When talking about live rock in central and eastern Washington, you’ll be hard pressed to find a scene that doesn’t love COBRAHAWK. The band, a blend of rock and roll and pop punk, has been performing in the Pacific Northwest for over ten years, and they leave their mark on each city they visit.

Based in Ellensburg, the band has formed relationships with venues in Yakima, Richland, Wenatchee and beyond, creating lasting fans with each visit.

The five-piece band will perform at the Tri Town Get Down music festival this June in their return to Tri-Cities. They’re a must-see addition to the lineup for any rock fan, whether you’ve seen them before or not.

In an interview with the Herald, COBRAHAWK confirmed they have four new unreleased songs ready for performance, and that some will make it to the Get Down set.


The band consists of Lakyn Bury on vocals, Nat Nickel on drums, Matt Carstens on bass, and Devin Duncan and Andrew Burr on guitars, all 30-somethings from the Ellensburg area with regular jobs outside of band life. They first formed as a cover band in 2013, under the name Walking Talking Stephen Hawking.

Before that, Bury and Burr had both been in separate bands. When those started to dissolve, Nickel said he knew he had to get them into a project immediately, or someone else would.

About a year later, the group officially became COBRAHAWK. Over the years, there have been some changes in the band makeup, but the current five are consistent members. They realized quickly that they wanted to make original music together.

They released their first album, Vindictive, in 2017.

In the years following, they did a plethora of live shows, fine-tuned their skills and wrote more music. They planned the release of their second album and a subsequent tour when COVID-19 hit.

While the band could only do one livestream show instead of a tour, they released their second album anyway, titled Excuses, Excuses. While they found it difficult to promote the album like they normally would, the band agreed they couldn’t sit on a full album, waiting around for the right moment to release it.

COBRAHAWK was gaining momentum before the pandemic, too. Band members said it was difficult to put that on pause, to lose the opportunity to tour. It was also difficult to try and get back to that momentum when things opened up again, to pick up where they left off.

The band dedicated some time afterward to getting back in the swing of live performances, visiting those venues they’d developed relationships with again.

Last year, they hit their ten-year anniversary as a band. Making it through those milestones, despite a pandemic, full-time jobs, and parenthood was no small feat.

Bury says that at the end of the day, they’re just people. They argue sometimes, they can each have their moments. But when they all get together to make music, they’re reminded why they do it. That’s what’s kept them together for over a decade — the feeling of playing together and knowing they should keep doing so.

What can you expect from COBRAHAWK?

If you’ve never seen COBRAHAWK live before, you’re in for a treat. Each member of the band is highly talented in their own way, and their live shows display that without question. Their energy is impossible to ignore, bringing people upfront to the stage each show.

The two guitarists, Burr and Duncan, have different styles of expertise that come together for the overall sound. Depending on the song, one might take more of the lead guitarist role while the other is more rhythm, but overall they balance out pretty evenly.

Vocalist Bury has a specific mix of singing and screaming for each song, showing just how far her range goes. Her first band was an all-girl punk band when she was 12, but she had been screaming at home long before joining. Her biggest early inspirations were Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, eventually joined by The Distillers.

You can hear each band member’s growth between albums, as well as the band experience as a whole. They said the second album was much more refined, with a heavier sound and faster tempo, and fans can expect more of this progression with their next releases.

COBRAHAWK’s third album is in the works now, including the four new songs we can expect at Get Down. The band says they have many more demos this time around, and will cherry pick only the best for this album, hoping to showcase that continued growth in their sound. They’re considering releasing each song one-by-one, then creating a compilation album. Either way, there’s plenty of reason to keep an eye on COBRAHAWK.

Tickets to see COBRAHAWK and more than a hundred other artists at the Tri Town Get Down festival in Richland are available online, in single-day and full-festival options.

Karlee Van De Venter is a full-time reporter at the Tri-City Herald who contributes Arts and Entertainment coverage for Tumbleweird. Through a co-publication agreement, this content may also appear in the Herald. For more local music coverage, follow @KarleeVNews on Instagram.