Punk Features

Travis Barker Guiding the Next Generation of Idols

There is no argument; Travis Barker is one of the busiest and most admired drummers in the music business. Famed amongst his peers for his speed and accuracy, there is no doubting Barkers talent behind the drum kit.

Although Barker has been involved in a string of bands including The Aquabats, Slash and The Transplants, you simply cannot hear his name without thinking Blink 182. The story of Barker joining the famous pop-punk trio has become a testament to his talent.

blink 182

Back in 1998 when Barker was drumming with The Aquabats, his band were on tour with Blink 182 and he was asked to fill in for Blink’s original drummer Scott Rayner after his unexpected departure left the band high and dry.

The legendary story goes, that Barker learnt the drum parts for Blink’s 20 songs setlist in the 45 minutes he had before his first ‘fill-in’ performance. He, apparently, played every song flawlessly!

Although Rayner returned briefly, Barker eventually replaced him permanently with Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus later claiming that he inspired them to ‘play better’ to keep up with him.

Travis Barker Blink 182
Travis Barker Blink 182 Photo: ©David Phillips

It’s no secret Barker cannot sit still. His passion for music has continuously kept him busy – even drumming with the Vandals, where he filled in for Josh Freese the same year he joined Blink.

If that wasn’t enough, he also launched his clothing line Famous Stars & Straps in ’99.  He started a record label LeSalle Records (named after his love of Cadillacs) and became a reality tv star in the MTV series Meet the Barkers in which he starred with second wife Shanna Moakler.

In 2001 he survived a plane crash in which 4 of the six people on board perished. His recovery was slow and painful, and to this day he refuses to fly, but his scrape with death has made him even more centred and active in the industry.

Barker’s music taste is genre-fluid leading to collaboration with a plethora of artists including Corey Taylor, Cyprus  Hill, $uicideboy$, Post Malone and Machine Gun Kelly.

There’s no doubt he is one of the most respected artists in the industry and this has led to Baker becoming a sought after mentor amongst rising pop-punk, alt-rock and pop artists.

Here is an example of the quality artists Barker is mentoring to stardom.

1. Machine Gun Kelly

Machine Gun Kelly first met Barker at a Blink 182 show in 2011, calling it a ‘dream come true and citing Barker as one of his idols. That same year the young artist secured a recording deal with Bad Boy and Interscope Records.

His meeting with Barker sparked a friendship that led to the two collaborating on 2019’s I Think I’m OKAY alongside British artist YUNGBLUD.

Barker went on to produce MGK’s Tickets to My Downfall album, which came out in September 2020, with Barker co-writing and co-producing the LP. Travis also appears in Downfalls High, a movie MGK created based on the album.

2. Trippie Redd

Trippie Redd worked his way up to become one of the most influential artists of the Hip Hop scene. Known as a “genre-shifing musical chameleon” his new album Neon Shark takes him down a more ‘rock’ path.

Neon Shark was released as part of a deluxe edition of his previous album, Pegasus.  Barker produced and co-wrote nearly every song on this LP too The two have also worked together on Machine Gun Kelly’s all i know, which Barker (of course) co-wrote, co-produced, and this time, drummed on. 

3. jxdn

Barker has also taken TikTok rising star jxdn (whose real name is Jaden Hossler) under his wing. The 19-year old’s young life story is worthy of a movie deal on its own. Barker mentors jxdn with the artist referring to Barker in a ‘big brother’ sense. “He’s more than just an artist at this point for me. He’s like one of my best friends at this point… I got a big bro showing me around. It’s been awesome,” he recently told Forbes.

Hossler is the first artist Travis signed to his label, DTA Records. Barker has co-written and co-produced every original song jxdn has released so far rocketing the artist into the stratosphere.

4. Phem

Dark and vulnerable singer/producer Phem incorporates a fluid exploration of genres and moods when crafting her solo sounds. Barker recognised her spark bringing her in on tracks like Machine Gun Kelly’s 5:3666” and collaborating with Tyler Posey on Shut Up. Barker has also brought her onto some projects to co-write – including jxdn’s single So What.  

5. Tyler Posey

After finding fame as Scott on Teen Wolf, Tyler Posey took the leap into the world of music with the band PVMNTS. Recently Posey released his debut solo single, Shut Up. The track  features Phem and was co-written by Barker who also appears on drums. He also recently appeared on the podcast ‘Valentine’s Day In Hell‘ – the series featured his song This Luv Sux, which he again collaborated with Phem. 

6. Maggie Lindemann

Pop-rock songstress Maggie Lindemann hit the music world running with her smash Pretty Girl that has racked up around a billion streams. When Lindemann decided to release a remix of her 2019 ska-inspired hit Friends Go, she steered away from doing the all-too-common dance remix thanks to Barker taking the blossoming songstress under his wing and collaberating on the remix. What was originally a surreal moment for Lindemann, a ska and Blink fan, quickly turned into a reality. In classic Barker fashion, it only took one take to make her latest hit.

You can try to keep up with Travis Barker on socials…