5 Songs You Didn’t Know Travis Barker Wrote for Machine Gun Kelly

The 47-year-old California-born musician Travis Barker has become something of a king- and queen-maker in the genre of pop-punk. Barker, who rose to fame with the band Blink-182, has since helped make stars of Machine Gun Kelly, Willow, and more.

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To wit, Barker has helped his mentee MGK write some of the biggest songs. As you can see below, he has had a hand not only in helping MGK’s career and playing the kit but in penning important pop-punk tracks, too.

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1. “Forget Me Too (featuring Halsey)”

Written by Travis Barker, Halsey, Machine Gun Kelly, Omer Fedi

“Forget Me Too” was released on MGK’s debut pop-punk album, Tickets to My Downfall (2020). Previously, Machine Gun Kelly had made a name for himself as a Cleveland-based rapper. But with a switch in genre, he took on the fast-paced rock that bands like Barker’s Blink-182 helped make famous. “Forget Me Too” features pop star Halsey, too.

Let me take my fucking bracelet off
You want me to forget you?
Okay, forget me, too
You tell me you hate me, baby
Yeah, I bet you do

Damn, I saw you walk in the room, and I tried my best
Not to panic while I’m lookin’ for the back door
I smell the perfume, and it’s obvious
I’m gonna stay and put my key in the bag more
I can’t, I can’t, I can’t pretend to forget you
The reason I punched a hole in the wall back home
And then, and then
And then a couple hours later, we’re in room 29 at The Chateau

2. “Bloody Valentine”

Written by Travis Barker, Nick Long, Machine Gun Kelly, Mod Sun

On the 2020 album, Tickets to My Downfall, “Bloody Valentine,” co-written by MGK and Barker (who also drummed on it), along with Nick Long and Mod Sun, is one of devotion. The accompanying music video features MGK’s betrothed—actress and model Megan Fox, who plays the role of MGK down to his pink guitar. While the lyrics are simple, they are effective.

In my head, in my head
I couldn’t hear anything you said, but
In my head, in my head
I’m callin’ you, “Girlfriend, ” what the fuck?

I don’t do fake love, but I’ll take some from you tonight
I know I’ve got to go but I might just miss the flight
I can’t stay forever, let’s play pretend
And treat this night like it’ll happen again
You’ll be my bloody valentine tonight

3. “Concert for Aliens”

Written by Travis Barker, Nick Long, Machine Gun Kelly

The second single from Tickets to My Downfall, “Concert for Aliens” was written by Barker, MGK, and Nick Long. The song hearkens to the memorable melodic tracks of bands like Blink during the 2000s. The lyrics have to do with the chaos of life and MGK’s “immature” life. But, as he notes, at least he’s “not a failure.”

The headlines say the world is over
Whatever happened to a fairy tale ending
You can’t pass if you don’t know the code word
I’m inside the UFO crash-landing
I’m in the room by the door with a space invader
I know that I’m immature but at least I’m not a goddamn failure

4. “Drunk Face”

Written by Travis Barker, Nick Long, Machine Gun Kelly, Nick Mira, Omer Fedi

The third track from Tickets to My Downfall, “Drunk Face” is a bit more emotive and confessional from MGK. On it, he talks about using drugs, wasting his youth, needing to grow up, and falling into the same patterns of bad relationships. There are problems many can relate to, from the suburbs to the city, and that’s one of the many reasons MGK has become a popular artist.

I’m still young, wasting my youth
I’ll grow up next summer
I’m back on those drugs I quit
I kept my dealer’s number
I’m still young, wasting my youth
I’ll grow up next summer
I’m back on that girl I quit
I should’ve lost her number

I’m overcompensating for heartbreak
I swallowed a pill that was in a heart shape
Her hands on my chest, feelin’ my heartbeat
She spillin’ her drink all on my car seat
She’ll get attached and then trap me
Then I gotta act like I’m happy
She posts pics to get at me
Déjà vu, it’s like last week

5. “Play This When I’m Gone”

Written by Travis Barker, Nick Long, Machine Gun Kelly, Jared Scharff, Jackson Morgan

The closing track on MGK’s 2020 album, “Play This When I’m Gone” is a bit of a melancholy, reflective song from the artist. It’s confessional and down-tempo, a moment from MGK to tell his fans what he really feels. It reads like a diary entry, simple, like something a high school student might write. Nevertheless, it connects and one gets a sense of how sad it can be to be Machine Gun Kelly.

I’m writing you this message just so I can say that I love you
I had to let you know that everything about me was you, yeah
I think it’s time for me to leave, but I’ll never leave you
I just looked at your pictures, so the last thing I did was see you

I’m 29, my anxiety’s eating me alive
I’m fightin’ with myself and my sobriety every night
And last time I couldn’t barely open up my eyes, I apologize

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

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