Cobra Starship’s ‘You Make Me Feel …’ Video: A Party With Heart

On the set of the new clip, Gabe Saporta explains how a magic photo booth tells a universal story.

Cobra Starship‘s brand-new “You Make Me Feel …” video is most definitely a party, one packed with beautiful people (various members of the NYC glitterati, a rather confused MTV News journalist, a mightily bearded Robin Williams) and practically bursting at the seams with booze-fueled hookups and assorted Spandex getups.

But when MTV News showed up on the set of the video last month, the guys in Cobra Starship were eager to explain that “You Make Me Feel …” is much more than an ode to bottle-popping excess. It’s actually about frontman Gabe Saporta’s quest to find his soul mate — up-and-coming singer Sabi — in the dwindling hours of a New York night. With the help of a magical photo booth. Or something like that.

“It’s a song about a guy and a girl, and the concept is, at the beginning of the video, I find one of Sabi’s photos, and she’s feeling the same way that I’m feeling, which is incomplete without each other,” Saporta said. “We’re sharing feelings, and that’s what I realize, so I’m like, ‘Wow, I want to find this girl.’ So I look all over the world for her, and our world is the nightclub. … The video is about the photo booth. It’s just not any photo booth; it’s a photo booth that tells you how you’re really feeling. That’s the main star of the video.”

“It’s a party,” guitarist Ryland Blackinton added, “but it’s a very tender party at times.”

So, yes, in short, it’s a party video loaded with cameos from the likes of Williams (and his daughter, Zelda), DJ duo Andrew Andrew, Just Jared blogger Jared Eng, and yes, this writer. But Saporta also said that he wrote the song — and a whole lot of Cobra’s upcoming Night Shades album — after going through some serious personal problems of his own. So it’s a party anthem with a heart.

“Obviously, some of my personal drama was about feeling alone, and feeling like I was searching the world for the right person,” he said. “And one of the things we want for this song and this record — even though it has personal stuff in it — is to be something everyone can relate to, and I think that the concept of people trying to find the right person is something that’s universal.”

Of course, he’s far less serious about the name of the album itself. Sure, it came from personal experiences too, but it’s also inspired by the family of flowering plants known as Solanaceae.

“They’re the family of nightshades, and the flowers of these vegetables only open up at night, which is how I think of myself,” he laughed. “Like, I wake up at 2 in the afternoon, I’m a vegetable … until I get to flower at night.”