When it was time to record Cobra Starship’s latest album, ‘Hot Mess,’ the band decided it needed a retreat.
“We had to get away from it all,” bassist Alex Suarez said. “We were getting the push from our management to knock out this album. We had no problem knocking it out relatively quickly. We just had to do it our way.”
The Cobra Starship way was crafting the disc in the Poconos. The New York based synth-pop band ventured to the mountains in February of 2009. However, skiing wasn’t on the band’s agenda.
“All we did was write songs and drink,” Suarez said. “We wrote and we drank and drank.”
The quartet stunned liquor store clerks at checkout. “This woman would see us with 19 bottles of wine and she said, ‘are you guys having a party?’ We would say, ‘no, it’s just for us.’ I don’t think she believed us. But we just wanted to relax. We didn’t want pressure. We created a very chill environment. That had a huge impact on the making of this album.”
The laid-back atmosphere helped Cobra Starship make its most balanced album. Sure, the band, which formed in 2005, remains one of the most amusing acts on the circuit. ‘The Scene is Dead, Long Live the Scene,’ ‘Nice Guys Finish Last’ and Pete Wentz is the Only Reason We’re Famous’ range from mildly funny to hilarious.
“I think we’ll always write songs that make people laugh because we don’t take ourselves seriously,” Suarez said. “I think that’s pretty rare these days because bands tend to take themselves way too seriously. We’re pretty grounded and we know how fortunate we are be where we are today. But at the same time we want to expand our horizons.”
The group, which also includes vocalist Gabe Saporta, guitarist Ryland Blackinton, keytarist Victoria Asher and drummer Nate Novarro, show a more serious side with the earnest and melancholy ballad ‘Fold Your Hands Child.’
“We went in another direction and it was a great experience,” Suarez said. “It shows a more mature side but we didn’t sacrifice anything to get there.”
The songs are consistently catchy, particularly ‘Good Girls Go Bad,’ which was co-written by American Idol judge/songwriting doctor Kara DioGuardi.
“Most people have no idea how great a songwriter Kara is,” Suarez said. “She is a total professional. She added the melodic hook to ‘Good Girls.’ But her gift is that she can add a hook to anything and she is one of the nicest people you’ll meet in this industry.”
Cobra Starship, which is co-headlining the ‘Too Fast For Love tour, which stops tonight at the Festival Pier, is looking forward to returning to Philadelphia. “We always have a good crowd in Philly,” Suarez said. “There always really into it. It’s a place where always up for going back to.”
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