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'It's like a chainsaw with a rock n' roll button'
Karl Nygren has a difficult time describing where exactly his band immune2cobras fits, genre-wise.
“If you’ve never heard it, it’s hard to explain,” said the Nelson singer, who will be opening for Vancouver’s Bend Sinister at a Kootenay Co-op Radio concert on July 16. “It’s like Rage Against the Machine heavy, but also melodic at the same time. One fan said we’re like Rush on steroids. But I like to think it’s like a chainsaw with a rock n’ roll button.”
Nygren recently teamed up with drummer Chris Killeen, who also performs with local metal act Savage Blade. Killeen took over for a previous drummer that had collaborated heavily with Nygren on his current playlist.
“I liked the way he beat the shit out of drums, so I tracked him down and as soon as we started playing together it was a great fit. If anything the band got heavier, because he’s a traditional hard rock kind of drummer,” said Nygren.
Nygren’s musical background is a little eclectic, comparatively.
“I’m all over the place. Originally I played nothing but acoustic country for years. You can still hear some of the country twang in my singing. People actually think I’m from down south,” he said. “There’s still country influence in some of my music, more in the singing than the music.”
Nygren toured as a solo act for years, but eventually became creatively dissatisfied.
“After I finished with acoustic, I got tired of what I was doing there, I started doing more electric and then developed the sound I use now. I split my signal between a bass amp and a guitar amp with an octave down. So it’s this big, huge sound.”
Killeen feels this is an understatement. He illustrates their effect on audiences thusly: “Our goal is to make sound guys hate us.”
Another unique aspect of their music is the content, which occasionally strays away from the vitriol normally associated with metal to explore, among other things, their sense of humour.
“There’s this closer we like to play,” he said. “It’s called Blade, and it’s literally a book report on the movie Blade.”
When asked to produce a sample lyric, it took him only a few seconds.
“Whistler makes the weapon, Blade puts them to the test, he hunts the one who bit his mom, killing all the rest,” he said.
The concert will be filmed on Wednesday and ultimately posted to kootly.ca. Killeen said this is part of their current push to expand their media presence. On top of that, they’re already writing new material. Killeen promised that fans can expect three new songs available for digital download by the end of 2014.
Wednesday night is only the pair’s second gig, and they’re thrilled to be opening for Vancouver’s Bend Sinister.
“They’re apparently really good,” said Nygren, who said he hasn’t heard their music yet. “I’d rather hear them live first, you know? So I’m really looking forward to seeing them in the flesh so I can see what they do.”
Killeen cautioned that some audience members may not be capable of handling their sound.
“When people hear it’s a two-piece they’re not expecting as much noise as they’re about to hear,” he said. He quoted a recent sound technician who, upon hearing immune2cobras for the first time, turned to a fellow employee.
“This is way too ****ing loud,” he said.
Tickets are available at the Kootenay Co-op Radio for $10. Doors open at 8 p.m.