Re: Travis Barker
I would never say that Travis Barker is an "outstanding", or even the "best" drummer, but I guess a lot of people who dislike this "Travis Barker Hype" do underrate him (yes, I said UNDERrate)
I mean, playing the drums is not about some hard licks or a gorgeous technique, it's about playing for the music, giving the listener a certain feeling, expressing emotions.
And unfortunately, a lot of people have forgotten this.
Travis Barker has no superspecial technique, he's also neither the fastest drummer nor the best technician. But he's able to bring the music he plays in the right way, let it sound good. A good example for this is Blink 182. When they had their old drummer Scott Raynor (until dude ranch), they weren't that popular, I mean they were just one punkrockband in a big pot of bands, nothing special. But when Barker joined them and they recorded the LP "Enema of the State", they actually became famous very fast, and from my own experience the reason is that he made it sound special, sound better than the other equal sounding punkrockbands.
Another example are these remixes. Of course every advanced drummer could play the things he plays there, but I guess he doesn't really care about how hard it is, he just cares about how he can make it sound powerful (like in "Crank That"). A damn hard lick would not fit into this context.
Things like his Solo's, or this hard cymbal smashing - This is just entertainment.
I mean, as like you guys already pointed out, he's an entertainer. Of course he could hit the cymbal like a little girl, but doesn't it look cooler to smash them like he wants to destroy them? For a non-drumming audience I guess yes. And that's what it's about. The majority of listeners aren't musicians themselves, they just want to get a good feeling, they want it to sound good. And his solo's always sound good for a non-musician, even if it is not as hard as a Steve Gadd lick (show the solo's to a bunch of non-musicians and they will all say it sounds damn cool)
So that's his intention, to entertain, to make a band like blink sound interesting and good (of course he can't help you if you hate punkrock ;-)
I am not a Travis Barker fan, but I think he deserves respect for what he does