Cobra Starship Talk About ‘You Make Me Feel…’ Video + Working With Sabi
Fashionable dance-punk band Cobra Starship have been unleashing their sassy pop songs on the world since 2006, when frontman Gabe Saporta created the theme song for the awesomely bad film ‘Snakes on a Plane.’
After Saporta recruited Alex Suarez on bass, Ryland Blackinton on guitar, Nate Novarro on drums and Victoria Asher on keytar, the group finally broke into the pop mainstream with 2009’s ‘Good Girls Go Bad,’ which featured ‘Gossip Girl’ Leighton Meester.
The band just released ‘Night Shades,’ their fourth album, on Aug. 29, which was recorded after Saporta took part in a “spiritual detox,” living in a house in the Brazilian forest to get away and recharge his batteries. The band even took part in the festivities at this weekend’s MTV Video Music Awards with a live performance on the pre-show.
Cobra Starship haven’t finalized their tour plans yet, but you can be sure that once they hit the road, the party won’t be far behind, as Suarez tells PopCrush. “We almost always follow with an afterparty,” he says of the band’s concerts. “So, a solid 12 hours out of our day is party.” Now that’s a lifestyle we’re jealous of! Suarez also chatted with us about Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg and working with rising star Sabi on the album’s first single.
How did you hook up with Sabi for ‘You Make Me Feel…’?
We had the song and we were looking for a good singer. We wanted to find somebody that was fresh and new, and I think she just came up through the network. We were really into her, and it worked out great. We’ve been doing a lot of performances with her, and she’s really cool to work with.
Can you explain the photo booth concept of the music video?
We’re at this club hanging out and everybody’s having a good time. The photo booth basically prints out a photo, a one-word description of your true, innermost feelings. Gabe and Sabi have the same photo, and their inner feeling is “Incomplete.” Gabe finds her photo, realizes that they have the same feeling and then he tries to find her, and then they link up and take photos together. Everybody’s having a good time partying the whole time.
Watch Cobra Starship's 'You Make Me Feel...' Video Featuring Sabi
Do you have a favorite song from 'Night Shades?'
I’m really happy with how the whole thing turned out. We definitely experimented with some new sounds. One song I like a lot is the last song on our album called ‘Shwick,’ which was a lot of fun to mix, and one of the last things that we finished. We didn’t really stay too traditional in the song structure in that one. It’s a little different, and we just had a lot of fun with it.
Be honest, have you checked out the competition on your album release date? Lil Wayne, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lenny Kravitz, and David Guetta all have new records coming out.
Actually, I just heard about this. Lil Wayne, Chili Peppers … That’s fine. We actually bumped ours up a day early because we're performing at the VMA red carpet pre-show. So we’re gonna release our album a day before the original release date, which was the 30th. Now we’re going for the 29th.
I’ve been hearing a lot about the “spiritual detox” that Gabe took. Did he really come back a changed man and did that manifest itself in your music?
I think he definitely did [change]. That happened during the writing process. I don’t really know much about what happened there, but I know that he tapped into that pretty hard. We were in the early stages of writing and we reached a point like, ‘Alright, let’s take a step back and start over with a different mindset.’ And it ended up working out really well. We were going pretty slow in the thick of it and then started with a clean slate. It all just fell right into place after that.
You’ve had some radio success with the new song and with ‘Good Girls Go Bad,’ but it’s always been kind of baffling why your singles don’t get played on the radio even more, because they're so catchy. Why do you think that is?
You know, I have no explanation for that. I think the same thing. I guess certain things grab people differently. Hopefully, the whole album will be received by everybody pretty well. We’ll see what happens.
It would be cool to see you guys have Katy Perry-level success.
That would be a lot of fun. I’d actually like to tour with her. I think that would be pretty cool. We’ve done some shows with her, and she’s fun. I like her show a lot.
Do you think the perception of Cobra Starship as a band that has fun and writes comedic lyrics might lead to some fans not taking your music seriously?
I don’t think so. We definitely have some funny lyrics and we also have some more serious lyrics. Our whole thing is just to have fun anyway, so I think most people understand that. I don’t think that’s really an issue.
You’ve been writing more with songwriters from outside the band, people like Kara DioGuardi and Ryan Tedder. Is there a line you have to walk in terms of opening yourselves up to outside writers without compromising your sound?
I think when those guys come in, they’re like ‘Alright, I really want it to sound like you guys.’ I don’t think anybody has come in and said, ‘We need to change it and make this other thing.’ Most people that we’ve worked with know our sound and like it and are glad to be a part of it. We have control with that aspect of the style and how it sounds.
Which artists would you most like to collaborate with?
I think it always changes. I’d love to do a track with Snoop Dogg. We got to meet him once and he was really nice. I think that would be pretty fun. I know the video shoot would be a blast!
Watch Cobra Starship's '#1Nite' Lyric Video