After more than two years of setbacks and delays, on Tuesday (March 15), Travis Barker finally released his long-in-the-works solo debut, Give the Drummer Some , a collection of trunk-rattling, high-energy collaborations with everyone from Lil Wayne to Slipknot’s Corey Taylor .
And while you might think that after nearly 20 years in the biz, Barker wouldn’t still get starstruck, well, you’d be wrong. And Drummer is proof of that. Seems he wanted to give his favorite acts the royal treatment.
“It was such a science experiment, this whole thing, and when I’m in here, I have to not bug out because it is Slash, or it is Tom Morello, or it is Wayne — just try to create something and provide something that hasn’t been put out in front of everyone before,” Barker told MTV News. “With these guys behind real instruments and acoustic drums … they’re just presented a little different, you know?”
And to that point, while there were several reasons behind Drummer’s slow gestation, one of the major ones was Barker’s undying determination to showcase every voice on his album in unique ways — a task that proved challenging, even for a human metronome like himself.
“You know what was cool? It wasn’t me, and I’m not like a West Coast artist so it didn’t all have to sound like West Coast … I was so lucky to have the freedom of working with so many different people, I could gear tracks toward them,” he said. “Like, ’OK, I can write a Southern beat for this person,’ and ’[Steve] Aoki and I can spazz out on some hardcore electro punk-rock stuff,’ ’I can do this with Beanie [Sigel]’ … I had total freedom, you know? So it was pretty cool.”
Of course, there were some tracks that just came naturally. Current single “Saturday Night,” which re-teamed Barker with his Transplants-mates Tim Armstrong and “Skinhead” Rob Aston — and, of course, Slash, who lends a solo to the song — was so easy to create that it inspired the Blink-182 drummer to bring his album home.
“It actually started on a boat ride home [from Blink’s European tour],” Barker explained. “I had spent 12 days on a boat, and then however many on a bus home. And I just sat there on the MPC [Music Production Center], and I busted out beat after beat after beat, and we just bounced ’em to Pro Tools and just saved ’em.
“And then I came home and shuffled through some things, I played it for Tim and Rob and the Transplants, and everyone was like, ’Yo, that’s crazy.’ And then Tim’s over here playing the acoustic guitar, singing the hook — the first thing out of his mouth. And we recorded it, and that song came together almost too easy. And then when Slash came in, it was a matter of finding something he was really excited about being on, and he picked that.”
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