An Interview with doom duo, Year of the Cobra
Since their inception in 2015, Year Of The Cobra has garnered a lot of attention. After the doomy Seattle-based duo, Amy Tung Barrysmith (vocals/ bass) and Jon Barrysmith (drums), was discovered by famed Pacific Northwest blog site Doomed and Stoned in early 2015, they started to gain a solid following.
Following their sophomore EP, Burn Your Dead (2017), they had successful tours in Europe and the US, playing a number of large, well-known festivals along the way, including Psycho Las Vegas, Freak Valley Festival, and Stoned Meadow of Doom.
Year of the Cobra is currently working on new material for their 2019 follow-up full length album.
Get a taste of Year of the Cobra:
I caught up with the duo to chat about their music and future plans:
Just quickly, please tell us how the two of you started Year of the Cobra and where you are currently based?
We started Year of the Cobra because we both moved to a new city (Seattle, WA.) and we didn’t know anyone. We had played in separate touring bands in the past, and had always wanted to start a band with each other, but the timing was never right. So, when we moved to Seattle and had zero connections or friends, the timing was perfect, haha! And it’s been the most fun we’ve had playing in a band…
You are sometimes tagged as an occult doom band. Is this accurate and in your own words, how would you describe your sound?
We write songs without any intention of falling into, or trying to be in a certain niche, we go with whatever feels right. I think the day you’re trying to conform to what people “think” you should do or sound like, is the day you should hang it up. We’ve had the tags of stoner rock, doom, occult, punk, psychedelic and metal be a constant, and I would agree with them all… and it keeps the door wide open for us 🙂
Tell me about your latest release, Burn Your Dead, compared to your first release The Black Sun in June 2015. How did your sound evolve over time?
Well, The Black Sun was actually only meant to be a demo, just to get shows in Seattle. Somehow, Doomed and Stoned (an awesome Doom/stoner blog) in the U.S., found it online and blasted it out. Everything kind of snowballed from there. After The Black Sun, we actually released our debut full length …In the Shadows Below on STB Records, which was received really well and opened a lot of doors for us. We toured pretty heavily on that record and came home and wrote Burn Your Dead. I think Burn Your Dead really showcases our diversity with song writing, it’s definitely YOTC, but we threw in some twist and turns on that one.
So, tell me about the process of putting songs together. Who writes the lyrics? And what do you write about?
Amy writes most of the riffs and we’ll go jam it out in our rehearsal studio. Some ideas stick and some don’t. She also writes a majority of the lyrics too and they tend to hover within Greek mythology, the apocalypse and occult themes.
Who designed the artwork for your album covers and are there any specific themes for each of them?
We’ve had different artists do each record. An artist who goes by the name Unexpected Specter, from Chicago, IL. did The Black Sun. A friend of ours, Esther Heckman, from Seattle drew the cover for …In the Shadows Below, and Joshua M. Wilkinson (The Company) did the design for Burn Your Dead. Joshua actually does 95% of our t-shirt and tour poster designs – he’s a big part of our aesthetic and really understands our vision.
That’s awesome! And who or what influences your music and are there any bands you really would like to collaborate with?
Oooh, tough one! Depends on who you ask and on what day! Haha! We both grew up in the punk rock world, so that attitude and ethos is embedded in us and something we wear on our sleeves. Heavy music was always there, and something we gravitated to as we got older.
So, what are you busy with right now and where are your next gigs?
We are busy with writing our next record! The songs are coming really well and we’re very proud of the direction we’re heading. We are touring the U.S. in August and then again in November. After that, we’ll record the new record and hit the road again! We have tours in the works for Europe and possibly South Africa for 2019! Keep your eyes peeled, Next year will be a busy one for us.