where can people find out more?
Soundcloud – www.soundcloud.com/kobadelta
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