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Issue 36 - Feb 2012

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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4 THE GUESTLIST NETWORK GYM CLASS HEROES Issue 36 / FEBRUARY 2012 We hung out with Travie McCoy, frontman of the Gym Class Heroes, to talk about their latest album, collaborating with Adam Levine and that whole 'Viva the White Girl' controversy. Mr. Wondah mrwondah@guestlist.net Gym Class Heroes are a band that seamlessly unites rock, rap, reg- gae and funk. We're here today with Travie McCoy, the band's frontman. So, Travie, you're back in The UK once again... Yeah, last time wasn't good. I got sick, so this is the payback. And Ass Back Home has just been released? Stereo Hearts is still killing it, so it's great to have that feeling around still as we release Ass Back Home. So you're from New York, and you met Matt (the band's drummer) in gym class? Yeah, we met in gym class but it actually had no bearing on the name. Someone brought it up in an interview and we were like 'Oh yeah... we did meet in gym class!' The name came out of nowhere. We just needed a name for the flyer for our first gig. The next thing you know there's another flyer with our name on... and another and another… and it was solidified. So purely coincidental? Yeah. No hidden messages, and we were never really any good at gym class... You guys fuse so many different genres in your music. What's your creative process? It's a very democratic process. We share some tastes in music, but we all come from very different backgrounds. It's crazy but it all meshes and works out somehow. I was watching a documenta- ry on Prince, and they were saying how he specifically made his band diverse. He wanted people from different races, different backgrounds, so they could all infuse the music with their own different material. I guess that's how it worked out with us. Now you guys have produced so many hits, but you caused a bit of contro- versy with 'Viva the White Girl'. Some people say you're talking about drugs. intended for a mixtape, and the songs just got too good for the mixtape. So I presented them to management and it took off. I wasn't trying to leave the band behind, people were like "he's doing a Justin Timberlake" but it really wasn't like that. We all have our own musical outlets outside of Gym Class Heroes. Speaking of the solo album Lazurus, released in 2010, and the phenom- enal success of the single Billionaire, I mean we're talking Number 3 in the UK Chart, 180 million views on Youtube…What's the creative history of that? you be selfish or selfless?' And they scream 'Selfless!' And I'm like 'You're a fucking liar' (laughs). Now your collaborations are very var- ied. You've got Adam Levine, Estelle, Busta Rhymes - so many different genres. How do you decide who you're gonna collaborate with? I guess the fact that we're such a diverse and eclectic band leaves all the doors open for us. At the end of the day, we work with artists that we're into, artists that compliment our music... We don't do it for name's sake. If they sound like they should be on the record, get them 'At the end of the day, we work with artists that we're into, artists that compliment our music... We don't do it for name's sake. If they sound like they should be on the record, get them on the record.' What is it actually about? I think anyone with a brain cell can figure out what that song is about. It can be taken the wrong way. The song is definitely referencing cocaine… in the sense that, music can have the same ad- dictive quality. Not in the sense that I'm a cokehead like Scarface or something. We did the remix with Lil' Wayne, and he got it. Other people didn't get it. The whole point was to make people say: "What did you just say?" You took a little break and did some solo stuff before the new album. What was the reason for that? It wasn't meticulously planned out. It just happened. We were on tour with Lil Wayne and T Pain at the time, and I was just writing some songs that were That's crazy! Did you say 180 million? 180 million. Wow, the power of the Internet. I knew we had a lot of special things with that single but I had no idea how popular it was gonna be. It made people who didn't really know about Gym Class Heroes turn their heads. And it was a great launching pad for Bruno too. It was great. I'm so proud of what he's done. So what's the story with the video? It's basically the life I would have if I had that much money. I mean the song's all about selflessness. Money's funny, man. It comes and goes. If you got it, you can't take it with you when you're gone. Every show, I try and put that out there. I say 'if you had that much money would on the record. The new album, The Papercut Chroni- cles II… what was the creative concept behind the album? We wanted to go back to our inno- cence, I think. There was something very naive and innocent about the first. It was kind of soul-searching. Lyrically, it was introspective. Put my heart back on my sleeve. I mean my business is out there anyway. It is what it is. That was the basis. It's a misconception that we were trying to recreate the first album. We were kids when we wrote that. I'm thirty years old now. Stereo Hearts featuring Adam Levine… what's the creative history behind that? We wanted to work with him for a while. He has the craziest voice ever! It took a couple of years, a couple of songs, but we got there. Stereo Hearts just seemed like the perfect song for Adam to be on. We found out Adam was a fan of ours and we were blown away. And the video… The video. We wanted it to be the focus on our silhouettes, so it was a lot of post-production. Visually, we wanted something stunning for our first video instead of something predictable like girls and boomboxes, you know? It came out absolutely fantastic. 66 mil- lion hits on Youtube. And the new single 'Get Your Ass Back Home', released on 20th February, has 20 million hits already and it hasn't even been released yet. Crazy. Yeah, the song is about trying to maintain your relationships, and pursue your passions. It's something I've had trouble with in the past. But I think I'm getting the hang of it now. I think the song is gonna be relatable to a lot of people. The video kind of showcases what our lives are like on the road. People don't really see the work we put in behind the scenes. You know, the boring and mundane life of a rock star, and also the pain of separation from the ones you love. Catch up with the Gym Class Heros on twitter @GymClassHeroes

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