Travis Barker Shares The Secret Behind Machine Gun Kelly’s Success As A Rock Musician

For some, it might have seemed like Machine Gun Kelly came out of nowhere and became the face of pop-punk, but for Travis Barker, MGK deserved the success he had considering his ‘smart’ moves in the music industry. Barker shared his thoughts about MGK’s career in an interview with GQ and said that shifting genres had brought him tremendous success.

Barker reflected on his collaboration with Machine Gun Kelly, ‘I Think I’m OKAY. The single became a massive hit; Barker recalled those times, “A rock band would probably be ignored if they did that song. But it was different because Kells was coming as you’d never heard him before.”

After the track’s unprecedented success, Barker remembers Kelly saying, “Kells was like, ‘I can’t help but think—did we just get lucky with that one song, or can we make more f*cking songs like that?'”

The duo decided to work on a full-length pop-punk studio album. Barker recalled what he envisioned for the ‘Tickets To My Downfall’ album, “I said, ‘We’re not gonna rap on this album.’ And when that did well, doors were kicked down, and after that, you saw the resurgence of that genre doing really well.”

‘Tickets To My Downfall’ was MGK’s way of testing the waters of pop-punk even further after leaving his rapping days behind him. The album became a commercial success in no time, debuting atop the US Billboard 200 for the first time in his career. The praised album was also certified platinum by the RIAA, so changing genres to pop-punk and teaming up with Barker not only shaped MGK’s career into what it is today but also made the genre more accessible to a broader audience.