Travis Barker talks about blink-182 (and much more) on December 2015 issue of Rhythm Magazine
Were the people you approached to contribute onboard with the idea [of the memoir]?
Oh yeah. It wasn’t like I had to twist anyone’s arm to do anything with this book. It’s all a collaborative effort. I don’t really have anyone that I have bad blood with. Mark [Hoppus] and Tom [Delonge] are in the book. I don’t talk to Tom at all, but I’m in the studio every day, or a couple of times a week, with Mark. The interviews with Mark and Tom all took place about six months ago. There’s people all the way from my childhood to today. People in pivotal moments of my life and without them, I probably would have made different decisions.
You’re recording new material with blink-182 here also?
Yeah. Blink was in here yesterday. Then, at night, I was in here making beats for my follow-up album to Give The Drummer Some . There’s always something happening.
What’s the chemistry like writing and recording with a new member in blink?
It’s really cool. I wake up every morning to Matt Skiba [guitar/vocals, from Alkaline Trio] saying, ‘Hey, here’s a song idea.’ A lot of them will start off like that. A really simple idea. Then, I come in and make all the ideas very different from one another. They give me the freedom to do something totally weird. I’m going for something interesting. Even though five minutes ago might be the first time I’ve heard it, I’m trying to make interesting drum parts. That’s how it’s been working. It’s Blink. It’s straightforward, but it’s interesting in the same manner that it’s always been. I think the last couple of times Blink attempted to record with Tom, maybe we had writer’s block, I’m not sure. With Matt, we’re knocking out a song a day. We’re not saying what it is. It could be a double album, it could be an EP. Who knows? But right now it’s fun, it’s a good time, and everyone enjoys being here. We’re writing cool songs.
Everyone has to understand, Tom repeatedly kept quitting the band. In my eyes, we should have stayed broken up the first time. I was in the plane crash. It opened up everyone’s eyes. Life is crazy, it can be gone in the snap of the fingers. So, maybe we should be a band. Tom contacted me. At that point, in my mind, I wasn’t thinking about anything in the hospital. I was f**king crazy and in a burn-centre for four months. The day before that, I was with AM playing shows. The week before that, we were playing the MTV awards and Coachella. I was really fine with the movement and what I was doing. So, I never expected him to come back. I felt like the plane crash had him feeling he did want to play in the band, but I truly thought he didn’t.
Fast forward to this past year. We had committed to playing the Musink festival. We were excited because it was going to be one of the only shows we did in 2015. The day before the practices, it was, ‘I quit, I don’t want to be in the band, I’m not doing any shows, I’m not recording an album.’ Mark and I both still wanted to play it. I was like, ‘Literally, the only person we could do this with, and continue with, is Matt Skiba.’ He would be the perfect replacement for Tom to get through the show. He would murder it. Then, we were in the studio, rehearsing songs, just for this one show, and everyday Matt would be bringing songs, playing guitar with a smile on his face, having fun, jumping around, making jokes, being a nice person. It wasn’t normal! Mark and I were like, ‘Whoah, this is crazy!’ It’s actually fun. It hadn’t been like that in so long. We ended up playing a couple of warm-up shows because we didn’t think it was fair to Matt to throw him in front of 20,000 people the first day he plays with us. That’s cold blooded. We played those shows and afterwards, just in the matter of time we were practising, there were four song ideas that Matt sent. Mark and I couldn’t help but think, ‘Maybe we should just get in the studio and see what it is.’ People are excited about Skiba. When we played shows, people were yelling, ‘Ski-ba, Ski-ba!’ after encores, in San Diego. I think there’s a huge amount of support for Matt.
Any idea of a possible release date?
No. We have [record deal] offers every day. We have the same offers that we did when Tom was in the band. Mark and I are passionate about Blink. I see kids all the time and they’re like, ‘Trav, focus on Blink!’ I can’t make anybody do anything.
If you see me in the studio with the Game or playing with Run The Jewels, or whoever, don’t be mad at me. I love playing my instrument. I love playing the drums. I love every genre of music. When Blink is on and crackin’, Blink is my priority, make no mistake. When it’s not, and we are not working, I enjoy playing music with my friends. Every genre, every style. Do your homework, it’s nothing new. I love playing the drums, it keeps me sane [laughs]! It is my drug!
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