Travis Barker epitomizes the adage that you can't judge a book by its cover.
The lanky, pierced and heavily tattooed Blink-182 drummer isn't often mistaken for a traditional family man — whether he's sporting his gravity-defying Mohawk or not. Upon closer inspection, however, Barker is more "Super Dad" than Sid Vicious.
"I have a 5-year-old daughter that looks nothing like me, she's my step-daughter," Barker explained. "When I take her to school or I might take her to the pumpkin patch, people look at me like I stole her! Or my wife will take our son to swimming class and he'll show up with a Mohawk, and no one will talk to my wife or my son because he has a weird haircut."
Granted, it's impossible for a father who plays in not one but three rock bands and cruises his kids to school in one of the many vintage Cadillacs in his collection to be seen as a typical dad, but atypical doesn't have to mean depraved. Barker and his new bride, actress Shanna Moakler, a former Miss USA and Playboy Playmate, intend to prove that with the new MTV reality show "Meet the Barkers," scheduled to air next year.
"It's absolutely sincere and absolutely real," Barker said, a film crew for the show capturing his every word. "It's showing that you can be in a band, and your old lady can be a Playmate or an actress, and you can raise children and have a normal life, like everybody else."
Of course, watching the Barkers go through such run-of-the-mill tasks as having breakfast and reading bedtime stories probably wouldn't make for a very interesting show. The captivating twist, however, is watching "normal" people react to the "abnormal" family doing absolutely normal things.
"You'll see me walk into a restaurant and not get service," Barker said. "[Waiters] will come up to me like, 'Can I help you?' thinking that I'm here to use their restroom. Actually, I'm here to eat, and my whole family is here to eat. To see that stuff documented is priceless. You see so many circumstances that we're put in; it's crazy."
As Blink-182's "Always," the fourth single off their latest, untitled album (see "Blink-182 Celebrate Longevity With '80s-Sounding 'Always' "), makes its presence known at radio and video outlets, the band is on tour in the U.K. While there probably won't be a new Blink album in 2005, Barker is expected to release the second album by his Transplants side project. The band, which also features Rancid's Tim Armstrong, is already on board for next summer's Vans Warped Tour (see "Warped Tour Just Ended, But Next Year's Trek Is Already Taking Shape").