Travie McCoy always intended his Lazarus album to be the soundtrack to summer, but even he couldn’t have predicted the runaway success of “Billionaire,” his lilting, Bruno Mars-aided tune that’s become a surprise summertime smash.
So, when MTV News caught up with the Gym Class Heroes frontman at the Los Angeles stop of the Rihanna/Ke$ha Last Girl on Earth Tour (for which he is the opening act/possessor of the Y chromosome), he admitted he was still “trying to wrap [his] head around” everything that’s happened since “Billionaire” made it big, especially now that he’s gearing up to release a video for the second proper single, “Need You.”
And if this one hits, he may very well never be able to recover. Because unlike his breezy hit, “Need You” is shaping up to be a decidedly darker affair.
“We just shot the video two nights ago from, like, 9 at night until 10 the next morning — it was tough,” McCoy said. “It’s definitely a little darker than what people are used to from me. I’m never serious at all — it’s hard for me to grasp this whole thing, the fact that I’m getting paid to do something that I love, so I’m always cracking jokes or smiling. All the videos I’ve been in have had a lighthearted feel, but this one is kind of serious. …It’s one of the more introspective and personal songs on the record, so it’s only right to have a video that’s kind of dark.”
Of course, since it’s McCoy we’re talking about, “Need You” isn’t exactly the musical version of Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist,” but hidden beneath the song’s chorus, there’s definitely something serious going on: It’s a blow-by-blow of a relationship coming to an end, and everything bad that comes with it. And, given that he once dated Katy Perry , you can infer from that what you will.
“The concept of the song is basically me explaining to a girl that I’m not in a position to give her what she needs, and that’s always tough, especially when you have feelings for someone,” he said. “So the video is definitely relationship [based]. But, in this situation, she doesn’t take it too well. Let’s just say that.”