Indy: Your third album [Hot Mess] got off to a good start last May with "Good Girls Go Bad" charting as a top five digital single. Did you know it was a hit when you recorded it?
RB: Everything felt good about it when we made it. People throw that expression around a lot: "song of the summer." I don't know about that. But it does have that summer sound.
Indy: Your previous album, Viva la Cobra!, was done very quickly. It sounds like Hot Mess was a more complex and drawn out process.
RB: We did Viva la Cobra! in 27 days. This record we did over the course of a year, so we tried out a lot of things. We entered into a bit of uncharted territory, some more experimental places. It didn't feel like the most smooth recording process. But we know we've got our best songs now.
Indy: Your band gets labeled in a lot of different ways, but one of them that stands out is "emo-punk-dance-pop." Do you think that those labels capture the Cobra Starship sound?
RB: I don't think anybody's comfortable with that. Nobody likes the genre people put them in. We don't sing about losing our girlfriends and having all these problems. So you should at least drop emo from the list.
Indy: You've been playing synthesizer as well as guitar during concerts recently. What's it like getting behind the keys?
RB: I'm definitely better at guitar than keyboards. I've only been playing keyboards for a couple years. I just kind of started playing one day and I don't really know what I'm doing some of the time. But it's fun ... The only real tip I have is don't choke when you're playing the keyboards. It sounds a lot worse when you mess up on keyboards than it does on guitar.
At Denver's Fillmore Auditorium, May 21.