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Gym Class Heros – Interv iews

Gym Class Heroes live on the road; they’ve been touring for ten months solid at this point, through the release of The Papercut EP and now on their full length The Papercut Chronicles.

The first time I caught this crew, they topped the bill on tour with Canada’s Boys Night Out, a flat out talented Ferret Records pop-punk quintet.

Strikingly, the GCH indie-rock infused analog hip-hop seemed in no way out of place with their rock roadmates.

Time has proven if not improved upon this compatibility, as the Heroes are currently supporting Fallout Boy, along with The Academy Is…, Midtown, and Silverstein on the Fueled By Ramen and Friends US tour.

The first listen to …Chronicles exceeds expectations, even based on the flawless preceding EP. Clearly, Gym Classes Heroes are not like any hip-hop out there. The musical basis upon which Schleprock (Travis McCoy, vox) tells his tails are steeped in a clear, live blues-funk starter; but every track exemplifies a step beyond, from bending on the tracks toward country emo ala Bright Eyes, to lifting “Take a Look At My Girlfriend” from Supertramp on “Cupid’s Chokehold” (feat. Fallout Boy’s Patrick Stump).

Schlep’s tendency for ‘chemical romance’ continues as he spins out “Pillmatic” in a testament to pharmaceutical adventurism; but his (much) more serious lines punch out in somber tones on the following “Faces In the Hall” pop-dirge.

Everything on this record is guaranteed to play out well live, as skill and fore-thought mesmerize regardless of the particular musical style that carries them.

Kaffeine Buzz had the distinct opportunity to gather some insight direct from the mouth of the Heroes recently, in anticipation of their upcoming Denver appearance. If you aren’t already convinced you should take this in, here’s what Schlep’s got to say for himself and his cohorts.

Kaffeine Buzz: So, you’re on the West Coast already. How’s the tour going?

Travis McCoy: Amazing. It’s gonna be hard to top this one, cuz all the bands are like family. It’s like a vacation with a bunch of friends. Our van broke down a couple days ago in San Francisco; so I’ve been riding with The Academy, and my boys have been dispersed among the rest of the bands until our van gets fixed. Last night we stayed in Portland and I was hanging out with William from The Academy. We drank a little wine and wrote a song and we recorded it last night. It turned out amazing, so we’re gonna start playing it at shows.

KB: Being on the road is a like a camping trip that way…

TM: Oh, yeah, man; especially when you’re with friends.

KB: Is this your first full US tour?

TM: Well, we’ve been on the road basically since July, with a week off here and there; but yeah, this is our first full US tour.

KB: We got a pretty good sampling of Gym Class Heroes from the Paper Cut E.P. What can people expect from the full-length?

TM: For the most part it’s a really personal album but each song has its own personality. It shows a diversity of our Gym Class Heroes, which are basically four different dudes. We definitely have a lot of the same taste in music; but we have a lot of different tastes. For me, it’s more of a cohesive album. It’s not a concept album, but the songs lock together as an album, as opposed to just a collection of songs. Gym Class Heroes is throughout the whole album.

KB: You’ve toured a ton and played with a lot of groups over the last year. Who has stuck out to you as an amazing group that you’ve traveled or played with?

TM: Boys Night Out blew me away. When we started our tour, they had just lost a guitarist, and they still handled it. I feel like they’re gonna change the face of pop-punk. They’re not afraid to try different things; they have really strange time changes and shit. They blew me away.

KB: The album’s been out a few weeks now. How has it been received?

TM: It’s awesome, man; we hit number 19 on the Billboard for Internet sales.

KB: That’s awesome for a first record. So what’s to come for you guys?

TM: We’ll be done with this tour around May 4th and then we’ll be headin’ out with a reggae band called John Brown’s Body for a couple weeks and then we’ve got another tour with a Victory band called Streetlight Manifesto. Then we got 18 dates on the Warped Tour. We’ll be on the Volcom stage on the west coast and a couple of Midwest dates.

Gym Class Heroes and the rest of the Fueled By Ramen and Friends Tour roll through Denver’s Ogden theater on Saturday, April 2.


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