In his continuing bid to be the hardest-working man in rock, Travis Barker has piled a few new endeavors onto his overstuffed plate.
On top of firming up plans for side project the Transplants to drop their debut LP, setting off on the road with Box Car Racer, and preparing the new Blink-182 album, the drummer somehow found time to bring his collection of vintage Cadillacs up to 11 with the addition of a '54 Coup De Ville and '78 El Dorado.
Although the Transplants album doesn't yet have an official title, it's scheduled for release October 22, according to a Hellcat Records spokesperson. Barker, singer Rob Aston and Rancid guitarist Tim Armstrong comprise the basis of the group, though its tentatively eponymous LP also features contributions from Rancid's Lars Frederiksen, the Distillers' Brody Armstrong, AFI's Davey Havok and Nerve Agents' Eric Ozenne.
"Transplants songs are over the top," Barker said. "We talk about stuff I can't even mention. Some of it is as hard as you can possibly get. It's so punk it's stupid. It's really influenced by old English Dogs and G.B.H., that kind of stuff. Then some of it is really hardcore drum and bass. It's weird."
Box Car Racer, Barker's collaboration with Blink bandmate Tom DeLonge, David Kennedy and Anthony Celestino, filmed their second video recently with director Alexander Kostas (Filter, Andrew W.K.). Barker described the clip for "There Is," which follows first single "I Feel So," as very '80s inspired, with a portion that skewers a scene from "Say Anything ..." in which John Cusack serenades Ione Skye with a boom box. Only in the video, Box Car Racer provide the protagonist's audio accompaniment.
Box Car Racer are also set to embark on a tour in October. Since its announcement earlier this month (see "Box Car Racer, The Used Rev Up For Fall Tour"), the itinerary has changed a bit and New York hardcore group H20 have been tapped as a second opener.
After the Box Car Racer tour ends in late November, Barker will have just a few weeks to himself before starting Blink-182's successor to last year's Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. Although it might seem that following up such a successful album would be a lengthy process, Barker figures on it taking only two weeks to forge a Blink opus.
"We should have some gnarly preparation, be ready and think about stuff," he said, "but we don't. We just kind of go in there, write songs --- they are what they are ---and record them. Then it's done."
Whether it's the heavier, post-hardcore feel of Box Car, the left-field schizo sounds of the Transplants or Blink-182's pop-punk songs about everyday life, Barker finds that there's a place for everything, and he's never confused when it comes to which group will lay claim to a newly penned song.
"I love every one of my bands for different reasons," he explains. "It's special. It's like having three girlfriends."