Here’s Gym Class Heroes frontman Travis McCoy on the pressures — both real and imagined — his band will face when it returns to the recording studio later this year to begin work on the follow-up to its breakthrough album, 2006’s As Cruel as School Children.
“There’s pressure, but it’s never gonna compare to the pressure of the last record. But we rolled with the punches, and we made it happen, and now we know we work under pressure. So, really, I’m not worried about it all. If anything, we’re gonna be running into the hurricane. Wow, why did I say that?”
Good question. After all, he was talking to MTV News from his hotel room in Hawaii, where — for a few very tense days — it was entirely possible that the islands were about to face the wrath of the epically named Hurricane Flossie. Luckily, the storm avoided making landfall and petered out at sea. But, man, McCoy wasn’t kidding when he said he wasn’t averse to pressure, which is good, considering the year GCH have had.
“Things are pretty crazy for us now, man. We’ve been all over the place, from London to Singapore,” he laughed. “It’s crazy ’cause I got, like, two to three days off the road coming up, and I’m excited about it, but I know that by, like, the second day, I’m gonna be like, ’OK, man, let’s get this sh– going.’ It’s kind of scary, how used to this I get.”
So it’s full speed ahead for the Heroes, which — in addition to putting the finishing touches on their much-ballyhooed Hall & Oates mash-up LP (see “Gym Class Heroes Better Work On Their Mustaches — Group Prepping Hall & Oates Mash-Up Album “ ) — have been working on new songs during soundchecks (“It’s like the only time we have to goof off,” McCoy said) and plan on committing some of their new stuff to tape when they head out on the Decaydance Records tour of Europe.
But will McCoy’s lyrics — which have always bordered on the goofy — be changed by the countless shows and innumerable miles his band has logged? Will the follow-up to School Children fall into the category of the dreaded “road record”? Well, sort of.
“Yeah, in essence, I’ve always written about experiences, but lately, our surroundings have changed to say the least. So I’m picking up on things that are cool, and I’m picking up on things that I don’t fully understand,” McCoy said. “People expect the same Travis, but with everything that’s been doing on around me, the subject matter is changing a bit. Don’t get me wrong, though: I still take a lighthearted approach to things, try to make people laugh first and foremost, because that’s how I’ve always gotten ass.
“But there’s stuff about how people around you change when you get some success. Because that’s been the hardest thing for me,” he continued. “I think people take seeing someone on TV the wrong way. Even people I know. Going home to Geneva [New York] used to be this sanctuary for me, but last time I went home I had to stay in a hotel, and people [were] sliding sh– under my door. I wanted to get on public-access TV and be like, ’Listen people of Geneva, I’m the same dumb, goofy guy that grew up here. Nothing’s changed! Don’t be scared to approach me, I’m still that dude.’ ”
But don’t panic. Though things sound grim, McCoy promises that by the time his band is through with the songs he’s written, it’ll be rinsed clean of all that doom and gloom. Even if it has to get in touch with its inner Voltron to do it.
“It’s definitely going to be a little sarcastic, because we really can’t help it. It’ll have something for the critics, lemme just say that,” he laughed. “I have tons of sh– written, so now it’s all about us getting together and getting that Voltron thing happening. Oh wait, do five dudes make Voltron? Oh well, we’ll be a headless Voltron, then.”
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