Barker was involved in an airplane crash in 2008 that included DJ AM and killed four of the six people aboard the plane, including both pilots. He spoke with Billboard while attending the opening night of Cirque du Soleil's new Kurios show with his two children at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. He said he met the former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver singer years ago through the hard rock super group Camp Freddy.
"He's great. Oh my gosh, his contributions to music were amazing," said the Blink-182 drummer. "I saw video of him recently, he sounded great and he looked fine. But you never know what demons anyone is fighting."
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Barker continued, pulling from his own experience as an addict: "Whatever you're masking when you're doing drugs gets more severe the more you mask it. Everyday you're doing it more and more and you're never facing what you're running from — whatever that is. The masking gets to be so dangerous. It is excessive. It's unfortunate. My son at a young age asked me what happened to John Bonham. What happened to Elvis Presley? What happened to Marilyn Monroe? I explained to him that all these people who you know as these huge icons or rock stars died because of drugs or alcohol.
"It's sad. For me, I'm a good example -- I had to go through it and experience it and it's possible to still be a bona fide rock star and not be a drug addict. You can get through it. Find other things to get addicted to, like boxing or music, what got you in the business in the first place. Having children was a constant reminder for me to get my shit together."
--Reporting by Chris Gardner