Travis Barker has appeared on heaps of records ranging from his day job in Blink-182, through hip-hop and EDM, most recently teaming up with Avril Lavigne after signing her to his DTA label. Now, the chameleonic drummer has taken to Instagram to share a clip of himself playing along to Adele’s Easy On Me – the first single from her latest album, 30 – giving us a glimpse of how it could have been a pop-punk anthem.
Barker’s version of the song adds guitar, and sees the Blink-182 drummer at a DW kit (the brand has featured in a few of his recent Instagram clips, and even some live performances) fitted with Big Fat Snare Drum dampeners across the snare and toms, playing along to the ballad’s chorus.
The original doesn’t include a drum track, so Barker has given himself free-reign to play what he wants, moving between the song’s original halftime feel and then doubling the tempo, throwing in some tasty signature-style fills around the kit along the way.
So far, so pop-punk, yes? Well, not according to some corners of the Internet. The ‘cover’ has divided opinion amongst followers of the the brands he’s playing in the video. While many are quick to acknowledge Barker’s Drum Legend status and powerful influence, many people aren’t happy with his ‘overplaying’ and heavy hitting style, which resulted in a broken stick.
Criticisms in the comments sections range from suggesting that Barker’s busy playing isn't suitable for the song, that the veteran rocker's posture will eventually lead to physical injury, and even questioning the validity of his choice of a Napalm Death shirt.
Meanwhile, Barker fans have come to his defence, pointing out that it’s “Travis doing Travis” and that the clip demonstrates his ability to re-imagine songs with a creative drum part.
Barker was recently challenged to a drum battle by Drumeo coach and online personality, Dorothea Taylor. Drumeo shared a video of the “Godmother of Drumming” playing a cover of Blink-182’s What’s My Age Again, where Taylor praised Barker’s use of rudiments, before offering him out for a drum-off. Barker is yet to respond.