We touch down on “Earth” gently, in a mysterious fog. Stephanie Ward’s vocals are wistful as black luftballons, as the song opens. You can’t help but think the intro line would work well as an Anjunadeep trance sample. It’s chilling, probing, reflective. A great introduction to their Supernova album, which comes out May 4. But it isn’t long before you realize you’re headed down more of a classic rock route. That’s thanks to Thom Beckman (Lead Guitar), Jim Freeman (Bass) and Rodd Karp (Drums). Ward also comes through with some of the guitar work and the viola on the album.
Sam Cobra is alternative in the best meaning of the term. Basically, the Seattle outfit puts their own spin on rocking out.If you play it at the right volume, you can almost hear tiny dogs howling of loneliness in unison somewhere off in the distance. But it’s all washed through with the crunch of powerful chords and a solid guitar solo. It’s what we’re in short supply of for quality live shows. Think the kind of rock hippies feared would die, but thankfully never did.
Supernova releases May 4th, so keep your eyes out for the release! In the meantime, learn more about Sam Cobra in our interview below!
Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, we're Sam Cobra. We're a 4-piece band from Seattle that started in 2016. You're speaking with Stephanie (Vocals) and Thom (Lead Guitar)
How would you say “Earth” fits into the overall astronomical phenomenon of “Supernova”?
Stephanie: 'Earth' is part of a storyline behind the album. It describes what has happened to the planet and why it's in a state of uproar. People have neglected the planet for so long that Mother Nature has called upon the oceans, trees, winds to go nuts and destroy humankind. It's a happy song.
Thom: For me, it's really funny because the original demo I wrote had a much different feel. It's now a respectable part of a storyline. The original music I wrote sounded more like a gorilla trying to parallel park a garbage truck.
What is the typical songwriting process for you guys?
Stephanie: Thom and I collaborate on the writing. One of us will bring a song to the table, they're usually pretty well thought out before we present them. And then from there we'll make adjustments to the arrangements as a band. Thom excels in coming up with big sexy hooks and I handle the lyrics. Thom: Fortunately, we are both pretty open about making changes if it makes the song better. I tend to throw a lot of stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
Are there any musical sacred cows (in your approach to rock or otherwise) you will not touch? Or are you guys up to try anything musically?
Stephanie: In general I think we're pretty open. But as we've grown as a band, our sound has evolved from what we affectionately call butt rock to a more psychedelic space sound. It happened really naturally and we were all on the same page. After completing this album, we realized we would probably love having some keys on our songs, so that may happen in the near future.
Thom: I feel like this band will always be a work in progress, working towards the next musical "thing". So all options are on the table, from my perspective.
It’s kind of crazy how radio has gone from playing a lot of pop-rock in the 90s to a lot of commercial hip-hop nowadays. Does it feel like you’re part of a scene that’s dying? Or does rock have more of an edge now that, in a way, it’s less mainstream?
Stephanie: It probably depends a lot on where you live. Seattle still has a huge rock scene. And our local radio stations play all sorts of stuff, but we're lucky that way I guess. I personally try to avoid mainstream music because it's terrible. I think as musicians, we're just trying to make stuff that we like and are less concerned about what scene it fits into.
Thom: I have always been part of a dying scene in one way or another so I don't really notice anymore. I just stick to my own misguided ideas of what music should sound like.
Do you have a favorite moment on the song “Earth”?
Stephanie: I love the beginning. Not because it's me singing alone I swear. Our producer, Don Farwell added some amazing effects to our album and that section for me nails the spacey vibe that we were going for.
Thom: The whole intro was Stephanie's idea and it completely altered the song for the better. Brilliant move on her part.
What's next for you?
Stephanie: We took a long nap after we finished recording and are now gearing back up again. We'll continue to play shows in Seattle and beyond while we work on writing songs for our next album.
Connect with Sam Cobra: