The Gym Class Heroes' brand-new "Stereo Hearts" video is a rather subdued affair — for them, at least — eschewing the hyperkinetic pacing and hyper-colored palette of previous clips like "Clothes Off" or "Cookie Jar" in favor of some good-old-fashioned shadow play and a decidedly (dare we say it) "mature" vibe.
It's a definite departure for the band, in just about every conceivable way. And when MTV News spoke with the Gym Class Heroes on the set of the video back in June, they let it be known that, while "Hearts" might be different, it's just a natural progression for the band. After all, with their upcoming The Papercut Chronicles II album, they've grown up, in more ways than one.
"Here we are, almost in our 30s. We started off as kids in a van, and now we're grown men, with families, and the same fans are still with us, and they have families," frontman Travie McCoy said. "It's amazing to sit back and see how far we've come over the years ... back [in 2005, when the band released the first Papercut Chronicles album] I couldn't even count [musical] bars. We were definitely amateur musicians; we've all grown as musicians and songwriters. So to attack this album with a whole new, I guess, set of skills and, dare I say, mutant powers, have a firmer grip on what we want to do musically."
So while "Stereo Hearts" (which features Maroon 5's Adam Levine on the hook), may find GCH exploring new territory, McCoy wants it to be known that the band hasn't forgotten their roots. If anything, they've just expanded on them.
"We worked with Benny Blanco on this single, and the chorus kind of jumped out at me, the whole metaphor for your heart being a stereo, lyrically, I played off that, just, um, kind of imagining my heart being inanimate objects like dusty records and old-school boom boxes and whatnot," he said. "The title Papercut Chronicles, it actually came from a mixtape that I made for an ex-girlfriend of mine. But it definitely went much deeper for me, because the first album chronicled about three or four years in my life that were some of the darkest years I've experienced; a lot of those songs touch on the things I was going through during those times. So, for me, titling this record The Papercut Chronicles II, in a sense, it chronicles what's gone on since we put that album out."