Alter The Press!


Interview: Cobra Starship - 28/05/09

Jon managed to catch up with guitarist Ryland Blackinton and bassist Alex Suarez of Cobra Starship before their sell out London show at Kings College.

The band spoke to Alter The Press! about the upcoming record 'Hot Mess', why the current tour was rescheduled twice, the bands weekly webisodes in 'Cobra Cam', where the infamous Guy Ripley character originated from, touring with 50 Cent and more.

Alter The Press: You guys finally made it over to the UK. You guys had to rescheduled this tour twice.
Ryland: One reason was that Gabe (Saporta - Vocals) lost his voice about two thirds into Warped Tour last year, and we were looking at different options: about surgery, vocal therapists etc. We knew we had to start recording our new record, which we started doing pre-production for in September. We intended releasing the record around the New Year, but it seemed more advantageous to have the surgery, so that ended shifting everything off for about four months. Gabe had the surgery around the holidays and there is a 6-8 week recovery period, as well as vocal therapy. It threw a wrench in the schedule, but we knew we'd make it eventually.

ATP: How has this UK tour been going so far?
Alex: Amazing. Last time we did a co-headliner with All Time Low; it’s great to do all the same places and it's been awesome.

ATP: You just wrapped up the US Fall Out Boy tour, what was it like touring with 50 Cent for a few dates?
Ryland: 50 Cent only did three shows and cancelled one. He flies in right before he plays and leaves straight in a car. I got to watch him, which was sweet.

ATP: What was the reception like for him?
Ryland: I thought the kids wouldn't get it, but about kids know who 50 Cent is.

Alex: At one show he had a lot of fans come out who were much older and really into the club scene. It was a small percentage though.

Ryland: That tour was the best tour we had been on, our favorite tour so far. It was a fairly simple tour; we only played for half an hour and already knew everyone. The shows were huge and everyone was great. It was good for everyone.

ATP: Did you feel like you were going to cancel half way into the tour, when Gabe sprained himself?
Ryland: No. I think he liked it and added a bit more to his persona, like with a cane.

ATP: You're new album 'Hot Mess', is it leaning towards 'Viva La Cobra' (second album) or is it more in the direction of (the debut) 'While The City Sleeps...?’
Alex: I'd say it's a bit of both but with a few new sounds.

ATP: Two tracks have been released online so far, is the album finished?
Ryland: Yes, we're done and just got off a phone call about that. We only have a few tiny things to finish off when we get home and then it's in the can.

ATP: What can we expect from the new record?
Ryland: We did most of our own production and explored more sounds in terms of synthesis. We collaborate with Patrick (Stump - Fall Out Boy front man) for two or three tracks but really; I think that our fans will be pleased with the record. There are a few tracks that people who weren't familiar with us before will really like.

ATP: Would you say there is a stand out song on the record like 'Snakes On A Plane (Bring It)’ from the first release or 'Guilty Pleasure' from the second release?
Ryland: Good question. Funny thing is, we are the worst people to ask about that. We've been writing these songs, and been in the studio listening over and over again, that I feel like I don't have much of a grasp.

Alex: And you never get that experience of hearing a song like that, come off the record for the first time. You never know which one is going to stick out the most.

Ryland: Plus the fan favorite is different to everyone else's favorite.

ATP: When you recorded 'Snakes On A Plane (Bring It)' and 'Guilty Pleasure', did you know they were going to be as successful as they are?
Ryland: We knew 'Guilty Pleasure' for sure and 'The City At War' as they are the standouts but, with 'Bring It,' we hadn't joined the band yet.

ATP: Is there any songs off this record, which have a dance involved like with 'Guilty Pleasure'? At a lot of the shows, a lot of people will join in.
Alex: That just happened so randomly when we filmed the video. I don't think we can do that again.

ATP: Did you pick those songs to be the singles?
Ryland: Yes, we knew everyone was on the same page.

ATP: Are there any stand out songs from 'Hot Mess' that you want as the singles?
Ryland: We knew 'Good Girls Go Bad' felt like a single.

Alex: We haven't picked out anything else yet. Still trying to figure it out.

ATP: Cobra Cam (the bands weekly video blog), was this your attempt to start something like The Academy Is… TV?
Ryland: Yes. When we were on tour with The Academy Is…, we got to work a lot with Jack (runs TAI TV) and it's weird. As a band, we have a lot of creative ideas to do webisodes but if you don't have a camera guy who doesn't have a lot of initiative like Jack does, it doesn't happen. He is really good at bringing out what we are good at and just does all of it, shoots, edits. We owe a lot to him for Cobra Cam. We come up with the ideas and he does the rest.

ATP: Will this become a regular thing?
Ryland: If we have Jack. We shot a bunch of auxiliary stuff for when we are over here but have enough until the record comes out but I don't know, we'll see.

ATP: Lets talk about Guy Ripley (featured on The Academy Is… TV (news reporter for the "BBC"), where did he originate from?
Ryland: He was in TAI TV on the Honda Civic Tour two years ago. He was interesting to work with, a bit of a fanatic, a square, but he knows his material and all the bands. We have never put him on a guest list but he always gets in. It's crazy, he's very elusive and persistent and even though, love him or hate him, a lot of bands have adopted him as the kind of sixth member; and we embrace that. Guy will be making an appearance on Cobra Cam, he shot a thing with Jack and I don't know where it is but I saw a little bit of the footage and lets just say, Guy Ripley will be bearing quite a little bit of skin, a lot of flesh, almost pornographic!

ATP: Guy Ripley won't be leaving anytime soon will he?
Ryland: Try as we may, he's not. Guy is like a cockroach, you step on him and he's gone.

ATP: Despite Cobra being from Brooklyn, do you try and stir away from that hipster culture?
Ryland: With Cobra Starship, we don't make music for our friends to like. We live there and there, the minute a band gets big on television, 80% of the people don't like it anymore. We are aware of it, and have a lot of friends in that scene, but we’ve always just wanted to have fun.

ATP: When are you coming back to the UK?
Ryland: Don't know, no idea. I'd love to do Reading and Leeds next year but nothing planned.

ATP: What's planned for the rest of the year?
Alex: Nothing at the moment. We are going to see what happens with the release of the record, get things going with press and stuff like that.

Ryland: I think the only thing announced that we are doing is playing Japan in July. There are a lot of ideas floating around, maybe have a good support slot towards the end of the year. I don't know.

'Hot Mess' is out August 11th on Decaydance Records.

Alter The Press!