Lately, it seems like Travis Barker’s schedule consists of puking in his bathroom, taking illicit smoke breaks before meeting with his wedding planner, chewing out said wedding planner and then buying punky Dior purses for his wife, Shanna. At least, that’s what we’re led to believe on “Meet the Barkers.”
But it turns out the former Blink-182 drummer and current star of reality TV has been really, really busy as of late, cranking out tunes for his electronic side project, Plus-44, which he formed with Blink’s Mark Hoppus and Carol Heller, formerly of Cali-punks Get the Girl (see “Blink-182’s Hoppus, Barker Form Electronic Side Project” ).
When MTV News caught up with Barker on the set of the video for “Gangsters & Thugs” — the first single off the upcoming album from another side project, the Transplants (see “Transplants Write 22 Songs In 12 Days But Can’t Think Of Names For Any Of Them” ) — he explained just how close a Plus-44 record was to completion.
“We’ve written three or four songs, after about two months of working on the record in my basement,” he laughed. “Basically, I’ve been rehearsing with the Transplants every day for Warped Tour, and I’ve been spending my nights in the studio with Plus-44. We’re hoping to finish as much of the album up [as we can] before I go on Warped, and then we’ll try and have the record out by next summer.”
According to Barker, the songs on the Plus-44 album range from straight-ahead hip-hop and retro drum breaks to material reminiscent of gauzy, early Cure tunes.
“I’ve been building all the beats — for this record and the Transplants record — and they come from hip-hop and marching bands and some really old-timey-sounding stuff,” he said. “And some of the Plus stuff sounds like the Postal Service meets Missing Persons meets, like, the Cure, if you can believe it. Mark and I are playing piano on it, Carol is singing on it, and I add some electronic drums too. It’s way out there.”
Barker leaves for Warped with the Transplants on June 18, but before that, he plans on spending every minute working on the Plus-44 record. If things aren’t completed by the time he hits the road, it sounds like Hoppus is more than amped to pick up the production and recording duties.
“I love producing, love being in the studio, love the creative process. I love the way the songs are built,” Hoppus said. “There’s something I can’t describe about watching a song go from an idea in someone’s head to something you can put in your stereo and listen to at home. So I’m absolutely going to be doing a lot of production work.”