Back in the UK for a handful of live shows, Cobra Starship are constantly on the rise. With their new album due out this month, I caught up with bassist, Alex Suarez, before their gig in Leeds.
So you were here, last year, on a sold out UK tour, and now you're back again! What is it you like about the UK?
You know it's always great to come back and we're very fortunate that we are always welcomed back. The shows are always pretty crazy 'cause one thing that we definitely notice is that the drinking age is so young so like, y'know, people start drinking here legally at eighteen, which means they start sneaking alcohol at sixteen, y'know so it's always like kind of crazy, it's awesome a lot of fun everybody's always just having a great time, we love that.
Are you going to do any sightseeing whilst you're around Leeds, Yorkshire? Or is it more a whirlwind tour?
The only sightseeing that we really get to see in the UK is all the chip shops and the kebab houses. Unfortunately due to our jet lag y'know we go to bed very late, and wake up very late, so y'know [glancing out of the window] the sun's already down, I woke up two hours ago, not even! And er, y'know, everything's closing in probably like an hour from now, but y'know it's about hanging out with our fan base. They're the reason why we're here.
That's a good thing! Are you having an after show tonight then?
I don't know, I haven't heard anything about that. I got caught up with about twelve of our fans this morning, which was like three-thirty in the afternoon, which was the morning for me. Yeah. That's the pre-party I call it.
Pre-party and the after-party - they're all good.
Yeah, there's always an after party.
I see you've got some more American tour dates that you're releasing. With all the time on tour, does it get a bit crazy after a while on the road all the time? Or do you just get into a routine?
Yeah, y'know, we had a really crazy run right before this tour and we had a month off which was really nice - to catch up with ourselves again. It gets hard after, like, three months, four months, touring straight, does get a little stir crazy, but like this isn't going to be too bad, we have ten days off between getting home from this tour and then going to South East Asia, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, which we're very much looking forward to. Then we have a month off and then we're doing a three co-headliner tour in the US which will be like two months. So I think we have a nice balance of time off coming up and time on the road.
Have you been to Asia before?
Yes we have, we've been to Japan a couple of times, a few times actually now and we got to play in Singapore once, but we're going back, for the first time in, like, three years. Which will be awesome. So the Philippines for the first time, Indonesia for the first time; really huge fan base there, I don't know, we're playing, like, an indoor tennis arena in Jakarta and there's already, like, two thousand tickets sold or something. It's crazy.
And whilst you're on tour do you do your own thing, do you play pranks on each other or are you past that stage now?
Sometimes, not really, I mean we joke around a lot but we don't really do too many pranks though, just have a good time.
The new album, over here, isn't out until a week on Monday (15th February), is it?
Yep, The 12th or the 20th or something?
What is it you've done between the last album and this album; have you had to change much musically?
We've always kind of had an open door of what kind of style of music we could do, and get away with, which is awesome, cause we can get away with whatever we want which is nice, we're not just to one specific sound but it eventually all kind of melts together into this rock/synth kind of style music, but this time we did a lot of the production ourselves, almost all of it. Which was cool, 'cause we got better at it from our second record and we were like let's just produce, 'y'know, as much as we can ourselves. Then we worked with a couple other people like Kevin Rudolf who helped produce 'Good Girls Go Bad' and we worked with Kara DioGuardi who helped co-write another song. We haven't really worked with that many, y'know, co-writers and stuff like that, that was cool. Work on some tracks with other people. But some of our favourite songs, we just kind of did ourselves, and we were really happy with how they came out. 'Nice Guys Finish Last', 'Wet Hot American Summer', 'The Scene Is Dead', so I don't know. I guess like, in this approach we didn't have as many people helping us, as a whole record, and then we got to just pinpoint certain things with other people, which was cool, we've never done that before.
'Good Girls Go Bad' features Leighton Meester. If you had another song to include somebody else musical, dead or alive, who'd be your ultimate choice?
Y'know, we'd probably do a big smash with Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and Justin Timberlake. We'd call the song 'Number One On The Charts' featuring Cobra Starship (laughs) 'cause I don't think we could feature all of those guys!
Generally, besides yourselves, what other bands do you rate at the moment either worldwide, or within England and America?
That we're into? Yeah, y'know we are into... we are into a lot of the French electro scene like Ed Banger Records, Justice, Breakbot, all those guys, Kavinsky. Also we like La Roux a lot, we're just listening to her, actually, she's awesome. And we like the American version of her, which is Amanda Blank, we like a lot of that crazy electro, fun stuff. I've been listening to this new band called Bad Rabbits, who are pretty cool, a lot of fun. Trying to think of what else we've been listening to... I don't know, we're all over the place, we all kind of like the same general vibe, but everybody goes off into their sub-categories.
Which must be kind of cool I guess because you all bring different styles into the band!
Finally, when you've done all your touring and everything, and with your record out, what are you looking to do next? Is it a case of keeping going with more recording?
Yeah, y'know we're not really sure we kind of have a couple of ideas, we're pretty much touring through June, and we're going to see what happens for the summer. So we, y'know are going to see if maybe we can get a great opportunity to do like a support for a really big tour, something really cool, that we'd love to do. Or start writing again. We really like taking our time, we don't like being rushed. We almost got rushed into writing this record, we were like 'Woah, woah woah let's take a step back and just chill out for a second', 'cause everybody was like 'Go go go go go', and we were like... 'Why? Why do we need to rush and end up with... shit?'
And then you end up with all the critics on your back!
Yeah and then everybody's like 'Oh they rushed the record... and it sucks.' The proof is in the pudding, y'know!