You might know Travis Lazarus ‘Travie’ McCoy from the band Gym Class Heroes with songs such as ‘Cupid’s Chokehold’ and ‘Cookie Jar.’ Releasing his debut album ‘Lazarus’ in June, Travie McCoy has become one of the most talked about artists to emerge this year. You probably haven’t been able to escape his single ‘Billionaire’ featuring Bruno Mars which is still being played all over the radios since it’s release back in May and his new single ‘We’ll Be Alright’ which samples Supergrass’ ‘Alright.’ Chloe and Steph caught up with Travie after his sold out gig in Oxford.
How did you find tonight’s show? I think it was awesome, I think y’know. Not only am I my worst enemy when it comes to performances, but I’m also a perfectionist. A few of the songs we played tonight we’ve never played before, I’ve never performed live before, so I screwed up a few times. It is what it is y’know? I think it just shows the human element if you know what I mean? It’s real. Overall, I thought it was amazing; the kids were great, the band was tight, even with my fuck ups [laughs]. I think it was awesome. It is what it is, but today was awesome. The last Gym Class Heroes show in Oxford was really fun.
Do you miss the others band members and what are your plans for Gym Class Heroes? We’re actually writing demos right now, we have about 16 demos. We’ve got a pretty decent head start on the new record, a lot of people were scared that with me going solo that I’d put Gym Class on the back burner. I’ve been doing double duties, like promoting this new record and writing the new gym class record. It’s pretty intense but you do what you gotta do. Like with this record i don’t wanna do a Gwen Stefani, no disrespect to her, but she did her thing and kept doing it, what were those guys doing the whole time she was y’know being a Hollaback Girl? Or not being a Hollaback Girl as the case may be [laughs].
You must be quite overwhelmed by the response of your single ‘Billionaire’ with Bruno Mars… It’s crazy, y’know. I mean at the same time when Bruno and I listened back to it a gazillion times we were like ‘wow, this is refreshing, y’know, something different.’ You can kinda tell when a song has a hit factor, but you can’t really gage if others think it does. That was one of the songs that we were like, if the song doesn’t do well, there’s something wrong with the world. [laughs] Have you heard Glees version of ‘Billionaire?’ I think it’s amazing!
How did you and Bruno get together? We actually have the same A&R and they were like we have this new guy, Bruno, singer-songwriter in L.A,. blahblah, but I’m like I’m not going L.A. fuck that. Me and L.A. hate each other. Not going L.A. so they actually flew him, Bruno, out to me in Miami and we hit it off from the first day we were cracking jokes and shit. To me that’s most important, start a friendship before you start making music… it’s weird making music with people you don’t know, that you don’t really have a connection with on a personal level. Its cool that we hit it off so soon, ‘cus I think we did like 3 or 4 songs within the first couple of days of meeting, and that was just like, fucking around, not business like.
During your music career, Gym Class Heroes era involved as well, what would you say your best performance was? That’s a tough one. We’ve been touring since 200…3? Maybe? 7, almost 8 years non-stop touring, to pick one performance throughout those years would be impossible. I think there’s something special about each show, I mean, because the one constant in each performance is us, the band, me, whoever I’m playing with – the Lazarus Project or Gym Class Heroes, but the crowds change, the songs change, my onstage banter changes… so it’s hard to pick just one performance.
What’s your favourite song from your new album (Lazarus) and why? Probably ‘Dr Feel Good,’ I like the vibe of it, it’s kinda upbeat and dancey. It’s poppy, and as feel good as it is, the song is about my reclusiveness and anxiety. I have really bad social anxiety. As much as I’d love to go and hang out with all those kids, I just can’t. I still go out and sign stuff but I just can’t do it for very long, like, my anxiety kicks in and can’t breathe properly and it’s really, really bad… what was the question again? Oh, what’s my favourite song? Yeah, also for the fact that, it wasn’t one of the first songs I wrote for the record, but one of the first songs that set the bar with where I wanted to go with it.
Last year you remixed Chelsea Smile by Bring Me the Horizon for their Suicide Season: Cut Up! album – how did that come about? I met the boys on warped tour last year, we spent time getting wasted a lot [laughs], y’know having late night conversations about girls and all kinds of crazy stuff. Me and Oli just hit it off and they’re just really, really great guys. [Oli] told me that they were doing a remix album and i was like yeah sounds good I wanna be a part of it, and i just did my thing and a lot of people have told me they liked it. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Judgement Night soundtrack for a movie called judgement night? The soundtracks like a bunch of hip-hop artists and rock artists and they got put together and they made songs, so there’s like a song with De-La-Soul and Pavement, and there’s like all these crazy indie bands and obscure hip-hop bands, so I wanted to go for that Judgement Night kinda feeling.
Last question, what are you plans for the future? I don’t make plans.
That’s a good thing.
[laughs] People make plans for me, as you can see by the day sheets, but i don’t even look at them… [laughs] I kinda just go with the flow.
Probably the best way to be, really. Yeah, for sure. Otherwise I just think it’ll rush me, y’know, which I try my hardest not to do.