Interview with Cobra Starship

By: Therese Porod

On Saturday, April 28, 2012, I had the opportunity to interview a few band members of Cobra Starship. Ryland Blackinton, who plays guitar, and Alex Suarez, who plays bass, sat down and talked with me about their band.

Me: How did the band meet?

Ryland Blackinton: Alex and I went to high school together. We’ve known each other since we were 15. We both moved up to New York around the same time. Really just knew Gabe from going out to a lot of the same places in New York, around 2005/2006 had a lot of mutual friends together, and we had our own band and he heard about it and he needed two people,

Alex Suarez: Two good looking guys.

Ryland: Yeah two good looking guys to play guitar and bass and he knew that we knew how to do both of them. And then that’s when we joined.

Me: How did you guys decide on your name?

Ryland: Gabe already had the name when we joined.

Me: What is each of your favorite song to preform?

Alex: Ya know since we started playing it, “You Make Me Feel” has been really fun to play.

Ryland: Yeah me too. It’s helpful that everyone knows it; that makes it more fun to perform.

Alex: Oh ya. A lot of energy.

Me: How does it feel to live a life like this? Can you give me an ordinary day for you guys?

Ryland: When we are like this it’s crazy. When we are on these types of tours it is really crazy.

Alex: Wake up really early, catch a flight, fly into a venue, sound check, you play your show, you wait another two hours, and then you go back to your hotel and you crash.

Ryland: And then you wake up really early and then go back to the airport.

Alex: It’s really exhausting actually.

Ryland: It’s fun. Ya know the other way to do it is in a bus, where you travel across America and connect the dots, but its stuff like this, and we were in Tampa yesterday and then before that we were in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and then Tampa again and then St. Louis, Vegas.

Me: So you have something going on every day?

Alex: Pretty much.

Ryland: If not every day, then usually 5 days in a row and then 1 off. But it’s awesome; we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Me: What is your favorite part about being in this band?

Ryland: The travel thing is a double edge sort. It’s exhausting but you get to travel and go to a lot of different places.

Alex: We just got to go to Australia, we are gunna go to Brazil next month, we just went to South America last October, so that’s definitely a huge perk

Ryland: We go to places that we probably wouldn’t have made it to.

Me: How young were you guys when you joined?

Ryland: I was 24 when I joined.

Alex: Yeah I was 25.

Me: Who is your inspiration?

Ryland: Really no one inspiration. When we first started, we were inspired by a lot of stuff. A big one would be a band form New York called Cromeo. Back then we were inspired by the new dance music that was happening, and at that point, it hadn’t taken the format that it has taken now. It had been like Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, and even that stuff like Killers, it was slowly becoming more dance. We hadn’t made it quite that far as the LMFAO. Also, Death Punk, Justice, stuff like that.

Me: Besides yourself, do you guys have a favorite artist that you like to listen to?

Ryland: Actually we don’t listen to, I don’t think any artist listen to themselves.

Me: So it is weird when you are in the car and your song comes on the radio?

Ryland: It’s cool, but we probably don’t leave it on.

Me: How does it feel preforming here at a small college of Benedictine, rather than the huge arena that I’m sure you guys are used to?

Ryland: These are pretty big too, I mean ya know for four years we played at clubs with between 500 people and 1,200 people max, and then we started to do festivals, which those get up to like 40,000-60,000 people. And then we opened for Justin Beiber last year, and then we are getting up to like 80,000-90,000 people. But ya know, we like all types of shows. The smaller ones are a little more intimate and there is something cool about that. The huger ones are more epic and there is something cool about that too. There’s nothing really any size show that we don’t like to do. I mean last week we did a corporate show for 300 people, but that was awesome too.

Alex: Yeah these are always different, like we don’t know what to expect. 600 people and sometimes there’s 3,000 people

Ryland: Sometimes we are in a gym, sometimes we are out in a field.

Me: How is your relationship with your fans?

Ryland: I think great. For a pretty long time, we have been really dead set on being accessible to our friends. Obviously twitter is a big component in that. Ya know we reply to our fans and we interact with them. I think if you make yourself a little too aloof and too cool, it can be a hindrance on your growth as a band, and so we’ve always juts been very available to them.

Me: Do you hang out with other artists in your free time?

Ryland: Sort of. Not on purpose. Just a lot of our friends by default because we have a lot of the same interest and they are also artists, but yeah when you are on tour with somebody obviously. But we don’t seek out other musicians to hang out with

Me: What message do you have for your fans at Benedictine or your fans in general?

Ryland: We’re just appreciate and thankful to be here.

Alex: We are happy to be here and hope everyone has a great time.

Ryland: It’s a two way street. If People are happy to have us, we are just as happy to be here.

Me: Well thank you.