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Gym Class Heroes revisit past on latest release

for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

It may share a title with one of Gym Class Heroes' earlier albums, but frontman Travie McCoy says "The Papercut Chronicles II" is as much about the present as the past.

"There definitely are some recurring themes, lyrically," notes McCoy, 30, who co-founded the group in 1997 with drummer and high school classmate Matt McGinley. "But the first record called 'The Papercut Chronicles' (in 2005) kinda chronicled two and a half years of my life -- the ups and downs, the good and bad and whatnot. There were some darker tones and a lot of naivete and soul-searching.

"With this record, it's kind of filling in the blanks between that album and this album. We've grown a lot as musicians and as people, as men. A couple of us have had kids. Our guitarist (Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo) just got married recently. So we've gone from boys to men in a matter of a good seven or eight years."

And McCoy -- who released a solo album, "Lazarus," in 2010, before Gym Class Heroes made "The Papercut Chronicles II" -- says the sequel follows its predecessors' broad stylistic reach, which set the group up for the gold-selling success of 2006's "As Cruel As School Children" and its Supertramp-sampling Top 5 hit "Cupid's Chokehold."

"We were just kids, searching for a sound," McCoy explains. "And within that we were just able to get away with a lot of genre-blending. We never came out of the gate and said, 'We're this type of band' or 'We make this type of music,' which has given us the freedom to go anywhere we want, musically, and not get persecuted for it.

Where that will lead Gym Class Heroes is uncertain, however. McCoy says the group is "definitely going to be riding this record for awhile. I can't see the cycle slowing up any time soon." But he adds that "we still have a lot of material that didn't make this record, so we might have another Gym Class Heroes (album) out sooner rather than later."

Gym Class Heroes, The New Boyz and Kreayshawn perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 12 at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the Oakland University Campus, Rochester Hills. Tickets are $25 pavilion only. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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