[artist id="783"]Blink-182[/artist] drummer Travis Barker and master turntable technician DJ AM, who died Friday, were already world-renowned musicians when they decided to collaborate together. Though Blink had become used to touring arenas and AM was performing in nightclubs, the two friends decided to embark on a project together. In September 2005, at the KROQ Inland Invasion concert, the duo told MTV News exactly how everything came together.
"Travis actually hit me up and was like, 'Yo, man, I dig what you do, and I saw this drummer with a DJ [performing], and let's get down and try it out and try to make something funky,' " AM said.
"It's crazy, I saw [that performance] in a jazz club. [It was] like mellow playing hip-hop stuff with a DJ," Barker explained. "And I said, 'I'm gonna find the best DJ and do this right.' We share a lot of the same tastes in music."
AM was at first wary of the drummer/DJ dynamic in a club setting — "It can be tough," he admitted — but eventually realized the collaborations he'd seen previously featured musicians not nearly as talented as Barker. "I've seen wack drummers," AM said as Barker hovered shirtless by his side. "He's not a wack drummer. It just kind of flowed."
During the daytime Inland Invasion show in San Bernardino, California, AM stood behind his laptop-outfitted turntables, wearing a green T-shirt and with headphones pinched between his ear and his shoulder.
Known as TRV$DJAM, Barker and AM performed as the house band during the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. Weeks later, the duo survived a South Carolina plane crash that claimed the lives of four others. Though injured, they recovered to make their first post-accident performance in Los Angeles this past New Year's Eve.