To the average viewer, Cobra Starship's "Middle Finger" video isn't exactly brimming with subtleties and symbolism; instead, it appears to be little more than a long series of single-digit salutes.
It bears mention that, apparently, Cobra frontman Gabe Saporta is not the average viewer. Because, to him, the "Finger" video is much more than a bunch of folks flipping the bird; it represents the launch of the next phase of the Starship world domination plan. Or something like that.
"Listen, I never thought we'd even get to make a fourth record, to be honest, even from the beginning. And basically after your third record, it's almost time for a whole re-invention; it's almost like starting over again, because, if you think about it, a generation of music is about four or five years, then every kid who was in high school is gone, and they're all listening to different stuff, and it all changes," he told MTV News. "In the 'Middle Finger' video, there's definitely allusions to that; you know we're burning neon clothes, so, I don't know if that's a reinvention, but, I do feel like we're planting the seeds for where we go next."
And that new direction might be reflected in "Middle Finger" guest star Mac Miller (the MC currently being featured in MTV News' "Back To The Burgh" week), who not only lends a verse to the track, but helps separate it even further from the field of current pop tunes.
"He was actually really cool in the studio; that's actually the first time I met him, when he was he came to do his rap for 'Middle Finger.' He was super chill, super laid-back, he wrote his stuff there in the studio. It was good vibes, man," Saporta explained. "It gives the song a totally different flavor, and we definitely did that consciously. Most pop songs right now are like straight-up bangers, so we wanted to do something that might stand out a little bit and be a little more down-tempo."
And of course, though Saporta is speaking seriously about the future of Cobra Starship, he's also not above poking fun at himself and his bandmates ... especially when it comes to a quote he gave MTV News late last year, when he promised that the "Finger" video would feature "a lot of cheekiness and no middle fingers." And as you probably know by now, the clip ended up being the complete opposite.
"We said we were not going to be giving the middle finger in the video; that was the point ... I was totally misquoted!" he laughed. "We definitely didn't want the video to be angsty; a lot of people hear the title 'Middle Finger' and they think it's a mean or angry song, it's not about that, it's about letting go and having fun ... and I think that's the vibe we wanted to have with the video, so, we thought it would be funny if old ladies gave us the finger."