BroBible: “Give the Drummer Some” featured collaborations with a huge number of rappers. What made you decide to release a full EP with Yelawolf?
Travis Barker: Yela and I had gotten in the studio a handful of times and we had made a song every time we hung out. Over about a year’s time we now had 5 songs and it just made sense. It was time we put the collection together and release it for people to hear. Yela and I have a cool chemistry in the studio, always good times.
You’ve said before that you’re influenced by all sorts of sounds, styles, and genres. What’s the most unexpected thing that’s inspired your work on the upcoming EP?
I'd like to think the song I produced with Tim Armstrong, “6 Feet Underground”, is a stand out track that is definitely different than what you've heard from all three of us (Tim, myself and Yela) over the last couple years and I also feel like the track I produced, “Push Em”, is a track that sounds like nothing else out right now. Yela is basically rapping over a double time punk rock beat with these HUGE half time choruses.
What’s next as far as touring?
Some “Psycho White” dates with Yela and some tentative Transplant$ dates real soon.
You’ve toured all over the world. What’s the weirdest local food you’ve ever eaten on tour?
Food in Iraq when I was there when the war had just started was interesting. It was hard being a vegetarian. I ate whatever the soldiers were eating.
What’s your favorite thing to do on your down time?
Get tattooed, train MMA, play/practice my drums, drive my Cadillacs, ride bikes, skateboard, design clothes, spend time with my humans, help people/kids when I can.
You have playable characters on both Guitar Hero: World Tour and Tony Hawk’s Project 8. Do you ever play as yourself? What video games do you play, if any?
Don't really play video games. Sometimes I play WWE wrestling with my son. He kicks my ass.
How does the writing and recording process as a part of blink-182 differ from your collaborations with rappers?
With Blink, the process changes every time we got into record an album. Some songs start with a drum beat, some begin from a guitar riff, it's kinda all over the place. When writing beats, I usually start building ideas and get the beats to a place where I can show whoever I hear on it and then record their vocals and then do more post production after vocals and melodies are recorded.
What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you?
A female fan asked me to marry her and then attempted to handcuff herself to me.
Q/A with Yelawolf
Bouncing between the southern states of Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, how did you decide to pursue rap music? What was it like to pursue rap in an area so focused on other genres? What was most challenging?
Yelawolf: I always looked at my situation as an advantage. I knew that if I broke in the hip hop world respectfully with right co signs and features I would do something that had never been done before. I'm still on the fence about what I want to be honestly, but I don't think that will ever change. I'll just continue to use my early influences to create a sound of my own. Hip hop is just an avenue to a highway of music, just getting started.
What was the first song or artist you heard that turned you on to rap music?
It was first “Paul Revere”, the song from the Beastie Boys, then years later in Nashville I just started learning of all different styles. I was listening to Skinny Pimp, Triple Six Mafia on one hand and Metallica, Nirvana and Souls of Mischief on the other. I understood early what was purely dope and I felt cooler being the weird kid.
What’s your routine to get you in the zone before you play a show?
I just mosey up onstage and rip. Sometimes I fall asleep from anxiety. It's fucked up. I lose all my energy and gain it all back to rock and then I'm dead again after the show. Controlling that over time is the goal, I'm still a loose cannon for the most part.
When you were coming up in the scene, it was pretty standard for people to compare you to Eminem. How did you deal with that comparison? How did you ultimately end up linking up with him, and signing with him over other interested labels?
I kept my goals to myself and left my pride in the booth. I've never been fond of comparisons but I felt like if you were gonna compare then compare me to a legend, fair enough. Now he's my boy. You do the math.
What’s something you want to accomplish in life that has nothing to do with music?
Establish a legit company with SLUMERICAN. Multi media.
When you finished “Trunk Muzik,” did you have any idea how successful it would become or how far it would launch your career?
Yeah actually I knew exactly what it would do. I avoided rapping that way for a while because I wanted my band and Arena Rap to take off. I didn't really want to be the white rapper from Alabama. But my destiny was this. Now I’m focused on my next de-evolution back to the roots and re-emerging with “Love Story” with a mix of all of my projects in one.
You and Ed Sheeran have pretty different styles. What brought you guys together for “The Slumdon Bridge” EP?
He invited me to rock, I met him in LA. He was a cool kid and a big fan of my work and I thought it would be cool to try, simple as that. Ed is a ridiculous talent!
What’s the weirdest song you’ve got on rotation right now?
I don't, unless you think American Guns by the Transplants is weird.