updated 08/19/2009 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 08/19/2009 AT 11:35 AM ET
Cobra Starship has scored a summer hit with “Good Girls Go Bad” thanks, in part, Leighton Meester’s guest vocals. But bassist Alex Suarez admits he wasn’t familiar with the Gossip Girl star before they met.
“I ve never seen the show,” he tells Self.com. (The former caterer prepares a summer salad and panini for the site, too.) “Before we went to do the video shoot, I didn’t even know what she looked like until they introduced me to her.”
That wasn’t the case for lead singer Gabe Saporta. “[H]e was insanely excited because he’s a huge fan and he didn’t want to geek out too hard in front of her,” says Suarez.
Meester, 23, didn’t disappoint: “[S]he is so nice! She’s so friendly and professional and awesome to work with,” gushes the bassist.
He did, however, find some of her “girly” behavior in the studio peculiar. “She like, turned the lights down low in the studio and lit a few candles to set the mood,” he says. “I’ve never seen candles in the studio before.”
The scene made a funny contrast to the song’s lyrics, he adds. “So she’s like, ‘You make me want to lose control,’ alone in the dark surrounded by vanilla and lavender, clenching her fist, just really feeling it.”
Cobra Starship’s on-camera collaboration with the actress scored the band two 2009 MTV Video Music Award nominations, one for best pop video and one for best direction. Suarez realizes they’ll face tough competition from Lady Gaga and Britney Spears at the Sept. 13 ceremony. “So we’re just like hey,” he says, “that’s awesome we’re getting nominated.”