Travis Barker Says Getting a Head Tattoo Really Isn't That Bad
Talk about your recent project with Psycho White with Yellawolf came about and what you're doing with it these days?
Psycho White was Yella and I getting together every time he came to town and we would just make records and we didn't really have a goal of where those records would end up. We would just get in the lab and create stuff. He would come to L.A. and we'd listen back to everything we had done and there were five or six songs and we just said "fuck it man, let's put this out." It's a cool EP, different than what Yella does on his own, it's a little different than my solo albums. It's a fusion of rock, hip-hop, and ska punk. We worked with Tim Armstrong on one of the songs, I produced everything else myself, made it a point to only use marching drums and 808s in the entire record, which really hasn't been done before on a hip-hop project. So, Psycho White was just that, we just sat there one day and came up with five songs and kinda on a whim decided to make it a project. Any time he plays in L.A. or Southern California I'll always join him, we hit it off from the time we met, about 5 or 6 years ago.
Anything happening with Blink 182 that you can talk about?
Honestly, we haven't really started on anything new at this point. We have a couple shows booked but that's it. Until all three of us get in the same room and other people's schedules clear, it's kinda outta my hands. So I keep myself busy in the studio. I'm in the middle of rehearsals with the Transplants for MusInk and we're recording a covers album. So we're recording a bunch of our favorite songs. We just recorded "Gratitude" by the Beastie Boys, done Transplants style. Did a bunch of stuff for Bad Lucc, his album's about to drop, playing a drums. Until my big projects like Blink are happening and everyone gets their shit together, this is what I do. This is what I know, making music and playing drums and creating in the studio. So I have a lot of things to keep me busy in the meantime.
What's your most recent piece of ink and what's the story behind it?
Probably the last group of tattoos I got was my back. I lost quite a bit of tattoos in my [2008 place crash], my back and my legs are all grafted, I have pieces of the tattoos still. And on my back I just started on in the last six to eight months and I finally found the right picture of my mom who passed when I was like 11 years old. It's a tribute to her that Chuey Quintanar did. And Franco Vescovi did a picture of my daughter, Chuey did a picture of my son, Franco did a picture of my dad, they actually tattooed my at the same time so it's like a collab. And I'm almost finished with my back, I have a couple pieces on the side that I need to fill in to make it complete. But I don't really like getting tattooed at shows because I sweat so much, I hate when they heal like shit. So I'll probably wait until after MusInk.
Then of course their was the collaboration of Chuey, Franko and Mister Cartoon on my head. I had the side of my head done about 12 years ago by Mister Cartoon, then Franco did a piece on it and Chuey did a piece on it and then finally I just shaved my head. I was sick of having a mohawk for half of my life and I finished my head tattoo.
A head tattoo probably hurts like hell, right?
It sounds bad, but it's not bad at all. Your skin is really tight on your head, it wasn't really painful, and I owe it to all three of those artists being great tattoo artists, being light handed. Getting your ribcage done, or the tops of your feet or your hands and stuff like that is way more painful than your head. It's more of a statement if you're really willing to do that. That's what hurts more. Committing to walking around with a head tattoo for the rest of your life. That's the only thing that's risky about it.