Midtown singer Gabe Saporta had already named his new project Cobra Starship when he heard about a somewhat similarly titled upcoming movie. That, of course, would be the highly anticipated “Snakes on a Plane,” and he knew he had to get his music in it.
“I was like, ‘This is a cosmic conversion,’ ” Saporta recalled. ” ‘We have to do it.’ ”
Fast-forward several months to Tuesday, and Saporta could be spotted — what else? — loading snakes on a plane as part of the video for the soundtrack’s first single.
Originally called “Bring It,” the Cobra Starship song is now titled “Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)” and features a few of Saporta’s friends — William Beckett of the Academy Is …, Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes and Maja Ivarsson of the Sounds — on guest vocals. The song is as self-explanatory as the movie, with one twist.
“We actually didn’t want to make it too literal about snakes on a plane, so we used a metaphor of snakes being like shady dudes,” Saporta said on the set of the video, shot at the Air Hollywood sound stage in San Fernando, California.
“Like in the [music] industry, like snakes in suits in the back of the plane,” Beckett added. “That way it’s not completely just a joke.”
McCoy’s verse, for instance, begins, “Ladies and gentlemen, snakes are slitherin’/ With dollar signs in their eyes and tongues so reptilian.”
“I don’t think any rapper has used reptilian in a verse, so I’m gonna pat myself on my back,” McCoy joked.
“Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)” is due in August on the movie’s soundtrack, to be released as a partnership between Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz’s Decaydance Records and New Line Records. Wentz, as a matter of fact, dropped by the video set to support his friends and film a cameo.
“I was hoping to be the guy who gets to sit next to Samuel Jackson,” Wentz said, grinning.
As for Cobra Starship, Saporta is still finishing the album and expects other friends from the Warped Tour world to appear, although he wouldn’t name names.
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“The sound that I’m going for is, basically I wanted to do a lot of stuff with beats and programming but also have a real rock feel to it,” said Saporta, who cited Miami Sound Machine as an influence. “I don’t want to do dance-rock necessarily but more of, like, underground post-punk stuff with beats.”
Cobra Starship’s debut will be released in the fall to take advantage of the August 18 release of “Snakes on a Plane.”
The people who are looking for the funniest crap on the Internet,” Saporta said, referring to the mock “Snakes on a Plane” trailers that have already made the movie a Web phenomenon. “I think those are our fans!”
Whatever the case, Saporta is sure it was meant to be.
“I love, like, old vintage jackets and had this one that said ‘Cobra’ on it from the Sylvester Stallone movie,” Saporta said of his inspiration for the band’s name. “And I had another one, it was like a total Michael Jackson jacket with the zippers and stuff from the ’80s, and on the back it said ‘Starship Disco,’ so I just put both of them together.”
Read about “Snakes on a Plane” and more of our most-anticipated movies of the summer in the feature “Must-See Summer Flicks.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Snakes on a Plane.”