With several hit songs, including a 3X platinum single and numerous gold and platinum tracks, under their belts it’s hard to imagine that the guys in Gym Class Heroes could still feel like outsiders or underdogs. But when the spoke to CBS Local, it seems that’s how they still see themselves.
“I feel like with every accomplishment and, I guess, with every accolade…every time we feel we’ve made a big step as a band, career-wise, I feel like we get away with a little more,” singer Travie McCoy said. “But I definitely still feel like an underdog in the sense that it’s always been hard for not only the general public but for our label and music outlets and radio to compartmentalize what exactly Gym Class Heroes is. It’s worked with us and against us our entire career. But at the end of the day I wouldn’t change it for the world. It gives us so much freedom artistically to do what we want. It’s not so bad, being an underdog.”
The guys have taken that underdog idea and baked it into their current single, “The Fighter.” Lyrically the song tackles that feeling of being an outsider who has to fight for every step forward and, in turn, cherishes every victory. The video features Olympic athlete John Orzoco.
And the underdogs in Gym Class Heroes seem to embrace that status, detailing a recent show to a crowd of real fighters.
“Prime example, we just played on an Army base in El Paso, Texas — Fort Bliss,” said McCoy. “We were playing for troops, we were playing for younger kids, we were playing for families of troops who are overseas right now and when we played [“The Fighter”] the energy of, you know, the crowd’s reaction and them singing the song back to us was so powerful. It was one of those moments where you’re like, ‘Man this is crazy.’ For however long that song is, the three and a half minutes or whatever…it was just this awesome high that we rode. Even after we were done with the song I was still kind of buzzed. It was rad.”
That buzzing feeling is shared by drummer Matt McGinley.
“It’s interesting too how that can affect you for a few days,” McGinley said. “Even after that particular show, the next day you’re just riding high on the energy. This morning when we got in the car Travis had mentioned feeling high from our show yesterday. It’s a good feeling to be able to present something to an audience and have them so personally connected to that that it resonates.”
“What he’s basically saying is that music is our anti-drug,” McCoy joked.
For like-minded fighters, the band have started #FighterFridays, to showcase YouTube covers of their single and put them in head-to-head competition to determine the best. Check out the latest entrants on their website.
-Courtney E. Smith, CBS Local