Below are lengthy conflicting statements from Gabe Saporta and keytar player Elisa Schwartz about Elisa’s departure from Cobra Starship.
We have some breaking news to report! As you guys know, Cobra Starship started off as my solo/side shiznnitch. But in the past 4 months of touring it has evolved into a band, a fam, and even a clan. (OCC! What up! Midwest (Clan!) and West Coast (Crew!) represent!). It has been exciting to watch the project morph from some idea in my head into a real life band. Because now Cobra Starship is a real boy, and it never would have happened if my friends didn’t take time off from their own other endeavors to ride the Starship. Well actually, Nate Novarro, our beloved boy-toy drummer, was the first full-fledged Cobra. He committed to it right away; moved up from Atlanta and into my basement to join. And even after only being in Jersey City for 3 days and having his car stolen, his faith was unscathed; he never doubted the Cobra.
Then came my boys (and Rob Hitt’s neighbors), Alex & Ryland. They have an amazing band called The Ivy League (http://www.myspace.com/ivyleagueonline) that they put on hold so that Cobra Starship could come to life. You may know them from their roles as Sanchez and Rodrigo, the mariachis who perform a wonderful Spanish rendition of “Hey Mr. DJ” (“Oye SeÑor Dee-Shay”) at the top of the “Church” video.
But of course, we would not be Cobra Starship if we did not have a keytar. And we would not have had a keytar if it wasn’t for the amazingly talented Elisa Anna Schwartz who rocked that thing every night. What many of you may not know is that Elisa is not only a classically-trained pianist, but she is also an amazing singer and song-writer. She had been working on her solo stuff when I first met her, but she graciously decided to put that on hold to go on tour with us. Unfortunately however, after an amazing four months, she is sadly leaving to focus once again on her solo career. While we are sad to see her go, as I’m sure all of you are, we are really excited to hear her new songs and to see her make her dreams a reality! We want all you guys to check out her stuff and support the jams she’s about to drop on you!
Stay tuned. Because soon she’ll be letting us open up for her…. At least maybe I can be one of her dancers. ;)
I feel it is necessary for me to write a letter to all of the supporters who have been emailing me and contacting me concerned about my status in the band cobra starship. I consider everyone who has been worried for me and supportive throughout this to be my friend, and I feel lucky to have so many of you to talk to and I dont feel alone in this like I expected to feel. So because of this, I feel like I should write this as honestly as possible.So firstly, thank you all for being so kind and compassionate.
Now, how do you write a letter like this without calling out names and blaming people and acting childish because you are angry and hurt?I have absolutely no idea!!I will just try to tell it like it is to the best of my ability, I am just a human being, and I want everyone to keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes.I would like to tell you my story of what happened in my journey with the band cobra starship.
When I first met Gabe, it was a very transient period of my life. The second I met him I felt we were connected in some way, I immediately saw him as a very special unique person. I even said to my friend Farrah ten minutes after I met him “my life is changing in some way because of that guy!” I remember when he first played his songs to me, I reacted the same way every other girl on Earth reacts! And then, when he asked me to be in a band with him, I immediately was so excited and happy. I finally had met someone who understood me, personally, and musically which is what I was looking for my whole life. Since the day I met him, I believed in him, his music, and his dreams, and was just so excited to be a part of this. I read my journal entries from that time, and they were just so hopeful and just ecstatic!Now Im not going to go into details of our relationship, because there are several parties it would effect, so Im going to fast forward a couple months.
Something changed in our relationship, and it really effected the band badly. At one point, everyone was taking digs at me and insulting me and just overall disrespecting me. I tried everything I could to change it. Sometimes it would get so bad I would just walk around all day to avoid them and come back for the show at night. I was very isolated by the band at that point. They would all hang out together, and then when they saw me, they would say little sarcastic comments or insults, and then just walk away.There was nothing I could do right in their eyes. They would all talk together and I wouldnt know what was going on. So I would just avoid contact with them except work. Then even at one point they flew in a replacement keytar player and she lived on the bus for a week, and I just thought she was Nate’s friend! They would all talk to each other and go to soundcheck and tell me about it when they were already one the stage, because I couldnt handle hanging out with them because of the constant verbal abuse. And then I would get screamed at for missing it, when they could have texted me!And there was a rule where I wasnt allowed to ask any questions!!If this sounds nuts, it sounds even more ridiculous for me to write a statement like this.I was the only person who wasnt allowed to have a friend on the bus, so me and my best friend had to drive behind in a car, while all the bands members girlfriends were staying there!!I could just go on and on with petty arguments, but Im sure you can tell that I am hurt by this situation more so than angry or anything like that.
So many are thinking reading this, why didnt you quit?I would have never quit that band. Ever. I believe in people. I used to believe, if you do good for someone, and if you are unconditionally nice to someone, it comes back to you. I believed that eventually they would see that I am a nice and caring person and do not deserve that constant attack on who I am. Even when everyone was cruel the whole day to me, I would still talk nicely about them to fans and support them in all my actions and interviews. So if I didnt quit, what happened you ask? Well, I found out I was replaced 3 ways. The first way, is that one of the band members girlfriends told me they were rehearsing without me, and if I was smart, I would get my instruments. The second way was the merchandising girl “accidentally” texted me, “Does Elisa know she was replaced?”The third, and most hurtful way, is a very nice person actually emailed me the new press photos of the new keytar player with cobra starship.
So you can imagine how hurtful that would be, to not have been told by Gabe, or the management, but replaced with them keeping the instruments I have paid for, letting the other girl use them?And when I was told the whole band got paid except me?And to find out on the internet?I did this for Gabe, because I believed in him, and he obviously didnt believe in me enough to tell me that I was fired.Believe me I want to go into greater detail, but I do not want my anger to take control of me. See, I still know inside that this apparently was not the right situation for me, but I kept holding on to it because I loved the people I was meeting, and I loved playing music.
One last note, just to show alittle bit of what this experience has been for me. When I saw those pics of the new band, I called Gabe and asked him if I was replaced, to he then replied, “Dude, Im fucking sick of your gossiping.”
Once again I am deeply saddened by the recent events regarding this band and I just dont know really how to express it in a way where others can understand my point of view or my shock or my disappointment. Anyone that has any questions can contact me at Elisanna@aol.com.