Gym Class Heroes grow up, get serious on new album

Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:38pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Gym Class Heroes has graduated from party life to adulthood on their latest album, "The Papercut Chronicles II," a follow-up to their first CD after three records of anthems to youth, rebellion and just plain having fun.

Lead singer Travie McCoy said the new album represents a sort of coming-of-age for the band with songs about moving ahead after lost loves and thinking more deeply about topics such as how a rock star life is not always glamorous.

"It's about...thinking about the bigger picture rather than the smaller things," McCoy told Reuters. "I'm 30. We've all grown up now, some of us have kids."

Along with McCoy, the New York band features drummer Matt McGinley, guitarist Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo and bassist Eric Roberts. They released their first official studio album, "The Papercut Chronicles" in 2005, and from it came one of the band's best-selling singles, "Cupid's Chokehold."

A second album in 2006, "As Cruel As School Children," delivered more hit singles including "Clothes Off!" and was followed "The Quilt" in 2008, with its single "Cookie Jar."

Recent years have found the band writing personal songs and some with themes around heartbreak and the isolation of pop stardom. McCoy said that to draw inspiration, the band returned to "Papercut Chronicles" and looked at how far they had come.

"Papercut Chronicles II" is the product of their musical soul searching and includes a fusion of sounds including hip-hop, rock and pop on tracks like "Solo Discotheque (Whiskey Bitness)," "Lazarus, Ze Gitan" and the upbeat "Stereo Hearts."

"We had a sense of urgency in the past records. We were young kids searching for a sound," said McCoy. "We wanted to recreate not the album, but that sense of hunger."   Continued...