At any given time, Travis Barker has loads of irons within the hearth. Whereas best-known because the drummer for the favored rock band, Blink-182, Barker is continually pursuing new concepts and collaborations.
A 12 months in the past, he launched his personal file label––DTA Records––and signed new artist jxdn. Earlier this 12 months, he collaborated with Machine Gun Kelly, and helped produce MGK’s acclaimed new album, Tickets to My Downfall.
Just lately, Barker revealed one other profitable collaboration––a customized Polaris Slingshot that appears like a real-life Batmobile. Barker personally designed this tricked-out whip as a part of a build-off competitors––Polaris Slingshot’s Best of the Builders West vs. East––that pitted DUB Publishing and Travis Barker (West) towards The Auto Agency and Teyana Taylor (East).
We not too long ago caught up with Barker to get the inside track on his new experience, what makes the West Coast the perfect coast for automobile tradition, and what he’s been as much as within the studio.
MJ: What have you ever been engaged on in 2020?
On the finish of final 12 months, just like the day after Christmas, I bought within the studio with Kels [Machine Gun Kelly] and didn’t actually have a set plan. However we bought in and recorded what was to turn into, Ticket to my Downfall. We wrapped that up proper earlier than quarantine after which simply made movies throughout quarantine.
I primarily spent the vast majority of the 12 months producing and writing music. So yeah, working with everybody from MGK, Iann Dior, POORSTACY and signing my very own artist, Jxdn, to DTA data. So I’ve simply been actually targeted on writing and producing.
MJ: 2020 has been such a tough 12 months. However what has it been prefer to largely simply deal with writing and being within the studio?
I’m actually unhappy for the individuals who have gotten sick and sadly the folks we’ve misplaced. Fortunately, my household, my youngsters and my pals have been wholesome. However for me being dwelling, I’ve been capable of do issues I’ve by no means been capable of do, as a result of I’ve toured for the final 20 years of my life, each summer season.
So I’ve bought to do issues I’ve by no means dreamed of or imagined, simply from being dwelling. It’s been actually unbelievable. Writing and producing is one thing I’m at all times keen about, however time normally permits me to solely do it with the band I’m enjoying in.
I miss enjoying exhibits and identical to, the power. However I additionally love the inventive a part of being a musician. Writing music and difficult your self production-wise to make issues sound completely different––that actually retains me going. It strikes me.
MJ: Past music, we all know you’re additionally a giant automobile man and have your individual assortment. The place did this ardour for amassing automobiles come from?
I feel the eagerness got here from my pops. My dad at all times favored to speak about outdated automobiles that he had or reminisce about automobiles he wished. So once I began making slightly cash, I might purchase a whole lot of old-schools for pretty low cost and simply repair them up. I suppose that’s the place it began.
As time went on, I noticed model new automobiles that I cherished and simply every little thing from off-road 4×4 autos to low riders to luxurious automobiles. I’ve type of had all of them. And it’s undoubtedly one thing that I’m nonetheless actually keen about.
MJ: If you had been requested to customise a Polaris Slingshot for this West v. East Build-Off, how’d you give you the idea in your experience?
Proper now, I’ve principally targeted on having all black automobiles, for no matter motive. I can’t actually clarify why, it’s simply one thing that got here to me at some point and I used to be like, ‘I don’t need any automobile until it’s black.’ In order that’s type of why I did the Polaris all black and murdered out.
I used to be like, how do I make the Slingshot as cool because it may probably be. And I simply assume murdering one out, however nonetheless having these particulars while you actually stand up on it, like, ‘Oh, cool. I see gun shell print on that. Or I see there’s matte on there, however there’s additionally shiny black.
After I first got here to Myles [Kovacs], who I’ve identified from DUB and is an expensive good friend of mine, he was like, ‘Oh I’m considering we go along with this burgundy/maroon.’ And I used to be like, ‘No man, that’s not me. However we are able to homicide it out.’
It needed to appear like a villain’s automobile.
MJ: Inform us about a few your favourite options that you just custom-made in your Slingshot?
There’s some aftermarket audio system on it and we redid the inside. We shaved components of the physique off and added locations for audio system on the physique. We completed the inside to the place every little thing wraps round and customised it with my “F” badge (Barker’s clothes model, Well-known Stars and Straps). We made it type of luxurious inside.
We additionally put the most important tires and rims we may probably match on there––I feel they’re 22s. And likewise an air experience suspension, simply so you might dump it while you’re parked.
We additionally wished to be inventive with the kind of sample used. I feel I proposed like a cheetah sample and there was one other sample I proposed. However this gun shell print was arduous and it simply caught out. We’ve by no means seen that on one other car.
MJ: Is that Slingshot ultimately headed to your automobile assortment?
Yeah, that’s undoubtedly stepping into my assortment.
MJ: How massive is your assortment these days?
Proper now I’ve eight [cars] however I used to have 16. I had 16 in the beginning of final 12 months and I used to be simply in a spot the place among the automobiles––I felt I already had my time with them. I’ve skilled every little thing I may with this automobile and I’ve had the best instances, nevertheless it’s time to maneuver on and, you realize, let another person get pleasure from it.
I don’t actually have what’s referred to as, trailer queens––the place you simply trailer it to exhibits. I drive every little thing.
MJ: Which is your favourite automobile to drive now?
One automobile that’s a whole lot of enjoyable is the Mercedes G-Wagon 4×4 Squared. They solely made it for 2 years, however folks come as much as me on a regular basis at fuel stations like, ‘Whoa, man, what elevate equipment is that?’ But it surely’s not truly, it comes inventory from Mercedes. I didn’t do any aftermarket suspension on it myself.
That’s one in every of my favorites and I’ll in all probability by no means quit. It’s a particular car.
MJ: What does West Coast type, when it comes to automobile tradition, imply to you?
I really feel like West Coast, we get to have slightly bit extra enjoyable with automobiles. Like I’ve hung out in New York and lots of people don’t have custom-made automobiles or personal their automobiles in any respect, for that matter. You’re normally pushed round otherwise you take taxis.
Whereas West Coast way of life is low-riders, Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, Jeep’s. You already know, we like to drive in Southern California. It doesn’t get so chilly that we may by no means whip out our convertible and go down Sundown with the highest down.
So I simply actually really feel like West Coast is automobile tradition.
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