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EXCLUSIVE: Boys Like Girls Talk Touring, Late Night Shows, Metro Station Break-Up

The bands were managed by the same company, recorded with the same label, and fell under the same genre of pop-rock filling mainstream radio. So maybe it’s only right that Boys Like Girls front-man Martin Johnson shed some light on the recent break-up of Metro Station.

“Trace (Cyrus) kicked every member out of the band,” replied Johnson, referring to Miley’s older brother and Metro Station’s lead singer, after I asked him about the alleged break-up. “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Rumors began circulating of Metro Station’s demise following the cancellation of a college date at Towson University. Cyrus along with Mason Musso later announced the band would be placed on an “indefinite hiatus.” Soon after, Cyrus announced via his Twitter page that he would still release music with a new band.

Johnson, along with BLG band mates John Keefe and Brian Donahue, called in to “The Ralphie Radio Show” last week. The Boston-based quartet (Paul DiGiovanni was not on the line) was in Los Angeles, amidst a flurry of promotion for the latest single from Love Drunk called “Heart Heart Heartbreak.”

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Ralphie with Martin and Paul from Boys Like Girls, Nov. 2009


“We cashed in our one auto-tune card,” joked Johnson about the vocal effects heard on the new single. Boys Like Girls filmed the music video for the song on the West Coast. The group also appeared at the Kids Choice Awards, stopped by Seventeen Magazine, and performed on “Lopez Tonight.” Donahue noted the experience on the new George Lopez show differed from the band’s other late night TV cameos.

“It’s so relaxed,” said the bassist. “By the green room, George has Astroturf… it’s set-up like a putting green. You can work on your short game before you go on TV.”

Who knows when the guys will have any time for golf. The band is prepping for another promo run, and then “The Bamboozle Road Show.” The tour includes Good Charlotte and Third Eye Blind. If any date on BLG’s calendar is circled, it would be June 27 – when the tour hits the Comcast Center near Boston. Keefe grew up in Mansfield, MA – the actual town of the venue. He didn’t have to join a band to grace the stage there either.

“I graduated on that stage,” the drummer reminisced. “My first show there, I saw David Bowie and Nine Inch Nails. That will always be a big thing for me.”

EXCLUSIVE: Cobra Starship’s Gabe Saporta Talks Touring, Hot Mess, & Pete Wentz

From the outset, it seems as if Gabe Saporta is having the time of his life, and you really can’t blame him.

The band he fronts, Cobra Starship, just wrapped up a tour with Boys Like Girls, scored a Top 10 hit in “Good Girls Go Bad”, and was even paid a high compliment from the lead singer of a band they idolize; Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo told MTV News he’d most like to tour with Cobra, out of any band, dead or alive. But as exciting as all of the aforementioned is, Saporta seems just as pumped about everything else in his life – whether it’s having a picture of his face tattooed on his boss’s leg, or receiving a Red Bull and vodka from his tour manager after a taxing set.

During our ten minute chat, Saporta chatted openly about Hot Mess, the tour, and Decaydance Records head honcho Pete Wentz. Twice during the interview, he called over to Boys Like Girls, prompting lead singer Martin Johnson to join in our conversation for a second and drummer John Keefe to claim he was too busy with his own interview (truth be told, no one was interviewing him, but a BLG camera crew caught it all on tape). Never did Gabe look or sound tired… despite stepping off the hot, muggy stage of the Crocodile Rock Café in Allentown just prior to sitting down with The Ralphie Radio Show.

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Part 1:


“Backstage shenanigans, non –stop bro,” proclaimed Saporta, before mockingly stating, “If Ralphie would hang out, but he’s gotta be (back home), his mom’s making lasagna.”

Actually, I had a club appearance. I might have taken a rain check on the lasagna (no offense, Ma) to hang out with these guys. It seems the party-vibe exhibited in Cobra’s latest LP isn’t a far stretch from the musicians themselves. Saporta told me that the band holed up for a few weeks in, of all places, The Poconos, to record the album. While “Hot Mess” has a negative connotation in our society, the lead singer feels that Cobra Starship is shifting the definition with the new LP and title track.

Part 2:


“For me, (hot mess) is awesome,” said Saporta. “Kate Moss, that girl’s a hot mess! She’s bangin’, but like, you’ll find YouTube videos of her doing drugs. And she loses her endorsements because she’s a hot mess. That’s rock ‘n roll.”

It seems for now though that the LP will be defined by “Good Girls Go Bad” which features Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester. The record gained more traction on-air and in the club when a remix hit the Internets with a new verse from rapper Flo-Rida.

“I’ll tell ya where it came from, outta nowhere,” admitted Saporta. “Mike Caren, he’s a top dude at Atlantic (Records), really sweet dude. He discovered Flo-Rida. He’s like, ‘Yo man, I can get Flo to do a rhyme on one of your songs. You just gotta promise to do a trade later on.’”

Part 3:


Caren explained to Gabe that a trade meant in exchange for Flo-Rida rapping on “Good Girls Go Bad” – Saporta would have to hop on one of the rapper’s tracks.

“I’m like, ‘Lemme think about that? DUH!’” exclaimed Saporta. “Whenever he wants some cool punk rock singing on one of his songs, I’m in there like swimwear.”

The track also yielded the latest in the ongoing ribbing between Gabe and Wentz. Saporta set the record straight on The RRS, stating that the official bet was if “Good Girls Go Bad” went number one on the iTunes chart, the Fall Out Boy bassist would let Saporta pick his next tattoo.

Although for only 30 seconds, the song hit the top of the chart, confirmed by numerous screen captures. Saporta picked his third grade class photo as the tattoo for Wentz.

“Even though Pete Wentz is my friend, he’s also the boss man. And sometimes the record guys… they stop returning your calls if your record doesn’t do well,” explained Saporta. “So I’m thinking, ‘Yo, if I got Pete’s tattoo of my face on his leg man, he’s always gonna have to return my calls.”

Sure he’s never one to look back, but given his present, you have to at least give Saporta props for his foresight – even though it doesn’t look as if Cobra Starship will have a hard time snagging Wentz’s attention in the immediate future.

EXCLUSIVE: Boys Like Girls On Twitter, Taylor Swift, & Thanksgiving

Just because Martin Johnson tweets, doesn’t mean the Boys Like Girls front man thinks the micro-blogging service is doing anyone any good.

“I think Twitter is really stupid,” said Johnson during an interview on The Ralphie Radio Show. I chatted with the lead singer and guitarist Paul DiGiovanni before another stop on BLG’s headlining fall trek with Cobra Starship. “I think it’s ruining America’s youth.”

Quickly I retorted that Johnson himself owns an account, with over 35,000 “followers.”

“You have to do a Twitter if you’re in a band… keep people updated,” explained Johnson. “Dude, people don’t talk to each other anymore. You go to a show, and kids, like, are texting each other… it’s scary man.”

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I asked Johnson if he’s apprehensive to send out updates, or is even tempted to cancel his account all together. He began to answer before cutting himself off, admitting that he can become “preachy” and “annoying” about the subject. DiGiovanni then chimed in.

“It’s just another way for people to communicate with each other and contact each other,” said the guitarist. “I don’t think it’s gonna be bad.”

Social networking and it’s affect on our country wasn’t the only subject spoken about during the interview. Of course, the guys talked about the latest single from Love Drunk, “Two Is Better Than One”, featuring Taylor Swift.

“It felt, when we made (“Two Is Better Than One”), like it was something special,” revealed Johnson. “The song was fully produced and we were like, ‘It’s missing something so bad,’ and we had been friends with Taylor for a couple years. John (Keefe) actually played on Fearless. So we called her up and asked her to do it, and as soon as we got her voice on there it was just like, ‘Oh man, this is something special.’”

RALPHIE REPORT: chillin’ with blg’s martin…


Its just past 3 a.m. Martin Johnson spent the day traveling, meeting fans, and living the life; granted by the pop-rock quartet he fronts. Boys Like Girls caught a 6 a.m., from their hometown of Boston – and were stuck in Philadelphia for the majority of the morning due to plane issues. Upon arriving in Avoca, the four were swept up by a Columbia Records rep and driven to The Woodlands – where I awaited with the rest of the 97 BHT staff for an interview/photo-op date.

But Johnson’s finished with media and other obligations for the night. Yet despite the 9 a.m. lobby call for a flight back to Beantown, the BLG lead singer is fidgeting through his iTunes playlist. At my suggestion, a Goo Goo Dolls live LP from a 2004 concert in Buffalo, NY (my hometown) is selected. Johnson skips through a couple tracks – Martin insists he “only wants to hear the hits.”

The comment is a microcosm of the singer. Call his group what you may, and categorize his music how you will, but one thing is for certain – Johnson is true to his art. We spend most of the time discussing and dissecting not just pop rock, but radio songs, and subsequent hits.

“(I) Love ‘Crush’,” Johnson admits of the debut single from American Idol runner-up David Archuleta. “It’s just a good radio song. He’s got a great voice.”

It isn’t often that you’ll meet an artist who genuinely enjoys the work of their peers. I suppose hanging out in an artist’s hotel room after last call with a few close friends isn’t all too much of an everyday occurrence either. Nonetheless, Johnson loves pop music. He thinks the latest Katy Perry song (“Hot N Cold”) is one of the top three tracks on radio. And Johnson insists that Metro Station’s second single, “Seventeen Forever” is a better song than “Shake It” – so much that he originally suggested to MS’s manager (who also heads up Boys Like Girls) that it should be the debut single.

“Yeah, I ended up being wrong on that one. But still,” says Johnson.

Of course, Boys Like Girls scored a few hits of their own. Johnson – even at this late hour – continuously flaunts his music cognoscitive. He compares the band’s success to that of fellow pop rockers All-American Rejects.

“’Great Escape’ was our ‘Dirty Little Secret’” explains Johnson. “It allowed us to have ‘Hero/Heroine’ and ‘Thunder’ – like ‘Move Along’ and ‘It Ends Tonight.’”

All in the room nod in agreement. Like AAR, Boys Like Girls roughed it on the Vans Warped Tour – one of the many concerts hit hard this summer by rising fuel prices.

“Bands that are starting out right now, it’s going to start to literally be impossible to tour,” the singer told me earlier. “When we did a 15 passenger and a trailer, we were just surviving barely on gas – hoping we could maybe get a hotel room for six people to share.”

Not the case anymore. Funny how Martin once worked in Hollister – listening to the type of music he’s now paid to perform for millions of fans across the world.

And he doesn’t even have to take care of the gas bill.

EXCLUSIVE: boys like girls…

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97 BHT’s Ralphie Aversa chats with Boys Like Girls inside The Woodlands about “Thunder”, hair-straightening, partying, and touring! The event was powered by All About Singles & Columbia Records!

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