Travis Barker says his life was forever changed after he "looked death right in the face."
The tattooed drummer opened up to Rolling Stone, revealing that the nearly fatal plane crash three years ago not only "changed [his] life in a number of ways"—but granted him "a second chance" at life.
The rocker, who lost crew members in the crash as well as good friend DJ AM only months later, explains how's he changed everything from his diet, to his pain killer addiction and even to how Blink-182 got back together.
And although the crash was what instigated Barker's reform, the drummer admits he was only able to bounce back due to one thing—his kids.
Travis explains: "If I didn't have kids, I think I would have went the other direction. I mean, when I got out of the hospital I was on 21 forms of medication. The doctor said that I would be on half of them for the rest of my life. I was on 5150 [psychiatric] watch for two weeks…suicidal, crazy. I then slowly went off my meds. I had my kids looking up to me and wanting me to bounce back…Just to be given a second chance, knowing my partners didn't get that. I had to make the most of my time."
And make the most of his time he did—creating drastic life changes after: "promis[ing] myself that if I ever walked again, that I would eat well and swim every day."
Indeed, the drummer followed through on his vow to get healthy: "I've been vegan since I got out of the hospital. It's another eye opener. It changed my life in a number of ways. I mean, I run every day now. I never ran before."
Something he did do before? Pop pain killer vicodin on a daily basis, a habit Travis has kicked to the curb. "Before the plane crash, I was battling a painkiller addiction. For years. I can proudly say I didn't even take any pain medication after I got out of the hospital. They told me I'd be on some of the medicine for the rest of my life, but I got off all of them. They made me a completely different person."
Aside from getting healthy and kicking his pill addiction, Barker also says the crash led to the reunion of his band. Travis admits: "I never thought in a million years that Blink would be back together."
But after receiving a letter from bandmate and guitarist Tom DeLonge, who quit the band in 2005, Travis says he suddenly "wanted to reach out to him."
"I'm in a hospital. Shit's not going so good. I get transferred to L.A. I get to the point where I can actually read and I see a letter from Tom. I don't have the same feelings that I had six months earlier if he had written me a letter. I'm sitting on a bed and the doctors are talking about possibly amputating my foot and I'm reading this letter from Tom and there's a picture of his kids. It was heavy. I wasn't bummed at all. I had no ill will. I had no f—d up feeling towards him. I wanted to reach out to him."
Amongst all the changes Travis has thus encountered post crash, he also now faces changes to his touring ability.
"I don't fly. It's an obstacle. I'm working on it though. I'm trying to get hypnotized, trying to talk to a doctor who retrains your brain. Maybe he'll help me fly again one day."