Introduction In the life of every band, there comes a time to take stock; to reﬂect on goals set and goals achieved; to offer a silent prayer of thanksgiving for the many blessings so richly bestowed upon us. For Blink-182, this is not the time. In the past, Blink-182 won a Teen Choice Award, a Blockbuster Music Award, and appeared on the MTV Awards ‘00 where they performed “All The Small Things” and won Best Group Video. In Europe they received an MTV Europe Award for Best New Act. They performed on Saturday Night Live and the Tonight Show (twice), appeared in American Pie and opened the Billboard Music Awards. The band also graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Alternative Press (twice), Teen People, Teen and CosmoGirl, just to name a few. It’s safe to say the blink-182 is now a worldwide phenomenon, with their records reaping platinum and their concert tours packing ‘em in all across Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Americas. And earlier this year, blink-182 ventured back to the studio with producer Jerry Finn to record their fourth studio album, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (you should say the title out loud to fully appreciate the subtle, sophisticated humor). By every indication, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket is turning out to be an evolutionary hybrid for blink-182, as hooky as 1999’s multi-platinum Enema of the State, but with all the punk spirit of their MCA debut album Dude Ranch. “This is the hardest, fastest record that we’ve done,” says blink’s Tom DeLonge of the upcoming album. “It’s way more punk-rock than our previous records, and we’re excited about it.” Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (release date 6/12/01) follows Enema of the State and last year’s smash live album The Mark, Tom and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back). The band’s popularity has only increased since their formation in ‘93. They began building momentum with a string of popular 7”s, and in 1994 they released their
ﬁrst full-length album, Cheshire Cat, on Grilled Cheese (a division of Cargo Music). In 1996, they signed a joint-venture record deal with Cargo Music and MCA Records, with their ﬁrst MCA release Dude Ranch (1997) setting the stage for their current success. By the end of 1998, they had emerged as one of the most popular pop-punk bands of the year – the album went platinum in the U.S. and the year-end Billboard Airplay Monitor Report (BDS) stats indicated that “Dammit (Growing Up)” from Dude Ranch earned top spins at many key radio stations. Blink-182 took a break from the road after Christmas ‘98 to begin pre-production for Enema Of The State, recorded in the band’s hometown of San Diego at Signature Sound. Handling production duties was Jerry Finn, whose previous credits include Green Day and Rancid. Enema Of The State shattered the standard set by Dude Ranch. Worldwide sales are now over seven million copies, not to mention the fact that the CD perched high atop the upper-reaches of Billboard’s Top 200 for over a year. The album’s three singles, “What’s My Age Again,” “All The Small Things” and “Adam’s Song” dominated MTV, alternative, rock and Top-40 radio. Their summer tour, where The Mark, Tom & Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back) was recorded, sold a third of a million tickets. The aforementioned album was a 20-track collection of live versions of classic blink-182 hits produced by Jerry Finn, and also contained never-before-released songs, a new studio track, and all the hilarious potty-mouthed one liners a fan could want. In its limited release, The Mark, Tom & Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back) sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. In other Blink-182 news, a massive U.S. summer 2001 tour is on the drawing boards, and a book about the band’s early days, written by Hoppus’ younger sister, Anne, now carries a title, Tales From Beneath Your Mom. It’s scheduled to hit bookstores in mid-September.
The dudes of Blink-182 are changed men. They’re ﬁnishing up their ﬁrst new album since their 2005 split – and taking what they’ve learned during the years apart. Their still-untitled summer release will stretch far beyond catchy, knucklehead pop-punk and ringing guitars, promises singer-guitarist Tom DeLonge. “It’s got huge stadium rock, punk and indierock elements, with drum’n’bass beats. It’s cool,” he tells Rolling Stone. “We wanted to take everything that we’ve done and blend it into one pot, and hopefully not forget who we were along the road.” The SoCal punks who once sang restlessly of heartbreak, boners and “growing up” have experienced a lot over the last half-decade: new bands, TV shows, marriage, family and the 2008 plane crash of drummer Travis Barker, which he barely survived. While Blink-182 had already begun evolving into deeper, darker pop territory on their self-titled 2003 release (including a duet with the Cure’s Robert Smith), the reunited DeLonge, Barker and singer-bassist Mark Hoppus are anxious to demonstrate new growth in a new decade. “I want to make sure we don’t lose that angst,” explains DeLonge, 35, of the band’s original sound of frustration and fast, sunny hooks. “I want to take that and deliver it in a package that’s very modern, using instrumentations and formulas to launch you into different places with music that is not just three-chord pop-punk with riffs. What we can do now is take the essence of what Blink-182 was and really make it into something that has a crescendo. That’s what excites me.” Keeping the new music connected to the band’s snotty, multi-platinum history is Hoppus’s goal. “He’s really aware of who we are and making sure we don’t lose that,” says DeLonge. “Mark says, ‘Yes, but please don’t forget how we got here.’ And I just go, ‘You’re absolutely right!’” The self-produced album will have 10-to-12 new songs and is being recorded at DeLonge’s studio in San Diego and in Los Angeles by Hoppus and Barker. One ﬁnished track is the heartfelt “Ghost on the Danceﬂoor,” which remembers past loves between soaring intros and outros. “Travis said it was really touching him because it reminded him of a friend he lost in his plane crash,” says DeLonge. “It’s cool to see us come together over something like that. That’s the glue in a dysfunctional rock band.” Getting the band together wasn’t anything DeLonge ever expected, but after Barker’s crash, it became inevitable. “That was a massive surprise to me,” he says now. “We all wrote each other off pretty hardcore. It was a pretty dumb break up. After Travis had that tragic event, it was really easy to see that what we were ﬁghting about was no big deal and I wanted him to heal.” The band reconnected musically and emotionally during a 2009 summer reunion tour, though each of them still maintains busy solo projects: DeLonge with his band Angels & Airwaves and Hoppus and Barker in +44. Plus, there’s Barker’s just-released hip-hop album, Give the Drummer Some, and Hoppus’s weekly chat show for Fuse TV, A Different Spin. Even with all that, Blink-182 will once again be a full-time gig in 2011, with a world tour of arenas and festivals behind the new album beginning this summer. “We had a lot of success, but where Blink-182 came from is – we really were some fucked-up kids from the suburbs. For whatever reason, that really resonated during the Nineties with a bunch of other fucked-up kids from the suburbs,” says DeLonge. “Now everyone’s going, ‘OK, fuckers, pick up where you left off but bring your skills to the table.’ It’s good. We have big, big plans.”
‘We really were some fucked-up kids from the suburbs,’ says singer-guitarist Tom DeLonge. ‘That really resonated in the Nineties
Tom Delonge Thomas Matthew “Tom” DeLonge, Jr. (born December 13, 1975) is an American rock musician. He is the guitarist and one of the two lead vocalists for the American pop punk band Blink-182 as well as the guitarist and lead vocalist for the alternative band Angels & Airwaves. He was also the guitarist and lead singer for the post-hardcore band Box Car Racer. Raised in Poway, California, DeLonge developed an interest in punk rock during his teens. After being expelled from Poway High School for drinking at a basketball game, he attended Rancho Bernardo High School where he met Anne Hoppus. Anne Hoppus introduced him to her brother, Mark Hoppus, who also shared an interest in music. Tom also introduced Mark to Scott Raynor. The three formed Blink-182, which became one of the most popular rock groups of the 1990s– 2000s. Travis Barker replaced Scott in later years. The group underwent an indeﬁnite hiatus in 2005, with DeLonge focusing more on his Angels & Airwaves project. Blink-182 reformed in 2009, and is currently recording a new album. Delonge has also pursued non-musical endeavors; he created a social networking website called Modlife, as well as two clothing companies. In 2001, he started Atticus Clothing and Macbeth Footwear with Mark Hoppus. DeLonge sold his shares in Atticus Clothing, and is currently the sole owner of Macbeth Footwear. Tom DeLonge was raised by his mother, Connie, and his father, Thomas Sr., in Poway, California. He has an older brother, Shon, and a younger sister, Kari. His ﬁrst musical instrument was the trumpet, which his parents gave to him for Christmas when he was eleven. DeLonge was an average student in school, saying that “I knew exactly how hard I had to work in school. As long as I got that C, I wouldn’t try one minute extra to get a B. I just cared about skateboarding and music.” He played the guitar for the ﬁrst time at his friend’s house one afternoon, while listening to Bad Religion records. DeLonge got his ﬁrst guitar as a freshman in high school as a 15th birthday present. DeLonge spent much time trying to learn songs by Descendents. Despite his early interest in music, becoming a musician was not his ﬁrst calling. DeLonge originally planned to become a ﬁreﬁghter, and participated in the San Diego Cadet Program. One of DeLonge’s ﬁrst musical endeavors was Big Oily Men, a band of which he was the only constant member. His parents divorced when he was eighteen, which would later become the inspiration for the Blink-182 song “Stay Together for the Kids”. DeLonge was kicked out of Poway High School during his junior year (1991) after being caught drunk at a school basketball game. He then attended Rancho Bernardo High School for the remainder of his high school years. When he returned to Poway High School during his senior year, the students voted him Homecoming King, despite the fact that he was not even on the ballot. DeLonge graduated from high school in 1993. Tom wrote a song called “Dick Lips” based on him getting kicked out of school. Tom directed the music video for Taking Back Sunday’s song “This Photograph Is Proof (I Know You Know)” in 2004. Tom made a cameo appearance as the Burger Jungle drive thru clerk in the movie Idle Hands. Blink-182 is featured in the music documentaries: Riding in Vans with Boys, The Urethra Chronicles, The Urethra Chronicles II: Harder Faster Faster Harder, and upcoming ﬁlm The Blinkumentary. Tom also made a cameo appearance in the blockbuster ﬁlm American Pie with his fellow bandmates in Blink-182, acting in a scene while one of their songs, “Mutt”, played in the background. Tom made a cameo appearance in The Simpsons with fellow bandmates, while “All The Small Things” played in the background. wTom has created his own website called Modlife; the site allows bands and their fans to meet up and interact with each other. The artists can also choose whether to have paid subscriptions for certain items. In 2001, DeLonge started Atticus Clothing and Macbeth Footwear with fellow Blink-182 band member Mark Hoppus. However, after Hoppus sold his shares in both companies after the hiatus of Blink-182, Tom sold his shares in Atticus Clothing and is currently the sole owner of Macbeth Footwear.
“My biggest failure was the breakup of Blink. That was a failure of friendships, businesses and communications. In our hearts, we thought that was forever and gone. What’s funny is, at the time, I looked at it as a triumph. The fact that I was able to make a decision so detrimental to myself and identify and start fresh was pretty victorious”.
Mark Hoppus We just kind of did our own thing and got made fun of by the popular kids. It was kind of like a badge of honor to be an outcast.
Mark Allan Hoppus was born March 15, 1972 in Ridgecrest, California. Mark is one of the founding members of the Punk-Pop band blink-182 and indie/pop-punk band +44. He plays bass guitar, and sings. At the age of ﬁfteen, Hoppus got his ﬁrst bass from his father after helping him paint his house. Mark played bass and sang in the band Pier 69, primarily covering songs by The Cure. He also played in a band called The Attic Children in 1988. He later moved to San Diego to continue his studies in college, where he met Tom Delonge (another blink-182 member) through his little sister, Anne Hoppus. Delonge was a friend of Anne’s boyfriend, Kerry Key, and constantly complained about wanting to join a band. She ﬁnally introduced Hoppus and Delonge in August 1992. Hoppus and DeLonge, with their friend, drummer Scott Raynor, decided to form a band in 1992. They were under the name “Duck Tape” until their third show, when Delonge said he liked another name…”blink”, but an Irish techno band was already using that name and threatened them with a court case, so they changed their name to blink-182. In 1997, after the release of their second album Dude Ranch, blink 182 went on tour with the aquabats (whose drummer at the time was Travis Barker). Scott’s dismissal from blink-182 came when he did not show up for two weeks of shows because of a drinking problem,which another theory included scott returning to university to continue his studies. Travis performed instead, and when Raynor returned, he felt akward and decided to leave the band completely. Barker learned the entire setlist in about forty-ﬁve minutes before a show, and eventually left the Aquabats to become the band’s full-time drummer. In 1999, they released their ﬁrst album with Barker, Enema of the State. They later released three more albums, The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show: The Enema Strikes Back, Take off Your Pants and Jacket, and their un - titled album (usually referred to as blink-182.Travis Barker told a magazine that the album was not self titled but untitled, to represent a newfound maturity in Blink. Many people often mistake the album to be self titled.) Hoppus appeared on MxPx’s eighth studio album Panic on “Wrecking Hotel Rooms,” providing backing vocals. He is also on the track and in the video “I’d do anything” by Simple Plan from their debut CD “No Pads, No Helmet… Just Balls” Hoppus married his girlfriend, Skye Everly, on December 2, 2000. Their son, Jack Hoppus, was born on August 5, 2002. Mark also co-owns several popular punk clothing companys, Loserkids, Macbeth, and Atticus. The name Atticus is taken from a character from the book ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird.’ Mark feels he has not had any inﬂuence in how the companies are being ran in the past year and is in the process of selling his shares, Mark is a record producer. Producing the second album of Minnesota band Motion City Soundtrack, Commit This to Memory and has also been producing the two piece Idiot Pilot. Not to mention managing the band Fenix Tx. At ﬁrst the band said that blink-182 has not broken up, but that they are taking a break to “spend time with their families” and focus on other projects. However, the statement contradicts greatly with the ﬁrst single released by Plus-44, titled “No It Isn’t.” The single was released on 13 December 2005 - the exact date of Tom’s 30th birthday and his projected release of Angels and Airwaves’ ﬁrst material. The starting and closing lines of the song “Please understand/This isn’t just goodbye/This is I can’t stand you” fuel further speculation about the relationship between Hoppus and Delonge, as they haven’t spoken to each other since the hiatus a year ago. This was conﬁrmed when Mark was a guest on Loveline, when a fan asked what happened with Tom. Mark Replied “I haven’t spoken with Tom in a very long time”. Mark also states lots of the songs on the Plus 44 album were very personal, and did invlolve the breakup of Blink 182. Hoppus and Barker have recruited Shane Gallagher and Craig Fairbaugh and have released Plus 44’s debut album, “When Your Heart Stops Beating” on November 14th (Travis Barker’s Birthday) 2006. They are currently touring.
Travis Barker Travis Barker is rapidly becoming more of an inﬂuence on rock music than an inﬂuential musician! His fame and success are rising swiftly on all that he is or undertakes. As a musician, he has and still is on the headlines, whether it is about his fame and success, or his personal life that always has a story with a twist. Barker has gained immense popularity even as a producer, a reality show TV celebrity, a business man and designer. But no matter where his achievements emanates from, Barker is ﬁrst and foremost a drummer of great repute. Born on November 14, 1975 in Fontana, California, Barker got his ﬁrst drum set at the age of four and begun taking drum and trumpet lessons the following year. Though born in a poverty-stricken neighborhood, Barker’s mother was an encouraging force behind young Barker. Barker lost his mother just a day before joining Fontana High School. He was devastated but not discouraged. Before she died, Barker’s mother told him to continue playing drums since he was good at it. With this in mind, Barker made use of every opportunity he got to play drums. While at Fontana High School, he joined the marching band and performed at regional competitions and festivals. In his last year of school, Barker was invited to tour with his ﬁrst band, Feeble. In 1993 Barker graduated from high school and continued playing with Feeble. He also did jobs with bands like The Suicide Machine and The Aquabats. While with The Aquabats, his stage name was Baron Von Tito. In 1997 he recorded one album with them, The Fury of the Aquabats! It is from these engagements that Barker gained much experience as a rock drummer. Until 1998, Barker taught drums and did other odd jobs to support himself. His career got a boost in 1998 when he joined a punk rock group Blink-182. Thought he was still attached to The Aquabats, he had Blink-182 on cards, but there was no ready opening. The break through came when the Blink-182 drummer Scott Raynor was dropped from the group. The group needed a drummer desperately since they had a show that night and so Barker was required to learn over 20 songs in two hours and perform them! The seemingly impossible assignment was accomplished with a remarkable aplomb. This earned him great respect and admiration from the group members and he cemented his place as drummer once and for all. While with Blink-182, the group won various awards including the Teen Choice Award, an award for the Best Group Video. The last award was presented to them at the MTV music award of 2000 where they also performed their hit song, “All Small Things”. The group has also won the MTV Europe Award for Best New Act and was invited to perfume at the Saturday Night Live and twice on Tonight Show. Apart from their exploits in music, the band has made an appearance in the movie American Pie and was once honored to be the opening act at the Billboard Awards. (this is the discarded part) won a Teen Choice Award, a Blockbuster Music Award, and appeared on the MTV Awards 2000 where they performed “All The Small Things” and won Best Group Video. In Europe, they received an MTV Europe Award for Best New Act. They have performed on Saturday Night Live and the Tonight Show (twice), appeared in the hit movie American Pie and opened the Billboard Music Awards. Blink 182 has also been on the cover of music and lifestyle magazines such as Rolling Stones, Alternative Press and Teen People. The band was one of the greatest punk rock bands in the world and sold millions of records world wide by the time they disbanded in
2005. (this part has been redone fully as above) The band has also been featured on the covers of music and lifestyle magazines like Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, and Teen People. Blink-182 is a one of the greatest punk rock bands in the world. Their records sales towed above multi-platinum status till their disbandment in 2005. Blink 182’s popularity spread like wild ﬁre especially after their ﬁrst full length album ‘Cheshire Cat on Grilled Cheese’ in 1994. Due to this, their concerts’ tickets were all-sold-out wherever they performed. The band’s hit album ‘Enema of the State’ with Barker as the drummer that has caused quite a stir in the rock music industry. This album was followed by Take off Your Pants and Jacket in 2001 and Blink-182 in 2003. The group ﬁnally split up in 2005 after being together for seven years. With the split of Blink-182, Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus started a new group named Plus 44. The group lead singer is Carol Heller of Get The Girl. Barker has also done several side projects, notable among them the ‘Box Car Racer’, which he teamed up with Tom DeLonge, his Blink-182 band mate. Barker has revealed that he has a strong liking for hip hop. For that he, Tim Armstrong of Rancid and Rob Aston have done a side project called Tranplants which is a hip-hop induced punk band. The group has produced studio recordings and two albums, one self titled and the other called Haunted Cities. Barker has also worked with the Black Eyed Peas, Pink and Pharrell Williams. He appears on Bun B’s album, Trill (2005) with Skinhead Rob for the bonus track, “Late night creepin”. In 2006 he was a producer on T.I.’s fourth album, King. In 2006, he played drums for several songs on Avril Lavigne’s third album. He also did a duet with Rihanna on a remix of her hit song, “Umbrella”, and also appeared in her video. In 2006, Travis and Rob Aston joined Paul Wall in forming a new hip-hop group called Expensive Taste. Barker has been doing other businesses too apart from music. He has his own clothing company, Famous stars and Straps and in 2004 started the LaSalle Records. He also has Wahoo’s Fish Taco restaurant in Norco, California. He has co-designed and endorsed a number of products including Zildjian cymbals. Barker is married to Shanna Moakler, a former Miss USA
though they have already ﬁled for divorce. They nevertheless have been stars in a reality TV show, Meet the Barkers. He has also had a short time relationship with Paris Hilton On September 19, 2008, Barker was injured when the Learjet 60, which he boarded, crashed outside Columbia, South Carolina.  The jet was headed for Van Nuys, California. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane was departing the airport when air trafﬁc controllers saw sparks emanating from the plane. It went off the runway, smashed through a fence, crossed a nearby road, slammed into an embankment and caught ﬁre.  Barker had performed the night before at an event with Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell, Gavin DeGraw and DJ AM. Barker and DJ AM were transported to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia, where they were both listed in critical condition. Four others were killed in the crash, three males and one female. With autopsies being performed to identify the bodies, two of the deceased were crew members, and two were passengers, including Chris Baker, Barker’s personal assistant who often appeared in Meet The Barkers, and Charles Still, Barker’s security guard. On September 21, Dr. Fred Mullins, medical director of the Burn Center reported that Barker sustained second and third degree burns on his lower body and torso and was expected to fully recover within a year.  Barker stopped his vegetarian diet and began eating meat to increase his protein intake and possibly speed up healing of his burns.  Barker survived the incident, enabling him to return to the recording studio in November 2008 with long time friend and Keys to the Cadillac drummer Mike Barbalaci. On his ﬁrst television interview since the crash, he said to MTV, “I’m already playing my drums again, and I’m already back in the studio”. Elaborating by stating that the return to the studio “was like riding a bike. It was really exciting to know I still have my chops. It still felt good... I still can make it around the kit. Everything felt right, so I’m thankful to be able to play
The only way is
After a four-year hiatus, punk-pop kings Blink-182 shocked the rock world when they announced they were getting back together. But how did the trio heal the rift between them? Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge open up…
On the morning of September 20, 2008, Mark Hoppus woke up to a call from a close friend. This friend wanted to know if Mark was okay and if there was anything he could do to help. Confused, Mark asked what he was talking about. “Oh my god,” said the voice on the other end of the line, “you don’t know. You have to turn on the news, Mark.” When he did, Mark’s blood ran cold. Rolling across the TV screen was the news that his friend and +44 bandmate Travis Barker was critically ill in hospital, following a Learjet crash in Columbia, South Carolina, which had claimed four lives, among them Travis’ 29-year-old personal assistant Chris Barker and his 25-year-old security guard Charles Still. The drummer’s own life hung in the balance. “It was horrible, terrible,” says Mark, recalling that fateful morning. “There were no words at all to describe all the feelings I had. It was just so…horriﬁc.” By mid afternoon, Mark was on a plane to Augusta, Georgia. That same evening he sat by Travis’ bedside in the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital, still in shock, still unable to take in the horror of the situation. Back in San Diego, readying his band Angels & Airwaves for a ﬁve week U.S. tour with Weezer, Travis and Mark’s former Blink-182 bandmate Tom DeLonge “freaked out” when he heard the news. As media organizations sought to solicit a statement from him about the tragedy., Tom poured his thoughts instead into a letter to his erstwhile colleague, letting him know he was thinking of him and praying for him. Upon receiving the letter, Travis called his old friend from hospital and the pair spoke at length. A few days later, Mark and Tom spoke too, for the ﬁrst time in almost four years. And as Travis’ wounds slowly began to heal in his Georgia hospital bed, so too did the bitter divisions between the three men who together had soundtracked a generation’s adolescence with their band Blink-182 When Blink-182 announced their decision to go on an indeﬁnite hiatus” on February 22, 2005, they did so as one of the world’s most successful pop-punk bands, having achieved over 25 million album sales worldwide during their ﬁve-album career. Though the use of the word ‘hiatus’ and the wording of the band’s ofﬁcial statement hinted at the possibility of future collaborations – “While there is no set plan for the band to begin working together again, no-one knows what tomorrow may bring.” it read, coyly – few truly believed that the announcement spelled out anything other than the band’s permanent dissolution: after all, post-hardcore ﬁ gureheads At The Drive-In and Fugazi had announced their own ‘hiatuses’ in 2001 and 2002 respectively, and neither band has shown the slightest inclination of returning to the global stage. Intially, Blink played down any suggestions that their self-enforced break signaled a schism in their long-time friendships – “I love those dudes, they’re my brothers,” Travis told LA radio station KROQ in the immediate aftermath of the split. “I wanted to clear up the rumours of us ﬁghting with each other of hating each other. It’s just not true/ We want to enjoy ourselves and regroup and write a record when it’s the right time” – but cracks soon began appearing in the facade when it came time to promote new projects, namely Tom’s band Angels & Airwaves and Mark and Travis’ +44. In his ﬁrst major post-Blink interview, Tom promised that, within two years, Angels & Airwaves would be “the biggest rock act in the world”, saying of his former friends, “when money and fame entered into the equation, and we were all growing up and having kids, I think we all just grew apart.” Mark retaliated by saying “your selﬁsh nature is destroying everything that the three of us, our crew, and everyone else worked so hard to do.” Hopes of a Blink reunion seemed to fade further into the distance with each subsequent interview. “Did I even envisage the day coming when we’d be back together?,” muses Tom today, down a static-ﬂecked phone line, as Angels & Airwaves’ tour bus speeds towards Las Vegas for the third-to-last date on their U.S. tour. “In my own mind I did not see this as a reality, no. But then
I’ve also found that I’ve been wrong in my life a number of times about things that I get very emotional about.” Answering the same question at home in LA a few days later, Mark is a little more ambiguous. “I never really knew,” he admits, ” because ultimately it wasn’t my decision to put a stop to Blink-182. And people always asked me, when Blink wasn’t together, if I thought Blink would ever play together again, and my honest answer was that I could see us never reforming or I could see reforming the next day. It just needed everyone’s head to be in the same space at the same time. “Even before Travis’ plane crash, I think all of us were in the mindspace that we’d worked through whatever issues we’d had before and, not even thinking about the band, I think we were all in a space where we wanted to put all of that negative energy behind us and at least reconnect as humans and friends,” Mark adds. “And obviously after Travis’ plane crash any of the arguments or bad feelings toward each other went out of window.” “No-one cared about any of the other shit that had happened,” Tom agrees, “We all just wanted Travis to get better.” In the wake of Travis’ accident, the ﬁrst conversation between Mark and Tom in four years was not an awkward one. The pair spent two hours talking on the phone, talking about old times and what had transpired in their lives since. Rumours of a possible Blink reunion began to hit the internet as soon as the trio conﬁrmed in interviews that they’d been spending time together once more. In November 2008, Kerrang! conﬁdently stated that the trio were back together as Blink-182 and on February 8, 2009, the news was made ofﬁ cial from the stage of the Staples Cener in Los Angeles, when Blink appears at the Grammy Awards and Travis announced, “We used to play music together, and we decided we’re going to play music together again.” In truth, the band had already been playing music together again, knocking around ideas in the studio for new songs for Blink’s forthcoming sixth album. According to both Mark and Tom, the sessions felt natural and sounded great – “awesome” is the word Tom uses, in fact – but the trio called a halt to the session in early spring before any full songs were written. “It had been so long that we’d played as a band that we didn’t want to sound like three separate individuals,” reasons Mark, “we wanted to sound like a group again and feel like a group again.” A summer U.S. arena tour – with support coming from high proﬁle acolytes including Fall Out Boy, The All-American Rejects, Panic! At The Disco and Taking Back Sunday – proved the perfect opportunity for the trio to bond further, and as friendships were restored, it also served to conﬁrm just how much their band meant to generation of rock fans. “That the band has actually gotten bigger since we’ve been away absolutely blew my mind,” state Tom humbly, his voice raising in pitch and volume. “Shit, we were doing 40,000 and 50,000 seats in some cities which is insane. Knowing that that kind of support is still there for us has only strengthened our ambitions.” Work on the new studio album – the followup to 2003’s eponymous last outing – begins in earnest this week, in the band’s own studios in LA and
San Diego. Following the death of the band’s longtime producer Jerry Finn in August 2008, Mark predicts that the band will self produce the album, though the option to bring in outside help remains open. Asked to describe the early sketches of songs ﬂeshed out, already Tom uses the words ‘fast’, ‘huge-sounding’ and ‘totally futuristic’ and both he and Mark insist that the time spent apart has only enhanced their capabilities as a unit. “We’re not going back to 1993, but we’ll be playing with spirit and energy people expect from Blink-182,” says Tom, “But the palette of what we can do now is so much broader. Mark has done so much music with other people over the past few years, Travis is always gonna be the best drummer on earth, and I’d like to think that the last three Angels & Airwaves albums have shown that my writing has developed too. So now, we feel we can do anything. People are gonna love it.” Before the album emerges however, there’s the small matter of Blink-182’s return to these shores, with headlining slots at the Reading and Leeds festivals and arena dates in Scotland and Ireland. When they look ahead to the prospect, Mark and Tom couldn’t be more excited. “The fact Travis is literally taking a bus for four days across the United States and then getting on a boat and traveling for a week to get to you guys is a testament to how dedicated we are and [how] excited we are,” notes Mark. “I can’t believe we’re headlining Reading and Leeds,” Tom laughs. “It’s such a gigantic honour. I’ve spent so long building up Angels & Airwaves that it’s not in my head that I’m in a giant band, so it’s pretty crazy. I’m really excited that your readers care so much and I think it’s gonna be a fun time.” So what can we expect from the all-new, all-ﬁredup Blink-182 in August? “Expect a lot of fun, a lot of bad words and a really good time,” laughs Mark. “In some ways, it seems like the last ﬁve years never happened,” he adds soberly, “But it seems healthier now than it did. We always appreciated what we had, but when you’re caught up in this life you can lose a little bit of perspective. So [to] go away and do other things and then come back, makes us realize how really truly amazing Blink-182 is to the three of us. And that people out there still share that feeling too makes things even better. “Despite all the animosity and bad press back and forth at one another and bad blood, it really was an easy conversation.” says Mark. An arrangement was made for the trio to meet up at Mark and Travis’ LA studio in October 2008. As the mood was relaxed, friendly and convivial, none of them initially wanting to acknowledge the elephant in the room, namely their former band. It was Tom, ﬁnally, who broached the subject. “He said, ‘Well, how would you guys feel about the possibility of playing music together again?’,” recalls Mark, “and I said, ‘I think we absolutely should, we should put Blink back together and do what we’ve done since day one.’ I think everyone had that in their hearts and we moved forward from there.”
wait to come Back
After being expelled from Poway High School for showing up drunk at a basketball game, Tom DeLonge attended Rancho Bernardo High School where he became friends with Anne Hoppus. DeLonge often expressed the desire to be in a band, so in August 1992 Anne introduced him to her brother Mark Hoppus, who also wanted to be in a band. The two played for hours in DeLonge’s garage, showing each other songs they had previously written, and writing new songs together – one of which would become the track “Carousel”. To impress DeLonge, Hoppus climbed to the top of a streetlight outside of DeLonge’s home – however, he broke both ankles on the way down, resulting in being in crutches for the next few weeks.  The two decided they needed to ofﬁcially start a band, so DeLonge recruited friend Scott Raynor, whom he had met at a party. The three began playing together and called themselves Duck Tape, until DeLonge thought of the name Blink. The band practiced constantly, which angered Hoppus’s girlfriend.  She told him he had to choose between the band and her, so he left the band just as it was starting. DeLonge then informed Hoppus that he borrowed a 4-track from a friend and he and Raynor were using it to make a demo tape. Upon hearing this, Hoppus decided he would leave his girlfriend and return to the band. The demo tape, titled Flyswatter, was recorded in May 1993 in Raynor’s bedroom. The 4-track used to record the material resulted in poor sound quality. According to Hoppus only a small number of demos were released, primarily to their family and friends. The same year, the band recorded another demo tape, this one untitled and known simply as Demo #2. It featured rerecordings of a few Flyswatter songs and also included new songs, some of which would go on to be re-recorded and re-released on the band’s albums Buddha, Cheshire Cat, and Dude Ranch. Buddha, their third and ﬁ nal demo, was recorded in 1993 over three rainy nights on a 24 track recording system at Double Time Studios in San Diego, California, according to the CD’s liner notes. It was released on cassette in 1993 with around 1,000 copies of the tape produced by Filter Records, an independent record company headed by Hoppus’s boss. The album was one of the few Blink-182 productions released with the band name as Blink. A remastered version was released on Kung Fu Records in 1998 (with three of the
legal action by an Irish pop band of the same name. To avoid a legal dispute, the band appended “182” to the end of their name. In 1994, the band released a split EP with Iconoclasts titled Short Bus. The 3-track EP They Came to Conquer... Uranus was released the next year. The band moved to Encinitas, California in 1996, where they would record their second album Dude Ranch with producer Mark Trombino. Blink-182 recorded the album under Cargo Records, but did well on U.S. modern rock charts, so they signed with MCA in 1998 in order to handle increased distribution. The album was released in 1997 and was relatively commercially successful, selling 1.5 million copies worldwide. The single “Dammit” became one of Blink’s biggest hits, and the band received a small degree of mainstream success. Thanks to the success of Dude Ranch, Blink-182 embarked on multiple worldwide tours during 1997 and 1998. Midway through a U.S. tour in 1998, original drummer Scott Raynor was asked to leave the band. Various conﬂicting reasons have circulated the Internet for years; a largely popular explanation is that Raynor had a serious drinking problem and was asked to leave. When he agreed to abstaining from alcohol, bassist Mark Hoppus and guitarist Tom DeLonge doubted his sincerity and he was ﬁred from the band through a telephone call. In a 2004 interview, Hoppus described the touring for Dude Ranch as “rough”, with DeLonge adding “That was the worst tour ever. At that time, our drummer had a drinking problem. One show he dropped his sticks 10 times. It was so disturbing to see someone ruining himself.” Raynor, in a 2004 interview with AbsolutePunk, stated the reason for his departure was his desire to stay in a small non-mainstream band against the increasing popularity Blink-182 was achieving. Hoppus and DeLonge asked drummer Travis Barker of Blink-182’s support band The Aquabats to ﬁll in for Raynor for the remainder of the tour. He was later offered the position of a full-time drummer and consequently left The Aquabats. Barker reportedly learned the entire setlist of the tour (which consisted of 20 songs) in less than one day. The band entered the studio in October 1998 to begin work on what would become their breakthrough album, Enema of the State.
original tracks omitted and two new tracks added). Early days in the band included carrying and tuning their gear at every gig and living in a van.The band’s ﬁrst goal was to headline SOMA, a San Diego all-ages club only (then) capable of holding 1,500 people. After eventually playing other small clubs in Southern California, Hoppus recalls “[we] worked our way up from there.” DeLonge called clubs constantly in San Diego asking for a spot to play, as well as calling up local high schools convincing them that Blink was a “motivational band with a strong anti-drug message” in hopes to play at an assembly or lunch The band gained notoriety for humorous stage shows and were eventually signed to a small record label named Cargo Music, where they released their ﬁrst full-length album, Cheshire Cat, in February 1994. Recorded in three days and fueled by both new songs and re-recordings of songs from previous demos, Blink began to gain fame outside of California throughout 1995 and 1996. “M+M’s” and “Wasting Time” from Cheshire Cat were released as singles, but both failed to chart. Although the album never made a commercial impact, it is cited by bands and fans as an iconic release. Blink-182 backstage at a concert in 1997; (left to right: exdrummer Scott Raynor, Mark Hoppus, and Tom DeLonge. Shortly after the release of the album, the band was threatened with
After ﬁnishing up production of Enema of the State with new producer Jerry Finn, the album was released in June 1999 and became a huge success, largely due to popular singles “What’s My Age Again”, “All the Small Things”, and “Adam’s Song”. The singles led to an incredible amount of airtime on music video channels, bringing the band to a new audience. The band’s popularity soared to new horizons and the band made a cameo in the teen comedy American Pie (1999). A home video titled The Urethra Chronicles (1999) featured behind-the-scenes information, and was released in November 1999. “Adam’s Song” caused a stir in 2000 when it was set to replay indeﬁnitely on a stereo as 17-year-old Columbine survivor Greg Barnes hanged himself in the garage of his family’s home. Enema of the State would go on to sell over 15 million copies, solidifying Blink-182 as one of the biggest pop punk acts of the era. The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!) was released in November 2000, a live album based on tracks recorded in November 1999 in both San Francisco and Universal City, California. Although the album’s name references Blink-182’s highly publicized summer 2000 tour (The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show Tour), the album was actually recorded on the Loserkids Tour (during the tour’s arena shows early on in the tour) in 1999. The album quickly went out of print. Two singles were released from the album, the sole
“We respect each other now and thats the most important thing”
studio track “Man Overboard” and a live version of “Dumpweed”. The band continued its commercial success with Take Off Your Pants and Jacket in 2001, which was a small change from their direction in Enema of the State. The album sold more than 350,000 copies in the ﬁrst week. It contains the hit singles “The Rock Show”, “First Date” and “Stay Together for the Kids”, while “Anthem Part 2” also received radio airplay. The album has sold approximately 4.5 million records worldwide, while going double platinum in the US. The album was released on three different CDs: yellow, red and green versions, each one featuring two unique bonus tracks. A European tour in winter 2001 was delayed in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Rescheduled dates in early 2002 were also canceled due to DeLonge’s back problems. In 2001, Mark Hoppus’ sister released a book about the genesis of the band entitled Blink-182: Tales From Beneath Your Mom. [Blink-182 co-headlined the Pop Disaster Tour with Green Day during summer 2002, which was documented on the DVD Riding in Vans with Boys.
Blink-182 performing live in the Middle East in summer 2003.During time off from Blink-182, DeLonge and Barker formed side project Box Car Racer with David Kennedy of Hazen Street. Created to experiment with darker ideas not “Blink-friendly”, the band recorded and released their debut album Box Car Racer in May 2002 to commercial success. The album is a salute to DeLonge’s post-hardcore inﬂ uences, such as Fugazi and Refused. Meanwhile, Barker was invited to join rap rock outﬁt Transplants and accepted; the band’s eponymous debut album being released in October 2002. After ﬁnishing up the side-projects near Christmas of 2002, the band regrouped and began production of their next album. The band rented a house in San Diego to record the album, which took much longer than expected, causing the band to be kicked out of the house before ﬁ nishing the album. Whereas previous Blink-182 albums took less than three months to record, the new record would take Blink nearly all of 2003 to complete. The band embarked on a short tour in the Middle East in summer 2003, as well as co-headlining Britain’s Reading and Leeds festivals for the ﬁrst time, alongside Linkin Park where they performed new songs. The album was in production so late that ﬁ nal mixes were still being judged by Hoppus, DeLonge, and Barker in early October 2003. DeLonge described the ﬁnal days of mixing the album as “crazy stressful”, with “literally hours to turn [the album] to have it come it out on time.” Blink-182’s eponymous ﬁfth studio album was released on November 18, 2003 through Geffen Records, the band’s ﬁrst with the label. The album was commercially successful (bolstered by hit singles “Feeling This” and “I Miss You”) and received favorable reviews from music critics, who praised the band’s new direction and sound. The album represented a more “mature” Blink-182 than seen in the past, with the band infusing experimentalist elements into their usual pop punk sound, inspired by lifestyle changes (the band members all became fathers before the album was released) and side-projects (Box Car Racer and Transplants). Shortly before the release of Blink-182, the band embarked on the “DollaBill” tour, named for the ticket cost of $1 each. They played ten club shows throughout the US and one in Canada. Barker broke his right foot after a gig in Melbourne, Australia in March 2004, forcing the band to cancel several shows there and Japan. Blink-182 toured with No Doubt in the summer of 2004. Two more singles from Blink-182, “Down” and “Always”, were issued during 2004, the latter celebrating the band’s longevity. However, tensions were arising in the band as they completed a European tour in December 2004
We just write down a bunch of words, and pray to god they make sense. And if we don’t, it doesn’t matter, were artists
Its amazing to say “ Hi I’m Mark from Blink 182”
A North American tour, in support of Blink-182 and “Always” was planned for spring 2005. Tensions, however, arose between the band members as DeLonge expressed his desire to cancel the tour and enter a half-year respite from touring. At a band meeting which coincided with the beginning of Blink-182’s ﬁnal European tour, DeLonge expressed his desire to spend more time with his family. He also declined recording a new album. “The conversation got heated and lasted for two or three hours. It went around in circles, and the end result was the canceled tour, with no idea when we would be doing anything with Blink-182 again.” During the band’s six-month break, Hoppus expressed his desire for the band to perform at Music for Relief’s Concert for South Asia, a beneﬁt show to aid victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. DeLonge agreed to perform, and the band subsequently began rehearsing for the event. Further tensions, however, arose between the band members during rehearsals, and they began arguing about the band’s “forced break, the greatest hits record, and the possibility of recording the next album.” DeLonge stated that he would only record his contributions to the band’s next studio album at his home in San Diego, and that Hoppus and Barker could send him ProTools ﬁles to work on. Regarding the band’s ﬁnal moments together as a band, Hoppus states that: “One person was dictating everything. We told Tom this. Things got hot. [...] We said, ‘You are trying to control everything, and it’s wrong.’ He said he couldn’t be a part of anything he couldn’t control, and he left the rehearsal space.” DeVoe phoned Hoppus and Barker the following day to tell them that DeLonge had quit the band, stating: “As of today, Tom DeLonge is no longer a member of Blink-182.” DeLonge subsequently changed his telephone number to avoid discussing the matter with Hoppus and Barker. In 2010, whilst reﬂecting upon the band’s break-up, Tom Delonge stated that: “My biggest failure was the breakup of Blink. That was a failure of friendships, businesses and communications. In our hearts, we thought that was forever and gone. What’s funny is, at the time, I looked at it as a triumph.” Following the subsequent speculation as to whether the band had, in fact, broken up, Blink-182 announced that they had entered an “indeﬁnite hiatus”. Following the band’s break-up, DeLonge founded a new band, entitled Angels & Airwaves. The band, which still continues to record and tour, have thus far released three studio albums: We Don’t Need to Whisper (2006), I-Empire (2007) and Love (2010) with Love: Part II to be released in 2011. Hoppus and Barker continued working together in a new band, +44. They released their debut album, When Your Heart Stops Beating, in 2006. Discussing +44 Hoppus was stated that he would like to make a new album with the band sometime in the future. Geffen Records released a Greatest Hits compilation album on November 1, 2005. A previously unreleased The Only Ones cover song, “Another Girl, Another Planet”, was included. The song was used as the theme song to Barker’s reality television show, Meet the Barkers. This track would be the ﬁnal studio recording completed by the band prior to their hiatus. The album reached #6 on the Billboard 200 in the United States. On August 21, 2008, the band’s frequent producer Jerry Finn died of a cerebral hemorrhage. This event would become one of the catalysts for DeLonge to begin communicating with both Hoppus and Barker again in September 2008. On September 19, 2008, Travis Barker barely survived a plane crash after performing an event with Jane’s Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell (see 2008 South Carolina Learjet 60 crash). Adam Goldstein (better known as DJ AM) and Barker were the only survivors. Barker sustained second and third degree burns on his lower body and torso and expected to recover within a year. While in the hospital, Mark Hoppus and former bandmate Tom DeLonge visited, allowing the band to reconcile and patch up their differences. Regarding Barker’s incident, in 2010 Tom DeLonge stated that “if that accident hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t be a band. Plain and simple. That was fate.
“if that accident hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t be a band. Plain and simple. That was fate.”
We’re taking a break and letting everybody be creative on their time off and have fun and come back when it;s the right time.
Blink 182 announced on Tuesday, February 22 that they are going on an Indeﬁnate Hiatus, and currently have no plans to work together again. “for over a decade, Blink 182 have toured, recorded and promoted non-stop, all while trying to balance relationships with family and friends. To that end, the band has decided to go on an indeﬁnate hiatus to spend some time enjoying the fruits of their labours with loved ones,” reads a statement of the bands management. “ While their is no set plan for the band to begin working together again, no-one knows what tomorrow may bring.” Rumours speculating about a split ﬁrst appeared on the internet after guitarist Tom Delonge, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker pulled out of music for Relief beneﬁt show in California on February 19, giving only a vague explanation blaming “unexpected circumstances” for their no-show on their ofﬁcal website: www.blink182. com. However, Dave Navarro, who played the gig with his group Camp Freddy, posted a comment about Blink’s ‘split’ on his blog at www.6767.com in the aftermath of the show. Although there have been no reports of the conﬂict leading up to the pop-punk trio’s split, the band struggled with creative tensions prior to the writing and recording of their last album, 2003’s ‘Blink 182.’ ‘ The new york daily news’ printed allegations from a ‘music industry insider’ claiming “I love those dudes,” he added, reffering that the band were tired of a fueding over song to his Blink bandmates, “ They are my brothers. wirting credits, money and control of their musiThe rumours of us ﬁghting with each other or cal direction. hating each other are just not true. Right now, “Ofﬁcially they are claiming they are on everyone’s life is calling for something else. We an ‘Indeﬁnate Hiatus’, “ the source told the newswant to enjoy ourselves and regroup and write a paper. “But they are done” record when its the right time.” Barker however, phoned Los Angeles’ Seeking to explain why the trio cancelled alternative radio station K-ROQ on February 24 their appearance at the Tsunami beneﬁt gig at to attempt to set the record straight about the the last minuate, the drummer hinted that relaband’s shock split. tions between band members were strained in “its healthy to take a break” he said on the weeks leading up to the show. air. “We’re taking a break and letting everybody “We pulled out because there was so be creative on their time off and have fun and much going on in the band at the time,” Barker come back when it’s time and ready and right” revealed mysteriously. “ It didn’t seem like a healthly time for us to be playing in shows. We needed that Hiatus to start right away. We wish things could have been different.”
“By the time we started talking to each other again there had been so much water under the bridge and so much said about one another, so many bad memories and bad vibes, that we just kind of let it all go”
At the 51st Grammy Awards ceremony on February 8, 2009, all three members of the band appeared onstage for the ﬁrst time since December 2004. Barker announced the band’s reformation, stating that “we used to play music together, and we decided we’re going to play music together again,” with Hoppus adding, “Blink-182 is back!” A message appeared on the band’s website the same day stating “To put it simply, We’re back. We mean, really back. Picking up where we left off and then some. In the studio writing and recording a new album.” The band also updated their “smiley face” logo to feature six arrows instead of the previous ﬁve.
Blink-182 performing live in 2009. The summer tour was at ﬁrst mentioned during the reformation, though no concrete information was given until April 7, 2009 when website buzznet.com stated that Weezer would be supporting Blink-182 on their upcoming tour. The May 28, 2009 issue of Rolling Stone magazine later added Fall Out Boy, in addition to Weezer, as an opener for the tour. Ofﬁcial tour dates were announced on May 15, 2009 on Billboard.com; the well-received tour lasted from July 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada and ended on October 12 in Santa Barbara, California. Several additional dates were added to make up for the shows cancelled due to DJ-AM’s passing. The band also toured the USA and Europe in 2010, including headline performances at the prestigious Reading and Leeds Festivals. The band is also working on a documentary movie, currently titled The Blinkumentary, about their recent reformation, recording of their new album, and both reunion tours. The trio returned in early September 2010 to plays the Epicenter 2010 Festival, and to begin preparation for the beginning of Mark Hoppus’ new weekly television series debuting September 16, 2010, A Different Spin, and the recording of their new record. In November 2010, it was announced that the band would embark on another UK tour, starting on July 8 and continuing to July 18 with more venues than their last tour of the UK. This tour will include a headline performance at Scottish festival T in the Park 2011. More tour dates were announced for Europe as well. During an interview after their reunion announcement, Travis conﬁrmed that they had been in the studio since December 2008 writing and recording new material for a sixth studio release. In February 2011, Travis Barker reportedly claimed that the new album should be out “by the end of this year or early next year” at a signing before appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, pushing the release date of the album back another few months, as Mark Hoppus had previously stated that he wanted the album to originally be out in either April or May. However, Travis Barker recently posted on his ofﬁcial Twitter account that the Blink-182 album will be out this summer. In an MTV interview in February 2011, Barker conﬁrmed that the new album is slated for a summer release, stating “I think we’ll turn in our album in June or July, honestly... It’s coming close, to the point where these are completed songs and they’re not going to change. These are album versions.” In an interview with Rocksound Magazine, Tom DeLonge said the record will “absolutely” be out in time for the U.K. tour this summer and that Blink “will not tour if there is no record”
well, when band break up it’s not the same thing as walking out of your fast food job. And now that we’re back together, we know the value of this. now theres no ego, no pride, nothing getting in the way.
Blink 182 could have had a neat Hollywood ending to their carreer. Were Tom Delonge, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker to have comissioned their own ﬂ y-on-the-wall Anvil-style ‘rockumentary’ about Blink’s recent history, a canny director might have considered the evening of August 29,2010, a perfect point which to wrap the project. When Tom walked off the Reading festival stage that night he was, by his own admission, and emotional mess elated, humbled, proud, and astonished. Five years previously he’d walked out on the band he’d started in high school: Now Blink 182 had just played the biggest headline show of their career to an estimated 100,000 people. Five years ago he turned his back on his best friends in the world, now there were hugs, tears and broad smile as the trio celebrated a genuinely remarkable, wholly truimphant comeback. For once in his life, Tom was literally speechless. Fade to black, roll end credits. There wouldnt have been a dry eye in the house. Except the Blink 182 story didnt end there. Instead in September 2010, a new chapter began as Mark, Travis and tom began work on their bands sixth studio album. In some respects, in taking this step, the trio are on a hiding to nothing, though happy to pocket huge fees for live performances, none of the iconic rock bands who’ve reformed in the recent years - Rage against the machine, Faith no more, Pixies, Sex pistols - have commited to recording new material, wary perhaps of sullying their legacy. The ever conﬁdent Tom has no such fears for Blink 182. “we’re not just recording songs here” he insists. “We’re try-
ing to make a masterpiece” Blink 182 arent in postion to play us any new material. None of the twelve they’ve earmarked for inclusion on their new album, scheduled for release in summer, are ﬁnished at this point. “Tom and Mark came to my house a couple of weeks after I got out of hospital from the plane crash.” Travis says “ and immediately it was dick jokes again. It was like a lightbulb. Those jokes have never sounded funnier.” “If I was a Blink fan and I could have looked into the future and fastforwarded myself into 2010 to hear what the band was working on. I would be stoked” Says Travis. The one word that crops up most frequently in the trio’s conversation is ‘respect’ “We’ve all learned to be respectful of one another” says Mark Ironically, when they ﬁrst got back into making music together in October 2008, their friendship restored in the wake of a horroric plane crash which almost claimed Travis’s life, their conscious efforts show respect for another almost crippled their comeback before it had begun. The recording of the sixth Blink 182 album is progressing in a rather unorthodox fashion. There is no producer overseeing the progression - the band’s long time collaborator Jerry Finn passed away in August 2008 - instead each band member has his own dedicated sound engineer. They are using not one, but two studios simultaneously, bouncing tracks between here and Tom’s studio in San Diego, and most unusually, the three musicians are rarely in the same room together. They’ll get together once a week at most to bounce around ideas then retreat to work on parts individually. There are obvious, logistical reasons for this- all three men have famillies, and a raft of other commitments beyond this band, Mark has to be in New York every week to ﬁlm his TV show. A different spin with Mark Hoppus. Tom is gearing up for release of Angels & Airwaves ‘ ambitious Love movie/album package. Travis is presently working on two other albums - his debut solo album Give the Drummer Some and a new Transplants album - in addition to contributing to his rapper friend Young Jeezy’s forthcoming album. The drummer is currently working 20 hour days. There will be no Songs explicity referencing Blink 182’s break-up or reunion on the band’s new album. Mark has writtenlyrics dealing with breakdowns in communication and trust, and tackled themes of isolation and confusion, but he swears these are not speciﬁc to anything his band has gone through. Tom too have shied away from ranking over Blink’s history. “if your inspired to pick up a guitar and write a song about a very speciﬁc emotion thats one thing” he states, “but it’s another to try and force shit.” Theres no sense that past events are an elephant in the room, but understandly both men are keen to move forward. When asked to reﬂect upon the hurt and loss he felt in the years he was separated from his best friend, Tom speaks slowly and chooses his words with surgical prescision. “Bands are weird animals,” he says haltingly, “if your in a real rock band normally you’re a fucked up individual who came from a weird space, a weird family, or a weird childhood and you need to go be a group of those fucked up duded together and you’re all friends and its family, a tribe. Then you grow up and become and adult, with all the same issues, but you have this little empire, this precious creation and it demands investment and care and it’s your life. So when that falls apart... well, when band break up it’s not the same thing as walking out of your fast food job. And now that we’re back together, we know the value of this. now theres no ego, no pride, nothing getting in the way. The most striking thing you notice in Blink 182is just how precious this band is to them. Once upon a time, when they were dizzied and disorientated by success and fame, perhaps believing the hype and bullshit more then they’d every admit, this might not have been the case.
Blink 182 are currently putting the finishing touches to their first album in nearly eight years one of the most anticipated releases of 2011. Mark, Travis and Tom in their LA studio, we Discovered that while they may be older and wiser, they’re still the blink 182 we know and love...
“Once we played the music it took us back to being teenagers again, and over the course of two years we’ve rebuilt outselves to right back where were were but stronger” - tom Delonge
The band gained notoriety for humorous stage shows and were eventually signed to a small record label named Cargo Music, where they released their ﬁrst full-length album, Cheshire Cat, in February 1994. Recorded in three days and fueled by both new songs and re-recordings of songs from previous demos, Blink began to gain fame outside of California throughout 1995 and 1996. “M+M’s” and “Wasting Time” from Cheshire Cat were released as singles, but both failed to chart. Although the album never made a commercial impact, it is cited by bands and fans as an iconic release. Shortly after the release of the album, the band was threatened with legal action by an Irish pop band of the same name. To avoid a legal dispute, the band appended “182” to the end of their name. In 1994, the band released a split EP with Iconoclasts titled Short Bus. The 3-track EP They Came to Conquer... Uranus was released the next year. The band moved to Encinitas, California in 1996, where they would record their second album Dude Ranch with producer Mark Trombino. Blink-182 recorded the album under Cargo Records, but did well on U.S. modern rock charts, so they signed with MCA in 1998 in order to handle increased distribution. The album was released in 1997 and was relatively commercially successful, selling 1.5 million copies worldwide. The single “Dammit” became one of Blink’s biggest hits, and the band received a small degree of mainstream success. Thanks to the success of Dude Ranch, Blink-182 embarked on multiple worldwide tours during 1997 and 1998. Midway through a U.S. tour in 1998, original drummer Scott Raynor was asked to leave the band. Various conﬂicting reasons have circulated the Internet for years; a largely popular explanation is that Raynor had a serious drinking problem and was asked to leave. When he agreed to abstaining from alcohol, bassist Mark Hoppus and guitarist Tom DeLonge doubted his sincerity and he was ﬁred from the band through a telephone call. In a 2004 interview, Hoppus described the touring for Dude Ranch as “rough”, with DeLonge adding “That was the worst tour ever. At that time, our drummer had a drinking problem. One show he dropped his sticks 10 times. It was so disturbing to see someone ruining himself.” Raynor, in a 2004 interview with AbsolutePunk, stated the reason for his departure was his desire to stay in a small non-mainstream band against the increasing popularity Blink-182 was achieving. Hoppus and DeLonge asked drummer Travis Barker of Blink182’s support band The Aquabats to ﬁll in for Raynor for the remainder of the tour. He was later offered the position of a full-time drummer and consequently left The Aquabats. Barker reportedly learned the entire setlist of the tour (which consisted of 20 songs) in less than one day.The band entered the studio in October 1998 to begin work on what would become their breakthrough album, Enema of the State. After ﬁnishing up production of Enema of the State with new producer Jerry Finn, the album was released in June 1999 and became a huge success, largely due to popular singles “What’s My Age Again”, “All the Small Things”, and “Adam’s Song”. The singles led to an incredible amount of airtime on music video channels, bringing the band to a new audience. The band’s popularity soared to new horizons and the band made a cameo in the teen comedy American Pie (1999).A home video titled The Urethra Chronicles (1999) featured behind-the-scenes information, and was released in November 1999. “Adam’s Song” caused a stir in 2000 when it was set to replay indeﬁnitely on a stereo as 17-year-old Columbine survivor Greg Barnes hanged himself in the garage of his family’s home. Enema of the State would go on to sell over 15 million copies, solidifying Blink-182
Playing music in the wake of the Blink thing was like finding love in the middle of a war zone.
as one of the biggest pop punk acts of the era. The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!) was released in November 2000, a live album based on tracks recorded in November 1999 in both San Francisco and Universal City, California.Although the album’s name references Blink-182’s highly publicized summer 2000 tour (The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show Tour), the album was actually recorded on the Loserkids Tour (during the tour’s arena shows early on in the tour) in 1999.The album quickly went out of print. Two singles were released from the album, the sole studio track “Man Overboard” and a live version of “Dumpweed”. The band continued its commercial success with Take Off Your Pants and Jacket in 2001, which was a small change from their direction in Enema of the State. The album sold more than 350,000 copies in the ﬁrst week. It contains the hit singles “The Rock Show”, “First Date” and “Stay Together for the Kids”, while “Anthem Part 2” also received radio airplay. The album has sold approximately 4.5 million records worldwide, while going double platinum in the US. The album was released on three different CDs: yellow, red and green versions, each one featuring two unique bonus tracks. A European tour in winter 2001 was delayed in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Rescheduled dates in early 2002 were also canceled due to DeLonge’s back problems. In 2001, Mark Hoppus’ sister released a book about the genesis of the band entitled Blink-182: Tales From Beneath Your Mom. Blink-182 co-headlined the Pop Disaster Tour with Green Day during summer 2002,which was documented on the DVD Riding in Vans with Boys. Blink-182’s eponymous fth studio album was released on November 18, 2003 through Geﬀen Records, the band’s rst with the label. The album was commercially successful (bolstered by hit singles “Feeling This” and “I Miss You”) and received favorable reviews from music critics, who praised the band’s new direction and sound. The album represented a more “mature” Blink-182 than seen in the past, with the band infusing experimentalist elements into their usual pop punk sound, inspired by lifestyle changes (the band members all became fathers before the album was released) and side-projects (Box Car Racer and Transplants). Shortly before the release of Blink-182, the band embarked on the “DollaBill” tour, named for the ticket cost of $1 each. They played ten club shows throughout the US and one in Canada. Barker broke his right foot after a gig in Melbourne, Australia in March 2004, forcing the band to cancel several shows there and Japan. Blink-182 toured with No Doubt in the summer of 2004. Two more singles from Blink-182, “Down” and “Always”, were issued during 2004, the latter celebrating the band’s longevity. However, tensions were arising in the band as they completed a European tour in December 2004
It’s hard to wake up When the shades have been pulled shut This house is haunted It’s so pathetic It makes no sense at all. I’m ripe with things to say The words rot and fall away. If a stupid poem could ﬁx this home I’d read it every day. So here’s your holiday Hope you enjoy it this time You gave it all away It was mine So when you’re dead and gone Will you remember this night, twenty years now lost. It’s not right Their anger hurts my ears Been running strong for seven years Rather than ﬁx the problems, they never solve them It makes no sense at all I see them every day We get along so why can’t they? If this is what he wants and this is what she wants Then why is there so much pain? So here’s your holiday Hope you enjoy it this time You gave it all away It was mine So when you’re dead and gone Will you remember this night, twenty years now lost It’s not right So here’s your holiday Hope you enjoy it this time You gave it all away It was mine So when you’re dead and gone Will you remember this night, twenty years now lost It’s not right x4
How does it feel to be back in Blink 182 after the years you guys were apart doing different things? Tom: “it’s incredible - I can’t believe how big it is, I feel like I’m a part of the audience sometimes too, as it’s insane just to watch how this thing is going” How much of the next Album is written? Tom: “None of it. We have had loads of ideas started but I like to work on things for six months to a year, so you never know how it’s going to change at the bottom of the ninth inning. You guys don’t have a baseball, but if you did you’d know what I’m saying. Mark Hoppus: “Over the UK you’d probably say “We might change it up on the 27th day of the cricket matach, so you never know” What made you choose the instrument you play? Mark: “Simon Gallup from the Cure” Tom: “He held a gun to Marks head and said “Your playing this.” Awful.” Out of every record and song you guys have ever recorded which is your favourite and why? Tom: “On our last record listening to ‘All of this’ and knowing that Robert Smith from the Cure is a pretty heavy thing for us. He’s an icon and a legend but also an incredible songwriter, and for him to align his art with ours was a massive vailidation from him that critics or fans just couldn’t provide with us” Mark: “Mine is ‘Don’t leave me’ it’s a fast and simple punk rock song. I have fun playing it and I have fun listening to it. Does Tom still have binders full of information on UFO’s and does Mark still have a vinyl toy fetish? Mark: “Yes to both” Tom: “The crash in Roswell, New Mexico was potentially a Nazi aircraft, so the government leaked a UFO story and a weather balloon story so that no one would ever know there were remnants of a World War II after World War II was done” If you could have an Extra Body part, what would it be? Tom “Probably some weird tumour that has eyeballs and a brain so you could talk to it. Exactly like the dude in Total Recall. How gross was that, by the way?!” Whats your favourite fart or dick joke? Tom: “Whats red, hard and tastes like peaches? My dads Dick. It’s not even a joke...” Your children are growing up now, do they have their own opinions on tour life or do they just tag along? Tom: “[they] happily tag along. My kids are very unimpressed that I’m in a band” Mark: “My kid is super stoked that I’m in a band, I think that it’s just hit him and hes truly enamoured with tour life at the moment. We were at the Eiffel Tower the other day and he started pointing and shouting, sating “Mark from Blink 182 is right here!” If you could kill one person and get away with it who would it be and why? Tom: “Shit, thats heavy. I dont think i could ever kill anyone. Mark learnt how to kill at an early age for survival purposes but I’ve never had to. I’ve never felt that kind of anger, I dont want to get weird but life is precious,
it’s too fucking precious.” Do your family ever say anything about the jokes you make about them on stage? Tom: “The answer is yes. It’s awkward” Mark: “When we play in certain cities or if certain family members are in the audience, Tom has to pull me aside and ask me not to make any comments or repeat jokes we’d been doing earlier in the tour.” Tom: “Mark’s mum can handle anything but my mum doesn’t abide with most of what we do” I really love how you grew your sound on your last album, will you continue to experiment further if you decide to make another record? Mark: “We want to take this sound of the last record and push it even further.” Tom: “I don’t think anyone has ever mixed gangsta rap and harps before, so we’re going to try that.” What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done for you? Tom: “Two ﬁngers in the butt while...” Mark: “We were in Minneapolis and I looked out into the crowd to see a prosthetic leg being passed to the front of the stage. We found the guy and gave it back to him after the show, we didn’t take it home, I assume he lost it rather then threw it out there, I guess it’s like when you see a random shoe heading towards you.” Who would win a ﬁght to the death between Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Velociraptor and a mountain lion? Mark: “A single Velociraptor or a group? They hunt in packs dont they?” Tom: “Either way a Velociraptor would win. They are far Gnarlier then the Governator and a Mountain lion.” How do you feel about people getting Blink-related tattoos? Mark: “I love it when I see great ones and I’m horribly, horribly horriﬁed when someone comes up and shows me their mutant rabbit tattoo that a buddy who just started learning to tattoo gave them for free, It’s a huge honour when someone wants to have their band on your body for the rest of their lives.” If you could go back in time, whats the one piece of advice you’d give yourselves at the time of ‘Enema of the state’? Mark: “Enjoy every second of what is coming in the next few years.” Tom: “Take Janine [Lindemulder, the naughty nurse on the cover of the aforementioned album] up on the offer of going to one of her shoots. She said we could go and watch her do an adult ﬁlm... we never went” Whats the ﬁrst high point that comes to mind from that point Tom: “Our ﬁrst gold record.” Mark: “For me it’s closing the VMAs with ‘All the Small Things’ and having all the little people on razor scooters and hanging from trapezes.” Tom: “I originally wanted them to fall from the trapezes during that song, but the original idea got scaled back because the roof was too high.”
What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done on tour? Tom: “I almost got kicked out of the white house for grabbing my dick and ﬂipping off the camera in front of the West Wing where all the kings, queens and dignitaries enter. It took quite a bit to get us in there and i guess I looked like a disrespectful prick, but then who cares? I’m a punker, that’s what we do...I’m not apologising!” How do you deal with the crazy fans who won’t stop talking to you? Mark: “The best way is to smile and nod and keep walking. Add in a wave too.” Tom: “I say I’ll be right back, then I run” If you guys could invite anyone to dinner, dead or alive, who would you invite and what would you cook for them? Mark: “My grandfather, he died before I was born but he fought in World War II. He stormed the beach in Normandy, he fought in the Battle of The Bulge, he liberated concentration camps and just lived and amazing life. I really want to know what that was like for him.” RS: “What meal is appropiate for such a hero?” Tom: “Sausage. Any kind of sausage. Do you even know how to cook?” Mark: “No, I’d make him cook.” What was the catalyst to the band reforming? Tom: “I dont think it’s a secret that Travis’s accident was a perfect time to forget stupid shit and come together as people who were a major part of each other’s lives. I wanted to be there as Travis’ life nearly came to an end. Thanks for a tragic ending to the interview, but it’s actually a magical ending when you think about it.”
“I almost got kicked out of the white house for grabbing my dick and flipping off the camera in front of the West Wing where all the kings, queens and dignitaries enter.”
“It’s no secret that after Travis’s accident it made it very easy for us to remember each other and to forget all the bullshit”
Blink-182 announced the ﬁrst tour in support of Blink-182 on October 17, 2003, named the DollaBill Tour. The all-ages club tour featured support acts Bubba Sparxxx and The Kinison, and, as the name suggests, tickets were sold for $1. DeLonge explained the ﬁ rst return to small venues in several years in the initial press release for the tour: “For years we played in small clubs and that’s where you can really connect with your fans.”The tour ended shortly after the release of Blink-182 on November 21, 2003, at local San Diego venue SOMA. An additional concert at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on December 2, 2003 was held in Toronto, Canada with My Chemical Romance as the opener. A performance at KWOD’s Twisted X-Mas show shortly before Christmas 2003 became the ﬁnal show of the year, and a European tour followed during in mid-February 2004. During an Australian tour in March 2004, Barker injured his foot and the band was forced to cancel tour dates in Japan for the rest of the month. A U.S. tour took place from late April to May 2004, and a highlypublicized tour featuring Blink-182 and No Doubt was performed during June 2004, in support of Blink-182 and No Doubt’s The Singles 1992-2003. The cancelled Australian tour dates were rescheduled and performed in August and September 2004. The band appeared on September 17, 2004 at the MTV Icon tribute to The Cure, performing a cover of “A Letter to Elise” and “All of This”, which was recorded and later broadcast on October 31, 2004.The band headed to Europe for a two-week tour near the end of the year, which culminated at their ﬁnal show on December 16, 2004 at the Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. Although the band had planned for a U.S. tour in support of “Always” and the new release Greatest Hits, tensions within the band had risen on the ﬁnal European tour and the band announced an ‘indeﬁnite hiatus’ on February 22, 2005 as breakup rumors swirled. After some tragic events involving the band and its entourage, Blink-182 reunited in February 2009.
Rare promotional ﬂ yer promoting Blink 182’s ﬁfth studio album “self-titled” tour 2004.
Blink 182 Book is published by 2011 copyright ÂŠ ISBN1 874011 74 5 Blink 182 has been created to promote the work of new visual communicators. This book was art directed and edited by Sarah Bond. Acknolowledgements: Many thanks to the contributers to whom provided the images on these pages and to Sarah Bond for providing artwork.