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Seattle Calendar: Year of the Cobra Has Had a Helluva Year Since Moving to Seattle

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03-24-sound-yearofthecobraRock and roll will never die. But it does occasionally take naps until a mighty enough band comes along and wakes it up with some truly glorious racket. Such a band is Year of the Cobra. The Seattle Doom duo are like a sexier, snakier version Black Sabbath, with heavy, blues riffs, and vocals with such a witchy sound that they might actually summon the kracken. And it’s caught on quick. In just over a year, the band has done multiple tours, garnered strong west coast following, and released the black hole heavy In the Shadows Below.

The band’s drummer, Jon Barrysmith, caught up with The Messenger to preview the band’s performance at Johnny B’s in Medford on Sat., December 9.

Rogue Valley Messenger: What is the band’s background/how did you all get together?

JB: The band really started because we moved to Seattle and didn’t know anyone. We initially met in 2007 on Halloween in California. We were both playing in different bands at the time, but hit it off immediately. We had always talked about starting a project together, but never found the right time. After moving to Seattle, we figured, no better time than now!  

RVM: Why did you pursue the doom/stoner sound when you did. Was it debilitate or something that arose naturally from the combined musicianship?

JB: It was definitely something that arose naturally. Our backgrounds in music are very similar.  We both grew up in the Bay Area punk/hardcore scene, and still have that punk rock ethos.  Moving on to playing heavier music was a pretty natural progression. We perhaps discussed a few times what type of music we wanted to write, but basically it was just silently agreed upon.

RVM: You formed in 2015, and a lot seems to have happened for your group since—tours, collaborations, recordings. Is it right place, right time, or a lot of hustle?

JB: We’re still kind of reeling with how fast everything has happened, but we have definitely worked very, very hard. We both have a pretty clear vision of what we want this band to be like, and we have stuck to that vision. Our personalities and skill sets definitely compliment each other as well, so where one lacks, the other excels. It has been a great working relationship.

RVM: We’re now in something of the post-guitar era. But it seems like your home market of Seattle is having a heavy music renaissance. How does it compare to your ventures out into the world at large? Is it different?

JB: There is definitely something special happening in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest in general. The quality of music and musicianship we have out here is unparalleled, and the scene is truly electrifying.  It is rare that you will find a weekend devoid of heavy, raging music, and people are responding to it.  It is a special time to be here. We are lucky to be a part of it!

RVM: Have you played Southern Oregon before. Any thoughts or expectations?

JB: This will be our first time playing the Rogue Valley. We’ve played everywhere else on the West Coast, so we’re really looking forward to it!

Year of the Cobra, with Mos Generator, My Own Black Eye, and Dogtooth & Nail

9 pm, Sat., December 10

Johnny B’s, 120 E. Sixth St., Medford

$5

Credit: Courtesy of Year of the Cobra

Cutline: Do you think we should have hired a taller photographer? Never mind. We’ll talk about it later.

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