“Nobody in my school listened to bands like Cacophony. They were into emo and goth, but I became obsessed with metal and shred guitar”: How Cobra Spell’s Sonia Anubis is keeping the L.A. ‘80s metal guitar flag flying high

Cobra Spell's Sonia Anubis
(Image credit: Raquel Garcia)

If 24-year-old Dutch guitarist Sonia Anubis could click her heels and magically transport herself to another time and place, she would wing herself to the late 1980s and land smack dab on the L.A. Sunset Strip. 

“I would fit right in – I just know it,” she says. “That was when the coolest music came out, in my opinion. Ratt, Dokken, W.A.S.P., L.A. Guns, Great White. They were such great bands, and they made records that are timeless.”

Anubis channels her passion for Eighties glam metal in her band Cobra Spell. Formed in 2019, the Netherlands-based, all-female outfit specializes in original tunes that recall the golden days of big hair, pointy guitars, leather, sex, and sleaze. 

“It’s kind of funny that I’m so nostalgic about a period that existed before I was born,” she says. “But I see lots of people my age who come to our shows, and they feel the same way. Good music is just good music.”

As a teenager, Anubis started out on the bass and taught herself Gene Simmons’ parts on Kiss records, but after she heard the twin-guitar heroics of Jason Becker and Marty Friedman, she moved up to six strings and never looked back. 

“Nobody in my school listened to bands like Cacophony,” she says. “They were into emo and goth, but I became obsessed with metal and shred guitar. The harmonies were so beautiful to me.”

Thus far, Cobra Spell have released two EPs, Love Venom and Anthems of the Night, and their debut album, 666. They've played throughout Europe, and amassed a sizable following in Germany. 

“That’s the Valhalla for our kind of music,” Anubis says. “The Netherlands, not so much.” Touring the U.S. is high on her wish list, and she’s hoping 666 will create a demand for the band in the States.

“We need to play in America,” she says. “We have fans there already – people buy our merch – but people really have to see us play. I just know that we’ll go down well there, particularly in California. That’s where so much of this music started, and we want to bring it back.”

  • 666 is out now via Napalm.

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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.