This is the tenth podcast from The Bobby D Show. Here’s what’s featured in this podcast: The music of Cobia, The Top 10 Celebrities to Smoke Out With, Oregon’s New Reservoir Water , Strippers…It’s an Art Form, Sex Poll Results and a lot more. Keep in mind that our podcast are 100% NEW material. We love to recycle but we’re not doing it here! Now find out more about the featured musical guests.
How does a heavy band manage to set itself apart in an era when anybody with an Internet connection can upload their riffs for anyone to hear? For Chicagoland modern rock quintet Cobia, it’s a much more hopeful approach to a traditionally dark genre of music that springs from the camaraderie between the members of the band and a mutual understanding of what they’ve all lived through in their lives.
There are two main threads in the history of Cobia, but ultimately, they arrive at the same place. On the one hand, guitarist Mike Potesta, drummer Andrew Nelson and bassist Trevor Greene have known each other since childhood – well in advance of their musical aspirations – and have that kind of unshakeable bond that comes with that kind of familiarity. On the other hand, singer Adam Clarke and guitarist Derek Jones both served in the U.S. military in the Middle East, with Clarke doing two tours in Iraq as a field medic with the Marine Corps.
Both of these paths forge brotherhood, either through time, intensity, or both, and that comes through in the band’s music, where the sharing of experiences from the everyday to the extraordinary is funneled through their songs. One of those extraordinary experiences is narrated in the opening track from the band’s debut record Blood, Sand & Oil – produced and recorded by Steven Gillis at Transient Sound in Chicago – in which Clarke recalls the deaths of two of his fellow Marines in Iraq. While that helps describe the emotional gravity that defines both band and singer, it may not be the most revealing story he brought back from the war.
In his first tour of duty in 2003, sitting in a dark, windowless amphibious assault vehicle for hours en route to Baghdad, Clarke would sing, both as a way to pass the time and as a way for him and his fellow Marines to deal with the enormity of what they were going through. This story ends up being an important foundation of the music that Cobia makes. Drawing directly on influences that include Metallica, Pantera, Sevendust, Nirvana, Silverchair , Deftones, The Used, Thrice, and more indirectly from pop, R&B, country and psychedelic rock, it’s a taut, heavy blend of hard rock and heavy metal that wouldn’t be out of place on modern rock radio. And yet, it’s just a little bit different, perhaps owing to that sense of gravitas anchored by Clarke’s war experience.
The music manages to be aggressive without sounding overly angry; bittersweet without sounding overly bitter. There’s definitely a conscious effort from the band to take these stories of love, loss, hate, war, and tragedy, and turn them into triumphs over that adversity, but what’s unexpected is how it comes through in the delivery of the vocals themselves. It’s that armored transport experience in a larger context, or, as Clarke puts it, “Everybody, no matter where they come from, has a war of their own that they have to deal with, that they have to rise above.”