Gym Class Heroes are one of the hottest bands around at the moment, with a new record coming out and being announced to support Gwen Stefani we thought it was about time we caught up with them.

R13: How did you guys end up sampling Supertramp's 'Breakfast In America' and turning it into a US # 1?
Matt: (Laughs) We were actually at rehearsal and we were sat there listening to 'Breakfast In America' by Supertramp and we were behind our instruments and we started jamming along gently with it and light bulbs went of in all of our heads. We started messing around, taking parts of the songs and chopping it up, then reinterpreting it and added our own verse to the song and our bridge, so that's where the song stemmed from. We definitely owe a lot of credit to Supertramp and particularly Roger Hodgson for writing such a great song.

R13: Have you got plans to recreate any other classics?
M: On our newest record 'As Cruel As School Children' coming out here on May 7, we do a reinterpretation of 'We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off' by Jermaine Stewart. We flipped it so we have to take our clothes off.
R13: R13: You dirty little boys!
M: (Laughs) Yeah, it's a bit of a stretch but that's what we do.

R13: R13: Have you noticed a change in people's attitude towards you now that you've become successful?
M: Well yeah, right now everything seems to have come really fast, we've been working on developing a fan base for almost three years now through doing tours and doing as many shows as possible and getting ourselves exposure. When 'Cupid's Chokehold' blew up in the States it was kinda weird, when we do shows we always play a lot of older stuff so we basically give the crowd a history lesson in Gym Class Heroes to show them that we're not just a band who wrote a song about a girl that got really big, it shows them that we've been working at it for ten years now. I think attitude has definitely changed, but there's going to be just as much criticism that goes along with doing something that get so much attention and got so big so quickly.

R13: Have you found a lot of old school friends are coming out of the wood work?
M: Oh definitely! There's definitely a lot of people I used to know popping up now. It is cool sometimes, I was a pretty quiet person in high school and I'm still pretty much the same way. I think people have a pre conceived notion of what my life must be like now Gym Class Heroes have taken off. We were doing Gym Class Heroes in high school, me and Travis our singer come from a very small city and everyone knew about Gym Class Heroes then, but I think it's really, really surprising people to see that we've taken it to such a big level. Again, I think that people who knew me a while ago have this preconceived notion of what my life must be like but it's probably far less glamorous then they imagine, and I probably party less then they think. But it's cool I'm enjoying myself and being able to travel the world, and see all these amazing places I otherwise may not have been able to. Before we started touring I had never been west of New York, which is where we're from, so yeah, it's been pretty crazy.

R13: How does it make you feel knowing that you're inspiring a new generation to play music?
M: It's cool, I really am glad that's the case because we owe a lot of credit to amazing bands and musicians that came before us, bands like Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Prince and James Brown, the list goes on, they made me want to pick up an instrument and learn to play music and start a band and get out there, it worked for us and it helped us get out of New York and do something bigger with our music. I would love to know that people were getting the same enjoyment and appreciation from our music that we got from others.

R13: Do you guys enjoy the writing and recording process?
M: Yeah I do, you've got to settle yourself down for it because it's a bit of a different mode from touring, then all of a sudden you're in this quiet studio, and everything is very serene. It's like a polar opposite lifestyle, you have to switch gears a little bit, it's a bit of a mind trip a first. We've been writing since eight grade so it comes naturally to us but it's great to experiment and be creative with things. It's good to tour as well in the time we're not writing, it helps us stay good at our instruments.

R13: Do you notice cultural differences while you're on the road?
M: Oh yeah, you can notice differences between New York and New Jersey. There's an up and coming rapper that Travis is signing called Tiger and he was out with us yesterday, he's from California and we were talking about the vast differences between our own country, so I mean, you can imagine how travelling the world, UK, Japan, and erm... well they're the only other countries we've been to (laughs) but on this little leg of promotion we're going to Germany, Sweden and France, so I'm excited to see as much of the world as I can.

R13: You've got Australia and New Zealand coming up with Gwen Stefani.
M: Yeah that's right, that's going to be insane. No Doubt is a group that I learnt to play the drums to, I never dreamed we would be going on tour with her.
R13: How did you become involved with that tour?
M: I'm not really sure, I think they offered us the tour. It's a package that I always thought would work so well together, there's certain artists where stylistically their music is quite different but I still think they would go together like chocolate chip cookies and milk. I've always felt that us and No Doubt or Gwen would be an awesome package so we're stoked about that.

R13: You name comes from how you guys met, were you a gym class hero?
M: I was good at sports and stuff, I was really good at tennis actually, but when it came to gym class I had better ways to kill time which usually consisted of me and Trav sitting on the bleachers talking about music while the other kids ran around and got sweaty before they had to go to maths class or whatever. I wouldn't say I was a gym class hero, but that being said I didn't suck at sports.

R13: Your album is called 'As Cruel As School Children', were you bullied at school?
M: No, the name isn't from a personal experience, Travis usually says the name of the record tends to be in reference to high school being like a mini microcosm for the real world. That age really does affect how you turn out later in life, it helps to develop and shape your character, I think it's a pretty important time. As far as the overall theme of the record goes, we didn't come up with the name until we were pretty much finished shaping and moulding the album in terms of lyrics and looking at the lyrics it was pretty relevant album title.

R13: Are you playing any festivals this summer?
M: Yeah, we're doing Reading and Leeds which is amazing, I've seen so much footage of other bands playing those festivals and there's mammoth crowds. We've never seem a festival crowd to the magnitude that will be at Reading and Leeds, we're all extremely excited for those shows. The coolest part about festivals is that there's about half an hour to an hour where I've gotta do my job and go play drums, but for most of the day I can walk around and be a fan and check out all the bands I have been dying to see, and then I get to see them play on such a grand scale. There's not really any festival in the States short of Woodstock that compares to the grand scale of Reading and Leeds. It is a big opportunity.
R13: Have you guys ever played Warped?
M: Yeah, we played Warped last year, we did the full tour and the year before we did three weeks. Warped is cool but any band that has done it will tell you it is a gruelling festival.
R13: Yeah, I can imagine it is really, really hard.
M: Yeah, and when you get up in the morning you don't know if you'll be playing at 11am or 8 in the evening so you have to stay on your toes, it's hard to get a shower so you're perpetually dirty and smelly, but you learn to live with it. It is a great tour.

R13: You guys are good friends with Fallout Boy, Panic and The Academy Is, is there any secret rivalry between you?
M: No (laughs) it's more like a brotherly thing, not only are we all connected by the same label, we all have the same management and so we have a lot of interaction. It's a brotherly thing especially with Fall Out Boy, we got to watch them on their road to success and that was great for us because they would bring us out and nobody would know who we were but we could sit back and watch them, and check the blueprint of how to be successful. A lot of the stuff we do now is what we watched them do a year and a half ago. Fall Out Boy has done a lot for us in terms of being an awesome role model and a big brother figure.
R13: Did Pete spot you guys?
M: Yeah, he put us in touch with our management and label, he was also setting up a label on Fuelled By Ramen called Decaydance, we were the first band he signed to that.

R13: Do you feel that Fuelled By Ramen actually have a real love for music rather just signing people because they've got the money to do so?
M: Definitely, there are so many labels that once they see a certain formula works they milk it and sign up ten bands that sound like that to see what sticks. That was part of the appeal of Fuelled By Ramen because when we signed with them they only had six or seven bands on their label, obviously it has grown since then but the quality is still there. It is a label that puts so much emphasis on touring and developing bands rather than forcing people out onto the public forum for mass consumption. We were glad that we got to take baby steps with everything and it helped us get that snowball effect we wanted in terms of our career.

R13: Who would win in an Anchorman style fight?
M: We probably wouldn't be throwing tridents or anything but the thing about Gym Class Heroes is that we're all pretty big dudes so my money would definitely be on us (laughs) I don't ever see it coming to that, I don't know why we would want to fight.
R13: I think it could be quite entertaining.
M: It could be, if done in Ron Burgundy fashion it could be very entertaining.

R13: Didn't you get arrested recently, what happened?
M: Yeah I did in Mexico. I got really drunk and inadvertently walked into someone's house thinking it was my hotel room and apparently you're not supposed to do that so they hauled me off to jail for a day and a half.
R13: Fun experience?
M: It was interesting; I did push ups the whole time I was in there so I'm pretty much ribbed and really strong now...just kidding!
R13: So did you get a fine or just a slapped wrist?
M: I was fined, we made a bunch of shirts to make fun of the situation and that was that.

R13: What do you still have left to achieve?
M: As a band I want us to put out quality records that we believe in and I want to stay passionate and look back and have a thick catalogue of awesome music that I can listen to all the time.

R13: What can we expect to see from you over the next year?
M: A lot of touring, more touring, then when we're done with that more touring. Hopefully in between, we will begin working on a follow up record.
R13: Apart from Reading and Leeds will you guys be in the UK?
M: I think we're going to be back really soon, we should be back before we join Gwen Stefani in Australia.

R13: That's great, thank you very much for your time.