After the tragic death of his best friend, DJ AM, last year, it was unclear whether Travis Barker would ever work with a turntablist again. Fortunately for fans of Barker’s innovative live gigs, he was introduced to Kanye West’s DJ, A-Trak.
“I had met A-Trak last year at Coachella, but I had seen a set of his at Avalon in Los Angeles maybe four years ago, with AM,” Barker told MTV News. “He was a guy who I always wanted to work with in some way. So I gave him a call.”
The pair found that they were a good match, even completely losing track of time the first time they got together to jam last fall.
“And we stopped and looked at the watch, and it was like, ‘Oh, we’ve been playing for an hour and didn’t even realize it,’” A-Trak explained to MTV News. “And I think that solidified for both of us in our minds that we could do this pretty easy.”
The duo has been working on songs together in Barker’s Los Angeles studio since then and have decided the time is right to share some of it with the world.
Barker and A-Trak will begin to road test the new material, as well as live re-workings of some of the many remixes they’ve each done for artists that range from Eminem to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, beginning with a pair of shows March 9-10 in West Hollywood.
“Our first shows are at The Roxy [Theatre], and then South by Southwest will probably be a little bit bigger,” Barker explained. “The Winter Music Conference in Miami will probably be a little bit bigger. But the first ones will be really intimate.”
Tickets for shows in West Hollywood, Austin, Miami and Las Vegas go on sale tomorrow, with additional dates expected – although fans might find themselves enjoying the new partnership in some unusual places.
“We might do a run of side shows in health clubs and saunas,” A-Trak joked. “Just set up in the steam bath and play. It was an idea we had yesterday.”
Opening duties for all of Barker and A-Trak’s upcoming live dates will be handled by Rob Roy and one of my personal picks to watch for 2010, Kid Sister.
Here’s the clip for Kid Sister’s ode to acrylic dragon lady talons, “Pro Nails,” (from her killer debut Ultraviolet) which features Kanye West and some of the most talented fingers in the Western Hemisphere. (Keep an eye out for the break-dancing!)