As if it weren't evident by the diamonds in his mouth, the platinum around his neck or his copious collection of Cadillacs, Paul Wall has a taste for the finer things in life. The same can also be said for Travis Barker, whose armada of classic cars rivals most dealerships. Ditto for his partner in crime Rob Aston, who, um, has a lot of tattoos ... that certainly look like they cost a lot of money.
So it makes sense that when all three recently decided to form a hip-hop group, they went with the name Expensive Tastes. After all, it pretty much explains their whole raison d'être.
"We all have our own niche," Paul Wall said. "We're all really big on Cadillacs, but no one's got as many as Travis. And Rob is into living it up, having fun. And with me, it's the diamonds. We've each got our own thing, but we all bring it together on certain things. And one of those things is the music. Being in there with those two guys, it just blows my mind. Watching Travis make a beat, or hearing Rob lay down a verse, it's amazing. We're making great music, and we're having a good time doing it."
It'll probably be the first new music that fans hear from Aston and Barker, since they've officially closed the door on their previous band, the Transplants.
"It's over with, as far as I know. We canceled everything back in August," Barker said (see "Transplants Cancel All Tour Dates, Cite Armstrong's 'Exhaustion' "). "I guess everything happens for a reason. Is it all good for all parties concerned? No comment."
The three members of Expensive Tastes first collaborated in June when Wall chopped and screwed an album by the Transplants (see "Transplants Team Up With Paul Wall For First Chopped-And-Screwed Rock LP") but it wasn't until September that they officially formed Expensive Tastes (see "Call Guinness World Records: Barker Forms Another Band, This One With Paul Wall"). Since then, the trio have gotten together twice in Barker's Los Angeles home studio and once at Wall's place down in Houston.
"We've got three [songs] in the can so far," Aston said, "and the tentative titles are 'Hold Up,' one is called 'Slidin' on That Oil' and one of them is called 'My Medicine.' Musicwise it's a straight hip-hop record, and the majority of the beats are done by Travis. He's going to surprise a lot of people with the beats he's making on this record. He's so talented, and so is Paul. When we get in there, everything meshes."
Both Wall and Aston said fans can expect a single from Expensive Tastes to start making the rounds on the mixtape circuit this summer, though there is no firm release date for a full album. "It'll be out when somebody gives us the right amount of money," Wall laughed.
So what can fans expect from Expensive Tastes? According to Aston, if they're looking for introspective lyrics about life and death, they might be barking up the wrong tree. "Paul and Me, we're just talking about what we do: our cars, getting loaded, having fun. It's everyday sh--, man," he said. "From the cars to the ice to the drink, we're just everyday people."