On The Download: Catching Up With Cobra Starship’s Gabe Saporta

Cobra Starship invaded pop radio waves this summer with the catchy tune, “Good Girls Go Bad,” from their recently released third album “Hot Mess.” I recently checked in with front man Gabe Saporta about collaborating with a “Gossip Girl,” Pete Wentz’s latest tattoo and found out what exactly a “hot mess” is.

As for collaborating with Leighton Meester, Saporta isn’t afraid to admit that he’s a huge fan of hers and calls “Gossip Girl” a guilty pleasure.

“For me it’s like getting to do a song with the actress on one of my favorite TV shows,” he says. The band was about to get kicked out of the studio to make room for Meester and he says he joked about making the song happen.

“You can let her kick us out as long as you get her to sing on one of our tracks. I threw it out there as a joke and the next thing you know slowly it started becoming a reality,” he said. An appointment with songwriter and “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi followed and Saporta says that she really liked his idea that he, “made good girls go bad.”

Calling the album “Hot Mess” was a comical way of describing the band, Saporta says. “We as a band are a hot mess, me especially! Some people think that that is an insult, but I think it’s great… it’s somebody that is cool and fashionable and isn’t afraid to let go, like a girl that has really good fashion sense that isn’t scared to f--- up her $1,200 Hermes scarf.”

Because of Saporta’s close friendship with Pete Wentz, some critics say Cobra Starship is riding the coattails of Fall Out Boy’s success. He responds by saying, “No one has the magic wand to give you success. Pete is my boy. He and I started in parallel universes, and he’s my boss. He believed in me. We joke around with each other all the time.”

It was this type of joking around that lead to Wentz recently settling a bet in a very permanent way. Wentz offered to get a tattoo of Gabe’s choosing as long as their album went to number one on iTunes. Long story short, “Hot Mess” went to number one (for only about 30 minutes, Saporta says) and Pete now has a picture of a 13-year Gabe with the caption, “Gabey Baby Made Me Go Bad.”

The success of “Good Girls Go Bad” has given Cobra Starship an expanded audience. Saporta says that while they’ve had loyal fans for years, he definitely notices the difference of having a pop hit on the radio. At a show in their hometown of New York opening for Katy Perry, he says, “There were Katy Perry radio fans and they didn’t even know most of our songs. But we aren’t the kind of band who is like, ‘If you don’t know us then go f--- yourselves.’ We love playing for new audiences.”

Five On The Download Questions For Gabe Saporta:

Favorite city to play live in:

I love Tokyo. It’s so crazy; it’s a different world.

Biggest Musical Inspiration:

Nirvana…I was a kid who had no musical ability, and Nirvana just seemed like a band where a kid didn’t have to be great, just have a lot of heart.

Favorite Place To Get Away From it All:

Punta del Este, Uruguay. I was born there and I go back once a year. It’s a mix between Miami and the Hamptons.

Something That You Want to Try That You’ve Never Done Before:

I’m on the fence about this, but I really want to go skydiving, but I’m super, super scared.

Guilty Pleasure:

Cobra Starship is my favorite guilty pleasure.

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