Gym Class Heroes have been on a break from touring and recording since they finished up the album cycle for their 2008 release “The Quilt,” but the alternative hip-hop group is back with a new album, “The Papercut Chronicles II,” that will be released “sometime this fall” on Fueled By Ramen.
“We’ve definitely been busy working on this record for a long time and it’s definitely going to pay off,” says bassist Eric Roberts. “To us it’s worth the wait. I’m sure our fans are really getting mad at us because we keep saying, ‘New record’s coming out! Record’s coming out!’ but we don’t have a release date right now.”
Guitarist Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo says that they still have at least 20 songs to choose from for the new record, and that the songs come from a catalogue of 50 they wrote while on hiatus.
Gym Class Heroes Are ’18, 19 Demos Deep’ Into New Album, Says Travie McCoy
“We’ve actually been working on it the entire time that we haven’t been touring,” said Roberts, joking about the “Gym Class Heroes: Gone But Never Forgotten” montages that he and the band watched on YouTube while in the studio. “What people didn’t know is that we were renting out abandoned churches in upstate New York and writing and hitting up a lot of studios.”
GCH fans may have been worried about the future of the band after vocalist Travie McCoy released his 2010 solo album “Lazarus,” toured without the band, and collaborated with artists like Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green and T-Pain. But behind the scenes, McCoy was still a part of Gym Class Heroes, even when the band was writing and recording without him.
“There were some times when we had to work without Travis solely because he was touring and everything, but we definitely support that,” Roberts explains. “We all have our own side projects — it’s just that I don’t think my metal band is going to be super famous any time soon.”
Once McCoy was back with Gym Class Heroes and work on the new record was progressing, the band members were in the studio when they got a surprise visit from Maroon 5 vocalist and “The Voice” judge Adam Levine, who was featured on the band’s first single, “Stereo Hearts.”
Video: Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine, “Stereo Hearts”
“We were actually in the studio rehearsing collectively as a band about a month ago for a show in California. We had never practiced the song all together before,” says Lumumba-Kasongo of “Stereo Hearts,” which sits at No. 91 on the Hot 100. “Adam Levine just happened to be there with his people from ‘The Voice’ and we were playing the song and all of a sudden, Adam just flies through the door and starts singing the chorus. It was pretty amazing.”
Warped Tour: Gym Class Heroes, 3OH!3 Entertain Despite Dangerous Heat
Gym Class Heroes is currently headlining the Vans Warped Tour, their first return to the road since the hiatus began. “Being back on Warped has been phenomenal,” Roberts said. “We’re working out the kinks technically, but as far as the reception from all the kids, it’s been so inspiring. To go to all these signings and have kids be like, ‘Oh my gosh we missed you so much.’ It just makes me want to work that much harder to get our album out and put on great shows.”