LOWELL – Samuel L. Jackson might have had enough of those motherfucking snakes on that motherfucking plane, but three years later, Cobra Starship (which outfitted the title song for the 2006 summer reptilian thriller) hasn’t given up the party.
Although many people initially thought the group was a joke promotional tool for the film, the boys and gal of Cobra Starship are about to release their third full length album this summer and are currently playing main support for Fall Out Boy on the Believers Never Die Part Deux tour, also featuring All Time Low, Metro Station and Hey Monday.
Blast caught up with Cobra bassist Alex Suarez, drummer Nate Novarro, and Hidden in Plain View’s former drummer and Cobra comrade Spencer Peterson in their dressing room before the show on the 19th stop of the Believers tour at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell.
“We’ve just been really happy since Spencer came out here to join us,” said Novarro. “It’s like the Dow national average went up 7 points. Before that it was at an all time low.”
Everyone shares a laugh before Suarez elaborates, “there are just so many moments where we say, ‘That was awesome. Remember last night? That was awesome.’ There are like 20 of those a day.”
To no surprise, the Cobra attitude is a lighthearted one which could lead some to think that “believers never die” may work as some sort of mantra for the band considering the obstacles they have encountered over the last few months.
They ended a full summer run on last year’s Warped Tour to be confronted with a could-be-devastating diagnosis of lead singer Gabe Saporta’s voice. Because of lumps that formed on his vocal chords, Saporta was sentenced to vocal rest and surgery, but that would impede the upcoming headlining US tour for the New York-based quintet. While the Starship delayed recording of the new record and postponed UK dates, they went ahead with the Sassy Back Tour.
Saporta bumped up his surgery to December and spent the holidays recovering before going to work on the new album at the end of January, though there was some worry if he would be up for the Fall Out Boy tour.
“We just kind of hung out and waited for him to be ready to go,” said Suarez. “There wasn’t really anything else we could do.”
Now the band takes a humorous take on the situation by making skits about Saporta’s surgery for their new weekly webisodes on cobracam.tv.
“Our friend Jack the Camera Guy was available and we invited him out on tour. He just comes out with all these great ideas because he’s such a genius,” said Suarez.
A new webisode will premiere every Monday until the new album is released. The previous escapades have shown backstage footage of the tour and alleged album title meetings.
“Someone starts off, says ‘We should do this,’ and then everyone just throws in there and it all comes together,” Novarro said, explaining how the group drafts ideas for the skits.
The group’s latest episode depicts the after-effects of writing part of the new album in the mountains of Pennsylvania on Novarro’s psyche. The trip was an opportunity for the band to get away from it all and write some new material, but became another filming expedition when the band set up a web cam to film their songwriting process.
“There was lots of snow and red wine. White powder and red wine. Cobra cam. Sweet jams were written up there. We wrote a rap song,” said Suarez of the experience.
The mountain session and later recording in New York City did lead to the first song off the record being released to the Cobra Myspace, “Pete Wentz Is The Only Reason We’re Famous.” The title hints that Cobra is up to their usual celebrity trash-talking style, but not afraid to make themselves the target as well, considering Wentz is the one who signed them to his Decaydance label and they are now opening for him during the BND tour.
“I think we make fun of ourselves more, but ourselves as celebrities,” said Suarez. “So I guess you could say we’re still making fun of celebrities.”
As well as making reference to 80’s Kung Fu supervillain Bruce Leroy, the glowing Last Dragon in the new track, Saporta also gets a little dirty in the first verse when he proclaims, “you can rise to the top/but you can’t ride on my cock.”
The cavalier line took many fans by surprise on the first listen but Suarez and Novarro didn’t seem phased when asked if more of the same bluntness would be found on the record.
“Expect a lot of dick and a lot of cock,” said Suarez.
“Metaphorically, of course,” added Novarro.
“I’m sure there’s a lot of hinting about cock,” concluded Suarez before going into a traumatic story from his childhood in which he was witness to two elephants mating but confused the male elephant parts as a second trunk.
“We went to this, like, drive-in zoo , (Lion Park Safari). I’m just looking out the window, ‘Hey ma, why does that elephant have two trunks?’ and then they started doing it. Have you ever seen two elephants doing it? Not pretty,” Suarez regaled.