Featured Artist

Cosmic Rock


Tonight's Featured Artist is none other than Seattle music duo Year Of The Cobra. YOTC are a righteous music experience. Amy Tung Barrysmith and Jon Barrysmith on bass/vocals and drums provide a huge,interesting sound crossing boundaries and making fans worldwide. We caught up with them tonight for the latest news and a little background on their music and thoughts on many subjects.


1.Hail guys good to speak with you today. How have you been and what’s been going on?


A - Hi!  Thanks for chatting with us!!  We’ve been good.  Just started our US tour and are in San Jose right now. 



2.How did the two of you meet and form the group in Seattle?


A - We met at the King King in Hollywood, CA on Halloween.  We were both playing the show and knew of each other’s bands, but had never met before.  Eventually, we ended up in Seattle and because we didn’t really know anyone, we started Year of the Cobra.  From there, things just kind of took off. 



3.Did you start out with the vision of it being a two-member band or did it evolve that way in another way?


A -Initially, we planned on having a guitar player in the band and had a short list of guys we had in mind, but they were all in SoCal, so the chances of getting them were slim, although we did reach out to a few people to see if they would be interested in moving to Seattle.  Once we started writing music together and playing, we realized it was actually easier working as a two piece so we just kept it at that.




4.Growing up what were some of your favorite records and in what way did they inspire you?


J - Out of Step by Minor Threat was pretty life changing for sure… I think that record was a calling for many people our age.



5.What were some of the stand out concerts you saw in classic days that really made an impression on you?


J - I saw the Melvins in 2003 or 2004 in Santa Cruz, CA. and it was one of the best shows I have ever seen to date. I was super into punk rock and hardcore at the time, but still liked heavy music, but that show inspired me to actually start playing in heavy bands. Dale and Buzz are worlds ahead of most bands/musicians, in my opinion, and that show redirected my musical journey… so, it was a pretty big impression I guess!



6.How did you write songs and what inspires your writing these days?


A - A long time ago, for a short period of time, I worked at a commercial music house writing music for commercials.  What was amazing about that time, was that I had to write so many different styles of music in really short periods of time.  I didn’t have the luxury to wait for that perfect moment to be inspired before I could write something.  I feel like that experience has helped me in so many ways.  Now, my days are so busy, it’s difficult to find the time to sit down for even a second to write, and when I do have the time, I’m usually so exhausted, I just want to sleep.  But, when I do find those rare free times, which usually are only 10 - 15 minutes here and there, I take advantage of them and sit in a corner and write.  If I come up with anything I like, I’ll record it on my phone so I can dive in deeper during our rehearsals. 


I find inspiration everywhere, but it’s always when I’m not looking for it.  It could come from a word, an image, a landscape, a look, some new music I discover.  Sometimes I don’t even realize it’s left an impression until days or weeks later, when I have that second to sit down by myself and sort through my thoughts, if you know what I mean.  


And, then when I have that 15 minutes to sit in a corner and write music, it sort of just leads me in a direction.  I dunno. It’s hard to explain...




7.What are some of your thoughts of the music scene in Seattle today?


J - Seattle is awesome and has a killer group of diverse, talented heavy bands that are super supportive of each other. That being said, there’s recently been a few that have broken up or have moved on, that has kind of depleted the scene a bit. Looking forward to seeing a new crop of bands emerge.


8.Any advice for younger artists in today's music world?



A - Younger musicians these days have an advantage that I don’t believe we had growing up.  They have these schools, like the School of Rock, that helps them learn how to be in a band, how to write music, how to be a better musician.  It’s incredible.  The level of musicianship that comes out of these schools are amazing and I am really excited to see what these kids come up.  The only thing that I think is missing for them is understanding the management side of things, which is almost more important than the writing music side.  You could be the best band ever, but if you‘re an asshole at a show, or don’t know how to manage your band, you won’t get anywhere.  I would tell them to watch those bands that are doing well, and see what they’re doing, how they are doing it, and talk to them.  People are usually pretty willing to help lend advice.



9.You have a new album on the way with your signing to Prophecy, congrats can’t wait to hear it. What the news?


J - We’re currently writing songs for it now and it’s coming along nicely!! Really happy with the direction and feel the new songs have so far. In a perfect world, we’ll be able to record it at the end of the year, or in early 2019. Jack Endino (Soundgarden, Windhand, ZEKE) has already signed on to produce, engineer and mix the album… pretty excited about that!

Sounds great guys looking forward to checking it out. Thanks for taking time for the interview tonight. -G


Year of the Cobra