When Travis Barker Joined blink-182, He Learned 20 Songs in 40 Minutes

"I got the call: 'First show's tomorrow. San Diego. You're in blink.'"

Photo: Karen K. Tran

BY Alex HudsonPublished Feb 15, 2024

Travis Barker is really good at the drums! The timekeeper's chops are legendary, and now he has once again reinforced his skill by recalling the time he learned all of blink-182's material in just 40 minutes when he joined the band.

Barker told the story of joining blink-182 on this week's episode of Rick Rubin's Tetragrammaton podcast. At the time, he was a member of the ska group the Aquabats, who were on tour with blink-182 (then with their original drummer Scott Raynor) in 1998.

"It's an hour before the show and I see the blink guys. I would watch them every day," Barker recalled. "And then they came to me and they're like, 'Yo Trav.' And we had been friends. They're like, 'Our drummer just bailed on us. We have a show in 45 minutes. We're not going to be able to play if we don't have a drummer.'"

Barker, being the drum virtuoso he is, sprung into action. He said, "So I went in the room, learned 20 songs in like 40 minutes, [and] played the next three shows with them. And had a blast."

Raynor was still officially a member of the group at that point, but soon after the tour, Barker was asked to become the permanent replacement. He remembered, "I got the call: 'First show's tomorrow. San Diego. You're in blink.'"

The rest, of course, is history, as blink-182 achieved their mainstream breakthrough the next year with 1999's Enema of the State.

Listen to the episode of Tetragrammaton below.

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