In a lot of ways Vancouver rocker Cobra Ramone is a musician's musician.
She listens to so much, she says, that musical inspiration is tough for her to pinpoint because the choice is too wide. The inspiration is everywhere.
"They say that nobody listens to full records anymore but I am one of those people who does," Ramone says.
She is currently obsessed with the performers Shovels & Rope, Brainwolf and Shakey Graves
"I have listened to Shovels & Rope's newest record 1,000 times. I invest a lot of time listening. I drive a lot and I like driving, I get into my head that way. Whether I mean to or not I'm sure it leads into my writing style," she says.
"So who knows? Maybe the next record will be a folk-alt-country record!"
The band, with the same name as its lead singer, is touring to back up the EP, Bang Bang, which was released on February 13. It is the first of two EPs planned for this year.
The constant for Ramone — who describes herself as an introvert when not on stage — is grimy, gritty guitar music.
"It sounds like fire, almost, and that's what sticks with me," she says.
Speaking of gritty, there's Cobra Ramone's song "No Good."
Ramone knows all about the song's underground world.
She says: "I work in a strip club as a bartender and I really like that culture. It's a bit taboo and I think it speaks to the darkness that everybody has in them. In my daily life and with the band, too, we are all happy people and outgoing. But the subject matter that we write about is dark."
She is happy to have that outlet.
"That sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll thing appeals to me in that it's a good outlet for people. Maybe not always healthy, but I love our music. I'd love to have strippers dance to our music all the time," she laughs.
"I just like sexy music. We hang out in strip clubs and drink whisky. It's not something made up by a publicist."
Cobra Ramone — which includes Trevor Snakedust on keyboards and Pat Steward on drums — is already touring Alberta and B.C., with an Ontario and Quebec leg beginning in May.
They play at the Whistler Brewing Company on Saturday, March 21.
"I grew up listening to a lot of old-school blues. As I got older it was a bit more grunge, so those are my two biggest influences. But I love everything so it is tough for me to rein myself in sometimes," Ramone says.
"There are so many great bands in Canada, as well. A lot of what I listen to is Canadian music and I'm sure it bleeds in there but it's not deliberate. But there isn't a lot of thought that goes into writing songs beforehand. I don't try to write a blues song or a rock song or a country song, it just comes out the way it comes out. Whatever feels the most honest at the time."