Cobra Starship

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Cobra Starship
Cobra Starship live 2008.jpg
Cobra Starship performing at Warped Tour on June 20, 2008
Background information
Origin New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active2005–2015
Labels Decaydance, Fueled by Ramen
Associated acts
Past members

Cobra Starship was an American dance-pop band created by former Midtown bassist and lead vocalist Gabe Saporta in 2006 in New York City, New York. After writing and recording the band's debut album While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets as a solo project, Saporta enlisted guitarist Ryland Blackinton, bassist Alex Suarez, drummer Nate Novarro, and keytarist Victoria Asher, all of whom provide backing vocals.

Dance-pop is a popular music sub-genre that originated in the early 1980s. It is generally uptempo music intended for nightclubs with the intention of being danceable but also suitable for contemporary hit radio. Developing from a combination of dance and pop with influences of disco, post-disco and synth-pop, it is generally characterised by strong beats with easy, uncomplicated song structures which are generally more similar to pop music than the more free-form dance genre, with an emphasis on melody as well as catchy tunes. The genre, on the whole, tends to be producer-driven, despite some notable exceptions.

Midtown (band) band that plays punk rock

Midtown was an American pop punk band from New Brunswick, New Jersey. Midtown was formed in November 1998 by three Rutgers University students, but soon became a quartet. The group released three full-length studio albums and three extended plays before disbanding in 2005. In early 2014, Midtown reunited to play three shows, the first as a secret show at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, and the two remaining at the Skate And Surf Festival.

Bassist musician who plays a bass instrument

A bassist or bass player, is a musician who plays a bass instrument such as a double bass, bass guitar, synthbass, keyboard bass or a low brass instrument such as a tuba or sousaphone. Different musical genres tend to be associated with one or more of these instruments. Since the 1960s, the electric bass has been the standard bass instrument for funk, R&B, soul music, rock and roll, reggae, jazz fusion, heavy metal, country and pop music. The double bass is the standard bass instrument for classical music, bluegrass, rockabilly, and most genres of jazz. Low brass instruments such as the tuba or sousaphone are the standard bass instrument in Dixieland and New Orleans-style jazz bands.


Over ten years, Cobra Starship produced four albums and two Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles. The group released its debut album, While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets, in 2006, which contained the single "Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)". The band released its second album, ¡Viva La Cobra!, on October 23, 2007. Their third album, Hot Mess, was released on August 11, 2009. Their fourth and final album, Night Shades, was released on August 30, 2011 in the US and October 28, 2011 in the UK.

Snakes on a Plane (Bring It) debut single of Cobra Starship

"Snakes on a Plane ", also referred to as "Bring It ", is the debut single by Cobra Starship, released in 2006 as the main single from the soundtrack to the film Snakes on a Plane. In addition to Cobra Starship vocalist Gabe Saporta, the song features William Beckett of The Academy Is..., Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes, and Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds. Before being written specifically for the film, the song was titled "Bring It".

Cobra Starship officially announced its dissolution on November 10, 2015. [1]


Formation and While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets (2005–2007)

Cobra Starship was formed in 2005 after Midtown bassist Gabe Saporta took a trip to the deserts of Arizona. During this time, Saporta went on a "vision quest", spending time with Native American tribes and smoking peyote. [2] He began to create his vision for a new band, a melodic style of music heavily influenced by synthpop and hip-hop. [2] Upon returning home, Saporta rented a house in the Catskill Mountains and began writing what would become the band's debut album, While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets . He posted a parody response to Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" titled "Hollaback Boy" on Myspace. The song gained Saporta notoriety on the internet and he eventually signed to Decaydance Records, the label of his good friend and Fall Out Boy's bassist Pete Wentz. [3]

Gabe Saporta Uruguayan-American singer

Gabriel Eduardo "Gabe" Saporta is an Uruguayan–American musician and entrepreneur. Through late 2015, he was a singer and the primary creative force behind the electronic pop group Cobra Starship. On November 10, 2015, after nearly ten years and two Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits, Saporta announced that the band would stop its work, and that he would be focusing on helping other musicians through his new venture, The Artist Group. Prior to Cobra Starship, Saporta had been the lead singer, bassist, and lyricist for the punk band Midtown.

Arizona U.S. state in the United States

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.

Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pre-Columbian inhabitants of North, Central and South America and their descendants

The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the Pre-Columbian peoples of North, Central and South America and their descendants.

Midtown's management company soon set Saporta up with an opportunity to record a song for the soundtrack to the 2006 Snakes on a Plane . Along with members of The Academy Is..., Gym Class Heroes, and The Sounds, Saporta recorded "Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)", which became a minor hit. [4] During the recording of While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets, Saporta began recruiting new members to complete the group's lineup. He first enlisted drummer Nate Novarro, whom he met on tour while Novarro sold merchandise for fellow touring act Hidden in Plain View. [2] After seeing Saporta in Entertainment Weekly , guitarist Ryland Blackinton and bassist Alex Suarez, who lived near each other in Brooklyn, and Alex lived in the same apartment building as Midtown drummer Rob Hitt, emailed Saporta asking to join the group. The lineup was completed by Victoria Asher. [5] While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets, was released October 10, 2006. It featured the single "Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)", of which a video had been featured during the closing credits of the film Snakes on a Plane earlier that summer. In October 2006, they supported Thirty Seconds to Mars on their Welcome to the Universe Tour.

The Academy Is... American rock band

The Academy Is... was an American rock band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 2003. Before disbanding, they were signed by the Decaydance imprint of the Fueled by Ramen label. They were originally known as "The Academy", but added the "Is..." in 2004 to avoid legal complications with other established bands already under that name. The band released three studio albums, Almost Here, Santi, and Fast Times at Barrington High, and four EPs. The band announced its break-up on 8 October 2011. In May 2015, lead singer William Beckett announced that the band would reunite at Riot Fest 2015 in Chicago. In addition the core members of the band Beckett, Mike Carden and Adam Siska, as well as Andy Mrotek and Ian Crawford, reunited for a farewell tour that took place during December 2015.

Gym Class Heroes band

Gym Class Heroes was an American rap rock band from Geneva, New York. The group formed in 1997 when Travie McCoy met drummer Matt McGinley during their high school gym class. The band's music displays a wide variety of influences, including hip hop, rock, funk, and reggae. After the addition of guitarist Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo and bassist Eric Roberts in 2003, the group was signed to Fueled by Ramen and Decaydance Records, on which they released their debut album, The Papercut Chronicles. The group gained a strong fanbase while promoting the album, appearing at festivals such as The Bamboozle and Warped Tour.

The Sounds band

The Sounds are a Swedish indie rock band. Formed in Helsingborg in 1998 the group's musical style has been compared to new wave acts such as Blondie, The Cars, the Epoxies and Missing Persons.

¡Viva la Cobra! (2007–2008)

Cobra Starship performing in 2008 Cobra Starship.JPG
Cobra Starship performing in 2008

With the group's lineup solidified, Cobra Starship began touring across the United States. While on the 2007 Honda Civic Tour, the group began writing music together for the first time. The members recorded their individual parts on their laptops in the band's bus. [6] By the time Cobra Starship entered the studio to work on a new album, much of the material was already written. [2] Recorded in twenty days at Mission Sound Studios in Brooklyn, New York, ¡Viva la Cobra! was released on October 23, 2007. [6] It was produced by Patrick Stump, who was also credited as singing some backup vocals. [7] The album has been described as "11 tracks of unabashed party jams, full of big hooky electropop, super-produced guitar crunch and the occasional T-Pain-style vocoder thrown in for good measure." [8]

Honda Civic Tour

The Honda Civic Tour is an annual concert tour, sponsored by American Honda Motor Company and produced by Marketing Factory. Since 2001, each year's headlining band customizes a Honda Civic that is given away to a fan.

Brooklyn Borough in New York City and county in New York state, United States

Brooklyn is a borough of New York City, coterminous with Kings County, in the U.S. state of New York, the most populous county in the state, and the second-most densely populated county in the United States. It is New York City's most populous borough, with an estimated 2,504,700 residents in 2010. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

The album has been toured heavily worldwide. Cobra headlined the Really Really Ridiculously Good Looking Tour with guests Metro Station, The Cab, and We The Kings from January to March, 2008. They also played on Warped Tour 2008 and headlined the SassyBack tour, which toured from October 7 through November 30, 2008, with guests Forever the Sickest Kids, Hit the Lights, and Sing It Loud.

The album art for the ¡Viva la Cobra! album was used to promote the fourth generation Apple iPod nano in purple.

Gabe Saporta performing on November 28, 2009. Gabe Saporta 2010.jpg
Gabe Saporta performing on November 28, 2009.

Hot Mess (2009–2010)

Following the success of Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl", Cobra Starship recorded their own cover version, "I Kissed a Boy", in summer 2008. The song was released on August 25, 2008, on Fall Out Boy's Citizens For Our Betterment mixtape Welcome To The New Administration . Cobra Starship is one of 9 artists who participated in’s Remix Project, where they remixed the Sunny Side song "Magical Amount".

Cobra Starship also began the Believers Never Die Tour Part Deux tour in the beginning of April, opening for Fall Out Boy, with other bands All Time Low, Metro Station, and Hey Monday. They spent time performing many shows in the US mostly all in April and the beginning of May, however they also played a few shows in the UK at the end of May 2009, supported by Sing It Loud, Cash Cash, and UK band Mimi Soya.

In 2009, the band went to a cabin in Pennsylvania, in an attempt to produce new material. They broadcast live throughout their stay on the live camera feed site Stickam, thus creating the Shelf Kids, the fans of Cobra Starship. After their stay, a new album was announced with a tentative release in the summer. The band worked with Kara DioGuardi, Kevin Rudolf, KarateE! Mouse, S*A*M and Sluggo, and songwriters Benny Blanco and Patrick Stump on Hot Mess. [9] Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester is featured on the song "Good Girls Go Bad", which is produced by Kevin Rudolf and co-written by Rudolf and Kara DioGuardi. [10] The song is the album's first single, and was added on iTunes on May 11 and available to listen to on the band's official MySpace page. Other songs include "Pete Wentz Is the Only Reason We're Famous", which has been released on their YouTube channel [11] and Vevo page. On May 8, the album title was confirmed as Hot Mess, with a release date of August 11. It debuted on the US Billboard 200 at number four, becoming the band's highest charting album. Guitarist Ryland Blackinton said of Hot Mess, "We just wanted to make music that was fun and kinda make people just forget about whatever shitty problem they might be having during the week." [12]

The band began its tour to promote the new album on August 3. The tour, called Hot Mess Across The US Tour, has 21 stops and features guests such as Friday Night Boys and DJ Skeet Skeet. After Plastiscines dropped off the tour, Cobra Starship listed a number of candidate bands for the fans to vote for online in a blog; The Audition won. [13] On their official video podcast (, the band released humorous tentative titles for the album (which parodies several other notable albums) "Griller", "Tha Ryland III", and variations of their ¡Viva La Cobra! album.

Cobra Starship played [14] at a September 11, 2009 MTV Video Music Awards weekend competition and pre-party at The Fillmore at Irving Plaza. The competition was for The MTV "VMA Best Breakout New York City Artist Award", and took place before MTV Video Music Awards performers and in between performances from MTV Video Music Awards artists. [15]

Cobra Starship appeared at "Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica 2009" along with Mexican star Paulina Rubio performing "Good Girls Go Bad" and "Ni Rosas Ni Juguetes". Cobra Starship and Paulina won an MTV Award for "Best Performance", for "Good Girls Go Bad" and "Ni Rosas Ni Juguetes" at the Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica 2009, voted by the public, beating other artist such as Shakira, Nelly Furtado, and Wisin & Yandel.

On February 4, 2010, Cobra Starship embarked on their first ever European tour named 'Hot Mess Across The EU-Niverse', which included the UK, Ireland, Germany, France and the Netherlands. When the tour ended on February 21, the band then traveled to Japan for a few shows, then onto Australia and New Zealand for the 'Wet Hot Australian Summer' Tour. The group also toured in Germany with I Heart Sharks and One Night Stand!. On February 5, 2010 it was announced that Cobra Starship and 3OH!3 would be embarking on a co-headlining tour called The Too Fast for Love Tour with opening acts Travis McCoy, The Lazarus Project and I Fight Dragons. The tour ran from April 28 in Milwaukee, WI, until June 13 in Asbury Park, NJ.

In late 2010, the band collaborated with British singer Alexandra Burke on the song "What Happens on the Dancefloor", which was included on the deluxe edition of her debut album Overcome .

Night Shades, Never Been in Love, decline, and disbandment (2011–2015)

Cobra Starship canceled their 2011 Australian tour to finish up their fourth album, [16] which they have been working on with Ryan Tedder and Kara DioGuardi. Gabe Saporta released a song off of the album, "Don't Blame the World, It's the DJ's Fault", on his Tumblr. A video was released of an eggplant with sunglasses and headphones getting made into eggplant Parmesan. The video is supposed to represent the album title. Gabe later announced via Twitter that the new album will be called Night Shades . The first single, "You Make Me Feel...", was released on May 10, 2011. The song features American singer/songwriter and rapper Sabi and was written by Steve Mac & Ina Wroldsen.

The music video premiered on Tuesday, June 28 on MTV.

The band's official Twitter and Tumblr announced that the album will be out on August 30, 2011. [17]

The group released Itunes Session – EP on August 23, containing four acoustic songs and an alternative version of "Fold Your Hands Child".

In promotion of the album, the band performed "You Make Me Feel..." on the MTV Video Music Awards pre-show with Sabi on August 28, 2011.

Night Shades was released on August 29, 2011 with the lead single "You Make Me Feel..." [18] and three promotional singles. The first promotional single, "#1Nite (One Night)" was released on July 26, 2011, while the second, "Fool Like Me" (featuring the Plastiscines) was released on August 9, 2011; the third and final promotional single, "Middle Finger" (featuring Mac Miller) was released on August 23, 2011. Cobra Starship also performed "You Make Me Feel..." in the fall of 2011 on Dancing with the Stars .

Cobra Starship contributed a cover of Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue" to the Buddy Holly tribute album, Listen to Me: Buddy Holly (2011).

On September 9, 2011, Cobra Starship headlined the Fueled by Ramen 15th Anniversary show in New York's Terminal 5, with VersaEmerge, The Academy Is... and A Rocket to the Moon in support. In March 2012, Cobra Starship featured in the Australian touring rock festival Soundwave.

On April 19, 2014, after nearly three years of no announcement of new material, Cobra Starship confirmed that they are working on a new single. [19] Their single "Never Been in Love", featuring Icona Pop, was released on August 25, 2014.

On October 21, 2014, both Suarez and Ryland left the band to pursue their own separate careers. [20] They have since been replaced by Eric Halvorsen, formerly of A Rocket to the Moon, and Andy Barr. The band played their first show with their current line-up on October 30, at Saints and Sinner for a Halloween party. The band also played for Jimmy Kimmel Live! on November 6.

On November 10, 2015, it was announced in a blog post on their website that they had broken up. [21]

Post-disbandment (2015–present)

On his Beats1 Radio show in November 2015, Saporta announced that he would no longer be performing or putting out new music. He and business associate Mike Carden have announced the formation of a talent management firm, T∆G // The Artist Group, [22] which is expected to commence operations in the first quarter of 2016. Saporta has explained that now he wants to work behind the scenes and help younger artists see their dreams come true. [23]

In October 2016, guitarist Andy Barr began touring with rock band America until 2018.

Band members

Final Linup
Former Members
Cobra Starship


Album appearances

2006 Snakes on a Plane: The Album
2007 TMNT: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
2008Warped Tour 2008 Tour Compilation
Welcome to the New Administration
2009 Jennifer's Body
Now That's What I Call Music! 32
2010 Overcome

Related Research Articles

<i>While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets</i> 2006 studio album by Cobra Starship

While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets is the debut studio album by Cobra Starship. It was released on October 10, 2006 in the US, and on October 17, 2006 in Canada. A rough clip of "Send My Love to the Dancefloor, I'll See You In Hell ", a finished version of "Snakes on a Plane ", and "The Church of Hot Addiction" were uploaded onto Cobra Starship's PureVolume site. "The Church of Hot Addiction" was also used as the theme song for the WWE's Great American Bash 2007. It has sold more than 69,000 copies to date.

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Victoria Jane Asher, also known as Vicky-T, is an American musician. She was the keytarist of Cobra Starship until their split in November 2015, and is currently recording as a solo artist under the name Vicky-T.

Alex "LEFTI" Suarez is an American musician, producer, songwriter, DJ, Remixer and Mixing Engineer. He was best known for his work as the bass player and additional keyboardist, co-producer, mixer and backup vocalist for Cobra Starship until his departure in 2014. He is also the co-founder of This is Ivy League, a band created with fellow Cobra Starship member and high school best friend Ryland Blackinton and now pursues a producer/DJ project as LEFTI.

Ryland Blackinton American musician

Ryland Blackinton is an American musician and actor, best known for his work as the lead guitarist and backing vocalist of Cobra Starship. He was born in South Kingstown, Rhode Island on March 31, 1982, but was raised in Wilmington, Massachusetts and Boca Raton, Florida. He has also worked as the lead singer and lead guitarist of folk pop duo This Is Ivy League and as half of the electrofunk duo GRVRBBRS.

<i>¡Viva la Cobra!</i> 2007 studio album by Cobra Starship

¡Viva la Cobra! is the second studio album by Cobra Starship. The album was released on October 23, 2007. It was produced by Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump, whose vocals also feature throughout the album. The album peaked at No. 80 on Billboard 200. It has sold more than 40,000 copies to date.

This Is Ivy League is an indie band formed in 2005 by friends Ryland Blackinton and Alex Suarez.

<i>Fast Times at Barrington High</i> 2008 studio album by The Academy Is...

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<i>Night Shades</i> 2011 studio album by Cobra Starship

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Good Girls Go Bad 2009 single by Leighton Meester and Cobra Starship

"Good Girls Go Bad" is a song by American pop band Cobra Starship with guest vocals by Leighton Meester. It was the first single released from their third studio album, Hot Mess. The song was released digitally through iTunes on May 11, 2009. On May 8, 2009, "Good Girls Go Bad" made its radio debut on KIIS-FM with Ryan Seacrest's show.

<i>Hot Mess</i> 2009 album by Cobra Starship

Hot Mess is the third studio album by Cobra Starship, released through Fueled by Ramen and Decaydance Records on August 11, 2009. The album is the follow-up to 2007's ¡Viva la Cobra!. It debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart on sales of more than 42,000, by far their best chart performance ever.

Hot Mess (Cobra Starship song) 2009 single by Cobra Starship

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Cobra Starship discography

Cobra Starship was an American pop punk band, formed by Gabe Saporta in 2005. Other members are guitarist Ryland Blackinton, bassist Alex Suarez, drummer Nate Novarro, and keytarist Victoria Asher, all of whom provide backing vocals. The group released their debut album, While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets in 2006. "Snakes on a Plane ", is the debut single of dance rock band Cobra Starship from the soundtrack album Snakes on a Plane: The Album.

You Make Me Feel... 2011 single by Cobra Starship and Sabi

"You Make Me Feel..." is a song recorded by American synthpop band Cobra Starship with guest vocals by American pop singer Sabi. It was the first single released from their fourth studio album, Night Shades. The song was released digitally through iTunes on May 10, 2011. The song is a dance-pop, electropop song and it talks about looking for a soul mate in the club. It received mixed reviews from most music critics: some of them thought that the song was "catchy and happy,” but at the same time they criticized it for being too "faceless and empty.” Commercially, the song reached No. 1 in New Zealand and the Top 10 in Australia, Canada, Hungary, Japan, and the United States.

Middle Finger (song) 2012 single by Mac Miller and Cobra Starship

"Middle Finger" is a song by American synthpop band Cobra Starship. The track was written and produced by Norwegian production team Stargate and features Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller. It was released as the third promotional single from their fourth studio album, "Night Shades" and later as the second official single.

Never Been in Love 2014 single by Cobra Starship

"Never Been in Love" is the final single by American pop rock band Cobra Starship. It features vocals from Swedish dance-pop duo Icona Pop. The song was the band's first single since their 2012 single “1Nite “. "Never Been in Love" borrowed a prominent piano melody from Fatboy Slim's 1999 single "Praise You".


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