Travis Barker's Transplants drum setup in pictures
Travis Barker has by no means been standing still these past few years. He’s released a well-received solo album, toured and recorded with Blink-182 and worked on a continuous schedule of side projects with artists as diverse as Yelawolf, LL Cool J, Paul Wall, Hopsin and producer Kojak with First Lady Michelle Obama.
The main focus of his energy right now is Transplants, Travis’ project with Tim Armstrong (Rancid) and ‘Skinhead’ Rob Aston.
He’s also been posting a series of new videos, entitled Crash Course. So far, the topics have been focused on Travis’ warm-up routine before a gig. The episodes posted so far include stretches and stickings that Travis uses to get loose before playing a show. Anyone that has seen Travis live knows he gives it his all, but not without a great deal of preparation.
Rhythm met up with Travis in his North Hollywood studio earlier this year to chat about all these projects, his musical background, how he’s changed up his kit for the most recent Transplants tour, and how he alters his playing to adapt to the gig at hand.
Here you’ll find pictures of that kit setup along with extracts from the interview, which you can read in full in the August issue of Rhythm (issue 218) which is on sale now.
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OCDP Three-band acrylic in black/white/black: 22"x22" bass drum with double wide front hoop (built-in woodblock on batter side hoop), 12"x6" tom, 16"x14" floor tom; 14"x61⁄2" bell brass snare; 10"x7" side snare
Get us up to speed on what else you’ve been up to over the last few years
“We did the Blink Christmas EP. Yelawolf and I released our Psycho White EP. Recorded a Transplants album. Recorded drums on LL Cool J’s album.
“Most recently I did work on Yelawolf’s upcoming new album, which is called Love Story. I play drums on two or three songs. I played on a song called Out Of Control and a song called Gun In My Hand, which are really dope. Gun In My Hand, there’s a bunch of marching [percussion] in it, kinda like a weird backbeat, like Bonham-y sounding chorus.
"The other song has, like, this cool, crazy ass beat. I wonder if I still have it in here...?” [Travis pulls out his phone and plays the video described. It’s a triplet shuffle a la Bonzo’s Fool In The Rain feel]. It’s definitely Bonham inspired.
“We were recording a music video. I had my phone and I was playing this beat, noodling around in between takes of filming this video, and Yela was like, ‘Yo, what is that?‘ I played it over for him again and he was like, ‘Dude, I really want to write to that. I’m in the middle of recording this album, please record that beat in the studio!’
“It’s me playing on the rim of my bass drum, doing this crazy triplet thing with my kick pattern and 2 and 4 on the snare. They wrote a whole song around that beat. Then I went back and did everything, full drum kit, fills, hi-hats and everything. It really came out cool.
“I’ve been playing some random gigs. I played some gigs with Slash recently. American Idol with Keith Urban and Randy Jackson. Slowly beginning the process of writing beats for my upcoming solo album. That’s pretty much it!”
Zildjian: 15" A Custom Mastersound hi-hats; 14" A Custom (with 10" Trashformer stacked on); 19" A Custom Projection; 16" A Custom; 20" A Custom; 23" A Sweet ride; 18" Oriental china
How did you find putting out your own album?
“I loved my solo album. I loved getting all of that out of my system. It was hard to tour because I had so many guest features, which made for a really cool album and group of collaborations but really hard to tour extensively with it.
“I toured a majority of the time with Mix Master Mike and it was really fun. We did that Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj tour which was really cool. It was everything I planned for it to be.”
DW hardware: 9000 cymbal stands, 5500 hi-hat, 5000 turbo bass drum pedal; Heads - Remo: coated Emperor top and coated Ambassador bottom on toms;. Coated P3 batter and ebony P3 front with 6" Holz ring in centre of bass drum; coated Emperor-X top and Ambassador snare bottom on main snare; coated Emperor top and Ambassador bottom on side snare; Yamaha DTX; Audix mics; LP percussion; Travis Barker model cowbell, Zildjian Travis Barker sticks; Zildjian Travis Barker stick and cymbal bags; Zildjian Travis Barker practice pad; Metrophones headphones; JH Audio in-ears
Tell us about the new Transplants album.
“A majority of it was recorded here [Travis’ studio]. Then some over at Flea’s [Red Hot Chili Peppers] studio.
“We just go in and write songs in the studio. We had always said we wanted to do another album. We all regrouped after my plane crash and said, ‘We gotta do another album, tour and have some fun.’
“We finished that album quick. It was just a matter of figuring out where we were going to put it out. We ended up choosing Epitaph.
“We have really great chemistry in the studio. I think we wrote two to three songs a day and recorded them. Do your take and keep moving. It was a very spontaneous, high energy, punk rock album. We’ll go in the studio and I might start playing a beat and he [Tim Armstrong] will play guitar to it, or, he might play guitar, and I’ll play drums to it.
“We come in and listen to it and Rob goes, ‘Man, I really like that, that could be a verse, that could be a chorus.’”
Now check out Rhythm’s current Summer issue with Joey Jordison on the cover. Or subscribe to Rhythm here for a monthly dose of new gear reviews, kit buying guides, pro drum lessons and all-star interviews.
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