QRO interviewed Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship. In the conversation, Saporta talked about touring, stopping touring, working with Icona Pop (QRO spotlight on), New York, knocking ‘em back with Swedes, and more…
QRO: When touring for Night Shades ended, where was your mindset and how did you feel about jumping back into making new music?
Gabe Saporta: I felt like I definitely needed a break. We had achieved a level of success I never imagined or planned for, but we had also given up a lot in our personal lives. I had to reconnect with what it meant to be a real person. And in doing so, I was able to reconnect to what I love about music from the seed level.
QRO: Something a lot of people forget is that Cobra Starship toured extensively, almost non-stop for five whole years between the first album and Hot Mess (QRO review). Do you think it was because of that that a break after Night Shades was definitely needed?
GS: Ha. I’m glad at least you remember it. Yeah, without a doubt that was a big part of it. As much as I love playing shows, the reality of touring is a harsh one. That’s why so many artists keep themselves permanently sedated while on the road.
QRO: How did working with Icona Pop rejuvenate your feelings towards creating music?
GS: I love being around people who are excited and don’t take things for granted. People with strong energy and who aren’t afraid to draw outside the lines.
QRO: Sweden is a place that means a lot to me, having worked/lived there before, what was it like for you getting to go there for the first time?
GS: It was really incredible. The vibe there is really special. People are cool without being pretentious, loving without being sappy, and trusting without being naive.
QRO: New York is a brilliant place to call home, but it’s also a place that changes at a rapid pace. With that said, how do you feel New York inspires your songwriting now in contrast to how it used to inspire you?
GS: You really have to fight to make it in NY. But it’s a fight that imbues you with a sense of purpose. I think what I was fighting for was probably a little different when I was younger, but it’s the means not the ends that are important
QRO: Apart from the shows, what would you say caught you off-guard on your trip?
GS: That Swedes really know how to knock ‘em back.
QRO: With the way the world rapidly changes, have you found it at all difficult considering where your music is reached and how you’d like to express your music?
GS: I think as the world changes, for me at least, I’ve had to find new purpose. Maybe it’s just growing up, but I think a global consciousness is emerging where people are more connected and don’t see themselves as separate. There is no better bridge across cultures and boundaries than music.
QRO: When you look back to 2006, when you guys released your first album, what do you think your 2006 self would be surprised about the current Gabe Saporta?
GS: I think 2006 Gabe would be surprised that 2014 Gabe finally learned how to relax…
QRO: Lastly, when it comes to the music you’re about to release, what is it that you want it (the music) to do? In the past you’ve been open about wanting your songs to reach as many people as possible, is that something that’s still a priority for you?
GS: Absolutely. But now I look at that reach from a different point of view. I want to only reach people if what I do can somehow be of service. Not just for the sake of reaching them in and of itself.