Travis Barker knew he'd be performing at WWE's WrestleMania with Skylar Grey and Kid Ink for a while now – he's even mentioned it in previous interviews – but he was never really clear what he'd be performing. Until this morning, that is.
"I just got the music that I'm playing!" he laughs. "Kid Ink and Skylar are both really great friends of mine, and about a month ago, Skylar was like 'You know, I might be playing WrestleMania, would you play with me?' and I was like 'Of course.' Then, like a week later, Ink hits me and he's like 'I'm playing WrestleMania, would you be down?' and I'm like 'I think I'm already going to be there!' So I knew something was up."
Turns out, on March 29, Barker will be providing the backbone to a performance that will meld David Guetta's "Rise" – which, in addition to being this year's WrestleMania theme song, also features vocals from Grey – with Ink's "Money and the Power." And for a guy who's built a career out of hard-hitting beats, not only does the collaboration make complete sense, but the stage is pretty perfect, too.
"I grew up watching wrestling with my pops, and now I get to be there, rocking at WrestleMania," Barker says. "I loved the Iron Sheik, 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper and George 'The Animal' Steele as a kid, and when I was in the Aquabats, it was kind of like me getting to live that pro-wrestling life; we were masked superheroes. Then, like a decade ago in hip-hop, there was this era of good guys and bad guys.
"Now, I have so many friends that love it, grown men, our kids – I've been to events where dudes are in their 30s or 40s, shouting 'Kick his ass!' It's bigger than life, man," he adds. "And when you take that, then add songs like 'Money and the Power' and 'Rise' to the mix, you take a situation that's all ready turned up and make it wild."
Barker says that, while he's not up to date on this year's 'Mania card – "My friend Paige will be there, I know that!" he laughs – he's excited to share the bill with Grey and Ink, two artists he's been close friends with for years.
"They're both amazing talents, and good people, you know? Skylar's so talented, she's got the voice of an angel, and she's willing to put in the work, you know?" he says. "I say the same thing about Ink. He's on my new album I'm working on, and he's a writing machine."
And while Barker wouldn't take the bait when asked who he'd like to get inside a steel cage with at the Super Bowl of Sports Entertainment (you can probably guess who we'd match him with), he says that playing WrestleMania will provide him with a thrill of a different sort: Reliving his childhood dreams of pro-wrestling glory.
"When I was a kid, I went to an event in San Bernardino [California] with my pops, and Junkyard Dog was wrestling, and he walked by me and I got to touch him," he laughs. "That was a pivotal moment right there, I was like 'This is the most amazing thing ever!' And I'm going to get to feel like a kid again."