Cobra Starship Take To The Subway For VMA Promo

'It's kind of like 'Thriller,' without the zombies or the story,' Gabe Saporta says of choreographed ad.

Despite being nominated for a pair of Moonmen, [artist id="2402281"]Cobra Starship[/artist] still aren't sure if they're even invited to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. After all, they'd been burned in previous years.

"Last year, we were not invited. When we had 'Snakes on a Plane' [in 2006], they invited us, because they thought we'd bring Samuel L. Jackson," Cobra frontman Gabe Saporta told MTV News. "When we failed to bring him, they were like, 'Next year, you guys are ixnayed.' So this year, we agreed to sing and dance for them, so hopefully we can get invited to the VMAs."

The singing and dancing he's referring to took place at the New York Transit Museum, below the streets of Brooklyn, aboard a replica subway train, under the watchful eye of superstar choreographer Wade Robson. Cobra were filming a scene that will be used in promotion for the VMAs.

"We're here, underground, in the bowels of the New York City transit system. ... We're doing this little shoot for the VMAs," guitarist Ryland Blackinton said. "We're getting our razz-matazz on. We came really prepared. We brought our jazz shoes, we brought our Lycras, [Gabe] brought his unitard. We had steps ready ... but they hired Wade [Robson] to do it, so we didn't end up using them."

Saporta likened the clip to a pair of Michael Jackson classics: "It's kind of like 'Thriller,' without the zombies or the story. Actually, it's also more like 'Beat It,' because we're in the subway. And we're in a dancing gang."

OK then. So with one official VMA-related production under their belts, are Cobra Starship still feeling like outsiders? Not especially. If anything, this is old hat for them already.

"Britney, Justin, Cobra — you think of one, you think of all three," Saporta laughed. "Actually, we're probably better. Our leg up on those guys is that we all do our own choreography."

The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards will take place September 13 at 9 p.m. ET. Nominees, celebrity presenters and additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks. To be the first to find out the inside scoop, follow the Inside MTV Twitter account at