Cobra Starship

 

From working with American Idol judges to stars from Gossip Girl, this group knows when Good Girls Go Bad.

Cobra Starship
Cobra Starship
 

By Michael Hamersly

Pop-punk fans will surely flock to Revolution in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday night to "scene" and be seen, as Boys Like Girls, Cobra Starship, The Maine, Rocket to the Moon and VersaEmerge share the stage. Miami.com caught up with Ryland Blackinton, guitarist for Cobra Starship, which is absolutely blowing up these days on the strength of its hit "Good Girls Go Bad," featuring "Gossip Girl" star Leighton Meester.

How did you come up with the name Cobra Starship?
[Lead singer] Gabe [Saporta] came up with it before I joined the band. There's a couple of different variations on the story, but the long story is he got bit by a cobra from the future in the throat and it told him to.

What sound are you guys going for?
Electro-sleaze.

How much of a surprise was the success of "Good Girls Go Bad"?
A big surprise for us. I mean, we felt like it was a good song, but there was a period where the song was shelved. Not everybody was on board with it. Then, [songwriter and "American Idol" judge] Kara DioGuardi called and said, "You can't shelve this song - you gotta push this song." And then we got Leighton on it, and then it started to feel like something was happening with it.

How did you hook up with Leighton?
Basically, we were in the studio, and the producers we were working with asked us to take the next day off because they were gonna have one of the "Gossip Girls" in, and Gabe and I are big fans of the show. So we inquired is there any way we could get one of them on one of our songs, and they said yeah, whatever, we'll see. And months later it ended up actually happening.

How did you meet Kara?
Someone from the label just called us one day and said a top-line writer has two hours to work with you guys tomorrow, and we didn't even know what that meant - we were like, "Who the hell is this chick?" And I don't watch "American Idol," so I didn't know who she was - I don't even think she was on the show yet. But she came in and worked up some lyrics with Gabe and in about 15 minutes we had a pretty good basis of what the song was gonna be.

Have you started watching "Idol" since meeting her?
No, I don't really watch TV - I just watch "SpongeBob."

What's your live show like?
This one's gonna be really fun, because we get to borrow lots of lights from Boys Like Girls. There's a lot of things happening with light onstage. We need a lot of flashing bright lights onstage, because we're not the best-looking dudes in the world. But it's pretty high-energy, and I just got a wireless guitar so I can run all over the place and play solos in the bathroom if I feel like it.

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