Machine Gun Kelly aims to inspire kids to pick up the guitar with his new album

Machine Gun Kelly performs at O2 Academy Brixton on September 23, 2017 in London, England.
(Image credit: Burak Cingi/Redferns)

When it comes to the next savior of guitar, it’s unlikely rap star Machine Gun Kelly would be the first name to spring to mind - yet those are the kind of ambitions MGK holds for his next album, the Travis Barker-featuring Tickets to My Downfall.

In a new episode of New Music Daily on Apple Music, MGK told Zane Lowe, “I hope that this album inspires some kids to go and pick a guitar up, because it really is uncommon for a 15-year-old to have been to a concert where anyone’s playing an instrument. It is weird.

“But I’ve had plenty of people be like, ‘Dude, this is the first time I’ve ever seen someone play a guitar live - it’s crazy. I wanna do it!’”

Judging from our first taste of the album - Bloody Valentine, which you can hear below - Tickets to My Downfall will feature the kind of solid-gold pop-punk you’d expect from Blink-182 during their early-Noughties heyday - and who themselves inspired a whole generation of guitarists (this writer included).

Make no mistake, Bloody Valentine certainly has the hooks, and if there’s anyone you want perched on the drum stool for such an endeavor, it’s Barker.

But before you scoff at MGK’s aspirations, don’t forget that Taylor Swift has been the guitar hero of her generation - and more visibility for the guitar is the best possible thing for the instrument, lest guitarists destroy the instrument they love. Genre fluidity is the order of the day here - as long as guitar is getting played, here at Guitar World, we are very much onboard.

Of course, Machine Gun Kelly isn’t the first rapper to go smashing genre boundaries this week; Post Malone recently performed a storming 15-song Nirvana cover set and raised nearly $3m for charity. Again, Travis Barker was involved in that endeavor.

Hmm. Could, in fact, the Blink-182 drummer be single-handedly fueling guitar sales? We await his next move with interest….

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.