Sneak Preview! Travis Barker Goes Solo

By John Payne Reprinted from the January 2011 issue of DRUM! Magazine

As we speak, Barker and his Blink-182 bandmates are working on tracks for a new album, due out sometime in 2011; he’s also got a new DJ-drummer thing going with turntablist A-Trak; and he’s got his clothing line, Famous Stars And Straps, going, too – but that’s all for another time. Fact is, this man is dangerously busy, because his big project du jour is a debut solo album coming out on Interscope in February, called Give The Drummer Some. And though he offhandedly refers to it as a “little project,” it’s actually a stunningly starred aggregation of singers and shouters strutting their stuff to Barker’s beats, howls, riffs, and raves.

“I basically have made a bunch of music with all my favorite MCs, rappers, and singers,” he says with a hint of awe. “Everyone from Slash, Tim Armstrong, and Skinhead Rob from The Transplants and Rancid, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Lupe Fiasco, Slaughterhouse, Cool Kids, RZA, Raekwon, Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine, Big Boi, and Outkast … it’s a lot.”

Sounds like more than a “little project.” Must’ve taken quite a while to get it all together.

“Originally I was going to put out an album and it was going to be all my remixes that I was doing, which slowly turned into me playing 12 original songs instead of remixes. The remixes were kind of out there already, everybody already got them, so I did an all-original album that I do everything but sing or rap on.

“It’s all about what happened about seven years ago,” he says. “Blink-182 and The Transplants broke up – same year. So I started playing with DJ AM. And that was my new project. Now, with AM, I just went and jumped all the way in, and I discovered how cool it could be to play with a DJ, being a drummer.”

It was with AM, Barker says, that he really fell in love with producing music and making beats. That evolved into his solo excursions that have been taking on a larger and larger role in his career. But he emphasizes that he’s not on some big-ego rockstar trip, having to bust out solo to express his “real” true self, etc., etc.

“It wasn’t like I was in a bunch of bands and I was like, I’m going to go do my own thing,” he says. “It was more like all my bands broke up, and meanwhile AM and I were having so much fun doing what we were doing, and on the side I was just building beats for all the remixes I was doing for other artists. And that’s basically how I recorded my solo album.”

This is only the beginning of a long story, with tons more details about drumming, recording, and collaborating. To read the rest of this riveting article, you can purchase a copy of the January 2011 issue of DRUM! Magazine at your local newsstand, drum shop, or online by going here.

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