In 2008, Travis Barker was famously involved in a private plane crash that took the lives of four people – the two pilots; Barker's personal assistant, Chris Baker; and his security guard, Che Still. The blink-182 drummer and his collaborator DJ AM miraculously survived the accident; however, the DJ tragically passed away the following year after suffering from a drug overdose.
The experience was eye opening for Barker, who decided to change his life in the aftermath. The drummer recently revealed to Kerrang! just how he decided to better himself more than a decade ago.
“Any near-death experience is going to shake s**t up,” he admitted. “There was loss. I lost one of my best friends, my assistant. I lost my security guard. A year later I lost DJ AM. He was one of my best friends, too. So I had a lot of people that were really important to me in my life taken away. Beyond that, I looked death in the face and I survived."
"There was just a lot for me to deal with, from survivor’s guilt, to watching my assistant’s son grow up without a father. He’s the same age as my daughter," he continued. "I know every day since that crash has been a blessing. I just had to convince myself that I walked away still-alive for a reason, and I should make the most of every day. But until you almost die, until you look death in the face, you can’t honestly say, ‘I cherish every day like it’s my last.’ I think people that have cheated death just do it in a different way.”
As a result, the 44-year-old changed his diet, began to exercise, and quit taking medication and recreational drugs. But there's still one thing he regrets. “The only negative thing I can say is that, looking back, I’m struck that it’s really sad that it took all of that for me to open my eyes," he divulged. "But some people need a swift kick to the face, and I was one of them.”