Travis Barker defends fiancée Kourtney Kardashian over Cannibal Corpse T-shirt uproar

Travis Barker Kourtney K
(Image credit: Gotham/GC Images)

Blink-182 drummer/punk rock mogul Travis Barker has defended his fiancée Kourtney Kardashian's right to wear punk and metal band T-shirts, calling out the "fucking lame" scene police who lost their shit when the reality TV star/socialite/model was photographed wearing a Cannibal Corpse T-shirt last year.

Barker and Kardashian were branded "posers" in a tweet by former Cannibal Corpse frontman Chris Barnes last September after a a paparazzi photo of the pair emerged showing them wearing Cannibal Corpse (her) and Cramps (him) shirts. Kardashian's T-shirt, borrowed from her partner, it later emerged, featured imagery used in the artwork of Cannibal Corpse’s 1990 debut album Eaten Back to Life.

Barnes' comment rekindled much online debate about exactly who has, and does not have, the 'right' to wear punk and metal T-shirts, an argument Travis Barker calls out as "fucking lame" in a new interview with Revolver magazine.

"That's the lamest shit ever," Barker says when the topic is broached during the interview. "Obviously my fiancée doesn't listen to Cannibal Corpse, but I do. I grew up loving them. For [someone] to mention that in a negative light — fucking lame, you know? She's wearing it because she's [cool]. She's not claiming she knows every song. But I do! I bought every album, and I learned how to play every album.

"I grew up a punk-rock kid, [but] everything with punk rock - 'I'm more punk than you' - just fuck all that. Be stoked that people are into music. Music is beautiful! It changes people's lives. It creates the best memories. Just celebrate it, you know?

"But I have a gang of Cannibal Corpse t-shirts," Barker revealed. "I still love them. I have a gang of King Diamond t-shirts and rare Slayer shirts because I fucking love those bands. I grew up on them. Even though I'm, you know, whatever the world wants to view me as — 'Oh, that's Blink-182's drummer' — actually that guy was playing in a garage with a bunch of speed-metal kids listening to D.R.I. and S.O.D. I enjoyed every fucking minute of it."

In recent years, Barker has emerged from behind his Blink-182 kit to become an important player in the music industry. The drummer launched his own record label, DTA Records, in partnership with Elektra in 2019 and he has written for, performed with and released albums by Machine Gun Kelly, Avril Lavigne and Yungblud among others, as well as signing a number of upcoming artists.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.