How Travis Barker Became Gen-Z’s Pop-Punk Whisperer

Travis Barker

Rolling Stone sat down with Travis Barker of Blink-182 to talk about, well, everything:

He’s hopeful — not for the first time in his career — that he can help serve as a bridge to a wider world of rock. “Some of Jaden’s fans are like, ‘Whoa, Jaden invented a genre of music!’ So funny, but however they’re introduced to it, I’m fine with it,” Barker says. “Because I think even Blink was that. You know, a lot of kids discover Blink and then go back and discover the Descendents and Bad Religion and the Buzzcocks. So if kids listen to MGK and Jxdn and then discover these other bands, I mess with that. That’s cool.”

And, Blink updates:

While Barker’s other work continues to pick up speed, he’s eager to carry on with Blink-182. The band, which last released an album in 2019, recorded several songs with outside musicians — GrimesLil Uzi Vert, Lil Tracy — but he’s not sure just yet how they’ll come out. He’s in regular touch with Blink singer Mark Hoppus. (Hoppus revealed that he’s undergoing chemotherapy for cancer several weeks after Barker spoke with Rolling Stone.) “I just spent the day with Mark a week ago,” says Barker. “Yesterday he was like, ‘Dude, congratulations. I’m so happy for you.’”

As of late May, Barker’s plan was to spend time next year recording a full new Blink album sans collaborators, and then head out a world tour. “I think that’s going to happen more in 2022,” Barker says.”I have so many [other] things I’m obligated to do this year. I want to spend the right amount of time on the Blink album and make sure it’s one of the best pieces of work we’ve ever done…. It will be my priority. It will be the only thing I’m working o

What about a Tom DeLonge reunion?

Could a reunion happen? “Never say never,” Barker says. “I talk to Tom all the time. We send funny texts and stuff. The times of bad blood and the misunderstandings between us are so over with. It’s all love. We all three talk, and we’re all friends. So, yeah, I will never say never. I think if the time was right and it just made sense…”

Mark Hoppus Offers Health Update

Mark Hoppus

Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 offered a health update during a recent Twitch event.

“On good days, I go do stuff,” he said. “I went on a walk outside today and it was the first time I’d left my house in like… five days pretty much. But this round of chemo I wasn’t totally stuck on the couch, miserable. I’ve actually watched movies and walked around and cleaned the house and hung out with my dogs. I didn’t just feel like a poisoned electrified zombie leaned up against an electric fence like I did the past couple of rounds.”

But his ability to interact with the world is limited, and Hoppus finds it frustrating. “I can’t go anywhere right now. I wanted to go to the Dodgers last night. I can’t. I want to go hang out with friends and go to a restaurant. I can’t,” he said. “My white blood cell count is way too low for me to go out, so I am stuck trying to get better. That’s alright, I’ll take it.”

Review: Blink-182 – Take Off Your Pants And Jacket

Blink-182 - Take Off Your Pants and Jacket

Usually you can trace back to moments in time when you know you’ve discovered something special or extraordinary. Sometimes that can be a new love, a new album, or new band that makes you feel like you’re discovering a new part of yourself in the process. Looking back on the 20th anniversary of this pop-punk classic makes me remember the carefree days of school ending and looking towards the promise of an unpredictable summer. Treading into the unknown only furthered my discovery of who I was, and in the process, helped me discover one of my favorite bands of all time. Blink-182 had made quite a name for themselves on their album, Enema of the State, and all eyes were fixed to see how the pop-punk band would follow up their massively successful and now legendary record. Enter Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, the studio album that’s a pun for <ahem> the act of self love. Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge, and Travis Barker couldn’t have been riding any higher coming into this fourth album, and working with veteran hit-maker Jerry Finn (Green Day, Sum 41) wasn’t going to change their trajectory into the stratosphere of popularity. The topics covered on the album tackle young love, fighting back authority figures, and more serious issues like divorce. With a mix of both topical elements, on top of well-crafted pop-punk tunes, Blink-182 must have known they created something special.

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