Silent Uproar: You seem to normally kinda stay in the background and let Tom and Mark talk about things, but with this album you are stepping up and seem to have a lot to say, why so?
Travis: I think it is because I wrote so much on this record and was so involved on everything from music to lyrics to the packaging of the CD. Me and my crew at Famous Stars and Straps did all the artwork and I was just heavily involved. So it is kinda my baby. Where as with the other records, they were cool but I wasn't thinking about...
SU: So you feel a little more attached to it this time?
Travis: Yeah, the other ones it was kinda like when you do something and you know that is about 75% of what you wanted it to be. And I can't even say the last records were 70%, they were maybe 40% of what I expected them to be. I just wasn't in the place where I was ready to open up and let everything go and this record I did. It was just time. I had been doing so much writing with the Transplants and other stuff that it was just the right time.
SU: So it sounds like it was just a personal decision to take on more of it and maybe have a little more control on the final product.
Travis: Yeah with this record I told everyone where we don't second guess ourselves and we pretend like this is the first record of our career. Fuck what everybody is expecting or whatever. I think so many people go through life doing what everyone expects them to do or what they're use to and when that's not you anymore, it's time to move on. So on this record, that is how I went about it. So everything from all the beats and all the rhythm and all the tempos, the lyrics, I had a vision and Mark and Tom shared the
vision. I think this is the one time where all 3 of our minds were thinking alike.
SU: I know sound wise this album sounds a lot different than your previous ones, but beyond that and what you just mentioned, how else this record different from previous
Travis: Everything from sounds...like on the single "Feeling This", there are break beats and you just don't hear break beat after break beat like that on a single on the radio. From the sounds of the record, all the moody shit...there are no electronics on the record so everything we do we did all acoustic old school style. Then the interludes, I didn't want to make another record without interludes, I wanted every song to tie in to each other and I want to see like a story develop.
SU: Was it more of a conscious decision to incorporate these things or is that just how it turned out?
Travis: Well I bought Tom The Wall and I explained to him, I love Pink Floyd! Like I know you hate Pink Floyd and it isn't punk rock, but this is the wall and I fucking love this record. I would show him over the last couple years, this is the Beatnuts, they are the greatest hip-hop band ever and this is Run DMC, this is Slayer, and slowly he learned to like other kinds of music. Where as other records I didn't really want to put much effort forth because all I am going to do is go in there and play drums and
no one is thinking like I am.
Where as this record it's like man there are other types of music and other ways to play punk rock and change what people think is Blink 182. It is time to grow and I learn new shit every day, whether it be music or something else and it is kinda like this. If I hadn't seen one of my friends in two years and I saw my friend and he was exactly like he was 2 years ago? Then I would be really disappointed in him. You gotta grow, you gotta learn new shit, and people are just constantly
SU: What do you think about the whole pop-punk phenomenon that has invaded the music industry, do you think it is a good think or do you find it as annoying as the rest of us?
Travis: Yeah, I can't say I like any of it. There are no bands that... Me honestly, Mark and Tom might feel different, but I have to look really far back as far as rock music to find something I like. Especially punk rock music. Not to say anything that's going on isn't cool or whatever, it just isn't for me.
SU: Is that why maybe you stepped away from it some with this album? It has become such a big and trendy thing that it seems like maybe you were wanting to separate yourself
from that a little bit.
Travis: Yeah, I kinda wanted to up the stakes a little bit, you know. Like here is the new shit, we aren't doing that other stuff anymore. Yeah we are still a pop-punk band, but we are influenced by The Who and these other bands while I think some of the bands that are coming up are only influenced by bands like us or Rancid and Green Day. But I look back to David Bowie for inspiration I don't look to Green Day. That's partly just because it is a different generation to, but I just don't think we've had good luck with pop-punk really being original or ground breaking because no one is really doing anything different.
SU: Exactly, and that's what has become so annoying about the whole genre is that it has all started to sound the same.
Travis: I agree completely.
SU: Some people will say that it is about time you guys all grew up, but others may say that the non-caring, silly attitude, is what made the band so successful in the first place, what's your take on that?
Travis: Right now we probably party and act like idiots more than we ever have in our life. Don't confuse a record of sincere songs with us growing up because nothing has changed backstage as far as us fucking with other bands or drinking too much before we play, none of that has changed. I think it is gradually getting worse, so... The only reason that happened is because our past two records we wrote in two weeks and I would do my drums in a day, Mark and Tom would do their singing in like a month and a half
and we were done. With this, we wrote a song and then would record it, and we were in a house and it was lavish and we took a year to write a record. We had an albums worth of rad material where as with other albums we would literally be like we're two songs short so lets write a song about dicks or about grandpa and this time we had enough material to make a rad record.
I think the thing is critics and journalist and people everywhere get confused with how can you guys make a serious record and then act like total fucking morons on stage.
But that's who we are.
SU: That's cool though, it shows that you're able to musically evolve, but it isn't a total change in personality or anything.
SU: Was it hard for you personally to concentrate on the recording of this album, with Transplants stuff going on, becoming a Dad, and all these other things happening?
Travis: I think I was more focused than ever. I was depressed because I had just gotten divorced, I left my house one day and was just like fuck, I'm not in love anymore, I don't want to do this anymore. I came to LA and stayed at the Rock and Roll Hyatt on Sunset for 3 weeks by myself and met a girl and fell in love within like a week. Then I started touring with the Transplants in a van and my life just changed and did like a 180, so I had so much to write about.
SU: What about going forward? I know you have more recording plans with the Transplants, and I'm sure Blink will be touring early in next year?
Travis: Yeah we are trying to start our record the last week in January and then there is talk of us maybe doing some Warped Tour dates and then finishing our record in between myself being home and Tim being home.
SU: Speaking of Tim, what do you think of the new Rancid record?
Travis: It is fucking amazing. I don't even know, I think those are some of Tim's best songs he has ever written. It is really heart felt, you know what I mean? God bless his soul with what he had to go through this year, but with those songs, you can feel it.
SU: Do you think by having a creative outlets like Transplants, and Boxcar Racer have actually made you more focused on Blink? You know, kinda given you a chance to step back
and do something different so you regain the original passion.
Travis: Totally. Think about if you did the same thing over and over again with the same people every day and it just gets stagnant. And I learn so much when I go into the studio. Like the Transplants record with no recording budget, we did the entire record for like fifteen grand. Then the Pink record, I was there for a day and had to do 11 songs, so everything from accidentally putting the mike in the wrong place or tunning the drums different, all these little things. It is just like anything, the more time you
spend dong it the more you learn.
SU: As far as the sound of the album "I Miss You" is definitely one of the stand out tracks. WHat made you guys decide to start incorporating things like a cello and piano.
Travis: That song just began being layered. It was me messing around in between takes and I was playing with brushes and I was playing a jazz pattern on my snare and a hip-hop pattern on my snare and bass pedal and it was kinda cool. Then Mark and Tom wrote some stuff on acoustic guitar and bass and then we put singing in and then to make chords pop out, we added piano to make it bigger and cello. That song is rad because it is all acoustic and there are no electronics instruments, not electric guitar or anything.
SU: Is that a song that you are going to try to pull off live, or do you even think about then when recording?
Travis: We are totally going to pull it off live. Obviously we aren't ever going to have a keyboard player in the show, I think that would be a little weird. So we gotta figure out how we are going to play it, but that is definitely one of the songs we are going to do.
SU: Talking about the song "All of This," were you surprised at all that Robert Smith wanted to do it?
Travis: Yeah I mean we all love the Cure, but I can only imagine that if I was in the Cure and someone hit me up and was like yo, Blink 182 wants you to do this song, having heard their last record or seen things from them, I would be like, 'Fuck No I don't want to do that'. But he asked for the material of the song and he fell in love with the song and we tried explaining that this is a different record and we wouldn't have bothered if it wasn't.
SU: Was he happy with the way it turned out?
SU: Beyond all the money and the life you are able to enjoy now, do you ever wish that you were back to being the somewhat unknown band? You know, not having to worry about
press or the business side of things, everything not being some huge production, but just hanging out playing music?
Travis: You know I get that out of the Transplants. Like our first tour, we did in a van and we didn't have a record out, it was rad. So I have the best of both worlds so when we record yeah we record in lavish studios and it's comfortable and there is an area for our girlfriends or our kids to hang out. Then with the Transplants, we record in Tim's basement and we play dirty ass clubs and I just have the best of both worlds.
Also, I never care about doing press because no matter what band I'm in, I am talking about a record I made that I am proud of so I never feel like it is a hassle.
Sometimes going somewhere can be weird though, like last night I went to dinner with my lady and we are leaving and I got some dickhead from Celebrities Uncensored with a
camera in my face and I'm like dude you need to get out of my face before I fucking hit you. It is so disrespectful, you walk out of a restaurant and some guy has a video
camera in your face. So shit like that bugs me because it is just an invasion of privacy, but other than that...fans? I will talk to a fan anytime. I used to live in a
community that wasn't gated and kids would come by at all hours of the night and I would take the time to get out of bed and talk with them, so that's all good.
SU: Well that's it, thanks for your time.
Travis: You too man, have a great Holiday.