Travis Barker: ‘Being 65% Burned … And Burying Two Of My Best Friends Was Hard To Deal With’

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 Travis Barker: ‘Being 65% Burned … And Burying Two Of My Best Friends Was Hard To Deal With’
Surviving a plane crash or owning a fish restaurant while being vegan – it’s all part of life’s rich tapestry to the Blink-182 drummer

Hello Travis. You’ve just written your memoirs. Are you bored of talking about yourself yet?


Not really. It’s my life, so I’m not really trippin’!


Good. I like a man with a favourite font, and on page 132 of your book you say yours is Steelworks.


Yes! (1) When I first started Famous (2) that was our go-to. It was like the first Slayer lettering.


Which other fonts do you like?


I like the Black Flag bold font, I forget the name of it. I LOVE that. Now I have great artists around me, and we create our own fonts. It’s cool to create your own lettering.


Where would you put All the Small Things on a list of the 1,000 greatest songs of all time?


(Sighs) People love that song. Mark, Tom and I, we cringe when we have to play it.


It’s a good song!


It just happens that way – it’s your most popular song; it’s the song you’ve probably heard too many times. At the same time, if I go and see Pink Floyd and they don’t play Wish You Were Here, I’m bummed! Jay-Z’s probably sick of 99 Problems; the fans aren’t.



So, to go back to my question: where would you put it on the list?


I can’t rate my own song! It’s whatever it is to the fans.


Well does mid-800s sound OK to you?


I can’t say All the Small Things is the dopest song ever. I can’t say it should be No 1.


Nobody’s saying that: “850th Best Song Ever” is more realistic.


I’ll go with whatever you say.


What hopes and aspirations did you have when you opened your first fish taco restaurant? (3)


It was just something I wanted to do when I was young. I used to just DO SHIT when I was young — I got married on a whim! Then divorced six months later! I just followed my heart and did what I wanted to do — and that was something I wanted to do.


I’ve never had a fish taco. It sounds disgusting. Is it nice?


You know what’s weird? I’m vegan and I don’t eat fish.


Amazing.


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So I never ate the fish tacos, but they had really good burritos and tofu tacos.


You did eat meat briefly after your plane accident (4), is that right?


Yeah, I had to have 6,000 calories a day. Obviously, they didn’t have a vegan chef for me, so I had to eat whatever. I ended up eating a lot of beef jerky, and extra-large peanut butter smoothies, which had like 3,000 calories each.


Does it feel strange that something you had such a personal and intimate reaction to is now a key selling point for a book?


Well it was never private – it was on every news channel. From the time it happened, people were asking me to talk about it, and I couldn’t. As time went on and I was no longer dealing with post-traumatic and survivor’s guilt and my own injuries … Well, there were two hard things to deal with. First, obviously, being 65% burned. And two, burying two of my best friends and the two pilots I’d just met. It was difficult. And then to have my partner, who survived with me, who was sober and a key factor in my sobriety, pass away of a drug overdose … That was a very traumatic chain of events to go through alone. There’s much more to the book than the plane crash, but that crash and my battle and my demons with post-traumatic is definitely something I think people can learn from and relate to.


Is it true that you have a Google Alert set up for plane crashes?


I mean I was crazy. I couldn’t even look in the sky – I couldn’t look at a plane. I thought every plane was going to fall out of the fucking sky. I became obsessive about it, and slowly grew out of it, but to this day when I see one, it fucks me up.


How far do you run every day?


Days I box, I might jump on a bike or an elliptical. But I usually run for an hour — about six miles.


Six miles an hour isn’t very fast is it?


Well, I probably start at six miles an hour, and peak at maybe eight or nine miles an hour.


What’s your worst tattoo? (5)


They’re all pages in a book – it would be like going through my memoir and going, “I don’t like this” and ripping out pages. I mean, the only one I’d love to cover up and get rid of is not of my first ex-wife, but my last ex-wife. I wouldn’t mind removing that.


There’s a lot of sex in your book.


Yes, as a teenager I was girl crazy!


For anyone who hasn’t had sex, what’s so good about it, and would you recommend it?


I mean, it’s all you think about as a teenage boy, you know? For whatever reason, it was always there for me; I always enjoyed it. It was better than doing drugs. It was right up there with skateboarding and playing the drums! (6) I don’t know if it’s because I had mommy issues because my mom passed away so early … I don’t know what it was. It wasn’t until I had kids of my own that I saw things so differently. You learn so much as you get older. But you can never be old and wise unless you were young and reckless – and I was, so I learned quite a bit.


Footnotes


(1) If you’d like to use Steelworks in your own designs you’ll need to pay around £17.99 for a licence.


(2) Famous Stars and Straps is the clothing line Travis established in 1999. Their clothes have been worn by Eminem, the Game and Lady “Make Way for the S-O-V” Sovereign.


(3) Travis is involved with two Wahoo’s Fish Taco franchises. Wahoo’s is classed as a “fast-casual restaurant”.


(4) In 2008, a private plane carrying Travis and five other people crashed during take-off. Travis and his friend DJ AM were the only survivors. DJ AM died of a drug overdose the following year.


(5) Travis’s body art includes a portrait of Jesus and some racing flags. His first, the word “BONES”, burned off in the plane crash.


(6) These activities are not mutually exclusive, but can be perilous if combined.


• Travis Barker’s autiobiography Can I Say is published by William Morrow on 5 November.


[H/T: Guardian]

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