You’ll have to forgive Gym Class Heroes frontman Travis McCoy if he seems a bit distracted. He’s got a lot on his mind these days.
“Oh my God, there’s all these hot Asian women walking around,” he laughed. “They’re all over the place! And they’re almost naked. Sorry, so what were we talking about?”
Perhaps we should explain the distraction. It seems the Los Angeles studio GCH are using to record their new album is strategically located near an Asian massage parlor, which has afforded the band a level of eye candy to which they are not usually accustomed. But as of late, this is not out of the ordinary for McCoy and company, who have pretty much made a habit of breaking through their usual customs.
“We’re obviously in a totally different place with this record, and we know it. We’ve been preparing for this one since we finished the last one. The last record, we got off tour and wrote in a month and a half. But this one, we’ve been in the mindset for a while now,” McCoy said. “So we’ve got the colossal jams ready now. Everyone’s got their game faces on. One of the things I love about this band is that I think people don’t know what to expect from us. And on this new one, we’re definitely taking advantage of that.”
And from the sound of things, he’s not kidding. Over the course of the next five minutes, he mentions ’80s soft rock, the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, the Cars’ entire discography, Trilla king Rick Ross, Daryl Hall and the Clash as influences on the yet-untitled record. Couple that with the spate of producers they’ve worked with (from Miami hitmakers Cool & Dre to Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump), the host of collabos they’re lining up (Hall, Busta Rhymes, Will.I.Am, etc.), and the bevy of locales they’ve worked in (Miami, St. Lucia, L.A., NYC), and the new GCH album is shaping up to be a sonic hodgepodge that’s probably going to blow the minds of everyone who came to know Gym Class as “the guys behind ‘Cupid’s Chokehold.’ ”
“It’s shaping up to be a crazy roller-coaster ride, man. It’s different. I’m being genuine when I say people will hear this and be like, ‘Wow,’ ” McCoy chuckled. “We’re putting away the stigma of being a band that takes old songs and makes ‘em new. To the majority of people, [songs like] ‘Cupid’s’ and ‘Clothes Off,’ that kind of set what Gym Class was to them, and I feel like it kind of overshadowed my capabilities as an MC. When people hear the new stuff, they’ll realize that I’m a lyrical genius.”
It’s still too early for a title or a track list, but McCoy did mention one new song, “Drunk Text Romeo,” that he felt would “probably” make it onto the disc. And while Gym Class are still hard at work on the LP — McCoy said the band is working on it into February, with the hopes of having it hit stores in the summer — McCoy is also putting in time on a host of other projects, including an appearance on Daryl Hall’s online show, “Live From Daryl’s House”; an art show with Pete Wentz; and an EP recorded under the name Tequila Mockingbird, which he describes as “mood music … like T-Pain meets the Postal Service.”
And if it sounds like McCoy is going in a million different directions at once, well … he is. And that’s the way he likes it to be. Like we said, he’s got a lot on his mind, and it doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. Up next? Possibly world domination.
“We’re gunning for everyone on this one, from indie kids to their moms to their babysitters,” McCoy said. “Because we’re still arrogant, goofy little kids from Upstate New York. And that ain’t gonna change.”