NEW YORK — [artist id="2402281"]Cobra Starship[/artist] frontman Gabe Saporta was hunched over the craps table, a wad of cash in his sweaty hand, while Leighton Meester of "Gossip Girl" hovered above him on perilously high heels. Around them, the smoky nightclub pulsated in full party mode, as pretty people jammed to the music and guzzled bottles of beer.
Multiple felonies were being committed all at once — but no worries! We were on the set of the music video for the song "Good Girls Go Bad," and everyone was having a grand time.
The concept of the video is that Meester runs an underground speakeasy, complete with shelves of booze, gambling tables and a dance floor. The band is in charge of the above-ground deli that acts as a front operation to hide the debauchery within. To gain access to the illegal club, patrons must order the correct sandwich and proceed down a staircase.
"And if you don't look good, I'm not gonna let you in!" Saporta told MTV News during some downtime on the set, tucked into the Lower East Side.
The infectiously dancey "Good Girls" was produced by "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi, and Saporta was initially put off by the fact that the busy producer only had two hours to spend with the band in the studio. Saporta says he gave her a "stinky beat" and popped off a list of foul-mouthed song titles.
"She didn't even flinch!" said an impressed Saporta. "She's a New York girl." Together, they dropped the song's hook in no time, and 15 minutes later the entire track was done. "It's, like, the best song on our album," he said of the upcoming August release, Hot Mess.
By the time Cobra and DioGuardi recorded the song, the band had already decided to collaborate with Meester. "I had heard that Leighton was working on a record and I really, really, really wanted to do a song with her, because I'm a big superfan of hers," Saporta said. He recalled thinking, "['Good Girls'] would be perfect for Leighton because it's already kind of her character in 'Gossip Girl,' like the perfect girl with the bad streak."
They'd been working together on another track, but Saporta quickly sent her the new song, and Meester took an immediate liking to it. "I thought, 'I need to get on that!' " she told MTV News. "It totally is my sound too. Really fun to dance to it. Very edgy and cool."
Meester and Saporta wrote some verses together and returned to the studio to record the song. "It was so awkward for me, because on one hand, I have the idea of how the song should go in my head," Saporta said. "But on the other hand, I'm like, 'I don't want to tell her what to do, because I love her and that's scary.' "
Before shooting on the video ramped up again, Saporta wondered where his band would go now that they're on the brink of breaking into the big time. "When you're the underdog, you get to do whatever you want," he said. "How do we still have the same fun we used to have without pi--ing people off?"