KISS 103.5’s Fantabuloso Line-Up and Information

KISS 103.5 Fantabuloso
Allstate Arena – Rosemont, IL
May 18, 2012
TIME: 5:30 P.M.
Tickets: $25 to $95 (ticket information is below)

Fantabuloso 5 18 KISS 103.5’s Fantabuloso is always a good time and filled with today’s hottest acts and this Fantabuloso lives up to its name.  Last year Pitbull headlined with Far East Movement, and Jessie J also on the bill. Check last years show coverage including photos here.  Artists that are currently scheduled to appear this year are:

Enrique Iglesias
Gym Class Heroes
The Wanted
Cobra Starship
Havana Brown
Neon Hitch
Carly Rae Jepsen
Adam Lambert

Ticket information:

US $55.00 – US $95.00
US $55.00 Ticket + US $10.65 Fees = US $65.65
US $95.00 Ticket + US $11.65 Fees = US $106.65

US $25.00 – US $85.00
US $25.00 Ticket + US $9.90 Fees = US $34.90
US $85.00 Ticket + US $11.40 Fees = US $96.40

US $25.00 – US $35.00
US $25.00 Ticket + US $9.90 Fees = US $34.90
US $35.00 Ticket + US $10.15 Fees = US $45.15

For more information about the event, head to:

Hear It: Cobra Starship’s #1Nite

Cobra Starship has unveiled ‘#1Nite,’ the latest track off of their forthcoming album Night Shades.  The digital single for ‘#1Nite’ is now available exclusively on iTunes and the official lyric video can be viewed here.

 Their current single, ‘You Make Me Feel…(Feat. Sabi)’ is currently charting in the Top 25 at Pop radio outlets nationwide while the companion music video is in full rotation at MTV, Fuse, & Logo with over 1.3 Million views on YouTube.

 Cobra Starship are also set to headline New York City’s Terminal 5 on September 9th in celebration of Fueled By Ramen’s 15th anniversary, tickets for which are on sale now.

  Also stay tuned for a Cobra Starship collaboration with Rostrum Records artist, Mac Miller, who will be a featured guest on the track ‘Middle Finger,’ available exclusively on iTunes on 8/23.

 Night Shades arrives everywhere on August 30th and pre-orders are currently available at the Fueled By Ramen web store.

For more information please visit:

Boys Like Girls Rock Nevada with Cobra Starship

Boys Like Girls & Cobra Starship
Henderson Pavillion – Henderson, NV

Boys Like Girls Henderson Pavilion

Boys Like Girls Henderson PavilionBoys Like Girls Henderson Pavilion

Boys Like Girls

I will admit I hadn’t heard much about either of the two bands, Cobra Starship and Boys Like Girls, which played last night at the fairly new venue, the Henderson Pavilion, in Henderson NV. Cobra Starship and Boys Like Girls marks them as the biggest artists to have graced the stage at the new venue thus far. It was a shame that the bill, which also included A Rocket to the Moon and Versa Emerge, was scheduled for a Sunday. Judging by the crowd of mostly teens the fact that there was school the next day may have kept the crowd size down. Yet as the house lights dimmed, Cobra Starship and Cobra Starship hit the stage, the kids rushed to the front of the stage giving the feeling that there was a decent size crowd.

Photos from Boys Like Girls and Cobra Starship after the jump…

Boys Like Girls Henderson PavilionBoys Like Girls Henderson PavilionLead singer Gabe Saporta quickly got the crowd going with “While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets” from the band’s debut album of the same name. What followed was a swift set of the bands brand of catchy pop/electro/punk that the crowd gladly absorbed complete with hand signals of a Cobra for the bands song from the movie “Snakes on a Plane”. Finishing up with the hit “Good Girls Go Bad” from their current album “Hot Mess”, with keyboardist Victoria Asher filling in for “Gossip Girl’s” Leighton Meester on the female vocals, the band managed to make what could be a rather large venue when filled to capacity into a nice club venue for the night.  After a speedy set change it was time for Boy’s Like Girls to hit the stage.

Boys Like Girls Henderson Pavilion

Boys Like Girls Henderson Pavilion

Singer Martin Johnson approached the mic and as the flashbulbs from the screaming teen bathed the stage, he launched into the song “Lovedrunk” from the band’s latest release. The bands blend of pop/punk easily kept the crowd in a frenzy and judging by the crowd singing every lyric they were “lovedrunk” with adoration for the band.

Johnson, and other bandmates John Keefe (drums), Bryan Donahue (bass) and Paul DiGiovanni (lead guitar) were appreciative. The night closed with the hit “Great Escape”. Hopefully this is just a precursor of the bands that will soon be filling this nice new venue and from the reaction of tonight’s show if you book them they will come. Just maybe not on a Sunday!!

Boys Like Girls Henderson Pavilion



Two is Better
Great Escape

Cobra Starship in Photos:

Boys Like Girls & Cobra Starship Henderson Pavillion - Henderson, NV 10/25/2009

Boys Like Girls & Cobra Starship Henderson Pavillion - Henderson, NV 10/25/2009Boys Like Girls & Cobra Starship Henderson Pavillion - Henderson, NV 10/25/2009Boys Like Girls & Cobra Starship Henderson Pavillion - Henderson, NV 10/25/2009Boys Like Girls & Cobra Starship Henderson Pavillion - Henderson, NV 10/25/2009










Boys Like Girls & Cobra Starship Henderson Pavillion - Henderson, NV 10/25/2009Boys Like Girls & Cobra Starship Henderson Pavillion - Henderson, NV 10/25/2009

Boys Like Girls & Cobra Starship Henderson Pavillion - Henderson, NV 10/25/2009


Intro/The City is at War
Smash it up
Nice Guys Finish Last
Smile for the Paparazzi
Bring It (Snakes on a Plane)
Guilty Pleasure
Hot Mess
Good Girls Go Bad

Cobra Starship Brings ‘Hot Mess’ to Chicago

Cobra Starship
The Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL
October 18, 2009

Cobra Starship The Riviera Theatre

It was so weird observing the fans at last night’s Cobra Starship concert in Chicago. Having been a fan of this New York City synthpop alternative dance band since July 2006, it was interesting to see how one hit song from the group’s third studio album has graced the fivesome with mainstream success. Yours truly has seen Cobra Starship perform live in concert every time the band has played in Chicago for over three years. Neither of their first two records spawned any radio singles, but still the shows would sell out with fans singing along to every single word to all the non-hit songs. I was surprised upon discovering that Cobra Starship wasn’t headlining the show last night at The Riviera Theatre. That coveted spot on the tour went to Boys Like Girls. Both bands have two big songs to their name. However, I believe that Cobra Starship has the bigger fan base and should have closed out the show last night. Do you agree?

More photos of Cobra Starship after the jump…

Set List / Chicago

The City Is At War

Pete Wentz Is the Only Reason We’re Famous

Nice Guys Finish Last

Smile For The Paparazzi

Wet Hot American Summer

Bring It (Snakes On a Plane)

Guilty Pleasure

Hot Mess

Good Girls Go Bad

Cobra Starship The Riviera TheatreVictoria Asher (keytar, backing vocals)

Cobra Starship The Riviera TheatreRyland Blackinton (lead guitar, synthesizer, backing vocals)

At one point during either the first or second song of Cobra Starship’s set, lead singer and main songwriter Gabe Saporta caught a fan’s bra and proceeded to rub it on his face. But that’s not all. Saporta then continued to scrunch the girl’s bra up in his fist and shove it down the front off his pants. Yup, right down into his crotch. That’s rock star behavior for you. If anybody knows the truth, I would like to know if Saporta and keytarist Victoria Asher are dating. My friend Becky asked me in the middle of the band’s set if Gabe and Vicky were together due to the simply fact that he was biting and licking her neck sporadically throughout the performance. I mean, that could just be the way Gabe is, which is a little out there for me. On the other hand, she is the only girl in the band. I’m just saying…

Cobra Starship fans got a treat last night when the band played their new single “Hot Mess” as the second to last song of their set. Apparently, Gabe Saporta and Co. have only performed the song live in concert once before. So if you were at the show last night, you witnessed Cobra Starship play “Hot Mess” for only the second time live in concert. Before launching into the title track off Cobra’s latest record Hot Mess, Saporta informed the crowd that the group had not played it live before because they simply didn’t know how to play it. My guess is that it had been so long since the band played it for the album’s recording that they honestly couldn’t remember how to play it. Not unusual, as this happens all the time with artists going out on the road to promote a new LP. Hence the weeks and weeks of rehearsal that huge artists commit to when preparing for a nationwide or worldwide tour. Seeing as how “Hot Mess” is the new single from Cobra Starship, the group better be able to play it with their eyes closed!

Cobra Starship The Riviera TheatreGabe Saporta (lead vocals)

As expected, Cobra Starship closed out their set with the song that brought them millions of new fans. I’m talking about “Good Girls Go Bad.” Normally, the song features Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester sharing lead vocal duties with Saporta. However, when performed live Vicky takes the spotlight for a bit. Asher probably does a better job singing every night than Meester could ever pull off without the assistance of good old reliable Auto-Tune to keep her in key and on pitch. Watching the tween fans go crazy singing their hearts out and jumping up and down during “Good Girls Go Bad” was amazing. I am so proud of Cobra Starship for not giving up on their career. It took the NYC band more than three years to get a song on the radio, but they never stopped touring and playing their music to any kids that would listen. There’s no way in hell anybody can call Cobra a bunch of sell-outs at this point.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

*Not photographed: Alex Suarez (bass, synthesizer, backing vocals) and Nate Novarro (drums)

Cobra Starship Brings the Sass to Chi-Town

Cobra Starship
Allstate Arena – Rosemont, IL
May 9, 2009

Cobra Starship Allstate ArenaGabe Saporta (lead vocals)

Cobra Starship always leaves me speechless when I see the band perform live in concert. Seriously, I am left at a loss for words. I don’t know what to say about this five-piece from New York City. Having been a fan since the launch of Cobra’s career in the summer of 2006, I’ve seen Gabe Saporta and Co. too many times to count. It never gets old, though. I never tire of seeing Cobra Starship and singing/dancing along to their catchy tunes. Cobra has come a long way from their massive hit “Bring It (Snakes On A Plane),” which was the official theme song from the 2006 film Snakes On A Plane starring Samuel L. Jackson.

Performing “Bring It” during Cobra’s set is a given. However, Cobra happened to play my favorite track off of their sophomore release Viva La Cobra!: “Kiss My Sass.” The song’s album version features a rap verse courtesy of Travis McCoy from Gym Class Heroes. Unfortunately, Travis did not make a special guest appearance at this show. To be honest, I cannot remember who came out on stage to rap McCoy’s verse with Cobra Starship. Probably some guy from the tour crew.  Cobra also performed “The City Is At War,” yet another favorite of mine from Viva La Cobra!.

For those who don’t know, Cobra Starship just released a new song entitled “Good Girls Go Bad,” which features Gossip Girl actress Leighton Meester. I bought it on iTunes this morning, actually. The track was written by Kevin Rudolf and Kara DioGuardi and produced by Rudolf. Once you hear the song, which is the first single from the band’s upcoming album Hot Mess, you will be able to recognize the sound of Kevin Rudolf. The track’s guitar riff (especially in the chorus) is completely reminiscent of Rudolf’s hits “Let It Rock” and “Welcome To The World.” I can totally imagine Rudolf singing “Good Girls Go Bad.” It just sounds like his style of music, but with Gabe Saporta and Leighton Meester sharing lead vocals. Cobra Starship treated fans to another new song called “Pete Wentz Is The Only Reason We’re Famous,” written for the band’s next record (due in August). In my opinion, this is the perfect title for a Cobra Starship song. Why? Because it is 100% true. Cobra Starship is signed to Wentz’s label Decaydance. Enough said.

More photos of the members comprising Cobra Starship after the jump. Make sure you look closely at the necklace that lead singer Gabe Saporta wore during the show. Yes, that is a picture of Justin Timberlake…

Cobra Starship Allstate ArenaNate Novarro (drums)

Cobra Starship Allstate ArenaAlex Suarez (bass, vocals)

Cobra Starship Allstate Arena

Ryland Blackinton (guitar, vocals, synthesizer)

Cobra Starship Allstate ArenaVictoria Asher (keytar, vocals)

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

On the Bus with Kevin Lyman at Warped Tour Chicago

katyperrychicagowarpedtour5Usually, Kevin Lyman is the one interviewing the bands on the Warped Tour while sitting in his tour bus. Artists such as Katy Perry and Angels & Airwaves have been interviewed by Kevin while on the road this summer. Those interviews get videotaped and those videos get posted on the Warped Tour website for all to see. But when I hit up the Chicago date of Warped, I got the chance to grill Mr. Lyman and put him in the hot seat–on his own bus! The tables were turned for half an hour as I asked him all about the tradition he started 14 years ago: the Vans Warped Tour.

Read on to hear what the man had to say…sorry, no video to watch!

[Read more…]

Cobra Starship and a Shot in the Ass

Cobra Starship
Cricket Wireless Amphitheater – Chula Vista, CA

Gabe Saporta – Vocals
Ryland Blackinton – Guitar
Alex Suarez – Bass
Nate Novarro – Drums
Victoria Asher – Keytar

Cobra Starship Cricket Wireless Amphitheater - Chula Vista, CA 8/14/2008

Gabe Saporta

Thursday was my first Cobra Starship experience. I was greeted by the 80’s looking Cobra Starship sign that didn’t read Cobra Starship to me. That was probably because I was extremely dehydrated from walking around Warped Tour and refusing to pay high prices for water. I had to have someone tell me that the Highway 1 stage, one of the mainstages, did in fact have Cobra Starship up next. I don’t know about anybody else, but stage signs weren’t clearly marked with the stage names, especially on the smaller stages. Anybody else notice that?

Gabe Saporta, the frontman, mentioned during the first couple songs of the set that he wasn’t feeling well and he actually had to take meds that the doctor said would make him feel better. He said that there was one problem with the meds. They had to be taken via a syringe in his butt. He then described the welt that was around the entry point of the needle that was injected into his butt. Normally I would be screaming “Too much information!” but this was hilarious. He commented, “I lost my voice but my ass looks great!” The band played on.

Cobra Starship Cricket Wireless Amphitheater - Chula Vista, CA 8/14/2008Victoria Asher

Cobra Starship Cricket Wireless Amphitheater - Chula Vista, CA 8/14/2008Ryland Blackinton

Overall, the band was in great spirits minus the illness going around. Everybody was into them because they started with one of my favorites, Send My Love to the Dance Floor. They had the entire 2-mile radius crowd moving and grooving! The spirit and energy of the band was crazy. I enjoyed their set the most at this years Warped Tour.  Of course, I couldn’t stay for the entire set because it conflicted with another band I wanted to see on a stage that took 10 minutes to walk to.

They are out on tour supporting their newest release Vida Cobra! This band is one very busy band! If you get the chance to catch them as they roll through your town, get your 80’s gear on and go!

Cobra Starship Cricket Wireless Amphitheater - Chula Vista, CA 8/14/2008Tour Dates

Aug 20 2008 8:00P
Brisbane Entertainment Centre Brisbane, AUS

Aug 22 2008 8:00P
Acer Arena Sydney, AUS

Aug 23 2008 8:00P
Rod Laver Arena Melbourne, AUS

Aug 25 2008 8:00P
Adelaide Entertainment Centre Adelaide, AUS

Aug 27 2008 8:00P
Burswood Dome Perth, AUS

Aug 30 2008 8:00P
Vector Arena Auckland, NZ

Sep 1 2008 8:00P
Quattro Osaka, JPN

Sep 3 2008 8:00P

Oct 7 2008 8:00P
Club Infinity Buffalo, NY

Oct 8 2008 8:00P
Webster Hartford, CT

Oct 9 2008 8:00P
Trocadero Philadelphia, PA

Oct 10 2008 8:00P
Casino Hampton Beach, NH

Oct 11 2008 8:00P
Nokia New York, NY

Oct 12 2008 8:00P
House of Blues Cleveland, OH

Oct 14 2008 8:00P
Majestic Detroit, MI

Oct 15 2008 8:00P
HOB Chicago, IL

Oct 16 2008 8:00P
Cabooze Minneapolis, MN

Oct 17 2008 8:00P
The Rave Milwaukee, WI

Cobra Starship Cricket Wireless Amphitheater - Chula Vista, CA 8/14/2008 Oct 18 2008 8:00P
Pops St. Louis, MO

Oct 19 2008 8:00P
Beaumont Kansas City, MO

Oct 20 2008 8:00P
Gothic Theatre Denver, CO

Oct 21 2008 8:00P
Avalon Salt Lake City, UT

Oct 23 2008 8:00P
Croation Vancouver, BC

Oct 24 2008 8:00P
Wonder Ballroom Portland, Oregon

Oct 25 2008 8:00P
El Corazon Seattle, Washington

Oct 26 2008 8:00P
Knitting Factory – Boise Boise, Idaho

Oct 28 2008 8:00P
Empire Event Center Sacramento, CA

Oct 29 2008 8:00P
The Fillmore San Francisco, CA

Oct 30 2008 8:00P
House of Blues Los Angeles, CA

Oct 31 2008 8:00P
Jillian’s Las Vegas, NV

Nov 1 2008 8:00P
House of Blues Anaheim, CA

Nov 2 2008 8:00P
House of Blues San Diego, CA

Nov 4 2008 8:00P
Marquee Phoenix, AZ

Nov 5 2008 8:00P
Club 101 El Paso, TX

Nov 6 2008 8:00P
Cains Tulsa, OK

Nov 7 2008 8:00P
House of Blues Dallas, TX

Nov 8 2008 8:00P
Scout Bar San Antonio, TX

Cobra Starship Cricket Wireless Amphitheater - Chula Vista, CA 8/14/2008 Nov 9 2008 8:00P
House of Blues Houston, TX

Nov 11 2008 8:00P
Jannus Landing St. Petersburg, FL

Nov 12 2008 8:00P
Revolution Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Nov 13 2008 8:00P
House of Blues Orlando, FL

Nov 14 2008 8:00P
Masquerade Atlanta, GA

Nov 15 2008 8:00P
Music Farm Charleston, SC

Nov 16 2008 8:00P
Tremont Charlotte, NC

Nov 18 2008 8:00P
The National Richmond, VA

Nov 19 2008 8:00P
Sonar Baltimore, MD

Nov 20 2008 8:00P
Starland Sayreville, NJ

Nov 21 2008 8:00P
Gravity Pittsburgh, PA

Nov 22 2008 8:00P
Bogart’s Cincinnati, OH

Nov 23 2008 8:00P
Intersection Grand Rapids, MI

Nov 25 2008 8:00P
Opera House Toronto, ON

Nov 26 2008 8:00P
Club Soda Montreal, QC

Nov 28 2008 8:00P
Lupos Providence, RI

Nov 29 2008 8:00P
Crocodile Rock Allentown, PA

Nov 30 2008 8:00P
Northern Lights Albany, NY

Jan 28 2009 8:00P
Academy 2 Birmingham, UK

Jan 29 2009 8:00P
Garage Glasgow, Sco

Jan 30 2009 8:00P
Club Academy Manchester, UK

Jan 31 2009 8:00P
Cockpit Leeds, UK

Feb 1 2009 8:00P
Rock City – The Basement Nottingham, UK

Feb 2 2009 8:00P
KCLSU London, UK

My Time with The Hush Sound

The Hush SoundThe Hush Sound recently played a hometown show at the House of Blues while in the middle of their summer Dance Across The Country Tour promoting their new album, Goodbye Blues. Before they hit the stage to a SOLD OUT crowd of adoring Chicago fans, friends and family, I got to talk with lead singers/songwriters Greta Salpeter and Bob Morris. Just a heads up – about 3/4 of the way into the interview, Bob had to leave to go soundcheck, since he was singing with the first opening band. Among the topics we discussed were: bags of weed, iced coffee, Tim and Eric, Guitar Hero, New Kids On The Block, Rock Band, The Young and the Restless, ‘N Sync, Patrick Stump, and even FBR Trash. Read on to hear what Greta and Bob had to say about THAT…

1) With three studio albums to choose from, how do you decide which songs to play each night? Or do you play the same set for every show on the whole tour?

Greta: Well, this tour definitely is focusing on the new record, but in a way we kind of just started at the beginning of the set and after each song we went, “Well, what do we want next?” When you’re building a set you want there to be a lot of dynamics. So we just kinda pick songs according to that. Instead of playing three or four ballads, we play one slow ballad from the new record and maybe one from the old record.

Bob: We don’t do the same thing every night either. Sometimes people will come up to us and specifically want a certain song that wasn’t in our set and we’ll try and accommodate. We try and mix it up just to make sure everybody… If there’s a special song for someone that they want to hear, we try and play it for them.

2) Does anybody get to make an executive decision if the band can’t agree on song selection?

Greta: We haven’t gotten to the point where we haven’t agreed on it.

Bob: Yeah, and when we disagree it’s usually like, “Ah, I think this would be better, but let’s try it your way, and if it doesn’t work…” Usually we all agree if it works or not.

Greta: Yeah, usually playing it at one show and seeing how the audience reacts is enough to test whether or not something’s gonna go over well.


3) What prevents you from playing different sets every night? Can you change songs in midshow, depending on your mood?

Greta: Oh, yeah you definitely can. I mean, to me it gets boring when you know exactly what’s coming next every minute; it’s really not exciting anymore. Like already, two weeks into tour, we’ve been playing a pretty similar set and I’m kinda like ready to change it up now.

Bob: We play a similar set, but even still we change it every night almost. We still have to talk about Where We Went Wrong [addressing Greta].

4) Do you plan shows differently when playing in Chicago?

Greta: Yeah, like there’s one song we play where we all switch instruments. Like I play drums, and our drummer sings. We did it the last time we played a big Chicago show, so it might not be a good idea to do it twice in a row.

5) What have you noticed about crowds at recent The Hush Sound shows?

Bob: They’re getting older.

Greta: They’re growing up.

Bob: There are more men.

Greta: Yeah!

Bob: Which is awesome, because I love men [long dramatic pause] at our shows.

Greta: Haha, when that’s typed out, there’s going to be no note of sarcasm. It’ll just be like, “Bob: I love having men at our shows. I love men.”

Bob: I love men…at our shows.

6) How much do you rehearse for a tour?

Bob: We usually try and practice for at least an hour…once.

Greta [laughing at Bob’s sarcasm]: No, you know, we were home for three weeks before this tour. After the last tour, which was two and a half months, we took a good week off from each other and then all kinda went and did our own things. We’ll build a set, which takes a few days. And then we pretty much just spend a week running a set.

Bob: It’s funny doing like a headlining set, because it’s so long and you only get to do it every now and again. So it’s like, you start off, and it just seems extremely overwhelming – you’re just like, “Ugh, how are we going to do this?” And then the next day it’s like, “Ok.” Pretty soon, it’s crazy – if you’ve ever been in a high school musical or something – just the way it all just kinda comes together really fast. And then all of a sudden, you play your first show, and make your little changes and then everything’s good.


7) What’s on The Hush Sounds’ rider?

Bob: It’s hard for me to remember.

Greta: Well, it depends…

Bob: We don’t really get it all that often anymore.

Greta: Yeah, we don’t get it all that often. Definitely water, tea. I usually just ask for fresh fruit and organic vegetables, but…

Bob: I like wine. Love the wine. There’s some veggie tray, etc. Nothing crazy. Sharpies.

Greta: No underwear, condoms, drugs, weed, puppies, small children…none of that stuff.

Bob: Bag of weed. We went on tour with a band that had bag of weed on their rider, and they got it.

Greta: We played at a college! At a college, they gave them a bag of weed and what’s it called – some kind of air freshener – and were like, “If you’re gonna smoke it, use this.” Like as if that’s just gonna totally clue the police to go the opposite way.

8 – When you’re in the studio, do you think about how the songs will sound live? Does that affect the decision as to which songs will make the record?

Greta: I mean, to me, a lot of the time. It’s kinda fun to write a song and then keep in mind how are people – where will people get involved singing this part or that part. So, I guess yeah.

Bob: Yes and no, because sometimes you don’t wanna worry too much about that’ll all come later on. But yeah, there are times when you, of course envision yourselves playing. And that’s how you know if you’re going to feel comfortable continually playing a song.

Bob Morris – Guitar/Vocals


9) How do you change things with every tour or show to make them different from your past tours and shows?

Greta: I guess it’s not something you really plan. A lot of the change has to do with the crowd and the dynamic in the crowd. Sometimes you’ll get some really exciting, strange or rude talkative people who really make it different than it used to be. I mean, I guess we do different arrangements; try to get the crowd singing in different places and everything.

Bob: We like to make the audience part of our instrumentation. Which is good when the audience is a good musician.


10) What do you do on the road to relax?

Greta: Well, the problem is that there’s too much relaxation on the road, so it’s rather “What do we do to keep active?” I guess is the question? Because literally, on the road, if you wanted to you could lay down for 22 hours a day – if you wanted to and not do anything. So it’s more like what to do to keep active. I don’t know, I do yoga, we [her and Bob] go for bike rides.

Bob: Yeah, I like to go for bike rides with Greta. And I also just love to explore the cities.

Greta: Yeah, we walk around a lot. I go to thrift and vintage shops – book shops, record stores. Read a lot, write a lot.

Bob: I usually try and hit a Starbucks every morning.

Greta: Pretty much, we realized that when there isn’t a place to get iced coffee, we suffer in the day. Like the day’s missing something for sure, which is sad, but true.

11) What challenges, if any, did you face putting the new album together?

Greta: You know, one of the biggest challenges with having two songwriters is trying to make cohesive records, I’d say. Which, some people really like that about our band – that there are the Greta songs and the Bob songs. And then some people say they don’t want all the songs to sound so different. They want all of us to be singing on everything. With two songwriters, there’s always going to be a challenge of us writing stuff that’s coming from totally different places. So it’s probably one of the hardest, but also one of the most exciting things, is just picking the shape of what we want our record to look like. Another challenge is always picking where you want to record it, with who’s going to produce it, and who’s going to engineer it, and how you want it to sound. Getting everyone to agree on stuff like that is definitely a challenge, but again also very exciting.


12) How would you categorize your music?

Greta: Golden, like a sunset. A bubble bath. Sixties dance party at the beach. Bowling. Finger-painting. Sprinkles! Water color. Mexican buffet.

Bob: I don’t know. That’s so hard to categorize yourself, because I don’t know how people see us. I know how I see us. But I guess how I see us is just –

Greta: A Mexican buffet.

Bob: A Mexican buffet, or maybe a Gospel brunch?

Greta: A Gospel brunch. A backyard barbeque on the Fourth of July. And tie-dying t-shirts. Can you put all those images next to each other [addressing me]?

Bob: In her mind?

Greta: No, I mean in the answer. Okay, that’s it.


13) What makes your band stand out from others in your genre of music?

Bob: We just sound completely different. And I don’t know if there are bands in our genre that exist.

Greta: I don’t know, I mean if our genre is pop music, that’s kind of a big scene, haha.

Bob: When you put us next to any other band – there’s a lot of bands that sound the same, but I don’t think we sound like any of them.

Greta: We get a lot of questions like, “How do you differ from your labelmates?” So when people say genre, they are automatically are saying Fall Out Boy, Panic At The Disco, The Hush Sound, The Cab, Paramore, all these bands that are on the same label. And definitely to me, none of those bands sound like each other. I think if you have a musical ear, it’s hard to say that they sound like each other. For us, I don’t know a band out there that sounds like us, which is good because we’re trying to be the first Hush Sound, not the next whoever else already exists. But how would we categorize it? I don’t know. Fun, imaginative music that we’re kinda making for ourselves for fun and hoping that other people enjoy.

Darren [Wilson – drums/vocals]: Four, unique personalities coming together to make a unique sound.

Greta: Yeah, and actually attracting a lot of unique people. We go on other headlining tours and you see that each band has a very particular kind of fanbase. I feel like the people who come to our shows are so unique and interesting. And most of the time they’re like, really creative, either in the arts, or in music, or in kinda whatever. Everybody has something really cool to offer. So it’s nice to know that it’s attracting that kind of people, I guess.

14) Who are some of your favorite bands?

Greta: Of all time?

Bob: The Beatles. The Beatles, easily. Tom Petty, Neil Young.

Greta: Joni Mitchell, and the whole Motown collection. Carole King.

Bob: Leon Russell.

Greta: Yeah, Leon Russell, Elton John.

Bob: Yeah, we have pretty eclectic tastes. But, we’ve become hip to some of the newer stuff lately too, thanks to Phantom Planet pretty much.

Greta: Like, the new Phantom Planet record’s great.

Bob: Yeah, the new Phantom Planet record’s great.

Greta: There’s a band called Simon Dawes from L.A. and their record is really incredible.

15) How has your life changed since your success?

Greta: You know, I don’t think you’ve really made it until your music has lasted 20 or 50 years and people are still singing it. To think – for anyone to think in this field that they’ve made it – particularly at our level and at our age – I think would be really disappointing. Because once you’ve “made it,” where do you go from there? You know what I mean? So to me, it’s like we’re just at the tip of where we start to feel the success that we want. To speak for everybody, and correct me if I’m wrong [addressing Bob], I feel like success for us is making records the way we want to make them, the songs we want to put on them, and releasing them so that a lot of people get a lot of genuine satisfaction out of it. It’s really hard in a modern day situation, with the music industry right now. Sometimes some people in situations – particularly with major labels – are in a boat where they can’t put out the songs that they want because it’s not radio-friendly, or because of this or because of that. We, so far have been able to make the records that we want and have been able to get really good distribution and get stuff out. So that’s a certain level of success right there. Just doing it the way we want to do it. I think continuing to do that would be success for us.

16) What advice would you give to those interested in playing in a band?

Bob: Listen to music. Love music.

Greta [in a creepy, evil voice]: Quit now, while you’re ahead.

Bob: Quit, so that we don’t have as much competition. It’s all competition, it’s not creativity. It’s competition. No, the first part is true – listen to music, love music. Learn about music. Don’t just listen to one kind of music.

Greta: Try to get a vehicle that runs on air, because gas is so expensive.

Bob: It’s hard to be in a band.

Greta: It’s really hard to be in a band right now. It’s hard to do everything right now.

Bob: It’s not hard to be in a band, it’s hard to make any money…

Greta: Touring…

17) How did you start playing your instruments?

Greta: I started when I was two, or younger. I guess I’m just kind of a natural. My mom played piano.

Bob: I wanted to be a drummer. My parents bought me a little drum set. I broke it in a day. They thought it was so annoying when I had it for that day anyways, they probably it broke for me, I don’t even know. And then they just bought me a guitar because it was quieter. I asked for drums all the time, then they’re like, “Here’s this guitar.” I’m like, “Ok,” and then I loved it.

18) What were the first songs you learned to play?

Bob: I learned Korn – “Blind.”

Greta: Oh my God, the first song I learned on guitar was Mest – “Drawing Board.” It was hilarious.

Bob: “Drawing Board,” I taught her that. “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come As You Are.”

19) Who were some of the bands you first saw live at shows you went to growing up?

Greta: Oh my God, Catch 22 was one of my first shows. Weezer was also one of my first shows, which I’m still very proud of.

Bob: Weezer? Really?

Greta: I saw Weezer when I was 12 and it was amazing. Yeah, I think that was it.

Bob: The first concert I ever went to was New Kids On The Block, but I didn’t want to go. I swear!

Greta: I saw ‘N Sync when I was maybe nine, but no girl can be – actually no, ‘N Sync was good. I’m proud of that choice. I was going to say no girl can be held responsible for her choices when she was nine, but they were good! I liked them. Oh my gosh, my parents went to great lengths – they found some bookie and got tickets for my birthday.

20) How do you improve your skills on your instruments while out on the road and holed up in the recording studio? Do you have a practice regimen?

Greta: To me, when you term it “practicing,” it’s kind of the same reason why I quit playing piano when I was 13. It was like, “Oh, there’s discipline. You have to run scales, you have to learn pieces, everything has to be perfect.” For me, that makes music a real turn-off, because it’s not about perfection. It’s about the originality of the songs you’re writing, and then from there you want to learn to play them well. Instead of calling it “practice time” or “improvement time,” it’s more about listening to a song you love, and you love it so much that you want to learn it. And so you learn it. And then maybe you learn it on every instrument, and then if you wanted to, you could go record it, or whatever. You know what I mean? It’s more fun and exploration than it is specifically wanting to get better at my instrument. I think that when you pursue things with a genuine curiosity, and with a genuine hunger, you automatically get way better. Maybe than you would otherwise if you were super disciplined about it. But if you’re asking physically how we do it, we have acoustic guitars and a practice keyboard, and all sorts of stuff.

21) What are your thoughts on FBR Trash?

Bob: I just discovered this. The Cab has talked about it. I couldn’t imagine anyone giving a shit about that. That’s straight up what that is, right there.

Greta: What is it?

Bob: It’s a Live Journal thing of people talking trash about Fueled By Ramen bands, as if you could classify all Fueled By Ramen bands as something that you should talk shit about. I don’t know… I couldn’t possibly care less.

Greta: Oh. I’m generally opposed to just putting negative energy out there for no reason.

Bob: I also couldn’t imagine being that much of a loser to sit online and talk trash about people that you don’t know. So, those people should really be ashamed of themselves. Apparently, they don’t say anything bad about us – supposedly, I haven’t read it.

Greta: That’s because we’re not mega-successful. As soon as a band gets successful, people start bad-mouthing them.

Bob: Yeah, can’t wait.

Greta: I just feel like, I don’t know. People like that need to get hobbies. No – honestly, seriously, people like that need to figure out what they want to do with their life and then just start pursuing it. I don’t know.

Bob: They’re losers. That just bums me out that the people exist. Exactly.

Greta: Now this interview will be published and everyone will put it up and be like, “They’re so lame! They said we need to get hobbies. They’re losers.”

Bob: “I can’t believe how dumb they are. Let’s talk about how dumb they are.”

Greta: I feel like Gabe [Saporta – from Cobra Starship] will get involved in anything, anytime possible, ever. If there’s something going on, no matter if it’s negative or positive, he’s there. I think that’s just kind of his thing.

Greta Salpeter – Piano/Vocals

22) How do you feel about the whole Guitar Hero and Rock Band game phenomenon?

Greta: I think that’s fantastic.

Bob: I think it’s cool. It’s cool the way that they get kids into older music.

Greta: I think it’s cool, too. If I was a parent and my kid wanted to play drums, I would totally get them Rock Band first, so they weren’t making a huge, crazy ruckus every day.

23) What are some of the important lessons you’ve learned from music professionals with more experience in the biz?

Greta: Well, that once you start making music, either just for money or just for other people, it just becomes really soulless and no fun at all. I feel like sometimes you see people who have done that, and maybe are regretful of it. And then also, on the bright side, you can do this forever and stay really young and have a really great time just kind of be a kid forever. And that’s what most people we’ve gone on tour with have taught me. What about you [addressing Bob]?

Bob: That pretty much hits the nail on the head, I think. I don’t know… You have to business-savvy to be a successful musician. There’s just way too many bands out there – way too many people trying to do this. There’s a lot of creative, awesome intelligent people that will never be successful. We know some of them. It’s interesting seeing it because, you just want to be like, “Hey, if you just would do this, then this amount of people would hear your band, and that would be good for your band.” It’s not a sacrifice as much as it is making smart moves and whatnot. You have to be savvy to a certain degree. But at the same time the most important thing has to be the music, otherwise what’s the point of being savvy?

24) How much did you know about the business side of the music industry before you started signing contracts and making deals?

Greta: Oh, nothing! I was 16 when we signed, or maybe I had just turned 17. We were babies – we had no idea. Fortunately, we ended up in really good hands. We ended up with a great management company and a really honest label. Which is better than probably 95% of people who get signed at the age that we do. First of all, we got really lucky. And then second of all, we learned very quickly. I went out and bought a book on like, “How Not to get Ripped Off in the Music Industry…Here! 200 Vocabulary Terms You Need to Understand Your Record Contract.” I basically got us a lawyer and started negotiating our contract. Which, again you learn a lot quickly by just keeping your eyes open and talking to people. But, the whole business side of everything is – I hate to say falling apart – but really, now it’s becoming almost… To survive, bands need to be totally, or nearly totally, do-it-yourself. Have a great management company, but other than that, try to do your own distribution. You can even make your own videos, design your own merch.

25) Who influenced and/or helped you with understanding publishing, licensing, production points, artist royalties, etc.?

Greta: Management and lawyers. I read a lot on my own, so I guess management and lawyers and myself. But that’s not what I want to be focusing on. I don’t want to be focusing on how to sell music. I want to be focusing on writing better music. If I wanted to be a millionaire right away, I would probably be in med school right now, or whatever. I probably wouldn’t be doing this if I was in it solely for making the dollar. Though I wouldn’t mind…

26) What are some valuable lessons you’ve learned from mistakes you’ve made during your career so far?

Greta: I don’t think we’ve made any serious mistakes. The one mistake we almost made was breaking up. Just because we were so exhausted from touring for a year in a van and were not getting along. But that was the one mistake we could’ve made that we avoided, which I’m really glad…

27) What are you thoughts on having your recorded live performances downloaded online for free by your fans?

Greta: To me, despite the fact that YouTube means that you can have every single second of your awkward puberty phase of your career put on video, I think that when it comes down to taping live performance, the band needs to be able to say when something can or cannot be used. We’re totally comfortable with playing live and with recording live. We did the Daytrotter Session, where we go in and we pick five songs. We recorded them live and they’re available for free on their website – I think it’s But there are just days when you’re playing sometimes, like if your monitor goes out, and you can’t hear anything. Obviously you’re not singing in key, you have no clue what’s going on. Sometimes there’s technical stuff that just really doesn’t reflect your level of musicianship and I just think a lot of bands would probably get a worse rep if one of those performances got out. I think definitely that wouldn’t be fair unless bands could promote it.

28) As far as commercial music licensing goes, what television shows would you enjoy having your music placed and featured in?

Greta: You know what’s hilarious – we never anticipated this, nor did we really reach out to them, but The Young and the Restless is putting Hurricane on one of their commercials, which to me is just kinda funny because whatever, it’s soap opera land. And then House used Medicine Man for something. I’m trying to think of what TV shows we like. Most of the TV shows we really like already have all their own music. Like, Tim and Eric – specifically they design funny music. Curb Your Enthusiasm has the Jewish waltzes. I’ve never seen Grey’s Anatomy. It seems like a lot of people have made their break from being on Grey’s Anatomy. Honestly, I don’t even have a TV. Maybe HBO shows that are actually decent. It would be cool to have a song on there. I honestly haven’t seen a TV show in a long time.

29) Who would you love to tour with or open for? Write songs with?

Greta: Last time we played in Chicago was the same night Rilo Kiley was playing. A friend of mine who knows them took us to their show and we met them. They were super nice and put on a great show. It would be really fun to tour with them. Although, I don’t know if they’re going to be touring much anymore, what the deal is… Who do we really like? We want to go on tour with Death Cab and Weezer at some point; a lot of bands that we grew up listening to, it’d always be fun – you always have that dream in the back of your head. Let me think…who would we like to collaborate with? Honestly, if I wanted to collaborate with someone, I would say some of my friends in other bands – like Alex from Phantom Planet. We all had so much fun. We were sharing a bus with them and we’d all just kind of mess around and make up songs and play songs and show each other new songs. I’d just say I would want to collaborate with the people I already know and love. There’s nobody huge that I want to collaborate with.

30) What was it like having Patrick Stump produce and sing on your Like Vines record? Did you learn anything from your experience working with him?

Greta: Yeah! I learned a lot from him. I feel like I was such a baby when we made that record. I feel like I barely even sang – I could barely even sing. Definitely the best thing we got out of making that record with him was just a really awesome friendship. We’re still really close with him and I really value his friendship. He’s talked a lot of sense into me at very important times in my life and in my career when I really needed it. Definitely, it was fun.

31) Is there anything else you would like to share with your fans?

Greta: No. We love ‘em. That’s it.

Metro Station Makes Crowd ‘Shake It’

Metro Station
Congress Theater – Chicago, IL

Metro Station congress theaterMason Musso, Vocals-Guitar

Metro Station

opened up for Good Charlotte and Boys Like Girls when the Soundtrack Of Your Summer Tour stopped in Chicago this past Tuesday night. But they didn’t just open for the other two more well-established bands, they pretty much stole the show and completely won over the entire sold out crowd! We are talking almost 4,000 people here. If someone in the audience had never heard of Metro Station before the show, by the end of the band’s set, they were a fan for sure. Those songs are so infectious!

Metro Station congress theaterBlake Healy, Synth-Beats-Bass

Personally, I was looking forward to Metro Station’s set than any of the other, bigger bands. I have seen Metro Station twice before and bought the album right after the second show. I had NEVER heard of them before I saw them open for Cobra Starship (btw – what is THAT band doing now? where are they?!). But by that second show, I knew I would be a fan for life. The four guys are young, very young – all under 21. I felt like the oldest fan in an audience filled with middle school and high school kids (95% girls too).

Metro Station congress theaterTrace Cyrus, Vocals-Guitar

I wish the band had a longer set because I really want to hear them play every song on their debut album, Metro Station. At least they played my two personal favorites: Disco and Shake It. Here are some songs I remember from their too-short set:


Shake It


Seventeen Forever

Wish We Were Older

Tell Me What To Do


Metro Station congress theaterMason

One thing I noticed about Metro Station’s live show though, is that a lot of the music is pre-recorded. Guitarist Trace Cyrus hardly ever played his instrument, while lead singer and guitarist Mason handles the majority of the singing and guitar playing. Trace also sings, well more like “talk-sings” if you know what I mean. It’s not so much melodic singing like Mason’s vocals, but just talking. I have a cousin who does that and it always drove me crazy! But with Trace talking and Mason singing, the verses and choruses come together quite nicely. Also, while there is a drummer and a keyboardist, there is no bass player. So the bass line that you hear at their show must be a backing track programmed into Blake’s synthesizer. It was weird seeing a band without a bass player. Maybe since Trace doesn’t play much guitar on stage, he could pick up the bass and contribute more…

Metro Station congress theaterTrace

However, I do give these teenagers major props for putting on one hell of a show. The dudes have soo much energy – it is contagious. You can’t help but dance along with the techno-dance songs they write and perform. If you’re not a dancer (or just don’t dance in public), you will still tap your foot to the beat and bop your head along to the music. Seriously, their songs are catchy as hell, even if they are about two minutes long.

Metro Station congress theaterTrace

Sorry everybody, but I couldn’t get a solid photo of drummer Anthony Improgo. He was drumming like a mad man and wouldn’t sit still long enough for me to get a non-blurry shot.

Sherwood – The Riviera Theatre – Chicago

The Riviera Theatre – Chicago
Saturday, November 24, 2008

I do not know any of this band’s songs. I am not going to lie about that. But I am wondering why I do not know them because they are DAMN GOOD CATCHY SONGS with GREAT HOOKS. I am serious: their songs are more radio-friendly than anything I have heard recently. Even more so than the concert’s headliner’s (The Academy Is…) own songs if you ask me… I really enjoyed their entire set, which is rare with me and an opening act that I did not specifically come to see at a show.

They won me over last night. I am now a fan of Sherwood. I saw them for the first time last spring at the House of Blues when they opened for Reliant K. There were two back-to-back shows and I attended the first one. I actually vaguely remember liking the band’s music when I heard them that time in May of this year. I would gladly go see them again if they come back to Chicago for a headlining show, which they said they are going to do in the spring! My friend was at the Metro for the Circa Survive show last night, but she even told me that she wishes she would have gone to this show instead to see Sherwood. She LOVES them.

The one thing that irked me about this band’s live show though, is the keyboardist and his unnecessary funky dancing. It is just uncalled for. He distracts you from the music because he is always doing the stupidest, weirdest movements and “trying” to dance. But he just looks like an idiot and makes a fool of himself. I hope other fans do not judge the rest of the band members and think they are weirdos too. I do not want him to give the band a bad name or reputation because he is whacked out. They would be just as good, if not better, if he just stood there and played his instruments.