Travis Barker Salutes Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish and Jxdn For Breaking the Pop-Punk Rules

With the creation of his label, DTA Records, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker has been passing the pop-punk torch along to a new generation of artists.

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Over the last several years, he has jumped into a host of collaborations for the label, spanning from the rapper-turned-punk singer Machine Gun Kelly to pop’s rebel princess Avril Lavigne.

In a recent interview with Billboard, Barker continued to gush on today’s rising stars, crediting Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, and label mate Jxdn for changing what it means to be a pop-punk artist.

“I like Olivia’s album, I love everything Billie’s done,” said Barker. “I won’t say, ‘This is pop-punk.’ I’ll say, this music that came out, let’s say like Avril’s ‘Love Sux’, let’s say Jxdn’s ‘Tell Me About Tomorrow’, and ‘Tickets To My Downfall’ [Machine Gun Kelly], were all inspired by pop-punk.”

He continued by praising the singers’ ability to break the rules – a notably “punk” attribute.

“Olivia Rodrigo is probably going to make an album that has a little bit of pop-punk influence and some other influences too,” Barker continued. “Billie’s going to make whatever magical music she’s going to make and she’s going to be inspired by so much. You don’t have to follow the rules or keep it as sterile as the record label or whatever the rollout plan may be.”

Rodrigo’s acclaimed debut, Sour, nodded to a wide breadth of genres. On her Avril-esque single “Good For You,” the 19-year-old adopted an edgier persona than her Disney roots would suggest, bitterly calling out her ex in 3-minutes of pop perfection.

Elsewhere in the interview, Barker talked more about his motivation for starting DTA Records. He explained that he wanted to create a label that could foster rising musicians.

“I wanted DTA Records to be the label that doesn’t drop you the minute it doesn’t work, or you throw it against the wall and it doesn’t stick and you’re just on your own. I don’t want the artist to go in and make an album by themselves and not have the help or the guidance from me,” said Barker.

He continued, “Make sure they’re making the right decisions, make sure they’re smart with their money, make sure they have a family of people around them that are going to help them and take them on tour, answer the phone at three in the morning when whatever has happened.”

Along the same vein as praising other artists, Barker recently took to Instagram to share a tattoo done in tribute to the late Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins. The series of photos featured the new hawk tattoo as well as pictures of both drummers together before Hawkins’ death.

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SiriusXM

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