Latest release: Night Shades (Warner)
Band site: www.cobrastarship.com
Cobra Starship’s fusion of rock, punk, dance, pop and whatever else they please is fast becoming a very big deal in the more mainstream music world. The first single off the American crew’s fourth and latest album Night Shades has been burning up the charts. “You Make Me Feel” has broken the Top 10 at both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Top 40 Pop Charts. The song has garnered more than 10 million views on YouTube and, selling more than 100,000 copies a week for four weeks straight, will earn the band their second platinum single. In the past, they’ve been featured on high-profile Hollywood film soundtracks and gained mass online fame by spoofing singles from international pop stars. They’ve grown so popular that they headlined the Vans Warped Tour.
However, when Loud presses guitarist Ryland Blackinton about their rock roots, newcomers may be surprised by what he responds with. “I still love all my early 90s grunge, a lot of Dinosaur Jr EPs,” he says. “That’s my era in terms of the sound I like. I was also a huge Weezer fan; I love the drum and guitar tones of Pinkerton. That’s what I aim for when I do production.”
What about the other members of the band’s roots then?
“Alex (Suarez, bass/keyboards/vocals) and I went to high school together and have a pretty similar musical lineage. Gabe (Saporta, vocals) was in a pop/punk band before he started this band. Nate (Novarro, drums) was in a similar band and Victoria (Asher, keytar/vocals) is a huge Weezer fan as well. We change it up a lot,” the axeman explains of their tour bus listening habits. “For the longest time, Alex and I just listened to classical music. It depends on our mood; you bring a lot of energy on-stage, so sometimes you want to listen to the opposite off-stage.”
Other promotional means aside, it’s been the aforementioned live shows that have earned the band much of their following.
“We try to keep it high-energy,” Blackinton says. “We like to reference a lot of other songs, so we do quick covers of things. We reference a lot of music that we’re influenced by. We try not to take many breaks and keep it high-energy.”
The band certainly do enjoy paying tribute to their heroes – “response” songs that they’ve recorded as odes to hit singles from pop megastars such as Katy Perry and Gwen Stefani have only enhanced their following. Loud asks if they’ve ever had any feedback from the aforementioned superstars.
“I think Katy cracked up and thought our remix was funny. I think Gabe got a cease and desist from Gwen Stefani for ‘Hollaback Boy’,” he chuckles. “It’s been a mixed response.”
Cobra Starship’s music has also been prominently featured in films such as cult hit Snakes on a Plane.
“We’re all big movie fans,” Blackinton responds. “I think it’s really cool to be featured in a movie. But no opportunity has come around in a little bit. We’d love to do Jean-Claude Van Damme’s comeback movie, or if they did Lethal Weapon 5 – that would by my ideal movie for us to be featured in,” he laughs.
There won’t be any mainstream pop or film stars at Soundwave though, where the band will perform as part of their latest visit to Australia. Aside from possibly doing some DJ-ing gigs on his days off, the guitarist is excited at the prospect of playing a festival as it’s been a while between drinks for them at such events. He’s also enthused about the prospect of catching up with friends such as Kill Hannah.
“I like festivals,” he says. “Some people hate how muddy and hectic they can be, but I really enjoy them. I hope to see a lot of friends I haven’t seen in a while. Everyone gets hammered; it’s usually a great time. Hopefully some good times will ensue. We’ll be mixing it up, playing a bunch from our new record; I think that we’re playing three or four from the new record, but we try to pull from every record.”
“We’ve been there (to Australia) a couple of times before; this is actually our fourth time. We’re excited about escaping the New York winter,” he laughs, shortly before Loud sadly informs him it’s been a rather wet summer in many parts of Australia. “But it’s been really wimpy, it’s like 50 degrees right now; hopefully we’ll leave and they’ll be some blizzards while we’re over in Australia where we’ll be sitting in the sun.”
Cobra Starship will be touring with Soundwave 2012 on the following dates-
25/2: Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane QLD (SOLD OUT)
26/2: Sydney Showground, Sydney NSW (SOLD OUT)
2/3: Melbourne Showground, Melbourne VIC (SOLD OUT)
3/3: Bonython Park, Adelaide SA
5/3: Claremont Showgrounds, Perth WA
You can also catch them with Forever The Sickest Kids, These Kids Wear Crowns and Kill Hannah on the following dates-
27/2: The Forum, Melbourne (Over 18s only)
29/2: The HiFi, Sydney (Lic. A/A)