Cobra Starship rides to stardom on back of cult movie



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Intergalactic snake rockers Cobra Starship hit the stage at the Phoenix tonight.


When given a chance to dispel the rumours that Cobra Starship was just a jokey vehicle for the cult movie phenomenon Snakes On A Plane, Gabe Saporta explains the origin of the group like this:

“I had already been experimenting with beats and I decided to go on a spiritual retreat,” the front man and mastermind of the project says. “I was bitten by a cobra that came from the future to teach me how to dance and make beats and that was over the summer of 2005. And when I came back, I started Cobra Starship in honour of the cobra that came back from the future to find me.”

Striking story, but here’s the real deal. In 2005, Cobra Starship was a diversion that Saporta was toying with on and off for about a year to deal with the bassist’s growing ennui with his main act, emo-rockers Midtown. One of his first songs was Hollaback Boy, a salty satire of Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl. In 2006, he cashed in on the popularity of the thriller by reworking follow-up tune Bring It into Snakes On A Plane (Bring It). The song led the soundtrack, released in August of that year, and shot him to superstardom, prompting full-length record While The City Sleeps, We Rule The Streets.

“All of a sudden, the record company was like, ‘Oh, great job with the song, you have to have a record done in three weeks,’” Saporta says. “So I had to finish my record and put a band together in three weeks and then get ready to go on tour a month after that. It’s been a whirlwind.”

A whirlwind highlighted by promo stunts like challenging fans to games of Mariokart (He says the band will come to Canada and “kick everyone’s asses,” by the way), another song for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and the ugly departure of ex-cobra Elisa Schwartz.

An MTV online report says shortly after the keytar player parted ways with the band, she made accusations of constant verbal abuse and use of equipment she paid for even after she left. Naturally, Saporta had a different story, responding Schwartz acted “in ways people in bands aren’t supposed to act.” Saporta has had no contact with her since and denies all accusations. “I think she’s coming off as pretty cruel,” Saporta says. “Anytime someone gets kicked out of a band they’re not going to be happy about it.”