Today is: Friday November 17, 2017 | Status: Under Re-development | Version 2.99.03

Cold Black River

An interview with Cold Black River bassist and vocalist Eric Cobb

Cold Black Ribver Artist's Facebook
by Mike Huberty
October 2017

A fat sludge of doom-y sound slithering right into your earholes, COLD BLACK RIVER is Madison’s minor chord distorted retort to the happy Electronic Pop on the radio. If you haven’t heard Doom rock before, think of it as slower blues-based heavy riffs with deep bellowing vocals. And the lyrics are usually about something horrific, like the fact that there is no God, but if there was he would hate you. Or monsters and demons eating your soul, killing children, etc… stuff like that. It’s called DOOM for a reason!

COLD BLACK RIVER is what you get when former HELLIPHANT bassist and guitarist Eric Cobb and Jeremy Roseland decided to take on a new project that combined the power of the riff-rock that they loved with more exciting vocals and more hook-oriented songwriting. Aaron
Kanitz soon joined them on drums, and they released their first album, Ancient Depths in 2013 followed by Hillbilly Zeus two years later.

They’ll be performing in the Madison area several times this month and we talked with bassist and vocalist Eric Cobb to preview their shows!

MI: Who are the bands that the guys in CBR can all agree on?
EC: Definitely Clutch. A lot of people associate us with them after they hear us for the first time. We also get the Alice in Chains references as well, and naturally, we identify with that sound. It goes without saying that Black Sabbath and Kyuss are influences of ours. We love all of these bands.

MI: Why do you love metal? Why doom?
EC: We consider Cold Black River to be Blues tinged, Doom influenced Rock. It puts us in a unique position. We can play straight out Metal shows, we can play straight up Rock shows, and everything in between. We gravitate toward the Metal/Rock scene as our community. We all love the different sounds and people that play it. It is our way of having a great time.

Like a lot of artists, we chose Metal as our form of expression. We like being able to tell weird, interesting stories and talking about different and odd subjects. Metal caters to that and that’s why we love it. We also enjoy playing music that is dynamic. Metal provides a platform for that.

MI: What COLD BLACK RIVER track is the best way for people to get to know the band?
EC: “Hillbilly Zeus” is one we would select. It’s title track to our 2015 EP. It has a deep Doom groove to it and tells a fun and twisted story. “Dystopia” and “The Great Equalizer” are close seconds.

MI: What’s the inspiration behind the song?
EC: I got this riff stuck in my head one day and just started playing over and over again. I’ve always been fascinated by stories and storytelling. Some of the best stories are ancient myths and legends. I’ve always wanted to write a song about “the old Gods” so I started with Zeus and his family. It’s the perfect song to introduce people to CBR because when you listen to it, it really grabs onto you.

MI: You guys have a lot of horror themes and you did in Helliphant as well, where does that come from lyrically?
EC: There are so many great stories that have been told through horror. Horror is my first go to genre for books, movies, and the like. The Metal and Rock scene provide a great place to tell those stories to like-minded people. There’s nothing better than to have the audience recognize an H.P. Lovecraft or Night of the Living Dead reference in one of our tunes.

MI: What’s been your favorite show so far?
EC: Our hometown shows are really great. Playing the Frequency is always a blast. We get a lot of love at The Wisco too. Reptile Palace in Oshkosh is amazing as well. Anytime you play a show and the audience knows your tunes it’s incredible. When the audience becomes the fourth member of the band – those are the nights we remember the most. Also, when the weird come out to play.

MI: What’s coming up for you guys this Fall?
EC: On October 11th we are bringing Austin’s Drone Masters CORTEGE to The Wisco. We are pleased to be performing at Maximum Ink’s 15th Annual Halloween Spööktakular October 27th, and the following night, we hit The Back Bar in Janesville for their Halloween gig.

Currently we are working on new material for an upcoming EP release we hope to get out at the top of next year. More Cosmic Horror coming your way. In the meantime, we are booking a few more shows here and there to play with friends and enjoy the few remaining months of 2017 before the Earth is destroyed by an asteroid or a planet or something.

MI: What can people expect from the Cold Black River live show at the Wisconsin October 11th? Give me the nasty details.
EC: We don’t want to give too much away other than to say it will be weird, creepy and loud. We will have the show on full tilt with a ton of energy and a few surprises.

MI: Do you find anything inspiring about the Madison music scene? What do you love about it?
EC: The Madison scene, for us, is tight. It’s very supportive and less competitive that some other cities scenes. There is a massive amount of talent here. You have to be on your game. It’s challenging, in a good way, which makes it fun. You always want to be at your best around here.

We love the scene for the reason everyone loves this scene: the people. There are folks who have been around for decades that have performed and supported the scene and even the new, up-and-coming bands are stellar. Madison loves music and supports original music in ways rarely seen today. We’re very, very lucky to be based here.

MI: Why do you love metal? Why doom?
EC: We consider Cold Black River to be Blues tinged, Doom influenced Rock. It puts us in a unique position. We can play straight out Metal shows, we can play straight up Rock shows, and everything in between. We gravitate toward the Metal/Rock scene as our community. We all love the different sounds and people that play it. It is our way of having a great time.

Like a lot of artists, we chose Metal as our form of expression. We like being able to tell weird, interesting stories and talking about different and odd subjects. Metal caters to that and that’s why we love it. We also enjoy playing music that is dynamic. Metal provides a platform for that.

MI: What COLD BLACK RIVER track is the best way for people to get to know the band?
EC: “Hillbilly Zeus” is one we would select. It’s title track to our 2015 EP. It has a deep Doom groove to it and tells a fun and twisted story. “Dystopia” and “The Great Equalizer” are close seconds.

MI: What’s the inspiration behind the song?
EC: I got this riff stuck in my head one day and just started playing over and over again. I’ve always been fascinated by stories and storytelling. Some of the best stories are ancient myths and legends. I’ve always wanted to write a song about “the old Gods” so I started with Zeus and his family. It’s the perfect song to introduce people to CBR because when you listen to it, it really grabs onto you.

MI: You guys have a lot of horror themes and you did in Helliphant as well, where does that come from lyrically?
EC: There are so many great stories that have been told through horror. Horror is my first go to genre for books, movies, and the like. The Metal and Rock scene provide a great place to tell those stories to like-minded people. There’s nothing better than to have the audience recognize an H.P. Lovecraft or Night of the Living Dead reference in one of our tunes.

MI: What’s been your favorite show so far?
EC: Our hometown shows are really great. Playing the Frequency is always a blast. We get a lot of love at The Wisco too. Reptile Palace in Oshkosh is amazing as well. Anytime you play a show and the audience knows your tunes it’s incredible. When the audience becomes the fourth member of the band – those are the nights we remember the most. Also, when the weird come out to play.

MI: What’s coming up for you guys this Fall?
EC: On October 11th we are bringing Austin’s Drone Masters CORTEGE to The Wisco. We are pleased to be performing at Maximum Ink’s 15th Annual Halloween Spööktakular October 27th, and the following night, we hit The Back Bar in Janesville for their Halloween gig.

Currently we are working on new material for an upcoming EP release we hope to get out at the top of next year. More Cosmic Horror coming your way. In the meantime, we are booking a few more shows here and there to play with friends and enjoy the few remaining months of 2017 before the Earth is destroyed by an asteroid or a planet or something.

MI: What can people expect from the Cold Black River live show at the Wisconsin October 11th? Give me the nasty details.
EC: We don’t want to give too much away other than to say it will be weird, creepy and loud. We will have the show on full tilt with a ton of energy and a few surprises.

MI: Do you find anything inspiring about the Madison music scene? What do you love about it?
EC: The Madison scene, for us, is tight. It’s very supportive and less competitive that some other cities scenes. There is a massive amount of talent here. You have to be on your game. It’s challenging, in a good way, which makes it fun. You always want to be at your best around here.

We love the scene for the reason everyone loves this scene: the people. There are folks who have been around for decades that have performed and supported the scene and even the new, up-and-coming bands are stellar. Madison loves music and supports original music in ways rarely seen today. We’re very, very lucky to be based here.


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