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Cobra Verde video spoofs reality TV

Dec. 2003

CLEVELAND -- A surreal universe featuring punk icon Mike Watt, actor George Wendt ("Cheers") and Rudy May Moore's "Dolemite" character is exactly what John Petkovic had in mind for Cobra Verde's outrageous "Riot Industry" video.

"Videos are just so didactic and it is usually some band that is very whiney," the band's frontman tells Billboard.com. "They sort of posit this kind of real emotion. They have a band playing who is usually very serious and very chest thumping. We just wanted to have a lot of fun and try something different with a video, with just a bunch of vignettes pasted together."

The result is pure mayhem, aping low-budget videos from the 1980s dawn of the music video while commenting on the reality television trend. Watt, Wendt and Moore were all eager to contribute to the band's inaugural venture into the visual medium, according to Petkovic, with Wendt offering his Lake Michigan summer home (and paddle boat) as a backdrop for his scenes.

While "Riot Industry," from Cobra Verde's late-summer MuscleTone release "Easy Listening," was the set's lead single some time ago, the video won't be serviced to MTV2 and other outlets until early January. In the meantime, Cobra Verde is making 2004 touring plans that will begin with a coast-to-coast headlining club jaunt in February.

In addition, the band plans a spring release for an album of covers, "Kill the Singer; Save the Song." Featuring remakes of Pink's "Get the Party Started," New Order's "Temptation" and Donna Summer's "I Feel Love," among other tracks, the set gave the Cleveland-based band a chance to experiment a little before starting a new studio album.

"We wanted to do a covers record because we wanted to try different recording techniques for the next album of originals," says Pektovic. "And the idea was to record a bunch of covers using a bunch of different techniques and different arrangements. [But ]These are not jokey versions."

With the majority of new tracks already written for a new album, Cobra Verde is aiming for a late 2004 release for its sixth release. Although "Easy Listening" has been acclaimed as one of the year's best garage-rock discs, Petkovic hints the band is exploring new ground for its next release.

"It's going to be like more open-ended, more of a cross between power pop and kind of post-punk," tells Petkovic. "It's going to be all over the map."

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