An interview with Cobra Starship ought to come with a warning: Once the cameras start recording, throw away anything you’d previously prepared, because Gabe Saporta and Co. are card-carrying hams.
Anyone who’s familiar with members Ryland Blackinton and Alex Suarez’s takes as “Dick Bagwell” and “Vincent Twice (Vincent Twice),” respectively, in our Musical March Madness videos of years past knows how invested they can become in adopted personages (to say nothing of Blackinton’s other alias, Guy Ripley), but I was just as happy to learn that their authentic selves were just as animated. Between us: Now that I’ve gotten a bit of distance from the situation, I can also admit that as a female who grew up in early aughts Manhattan, I was pretty excited to go out on a (albeit, synthesized reality) date with the lead singer of my beloved Midtown — the band which upon its demise was how Cobra Starship was born.
“I needed a band and … you were like the first people I asked,” Saporta said, regarding his reaching out to Suarez and Blackinton, who were once in a band together called This is Ivy League.
Suarez added, “Gabe was like, ‘Hey, look, I’m starting this new band. You guys should come and be a part of it. I would love to have you guys. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Not willing to let go of the good thing his band with Blackinton amounted to, “[Suarez] said no at first,” Saporta solemnly remembered about his first shot at getting a new band together.
Eventually, the pair obviously came around, and alongside Victoria Asher and Nate Novarro, Starship have become a pop-rock behemoth, known for big choruses and dance floor-ready tracks. So, it only made sense to take Suarez and Saporta to the Village Party Store on our First Date. Surely, the makers of party music would feel at home at the party store, right?
My suspicions were confirmed. And between learning how to host a “gritty” party to being branded with a Cobra temporary tattoo down my right forearm, it’s safe to say that the group brings the party wherever they go.