DIAMOND KOBRA The Rise of Kobra!

Diamond Kobra is quite a new name for all of us although the band is out there already for some time of period. Since various very popular individuals from metal scene are involved in this particular project it time to present Diamond Kobra on our pages. I would like just to mention few bands like Blind Guardian, Arch Enemy but you will find a lot of information in this particular interview.

Please, could you for the very beginning tell us something more about DIAMOND KOBRA? Most of the people have heard about your musical project since many of very popular and prominent musicians are involved in your project.

Otto Løfgren: We started in early 2019 to create the music we like: 80s inspired dark filmmusic with heavy guitars and synthesizers with a lot attention to details… we just asked some friends like Michael Amott (Arch Enemy), JM (Psychopunch), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) and so on if they would be up to contribute to the project and they did. Hansi for example has spoken the intro and outro – we recorded it in their studio when I was filming with them on other project. So things just developed and we released our first album „The Arrival“ on neon pink vinyl and cassettes…. And of course the albums are available on all major streaming platforms via our distributor Blood Blast Distribution (part of Nuclear Blast).

How would you like to describe the style of Diamond Kobra? Actually, it sounds like 80s dark-wave but with lots of heavy guitars in the background?

Otto Løfgren: It’s quite difficult to describe because there is a lot of different styles involved – but overall you can call it „Epic Darksynth Metal“ even there are a lot of synth-pop elements. Some have main vocals and voiceovers. And there are lots of metal guitars and atmospheric elements in it. The guitars are pretty much in your face I would say… sometimes very heavy and sometimes more in Pink Floyd style. It’s like a soundtrack to an 80s Science-Fiction movie with Bad guys, Aliens, sexy girls and all the key elements you like.

B.B. Baconson:
Yes, i fit is a rainy night in Tokio and you are driving a Lamborghini on the highway it is what you put on, while stolen money is flying out of your window.

So far youve released two full-length albums, and your latest record is ‘’Return of the Starbeast’’ so please could you tell us little more about it?

Otto Løfgren:
Return of the Starbeast is the second album, right… we released it on neon green vinyl, neon green cassette and digital via our partner Blood Blast Distribution, part of Nuclear Blast. This one has a little bit more heaviness and there are even tracks you wouldn’t expect. Again a concept album with a whole story… let’s B.B. Baconsson talk about it!

B.B. Baconson:
You know in a distant future we find our hero Quaid who is a starship captain. He is part of a group of space raiders called DIAMOND KOBRA. As it happens, when you are in this business, you make enemies. The album is about the rivalry with Kronos, his crew are the Razor Hawks. There are rigged poker games where fortunes in credits are lost, conquered love affairs. At one point Kronos kills the fiancé of Quaid. The vendetta starts and it becomes a war. So it’s an album about love, hate and credits.

Could you also name some of the artists who have participated on your second album? I mean there are lots of them including members of Blind Guardian, Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquility and so on…

Otto Løfgren:
Indeed, we asked some more friends if they would be up for it and they were… we are lucky bastards. Guest appearing on ‘Return of the Starbeast’ are:

Phil Soussan (Ex-Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol)

• Marcus Siepen (Blind Guardian)
• Johanna Sadonis (Lucifer)

• Chris Amott (Dark Tranquillity, Ex-Arch Enemy)

• Joey Concepcion (Ex-Sanctuary, The Absence)

• Caroline “Rippy” Portillo (Ex-Tito & Tarantula, The Division Men)

• Laura Scarborough (singer/songwriter) 

• Nicke Andersson (The Hellacopters, Lucifer)

• JM (Psychopunch)

• Tommy Geiger (ex-Palast)

• J.Spencer Portillo (The Division Men)

• K.D. Johansen (Supercharger)

• Janne Skarming (Age of Reflection)

• Andrew James Witzke (Beloved Enemy)

There are many videos that you have created more or less for each song so please could you tell us something more about them? Theyre quite into 80s style but with more modern edge I would say.

Otto Løfgren:
DIAMOND KOBRA is a whole universe of music, visuals, the conception and so on. The music works even better if you have matching visuals and music videos. We filmed „Legend of the Night“ with Laura Scarborough in a design hotel in Düsseldorf, Germany… there are a lot of 80s references and easter eggs. Every single release comes with a music video… even we don’t have a big check record deal at the moment we do most of the stuff as we think it should fit in the concept.

B.B. Baconson:
We both have a filmmaking background so estathics are super important to us.

Is it hard to work with such a lot musicians only on one album, I mean you need to gather all their recording to produce everything and so on, its really a hell of job so to say!

Otto Løfgren:
That is actually not so complicated as I may seems… we just asked them and gave them some ideas and references or lyrics and then they send back their tracks and we worked it into the songs… It´s always great to see how songs go into a direction you haven’t thought of when we do the first song layouts. Sometimes the songs end up completely different as they were at the beginning… which is totally great and exiting!

B.B. Baconson:
Yeah, it is so nice to have that input and how much energy and creativity the musicians put into it. It definitely makes the songs jump a lot of levels.

You did for both of your releases vinyl and tape versions, but there are any CDs, so why did you decided to do something like that? And what did you want to express with the cover artworks for your records?

Otto Løfgren:
Better is bigger, yes and the artworks just look best on a vinyl. I think CD’s are quite outdated nowadays… I mean I listed a lot to music at home on vinyl or at the computer while working… I still have lots of CDs too but I actually never use them anymore.

Youre very known in metal community with your alter ego name „Dirk Behlau aka The Pixeleye“ but doing something else: actually you are man who is standing behind the videos and photos of all late Blind Guardians releases like videos or photos, so what could you tell su about that part of your activities?

Otto Løfgren:
I am very grateful to work with Blind Guardian since a couple of years now. I am a fan since I am 16 and the first album came out. My first show as a fan with them was in 1989 and I got in contact with Hansi like 30 years later… he contacted me as he had seen my work, we met up in their studio, I did some filming sessions and then everything just went on from there. I did a lot for the orchestra album and many other visuals for the upcoming album… basically all official photos and videos. And so much more I can not tell you about right now. The whole band and crew is just like family, I love to work with the guys, they are so down to earth and give me a lot of freedom in my work for them.

You are already preparing your next release, but this time it will be heavier, more based on guitars since I have heard just a sample of whats coming, so what could you tell us about your upcoming record? There’ll be a lot of influences coming from Crimson Glory, Savatage…

Otto Løfgren:
Yes we are working on material and the new single „Rise of the Legion“ is coming out soon. The new track is rooted in Dark Synthwave but is basically an epic heavy metal hymn with strong metal guitars. We are very happy about the fact we now have kind of a band structure with Frank and Tommy. Frank contacted us after the release of „Return of the Starbeast“ as he really digs our first two albums.

So we just tried to work on a track together and it was a perfect match directly from the start. Frank already plays on 4-5 new tracks now and it’s a pleasure that we found each other. In addition to this Tommy Geiger (who is also our producer – besides his work with Blind Guardian, Helloween, Saxon and so on) is giving a lot of input with different instruments like keyboards and bass guitar.

And he just has the vision how our style of music has to sound like. Massive and epic.

He’s a real professional and both guys are lifting the sound of DIAMOND KOBRA to the next level. Artwork wise we are going into a more realistic direction, more into the high-end rendering video game graphic style like in Cyberpunk 2077. We found a great artist from Italy, so the „Legend“ single artwork shows his first work for as: a 1967 Chevy Camaro in a futuristic night life scene.

There’s still a long way to go as everybody involved is quite busy with other projects but maybe end of the year we know more. I personally want to go more into the direction of the new track but as on the previous albums we don’t limitate ourselves to just one style.

I would like to thank you for your interview and I wish you all the best. Were already looking forward to check out your third and upcoming record!

Thank you for your opportunity 🙂 Make sure to check out www.diamondkobra.com for our albums. videos and merch!

Interview by Marko Miranovic

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