Skip directly to content

Interviews

 

DISASHI LUMUMBA-KASONGO OF GYM CLASS HEROES
INTERVIEWED BY ALEX SUAREZ OF COBRA STARSHIP
 
 
 


Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo - your name is crazier than mine... tell me a little about your heritage, does your whole family have crazy names too?? Mine doesn't.



I got my first name (Disashi) from my grandfather and my last name (Lumumba-Kasongo) from my dad, who are both from The Congo. My middle name, Koffi, comes from my mother's side (The Ivory Coast). And yes, all of my family members have rad names: Tukumbi (father), N'dri (mother), Enongo (sister), Lushima (brother), and of course my son, Hero K.D. Lumumba-Kasongo!



You were probably in a band in High School as most musicians I know were... If you were, what was it called and what/who were your main influences?



In high school I was in a band called Earl's Garage. Actually, we played a show or 2 with Gym Class Heroes in Syracuse, NY, and that's how I met the dudes before I was recruited. I had a TON of influences including Green Day, Foo Fighters, Silverchair, Jimi Hendrix, Radiohead, Yngwie Malmsteen, Blink-182, Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids, Midtown, Stevie Ray Vaughn, too many to name!



Congratulations with all the success that GCH has gotten, did you EVER think it would be this massive??



Thank you! Honestly, I have always had very high hopes with music. I remember the day that we wrote "Cupid's Chokehold" I didn't tell anyone but I thought to myself, "When people hear this, I really think it could blow up in a huge way!!" After a couple of years touring in the van I thought I might have been proven wrong, but in '07 things really took off. Fast forward to The Papercut Chronicle's II, it is really a blessing to still be relevant and steadily gaining new fans. Somethings are still hard to wrap my head around though. For instance, when I think about the fact that I was in a room performing for artists like Lionel Richie and Alanis Morissette at the American Music Awards, it definitely blows my mind!



What is your favorite city to tour thru because you like a particular bar or restaurant in it?



We played one show in my hometown, Ithaca, NY. I looooove Kyushu for Sushi and Viva Taqueria for Mexican. I highly recommend them both.



Favorite song from the 1960's 1970's and 1980's?



- 1960's - The Beatles, "In My Life"
- 1970's - Boston, "Foreplay/Long Time"
- 1980's - Pat Benatar, "Love Is A Battlefield"



Have you ever fallen on stage during a show? (i have it SUUUUCKS)



I'm sorry to hear that my friend. No, I haven't. But I come pretty close every night. Don't jinx me!



Favorite Comedy?



A three way tie between, Wedding Crashers, The 40 Year-Old Virgin, and The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air



What was the first Job you ever had?



When I was 15 I volunteered for a summer as a camp counselor at the YMCA, and then I worked there as an after school counselor when I turned 16. It was an extremely rewarding job but it could be tough at times. One day one of the counselors was sent home early, crying because the kids had just completely taken over and refused to listen to anything. Yikes!



Other than being a musician, what is your dream job.



I would love to be a massage therapist. Making people THAT happy is instant gratification. I would love to see massages become a regular expense for people, and less of a luxury. Who doesn't want/need a loving massage?
 
IF you were to try out on American Idol, what song would you sing?



I would get all acoustic on them with a cover of Radiohead's "High And Dry". After the first chorus I would segue directly into Fall Out Boy's "Dance, Dance". The rest would be history.