Gym Class Heroes to Record EP of Covers

Frontman Travis McCoy teases his band's forthcoming collection and reflects on what "The Fighter" with OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder means to the band.
Gym Class Heroes at MTV's Restore the Shore fundraiser

The inspiration for Gym Class Heroes' next release? Summer, says frontman Travie McCoy.

"In a few weeks, we’re going into the studio to record an EP of summertime anthems or cover songs," he tells The Hollywood Reporter, promising "an amazing Gym Class Heroes twist."

How did McCoy and crew come up with the criteria for the album, which is due out next year? "You just think about songs that embody summertime -- songs that, the minute you hear them, you can smell barbecues," he explains."It’s crazy, the list of songs that we came up with [initially] and the songs that we picked. I think it’s gonna surprise a lot of people."

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Indeed, one track they're considering is by singer-songwriter Bill Withers, of "Lean on Me" fame, whom McCoy looks up to.

But don't expect collaborators like OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder or Adam Levine to pop in for a chorus or two, as they did for the band's 2011 album The Papercut Chronicles II. "It’s strictly a Gym Class affair," McCoy promises. "And I’ve definitely been working on my vocal chops."

In addition, he's looking to his own songs for motivation. Take "The Fighter," for instance. Says McCoy: "It’s always been a positive and encouraging song -- even [for] me, after writing it, I felt like, 'Yeah, this is the kick in the ass that I needed to finish the rest of this album. In retrospect, it captures the struggles that we went through as a band to get to where we’re at."

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The hit collaboration with Tedder featured USA gymnast John Orozco in the music video, and was performed earlier this month with Oh Land at MTV's "Restore the Shore" special to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

"It’s synonymous with people standing up and helping out with this whole tragedy," adds McCoy. "If someone can listen to the song and be inspired to come help out, then that’s amazing."

Twitter: @THRMusic