They’ll now play nine shows Down Under, kicking off on Wednesday, with Brooks Wackerman of Bad Religion and Tenacious D fame behind the drumkit.
Barker was nearly killed in a 2008 plane crash that took the lives of four people including his friends Chris Baker and Che Still. Fellow passenger Adam Goldstein, known as DJ AM, was the only other survivor, but died of a drugs overdose the following year.
He’d been travelling by boat on Blink tours since the band reunited, but last year said he’d fly to Australia since it was the only means of making a tour work, explaining: “I’m contemplating getting knocked out and getting on a plane. I want to overcome that eventually for me. And my kids are scared to death to fly; I want them to witness me overcome it.”
Now he’s admitted he can’t bring himself to do it, reporting: “I still haven’t gotten over the horrific events that took place the last time I flew when my plane crashed and four people were killed, two being my best friends.
“I gave the band my blessing to take another drummer if they still wanted to do the tour without me. I hope to come to Australia again some day perhaps by ship if need be. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a boat that worked with the schedule this time around. Once again I’m sorry to all the fans.”
In a statement Blink say: “The band knew the chances of Travis overcoming his fear of flying would be a challenge, but we wanted to play for our fans in Australia nonetheless. The three of us tried all measures to get us all there in full form.
“Since we now know we have to make the trip without Travis, our friend Brooks Wackerman has stepped in. We love our fans in Australia so cancelling was not an option. We still plan to come and play some kick ass shows.”
In 2011 Barker told how close he’d come to death, revealing he’d nearly lost a hand and a foot as doctors battled to save him, and adding: “mentally I was a basket case”.