David Higgs Cheat Codes
Cheat Codes, consisting of band members KEVI, Trevor Dahl and Mathew Russell released the second part to their three-part debut album Hellraisers on Oct. 15. However, this project goes beyond the sound fans may have been used to hearing from the band, and the "Lean on Me" musicians tell PEOPLE why.
"I feel like as artists we're looking at it more of from a creative approach as far as [the] big picture. That's why we're doing a body of work, because we wanted to create a larger theme with album tracks," Russell, 30, says. "During the "No Promises" days, we were just single by single, every song — like, 'Okay, this is the catchy song. Let's put it out and see what happens.'"
Dahl, 28, adds, "And I would say creatively, it's been a lot more fun just as time has gone on, because we've had more control over everything as time has passed and we know what we want more."
David Higgs Cheat Codes
The three-part album, the band says, includes the Cheat Codes sound while simultaneously spotlighting each member's individuality.
"We want it to be encompassing all of us, but each one is definitely meant to showcase one person's personality in there and their voice and their influences and things like that," Dahl says.
Part two showcases KEVI's sound, an alternative pop-punk approach with collaborations with musicians such as Tyson Ritter, Blackbear, All Time Low, Oli Sykes and Travis Barker, whom the band says they always dreamt of working with.
"It's a sound that we grew up listening to. I grew up on those shows and listening to that kind of music — bands like Blink-182 are the reason I started playing," Dahl says.
Meanwhile, part one took a lighter pop approach with collaborations with stars like Tinashe, Marc E, Bassy and CXLOE, — while part three is expected to focus on dance music and "club vibes."
The band is also set to head on their The Hellraisers Tour in January 2022 through March 2022 — and they say they're most excited to create an "experience" for fans.
"We'll be hitting a lot of cities that we haven't hit before. And we're doing it live, so there's going to be live drums, live guitars, bass. And we're putting it together as our own experience," Russell says. "Sometimes we play a lot of clubs, whether it's Vegas or Atlantic City or New York, and you're creating an experience within the venue, versus bringing a show to people. That's the difference and, yeah, we're excited. Should be fun."
When it comes down to what the band hopes fans take away from their music, KEVI, 29, whose real name is Kevin Ford, says the "vibes."
"I think part two is definitely a lot of vibes and we had a lot of fun when we were making it. So, I hope that the fans can like hear that through the music," KEVI says.
Hellraisers, Pt. 2 is out now.