A big thank you to Christina at Atlantic Records for setting this up for me and also Cobra Starship’s management and Gabe. This was done at the Bamboozle Left Festival before their set.
M: So who are you and what’s your role in Cobra Starship?
G: I’m Gabe and I am Cobra Starship, My role is I sing in the band, and I wrote everything and recorded the majority of the stuff myself. I’m also the dance machine.
M: Awesome, can you give us a little history of the band?
G: Yeah, basically I was in a band called Midtown and after the last Midtown tour we did I had a lot of questions for my life. Where I was goin’ so I went on this spiritual quest, you know like a retreat? I was out there meditating for days and one night I was staring out into the night sky and contemplating the universe and I had this epiphany when I looked down at my hand.
I realized the same energy that is contained in the universe is contained with in ourselves, all the molecules and stuff, and all of the sudden this fuckin cobra comes out of nowhere and bites me in the fuckin neck. So I’m there and I almost die and I’m having hot flashes and sweating and shit and I’m hallucenating for like a week and I wake up and the cobra is still there and it starts talking to me and said it was sent from the future to find me and teach me how to make beats and how to dance and not take myself so seriously. We spent the next few weeks there in the desert practicing our beats, you know? Dancing and shit, you know he told me to start Cobra Starship in honor of the spacecraft that brought him back from the future in order to find me.
M: So why did Midtown break up?
G: Well, Midtown’s not broken up. Basically, after our last tour we were supposed to start writing new stuff and then our friends in Senses Fail needed a guitar player so they asked Heath to go out and that turned into a longer thing. I had been working with beats, like on the last Midtown album I did a lot of experimenting with beats and I wanted to take a different approach to song-writing. I wanted to do something a little more fun, because Midtown had gotten really serious which was good and it was a good outlet for me but I wanted to do something that would showcase my personality.
M: Are any of the others doing other
G: Rob has a label called I-Surrender, one of his bands Valencia is playing here today…(Gabe yells to one of his bandmates)…Dude you don’t understand what happened to us. Our bus driver is in the hospital and shitting his blood. So we all had to find different ways to get here. Tyler has a new band also called Bandit of Thieves.
M: Snakes on a Plane, was that just fate?
G: It was, you know I had written some songs, Bring It was one of the first after I got back from the desert. So I was doing these songs and nothing was happening and I started to lose faith in the Cobra and I was like “Gabe, weren’t you smoking peote for six straight days and couldn’t some of this be in your mind?” All of the sudden Snakes On A Plane happened and it was like Snakes On A Plane – Cobra Starship? I’ll never doubt the cobra again!
M: Did you see the video of USC’s marching band playing Snakes On A Plane?
G: No, I don’t get on the internet much but that’s amazing! That’s how you know you’ve made it when a marching band plays your song.
M: How’d you connect with Decaydence?
G: Well, I’ve known Pete forever. He used to come to Midtown shows at the Fireside Bowl in Chicago, we have the same managers. You know, Midtown did Fueled By Ramen & Friends Tour and I was stuck on Columbia and I had to get out and after that it was no question.
M: Your record has been tagged ‘dancy’ and ‘infectious’, how would you describe it?
G: If I could tag it that it would be awesome, I also like to think that it does have a wide spectrum of shit that it goes through, some songs might even be Midtown songs and some songs that are straight up. I wanted it to represent all my different music.
M: How did recording it work?
G: It was crazy, I would just start with a beat and layer shit on top of that and then shit on top of that. Sometimes it’s all different cause it’s studio where you record and chop it up. Sometimes you’d do guitars on top of the beat and keep the guitars and change all the beats around or sometimes you would keep some of each and change all the instruments on top of it. That was awesome though cause it was a totally different approach to song-writing. Usually, when I write songs I would just sit down with a guitar and just write songs but with this I’d start with a beat and layer-layer-layer.
M: Cobra Starship, explain the name, at least the Starship part-
G: Cause there was a space vehicle that brought back the cobra, I could have called it cobra spaceship but I like starship. Jefferson Starship was a band, you know they built this city on rock n roll, we built the city on disco beats bro.
M: Anything to say about Hollaback Boy?
G: That was the first thing I got to try and it really got a lot of press for the band and the name Cobra Starship. Like I said, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a real thing and Gwen, she thought it was really funny. She doesn’t let me use it anymore but it’s all good.
M: So what’s next?
G: We’re touring on this record cause it just came out on Tuesday. We’re doing the 30 Second To Mars tour (MTV $2 Bill Tour) and it all depends on how this record does. I really want to put out another record soon with this new band I have together cause they’re fuckin’ awesome.
I just want to thank all of the Midtown fans who have been supportive to me from Midtown to this, dancin and rockin out. THANKS!