Hi, KOBOLD. Death Parade to be re-released on August. You must be excited?
Hi. The re-release of our debut album Death Parade, a year after it was originally released feels like Godly justice since hundreds of labels turned us down a year ago. No more crappy CDs and booklets. printed on a 70$ printer in our bedroom, and no more sending hundreds of e-mails practically begging for the slightest promotion. Iron, Blood and Death corp. finally gave this album the recognition it deserves, as we have bled making it and we’ve shown that we can stand on our own two feet.
First of all, we would like to know about the formation of the band. When and how was it formed? Do you think the band name ‘KOBOLD’ perfectly decribes your music and philosophy?
The band started our way back in 2011, with two 15-year-old kids with cheap Squiers in their bedroom just beating their guitars senselessly. Half a year after picking up the instruments, we’ve had our first gig under the name “Lethalik” and we had the greatest time ever. Being a bunch of World of Warcraft geeks, we were awkward and socially retarded, but we played mean and fast. Some of the Death Parade songs like “Headless Horseman” and “The Funeral” were written back then. A year later, we had our debut album written, but we didn’t know much about recording, so two years later, in 2015 we somehow managed to self-release 3 best songs as an EP. We recorded and produced all of it on our own. We’ve changed the name to Kobold, thought up a mascot, a flag, drawn the sketch for our logo and that was it. The beast was born, but not quite. Soon our vocalist/guitarist/founding member of the band left, and we faced a major breakdown before we even truly started. We’ve faced a dozen lineup changes before, so we just had to go forward anyhow, so we did. We’ve tuned down to drop C so we would get a wider guitar tone, put the bass guitar on a ton of chorus and distortion, and I took over vocals. You could say that the period in 2016 when Death Parade was written, recorded and performed on many gigs, was the true birth of the power trio named Kobold.
Okay now tell us something about Death Parade, and the lyrical themes behind each track. What are the ideas you wanted to put across?
Death Parade is a very simple, bitter, in-your-face album. We didn’t want to sing about the usual themes, telling somebody the “big secrets” of world politics, life or religion, we were like 21, who wants to be lectured about life by 21-year-olds while listening to thrash metal. The lyrics mostly deal with the archetypes of some individuals of our society that we despise, and common social problems we face when we are young.
Death Parade is a song on how we would ideally deal with degeneracy in our own anti-poetic way. We hate that the individuals in our society are rotting it from inside out, imposing their twisted moral values, dividing us all more each day while masking it all with big words like “tolerance” and “love”. Be who you want, do whatever you want, but don’t push it on me. I’m being very vague, but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. It’s kinda funny that the album cover for Death Parade was initially banned from the internet for a week or so. I guess (((they))) disapproved our anti-poetic justice.
Fake is a song about fake friends. Those slimy little bastards that smile in your face and tell you how you are their world, but as soon as you are not watching, they do everything they can to ruin your life, just so they can rise above you in their own way. Fuck those people.
Random Act of Violence is a song about bursting into violence. Some things in life can only be violently resolved, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed of it. Violence is not above you, you haven’t evolved past it, it’s a crucial part of you, embrace it, and own up to your self.
I, Icarus is a very personal song. We all have our dreams, but not all of us are dealt the same cards in life. It might not be fair that we were born in a country with the minimum monthly wage of 200$ for a 9 to 5 job (while you need like 500$ or so to survive a month on your own) and some kid in America is casually buying his tenth thousand-dollar-guitar and financing his first American tour with a MC Donalds wage, but we just have to accept it. Not all of us are dealt the same cards. We just have to work harder, and in the process, it will make us stronger, and if we have to fail a thousand times, we must go towards achieving our ambitions. We’ll never stop, and we’ll never quit.
When the Eyes Turn Inwards deals with drunk, smelly street thieves, thugs and rats. We have a bit too many of them here in Serbia. Fuck them. Beat them up any chance you get, zero tolerance.
Die Hard was previously a song about a mentally ill serial killer (on the EP), but on Death Parade it’s about a mentally ill friend.
Soul Funeral is about occult stuff being used in the way it’s mostly used by women, to get something or someone they want.
Ministry of Propaganda… Won’t touch that with a 10-meter pole in this interview, you’ll figure it out.
Headless Horseman is a song about our dear ex-vocalist/guitarist. Needless to say, we didn’t break off on the best of terms.
Warth Child is about growing up as “that kid that gets picked last for the football team”. It’s just baffling how kids need a scapegoat so early in their lives, and I am sure many people can relate to this song.
Thrill for Speed is a thrash anthem. Beer, mosh, sweat, blood and fast music. What else could you ask for?
Mistress of the Night is a love song. Might sound cheesy, but I’ve always wanted to write one.
Where and when did you record Death Parade? Are you satisfied with it?
Death Parade was recorded in studio “Citadela”, Belgrade, Serbia. It was produced by the band and mixed & mastered by Luka “Tower” Matković, previously known from the legendary Serbian band “Space Eater”. We wanted to record a “live” album, but we had to cut many corners to afford the studio, so the drums and vocals were recorded in the studio, while the guitars and bass were recorded at home and re-amped in the studio. The drums were recorded in November 2016 in two days, and the vocals were recorded in January 2017, also in two days. The guitars and the bass took about the same, so you could say that the whole 15-track-album was recorded in 6 days somewhere in between 2016 and 2017. We wanted to sound like us, so there was no editing or triggering on the drums, no extra guitar harmonies or rhythm tracks behind solos, and no layering of the vocals. We struggled a bit with Luka to achieve this “Kobold” sound since he never worked with a band like us. Death Parade is not perfect, but we are damn proud of it. It’s raw, loud, unique and it captures the identity of the band. Pretty much almost no bands today have the balls to do something like this, sound real and like themselves instead of like something else that’s popular at the given moment. This is what sets Death Parade apart from most other metal releases today.
Are you gonna to release some official band merch?
We wanted to do merch a year ago, but we blew all our money on printing the CDs ourselves, now that we’ll be receiving CDs for free, we can print out some awesome Kobold shirts, badges, patches, necklaces and maybe even plush key chains, just for fun, who knows.
What are KOBOLD’s musical and non-musical influences?
Back in 2011, we started out as two kids listening to the classic bands, Metallica, Megadeth, Exodus, Slayer and Pantera. We wanted to be our heroes. Nowadays if you took Megadeth, Immortal, Type O Negative, Children of Bodom and Devin Townsend and put them in one band, you would get what we are currently doing. Lyrically we give ourselves freedom, so even though Death Parade deals with one set of themes, our follow-up album might deal with completely different ones. Visually we are mostly influenced by video games such as World of Warcraft, Duke Nukem and all that brutal, goofy, old-school imagery.
Could you please express your personal views on religion and god?
All of us have been raised in Serbian-Orthodox families, which is a very specific set of beliefs since many millenniums of Serb traditions have been embedded into it and preserved in the face of relentless brutal Christianisation of Europe (you should check out “Vinča culture”, the oldest and the most advanced old culture in the world). It’s made up of 90% Serbian tradition and national identity, and 10% Christianity. You could call it paganism and not be far off. We take pride in our identity, it has been passed down to us through our genes, over generations, and we respect it. We can’t help but despise what the Abrahamic religions have done to Europe, robbing gentiles of their identity and imposing a set of beliefs that just doesn’t work for us and instead enslaves us, making us all the same, and our minds and souls barren. We are grateful that the Serbs managed to retain 90% of their identity, even under the vile name of Christianity. Going atheist, nordic pagan, satanist or whatever would be the same as renouncing our heritage. To each their own. You must explore your ancient culture, learn what it all means, enrich your soul and identity. The myths are riddles, not to be understood directly, they hold the keys to the meaning of life, and each people have their own culture, preserved through their religion.
Shall we expect some gigs across USA or Europe near time?
Who knows. Frankly, we’re always broke. Serbia is one of the poorest countries in the world. If we get some offers that assure we don’t lose more money then we can afford to lose since we have to be able to pay the rent once we come back home, then you can expect those. A message for the potential organizers – we can sleep on the floor, you don’t have to feed us much, just get us a damn gig free of charge, and keep the profit if there is any.
When shall fans to expect something new from you? Videoclip, single, documentary etc?
Well, probably another music video, celebrating the re-release of the album, and after that the follow-up album, in all its glory, with many music videos, lyric videos, playthroughs etc.
Thanks a lot for the interview. Speak out to your fans, supporters, critics and our readers before we wrap up!
Thank you for the opportunity to share some thoughts and views and make the band a bit closer to anyone who reads this.
Be yourselves, by yourselves, enjoy life to the fullest, as it is short and unpredictable and if you ever feel down, just play some Kobold to get you back on your feet.