This funky five-piece band is best known for mixing different genres of music, including ska, New Wave, dance, pop and punk, to infectious effect, culminating in hits like “Good Girls Go Bad” and the pop classic “Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)”. We spoke to guitarist Ryland Blackinton about the group’s influences and guilty pleasures.

Is contemporary music getting more and more formulaic these days?
I don't think so. Personally I appreciate all the ideas floating around, lyrically and musically. It pushes songwriters and producers to come up with more interesting ideas and newer tricks to tell a story.

Who are your influences?
This is always a revolving door. It depends on my mood and could sit anywhere between Metallica (the first four albums) and Quincy Jones.

Who would you like to collaborate with—living or dead?  
Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, Solange... so many! I think it'd be really fun to do a song with Boys Noize or A-Trak as well.

Do you guys prefer performing live or recording in the studios?
I really enjoy performing but I'm going to have to choose the studio. Both very different experiences so it's almost impossible to compare the two. One is more physical and energetic and the other is creative and technical. There is nothing like a great show but there is also nothing like making magic in the studio.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I'm going to go with Rihanna, although I love to cook in which case I almost always cook while listening to Django Reinhardt. I feel like I'm in a 1939 cooking show.

Famous last words?
Take risks, you never know unless you try.

Cobra Starship performs on Sep 20 at 1 World Music Festival.


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