One of the unfortunate things I’ve learned about getting older is that most of my favorite bands from when I was in high school break up. My Chemical Romance is a big example of this, but there’s also bands like The Hush Sound and The Academy Is… that fall into that category.
Now the latest one has fallen. The synth-pop-punk outlet known as Cobra Starship announced today that they’re ending their run after being a band for nine years.It’s such a weird thing for me. Cobra Starship is one of the only bands I can actually claim I was there from the near beginning on. I remember when Decaydance announced they were doing the soundtrack to Snakes on a Plane and the theme song was going to be done by a new band called Cobra Starship. Naturally, I went to see if they had a Myspace page and the only thing there was Gabe Saporta singing over a karaoke track of ‘Hollaback Girl’ with his own words titled ‘Hollaback Boy.’
It was weird. I loved it immediately.
As Cobra Starship grew from that one song to a theme song collective to an actual band, they became the band of my weird little heart. I’ll admit that Fall Out Boy wasn’t always #1 for me, even though I’ve loved them dearly for ten years. Cobra for a few years held that spot of the first actual band I would rattle off after Butch Walker if someone asked what my favorite band was. In a scene that was all serious, dark, broody, and just straight up fucking emo, here was this band full of bright colors and 80s inspired synth singing about throwing parties at the end of the world and not giving a shit if you called them your guilty pleasure. All under the shadow of The Cobra, an entity that Gabe Saporta claimed to have seen in the desert while on a vision quest that told him he needed to teach hipsters and emo kids how to party. Apparently this was an actual thing that happened.
Even after the band scored successes with ‘Good Girls Go Bad’ and ‘You Make Me Feel…’, I was still in their corner even though the subsequent albums would never surpass ¡Viva la Cobra! for me. They were my guys and more people knowing about them was a good thing. In a subsequent era of bands like 3Oh!3 and LMFAO also having that “wink nudge it’s not serious” vibe, Cobra Starship always felt like the were doing with sincerity and without the heaping layer of bro-a-tude that surrounded a lot of those bands. The presence of Victoria Asher, the band’s keytar player and backup singer probably helped with that. Not to mention I had a crush on her just as much as I did Gabe. One of my biggest memories of seeing Cobra Starship live was seeing her smoking a cigarette outside of The Masquerade, feeling like I would never be cool enough to talk to her. Well, that and the time Ryland said there was room for everyone in his pants.
Even now, I find the weird ways Cobra is a part of my DNA. There’s still a part of me that wants a purple hoodie like Gabe’s iconic one. When I got into wrestling, I got a more Cobra vibe off of Adam Rose just because of the whole party aspect and that bunny. I will forever argue that ‘Disaster Boy’ is a way better song than ‘Somebody I Used To Know’ and that it should have been huge. I even reviewed ‘Never Been In Love’ back when I was working for Nerdophiles and admitted how curious I was for the new album.There are so many things I’m sad about with the ending of Cobra Starship. That I didn’t get to see them live one more time. That we don’t know how they would have sounded with their new 90s sound. That I’ll never know what Gabe Saporta said to me when he walked by me in Purgatory at the Masquerade. Probably just “excuse me” or thanking me for coming out, but there’s something about my 18/19 year old brain that has kept that mystique alive.
Still, they were neon and magic. They were about happiness, sass, and not giving a fuck. I am sad that they’re over, but I’m forever happy that they existed in the first place.
Fangs up, Cobra. You will never truly die.