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Interview:
Travis Barker's comfortable in rock and hip-hop worlds
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Travis Barker may be best known to the world as the drummer for punk rockers blink-182 — and the survivor of a horrific plane crash in 2008 that killed four others.

But when he called his recently released first solo album “Give the Drummer Some,” it’s hip-hop he craved, with an extensive guest list that includes Snoop Dog, Lil Wayne, RZA, Rick Ross, The Game, Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco, Busta Rhymes, Lil Jon and others, along with rockers such as Slash and Tom Morello.

“Generally people know me from blink and punk rock music,” acknowledges Barker, 35. “But I grew up listening to everything and playing jazz and funk and fusion and Latin and Afro-Cuban. And I grew up listening to ‘Raising Hell’ (by) Run-DMC, listening to Whodini, listening to Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys ...

“And then, the last six years before blink got back together (in 2009), I was doing a lot of production in hip-hop. I played with Lil Wayne and Eminem, T.I. and Jamie Foxx. I was playing on the BET Awards. That’s basically what I was doing when I wasn’t in a rock band. It’s pretty fun.”

“Give the Drummer Some” has also given Barker the chance to tour with Lil Wayne, who appears on the album’s first single “Can a Drummer Get Some?” For this jaunt Barker is teaming with Beastie Boys DJ Mix Master Mike, playing “a live mash-up of all things Mix Master Mike and Travis Barker, rooted in my album” and occasionally featuring guest appearances by MCs who are on the record.

“It’s so different than anything else,” says Barker, who’s also finishing work on a new blink-182 album that’s due out this year, and plans to make an album with his other band, Transplants. He’s also hoping to start collaborating with Lil Wayne on stage during the shows.

“Everyone else on (the tour) are rappers, basically. I didn’t rap or sing on my album, so it’s basically drums and DJ for 30 minutes straight, no pauses. It’s kind of like a fistfight. It’s pretty cool.”



Travis Barker and Mix Master Mike perform with Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at the Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $49.75-110.75. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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