Travis Barker: A Career in Covers

2nd Jul 2013 | 14:36

Travis Barker: A Career in Covers
Travis Barker: Career in Covers

The brand new issue of Rhythm sees Travis Barker grace the Rhythm cover. And it’s not the first time that the Blink-182/Transplants man has done so, just check out this little lot.

Travis Barker: A Career in Covers
Travis Barker: Career in Covers
May 2002

You can go way back to May 2002 for Travis’ first Rhythm cover. Here the fresh-faced sticksman discusses his humble beginnings, including how his love of tattoos began as a way to ensure he could never work a regular job again! He also let us in on one of his earliest influences. “I love everything about Steve Gadd, he’s the main man. He just melts into his kit when he’s playing, he’s awesome. One thing I really like about his playing is the way he draws on a lot of kinda traditional marching drum things.”

Travis Barker: A Career in Covers
Travis Barker: Career in Covers
April 2004

Just under two years later Travis was back on the Rhythm cover as Blink toured the UK to promote their self-titled album. The record marked a departure for the punk funboys, and Travis admitted that after rushing to record 2001’s Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, they wanted to get this one spot on. “[We] decided to write a new Blink record and I was like, ‘Let’s act like this is the first record we have ever made together, let’s do whatever we feel…”

Travis Barker: A Career in Covers
Travis Barker: Career in Covers
November 2006

Another two years on and while Travis has returned to the Rhythm cover, things are a little different this time around. Blink-182 are no more, for one. Travis explained the demise of Blink and the formation of his new band +44 and his continuing work with Transplants, while also refusing to rule out a return for Blink. “The Blink break-up was such a bum-out at the time, but a lot of amazing things happened in the last two years that could never have happened if Blink were still around. Everything happens for a reason. Who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow? Never say never.”

Travis Barker: A Career in Covers
Travis Barker: Career in Covers
June 2008

You know the drill by now, another couple of years and Travis is back! This time fully submerged in his hip-hop projects. But his love of hip-hop is nothing new, as he told us: “I’ve always been into it. I started listening to hip-hop at the same time I got into rock music. I’d be listening to Van Halen and the Beastie Boys at the same time when I was growing up.

“The thing with hip-hop back then was that I couldn’t work out how live drums fitted in to the music. It was all drum machines and samples, so as a drummer I just got into the rock thing, which was more obvious to me. But I always loved the beats and the sound of hip-hop.”

Travis Barker: A Career in Covers
Travis Barker: Career in Covers
Summer 2010

By the time Travis’ next Rhythm cover feature rolled around his remix work (which he had just began dabbling in the last time we spoke) had developed into a full-on solo career.

Discussing how he went about recruiting everyone from Lil Wayne to Corey Taylor to guest on his record, he said: “Sometimes it was: ‘I love this MC because of this. I love Beanie Sigel because of this. Or, ‘This song off his album made me feel a certain way, so I want this record to feel like that. I want to hear Wayne on this track because I’ve never heard him on a beat like that and he’s not usually ever featured on a beat like that.’ I put people left of what they’re normally used to. Not to the point where people were offended and they were going, ‘Oh, he doesn’t sound good on that,’ but, ‘Whoah, it’s cool to hear him on a track like that.’ Or the pairing. On one song there’s Swizz Beatz, Game, Lil’ Wayne and Rick Ross. All on one song. That’s just, ‘Wow!’ Or the Rizzo, Raekwon and Tom Morello track. Rage and Wu Tang used to tour together back in the day, so it’s cool having this stuff on there.”

Travis Barker: A Career in Covers
Travis Barker: Career in Covers
August 2013

All of which brings us back today and this month’s huge Travis cover, in which he tells us all about the return of Transplants, his new Crash Course instructional series and shares a ton of tips on how to make you a better, fitter drummer.

The August issue of Rhythm available now from all good newsagents, online or digitally from the Google Play Store (Android). Pick up a copy from Apple Newsstand for iPad, iPhone and iTouch or on your Kindle Fire HD and you can enjoy video and audio tuition on your device plus bonus videos, image galleries and other content.

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