Further proof that 2013 is the year all of your former musical flames decided to reconvene in the studio: Fall Out Boy is recording new music in effort to save rock and roll. Sorry if you were cool with Mumford and Sons raking in all the non-pop and non-hip-hop accolades, but these guys have other plans:
when we were kids the only thing that got us through most days was music. its why we started fall out boy in the first place. this isn’t a reunion because we never broke up. we needed to plug back in and make some music that matters to us.
the future of fall out boy starts now.
save rock and roll…
After solo and side projects the band has completed their first group effort since 2008′s Folie à Deux. And today’s news about a forthcoming full-length album (Save Rock and Roll, out May 7) does not merely serve to gauge our interest–cough TIMBERLAKE cough–as the group comes bearing gifts, in the form of a new track, music video, and a string of live shows this spring.
Last Sunday, VH1′s Behind The Music put a spotlight on alternative/hip hop group Gym Class Heroes and their rapid rise to fame, their troubles with drugs and Travie McCoy‘s relationship with pop superstar Katy Perry all included; if you missed it, the full episode is now streaming here. For those of you who (like us!) who can’t get enough GCH in your lives, check out Behind The Song: “Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast In America,” the song that began the group on their ascent.
Gym Class Heroes’ breakout hit was inspired by a sample of 1979 Supertramp classic “Breakfast in America,” which was written by Roger Hodgson at the tender age of 18 as he dreamt of the California coast while living in his native home, England. As drummer Matt McGinley remembers it, “We were listening to ‘Breakfast in America’ and just sort of playing along to the chorus, and then when the chorus would finish, we would just jam. And that’s where we wrote our own verses.” Then, wanting to make sure it was good, Travie McCoy took the demo into the tattoo shop where he was working at the time and played it for the girls that came in. “I wanted to be that song that, upon first listen, every girl that hears it goes, ‘Aww, I wish my boyfriend would have done something like this for me.’” Needless to say, it worked. They called Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump in to re-record the hook, and then they sat back and watched as the song — and then their career — took off.
It’s probably only natural that a song about stripping down be stripped down. This VH1 Unplugged cover of the As Cruel as School Children cut finds the Gym Class Heroes getting “Clothes Off!” and having as good a time as ever. Travis McCoy goes hard into Travie mode as he raps his verses over the dancing strings, and Patrick Stump’s wailing at the chorus has us up out of our seats. When we spoke to Patrick Stump ahead of the tapping, he told us that “Clothes Off” is his favorite Heroes song because “it just happened” and that “when art happens by accident and you were just along for the ride? It’s way more fun.” We couldn’t agree more.
You can watch VH1 Unplugged: Gym Class Heroes in full online here now! You’ll be able to catch it on VH1 tonight at 12 a.m. ET/PT.
Performing in front of glowing climbing nets, the Gym Class Heroes looked and sounded great at their VH1 Unplugged taping here in New York City a few weeks back. Stripped down to acoustic guitars and a brush sticks, they got us going with a set that included new favorites like “The Fighter,” old favorites like “Clothes Off,” and special guests like the beautiful Neon Hitch and Fall Out Boy‘s Patrick Stump (with whom we spoke to exclusively before the show). The Heroes, Stump and Hitch go way back, and so in addition to the unplugging, there was also lots of catching up and goofing off. Our photographer Brendan Tobin was there to catch all. The warm up, the big show, the cool down — check his pictures out below!
VH1 Unplugged: Gym Class Heroes will make its online premiere tomorrow, Thursday, July 12, at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. You’ll be able to catch it on VH1 that night at 12 a.m. ET/PT.
Earlier this afternoon we shared a sneak preview from Gym Class Heroes‘ VH1 Unplugged taping, where they were joined by their longtime collaborator and Fall Out Boy lead singer Patrick Stump for a stripped down version of their smash hit “Stereo Hearts.” Stump, although filling in on the song, felt right at home. “Gym Class is a band I am more directly involved with than any other band except for Fall Out Boy,” he told us before the show, laughing that “the shortest call in the world” was all it took to get him there.
As Stump tells it, Gym Class Heroes first caught his attention with a shout out on an early demo of the 2004 time-capsule “Taxi Driver.” “We were super tickled by it,” he explains. “Unfortunately, it is very rare that something makes you sit up and be like, ‘Wow, this is great!’ And I was in the van and I was like, Pete [Wentz], listen to this, this is really good. And so he took it and ran with it, and before we knew it they were singed.”
The honor, though, he insists is mutual. “You have no idea how much they made themselves and how awesome it is to watch them,” he told us, making sure to point out that this will be his first Unplugged appearance with be with them and not his own Fall Out Boy. “I get to be a fan that has the best seat in the house.”
Before the tapping, we caught up with Stump to get the scoop on his work with Gym Class Heroes, his impressions (musical and otherwise), and what comes next:
“I’ve actually been dying for this day,” Travie McCoy admitted before the Gym Class Heroes‘ Unplugged taping in New York City last month. “It gives us a chance to breathe new life into these songs as we strip them down, it’s very cool.” So down to acoustic guitars and brush sticks and strings they stripped for a catalog spanning set. And for their boombox-as-love anthem, “Stereo Hearts,” they stripped also Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, replacing his smooth crooning with — surprise! — Fall Out Boy lead singer Patrick Stump‘s singular, sweet wail. Read more…
Another summer weekend, another festival we couldn’t attend. Here’s why we’re jealous of this year’s Lollapalooza attendees:
Foster The People Open Friday Strong
Need proof that You Oughta Know favorite Foster The People is more than just one hot single? Check out how many people made the effort to turn out for their Lollapalooza set on 3:00PM Friday (a tough festival slot considering many attendees were still en route or, locally, at work). Or look how pumped up (pardon the pun) the huge crowd is for “Life On the Nickel,” above, which wasn’t even on their EP. Read more…
Which is not to say that there are none. Chicagoans need not resort to the Chi-town rework of LMFAO‘s “I’m In Miami, Trick”; there is a small but significant pantheon of Chicago songs, which Stump’s new single joins:
5. Sufjan Stevens, “Chicago”
The centerpiece of Sufjan Stevens‘s 2005 concept album about Illinois, aptly titled Illinois, “Chicago” quickly became a fan favorite that closed out the artist’s live sets, despite never being a “single” as such. Stevens would release three alternate versions of the song on the b-sides collection The Avalanche. The song resonated outside the city as well: Snow Patrol mentioned the song in the lyrics of their own “Hands Open,” Little Miss Sunshine featured the song on its soundtrack, and Chiddy Bang sampled it for “All Things Go.”