"I want to be the female version of Dio"
The album "666" is not only the debut of the promising newcomers Cobra Spell, but also opens the door to the world of the 80s in a sonic way. Singer Kristina Vega explains what fascinates her and the band about the past decade, talks about her love of Ronnie James Dio and shares her thoughts on the subject of satisfaction.
8. Jan 2024
If you had to summarise the essence and character of your debut album "666" in one word, what would it be?
Kris: Rebellion. With "666" we wanted to express nothing less than pure rebellion and at the same time touch on the different facets of the 80s and pay tribute to them.
Where does the fascination for the 80s come from?
Kris: From Sonia (note: Sonia Anubis, guitarist). She is our main composer and has an unwavering love for the 80s. Her passion and extensive knowledge of the decade is unrivalled - you could almost call her a walking encyclopaedia (laughs). She skilfully weaves this devotion into our music, especially through her unique and dynamic riffs; the sonic impulses therefore largely come from her.
Do you share Sonia's passion?
Kris: Absolutely! For example, while Sonia is passionate about the music, interiors and style of those years, my heart beats for video games. I'm a huge fan of retro games like Super Mario, Donkey Kong and Rygar and of consoles like Sega and Super Nintendo. The 80s are the origin of everything I love today, including my big musical influences like Freddie Mercury (note: late Queen singer) and Ronnie James Dio (note: Dio, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, among others).
The metal and rock of the 80s was often characterised by devil symbolism, which is also strongly represented in "666" and can be interpreted in different ways. What does this symbolism mean to you?
Kris: At that time, the devil was often linked to female identity. It was a kind of reflex: a woman did something "weird" and the devil was said to be inside her. Much of what was associated with women in the past was seen as cursed. We women often do things that are too controversial for many people, and it was no different back then. That's why we wanted to make a clear statement with "666"; especially the song "The Devil Inside Of Me" describes this situation very vividly. In this song, a woman is portrayed as being possessed by the devil just because of her love for metal. I believe that many of us have had similar experiences.
Have you too?
Kris: Of course. When I was 16, I listened to a lot of Satyricon (note: black metal band from Norway). Their music fascinated me, but their lyrics were pretty dark and anything but Christian. It was incomprehensible to those around me, especially my parents, that I listened to such music and also dressed completely in black. They all asked me what was wrong with me. I just thought to myself: What do you all want from me? I'm still the same person!
Is that where your need for rebellion comes from?
Kris: As a teenager, you often feel the urge to express yourself in one way - and that was just my way. I'm sure dozens of women were or are like me. That's mainly because a lot of people used to be convinced - and some still are - that metal was only for men.
Cobra Spell is an all female metal band from Spain. The glam metal band released their debut album 666 in 2023.
Sonia Anubis - Guitars, Synthesizers Noelle dos Anjos - Guitars Kristina Vega - Lead Vocals Hale Naphta - Drums Roxy Herrera - Bass
However, bands like Cobra Spell show us that this is not the case.
Kris: That's right! However, that was also something I really missed growing up: a female role model in metal. I already had two very strong male idols in Freddie and Dio. Dio was like a metal dad to me; I admire him deeply. But I lacked a female counterpart to him. And that's exactly what I'm striving for now: I want to become the female version of Dio and perhaps also an inspiration for girls and women.
It's not my intention to copy Dio, but his singing has influenced and inspired me a lot. I used to ask myself: if it's possible for a man to produce such powerful sounds, why shouldn't I be able to do the same? If men like Dio, Freddie, Corey Taylor (note: Slipknot singer) or Chester Bennington (note: late Linkin Park singer) can sing like that, then I can do it just as well. At the end of the day, they don't use anything that isn't available to me. Sure, I'm not them. Nevertheless, I recognise some similarities in their singing: this roughness, a powerful belting and lots of low notes. Sometimes I even have the feeling that my voice sounds quite masculine (laughs).
You presented us with "S.E.X." as the first taster of your debut album. Is there a particular reason why you released this song first?
Kris: "S.E.X." cries out for attention. We wanted to use this song to emphasise what satisfaction means to each of us - especially with the accompanying music video. I found the inspiration for my part in a certain film, the name of which I have unfortunately forgotten. There was a scene in the film where a woman is surrounded by lots of naked men. The thought of finding myself in such a situation - not with men, but with women - fascinated me.
The fact that you realised this idea for your part in the video suggests that you see women as a source of satisfaction.
Kris: Exactly. As I mentioned earlier, this song reflects what brings us all joy and makes us feel good - in my case, it's women. I find the aura and energy that we radiate to be unique and magical. For me as a bisexual person, it was a wonderful experience to be surrounded by so many wonderful women.
What criteria did the others use to design their scenes?
Kris: Roxy (note: Roxana Herrera, bass player) has a special love for her bass and therefore just wanted to play her instrument and be surrounded by dancing women. Sonia has opted for a car, which represents her personal satisfaction. Noelle (note: Noelle dos Anjos, guitarist) is more romantically inclined and so you see her in a sweet white dress on a red couch, surrounded by lots of tea lights and rose petals. Hale (note: Hale Naphtha, drummer), on the other hand, loves fire. It gives her adrenaline and joy, which is why she sets everything on fire in her scene.
Compared to the energetic "S.E.X.", you show a calmer side in "Fly Away" - what can you tell me about this song?
Kris: "Fly Away" was written by Sonia. She dedicated it to a relative she never met. It therefore expresses the feeling of longing for someone you've never really met. In "666", however, we address a variety of different topics. Sometimes we show our poetic side, sometimes we write a song ("Warrior From Hell") about a guitar - more precisely, about Sonia's guitar (laughs). For example, "You're A Cheater" is again about something completely different, namely one of my ex-boyfriends.
Does this person know that this song was dedicated to them?
Kris: Not yet (laughs)!
Kristina Vega is the singer of bands such as Cobra Spell, SerapiS and Born in Exile. The Spaniard is also a metal vocal coach.
What's next on the agenda for you?
Kris: A lot of things. For example, we're already in the middle of working on our next album.
Can you already give us a little insight?
Kris: I'm so excited about our new project that I'd love to reveal all the details already, but I have to hold back a little (laughs). However, I can already give you a little hint: We're going in an exciting, more modern direction with the next work.
But the spirit of the 80s remains, doesn't it?
Kris: Definitely! As with many other artists, we also attach great importance to further development, but we remain one hundred per cent true to our 80s style. For those who like "666", the upcoming record should certainly be very interesting.