Gabe Saporta dishes on Midtown reunion: “I don’t want to half-ass this”

March 4, 2014 by Evan Lucy

Gabe Saporta dishes on Midtown reunion: “I don’t want to half-ass this”

What was the vibe like when you got back in the rehearsal space to practice for the upcoming shows?
The dynamic was so fascinating. On one hand, I was excited, but a little guarded. I think we all were. One of the first things Tyler [Rann, guitarist] did was come up and apologize for some things he’d done in the past. [Laughs.] It was good. Back then, we were dumb kids. I feel like everyone is all-in on this and is doing it out of a really good place.

Did you find yourself remembering a lot of the songs, or did you have to go back and re-learn all the bass parts and Google lyrics?
A lot of it is muscle memory. I listened to some of the songs before rehearsal, just to refresh my memory. But we’d throw out a song and it all came back. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve heard some of those songs. It’s crazy.

Have you started putting together the setlist yet?
We haven’t really figured that out yet. We’ve been putting together our favorite songs to play, and it’s looking like four songs off the first album, four songs off the second album and then the rest from Forget What You Know. We’ve only had two rehearsals so far, so...

Did you think about doing playing Forget What You Know front-to-back to celebrate the 10th anniversary?
I want to do that, but Rob Hitt [drummer] does not want to do that! [Laughs.] Sting said something when he left the Police like, “Democracy is great in politics but terrible in art.” But [Rob] is also a manager, and he’s got his manager’s hat on and thinks about things a little differently. We still might do it; like I said, we haven’t figured it out yet. But I would personally love to do it, there’s no better album to do that with because of how important it is to us.

What do you expect in terms of a crowd? Obviously a lot of kids probably know of Midtown through your work in Cobra Starship, but there are also those fans who were into Midtown back in the day who might be hanging out by the bar drinking a beer instead of mixing it up in the pit.
That’s a great question, and I have zero idea. I think it’s going to be a real mixture. I’m sure there will be people who come just because it’s an event. What I’m really wondering is, now people talk about how Forget What You Know is our best album, but Rob is always on iTunes and Spotify looking at what the kids are streaming and buying on there. I don’t even know what Midtown songs kids listen to. I don’t know if they listen to the whole albums or just the top songs on iTunes.

Are these two sets it for the foreseeable future? Is it a wait-and-see situation?
It all depends on how this goes, you know? One of my biggest concerns is I don’t want to half-ass this. I don’t want it to be a sloppy thing where we’re not prepared. Unfortunately, everyone has jobs so we can only rehearse once a week, but I think we have enough time to figure it out. To me, Midtown was always something that should have been bigger than it was. I always want to do it justice. I don’t want to just be four guys playing for a niche audience in Jersey. If we succeed and make it something bigger than that, we can see where it leads. ALT

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interview cobra starship skate and surf festival gabe saporta midtown

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