Gym Class Heroes Back in Geneva
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"It’s amazing! I didn’t know it was him, I’m so blind, but I noticed because the long hair, tall, slinky, tattoos everywhere, it’s him,” said Lakeeda Brinson.
The crew and producers of VH1 Behind The Music quickly learned what most Geneva natives already know about Travie McCoy.
"Travie knows everybody in town, or he’s related to everybody in town,” said Erik Himmelsbach, producer.
"I can’t walk a block without seeing three or four cousins, you know. It feels good to be home,” McCoy said.
Gym Class Heroes still has its own section in the first music store to stock and sell the groups CDs.
Himmelsbach said the day-long shoot was an attempt to trace drummer Matt McGinley's and Travie McCoy's steps back to their roots for an upcoming fall episode.
"He’s very honest, which is great, you know. They’re like an open book and it’s nice that there’s not the filter of management saying this is what you can talk about, this is what you can’t talk about. They’re like an old time rock and roll band. They’ve got the highs, the lows, and the highs,” Himmelsbach said.
"We come from humble beginnings, as you can see. You know what I mean, small town livin’ I guess, I think that’s kind of what has… won our fans over is just us being honest with ourselves and honest in our music. I think that’s what makes our music so relatable,” McCoy said.
"To us, there’s a lot of city icons, you know places that were really important to us personally and also in terms of the history of Gym Class Heroes,” McGinley said. “So for us just being in Area Records is kind of this really nostalgic feeling. We used to put fliers up on the counter and the whole staff has really embraced us since we were young obscure musicians."
Travie and Matt also took the VH1 crew to the Smith Opera House, Geneva High School, and to the gazebo on Seneca Lake, where Gym Class Heroes played some of its first free shows.
McCoy may be a double platinum recording artist whose next tour will take him to Asia instead of the gazebo, but the jokes still flow freely in the store where he grew up dreaming his face would someday be next to indisputable music industry icons.
And whether they're distant cousins, fans, or strangers, McGinley and McCoy still appear to make time for them all.
"I love his music. I love his music before he left. So I’m glad he’s successful and he’s from Geneva and he’s reppin' Geneva,” said Brinson. "He needs to come visit us more often."