You know, the things that you own start to own you. I remember listening to this Fugazi song called 'Merchandise.' The lyric was 'You are not what you own.'"He also understands the importance of nurturing and maintaining his devoted, in some cases rabid, fans."My manager always says that if there aren't girls in the crowd, you know the band's never going to last," Saporta says.He's so comfortable with his music that he makes the concept of selling out seem arcane, a threadbare relic of the pre-digital world, where success -- and the fakery that inevitably went along with it -- was something to be embarrassed about. "Yeah, it was awesome," the 32-year-old says, grinning."Punk is dead." Cobra Starship's fourth full-length, Night Shades, was released late last summer, a collection of radio-friendly jams that includes the double-platinum single, "You Make Me Feel...There are also a few fanworks about the canon pairing Gabe Saporta/Erin Fetherston."The couple chose to tie the knot in the gardens of the historical St.He was really a city kid, though, spending time on St.Marks Place, admiring local punk bands like the Casualties and going to tons of shows. (He's a part owner of the Alphabet City bar Angels & Kings with his friend Pete Wentz, and has a stake in the West Village's Employees Only and Smith & Mills in Tribeca.) Saporta lives in the East Village, in a modest one-bedroom apartment with a mezuzah on the door.
The band played Dancing with the Stars, appeared on Leno, Live!(His publicist took him to a Kabbalah Center class, and it stuck -- he wears the red string bracelet and owns the Zohar.) "I felt no connection to being Jewish whatsoever other than the fact that my grandparents escaped the Holocaust," he says. When I went to the Kabbalah Center, it seemed very rudimentary to me. He says that the most important thing for him is to continue writing music he enjoys.Criticism, both of the professional variety and the unpaid, flame-war-blog-commenting-sort, gets in the way -- "People tear it apart...' Then I realize there's no way the universe will allow me to be more successful at this juncture.If I were to be more successful, I would lose the desire to keep going. I persevere because I feel like it's not enough." Saporta is a living, breathing contradiction -- simultaneously bombastic and humble, worldly and spiritual, a hardcore kid who grew up at defunct clubs like Coney Island High and CBGB and went on to play power-pop anthems at last year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He and his band toured with Justin Bieber and they loved it.