Not all music interviews aspire to get at the pith of an artist or band's identity, or to say anything all that insightful about them. No, sometimes interviews exist just as a means to give an artist a chance to voice a bit of his or her personality and, if the stars align, give readers something to enjoy for a few minutes out of their day. Of course, this works only when the artist in question — like, say, Travis McCoy of hip-hop-fueled punk outfit Gym Class Heroes — actually has a personality for readers to enjoy.
When this journalist got on the phone with McCoy, he found himself wondering if the frontman was on some sort of medication, or if he was just somebody with a penchant for short, muttered answers. To make matters worse, the gimmicky premise was simple: All McCoy had to do was say a few sentences about whether or not various celebrities, politicians, and pop-culture figures were heroes or not, given his band's name. After agreeing to this, the following is how he handled his interview.
Master Chief from the Halo video games. Is he a hero?
I'm not familiar with that one. You might want to talk to someone else in the band.
Do you remember the television series The Greatest American Hero?
Do you watch Heroes?
No, the other guys on the bus do.
Okay, how about Duke from G.I. Joe — a real American hero?
Yeah, yeah, but I liked Snake-Eyes better.
What about Atticus Finch?
Wow, I don't really remember that book [To Kill a Mockingbird].
I never really got into him.
Um, the guys who created Guitar Hero? You into that?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. It gives you something to do as a band in your downtime.
So Chief Justice Roberts, what about him? He a hero or a douchebag?
I think all politicians are douchebags. I think I'd make a better president.
Nah, Oprah's overrated.
Reverend Al Sharpton?
I think he's a douchebag with bad hair.
Who are some people or figures from pop culture you consider heroes, then? I'm sure you guys get this question all the time, considering your band's name.
Daryl Hall, from Hall and Oates.
I forgot you guys were big fans of Hall and Oates. Why is he a hero?
[A lot of mumbling, pretty much untranslatable].
Um, okay. Who else?
Um . . . [the phone goes silent].
Whoever made the movie Zeitgeist is a hero. It's a new one. Saw it on the bus the other day.
I'll have to check that out. So, ah, what about Natalie Maines from the Dixie Chicks?
Oh, I don't get into the Dixie Chicks. I think the two who aren't singing are hot. They're the cute ones.
Well, thanks for this. I really appreciate your time.