If asked to describe the pop punk scene, which bands come to mind? All Time Low maybe, possibly even Simple Plan. But there’s one band that have surpassed all of them, one band that has made pop-punk accessible and appealing to the masses of people that wanted and needed it. Blink-182. However after recent events, it seems as though the Blink-182 that fans worldwide have loved for years has ended, and a different Blink-182 is about to emerge. The story behind it is not a pretty one.
Over the last few days, reports, rumours and speculation have seen social media go crazy over the band, after it emerged that Tom DeLonge (co-founder, co-lead singer and guitarist) had ‘left the band’. This news was released after the band’s publicist had reported that DeLonge “didn’t want to participate in any Blink-182 projects indefinitely, but would rather work on his other non-musical endeavours”. Not wanting to participate indefinitely was the reason Tom gave to fellow bandmates Mark Hoppus (co-singer and bassist) and Travis Barker (drummer) in early 2005, following recording disputes and a desire to spend more time with family.
This was when the band eventually split, leading to Hoppus and Barker forming their side project +44. The band didn’t speak again until a tragic plane crash almost took Barker’s life in 2008, and the band released their 2011 comeback album Neighbourhoods – however, this was recorded with the band completely separate with each member sending files to each other. Things weren’t as rosy as they first seemed, as recording for the 2012 Christmas EP, Dogs Eating Dogs, was repeatedly disrupted as tensions grew.
Fast forward to the last couple of days, and countless music outlets have reported that Tom DeLonge had quit the band again. DeLonge caused even more confusion among reporters and fans after posting on Instagram stating that he’d “never quit the band”, but a Rolling Stone interview with Hoppus and Barker soon set the record straight as they explained everything that had been happening between the trio which had led to this.
This gave a deep and interesting look into the mindset of each member and of the band as a whole, especially after Barker had this to say about DeLonge: “It’s hard to cover for someone who’s disrespectful and ungrateful. You don’t even have the balls to call your bandmates and tell them you’re not going to record or do anything Blink-related. You have your manager do it“. He then went on to add, “Why Blink got back together in the first place is questionable”.
Following the interview, Tom DeLonge posted an open letter to the fans about the situation, explaining how he has “tried to make things work”. He said that he’d “told Mark and Travis that as long as we talked, and things were good between us as real friends, that I would be engaged and work passionately. I’d mirror our personal relationship”. DeLonge even goes on to explain the various other commitments he has, such as side-band Angels and Airwaves and his family, and how “all of this makes [him] really sad”, concluding by stating that he’d “never planned on quitting, just find it hard as hell to commit”.
It had seemed that 2015 would be a massive year for Blink-182, with work on a new album which was set to be a return to their mid-2000’s sound. After that, a world tour would have followed and a few dates for Spring had even been booked. But now the Blink-182 that fans worldwide have grown up listening to, the band that has given so much to so many people, is now gone. The spring dates will now include Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba as a replacement for DeLonge. Both Hoppus and Barker have said how they’re interested in taking the band further and to continue its legacy, but the idea of DeLonge ever rejoining could possibly be out of the question.
It’s a little ironic how the theme of ‘growing up’ that filled so many of their songs and taught people so many things would be the theme that would change the band forever. With their lives changing over the years with families and countless other projects, this has led to each member having busy schedules. It’s not hard to see and isn’t at all surprising that something like this would eventually happen. A lack of time together as a band, caused rifts between members, and it was only a matter of time before something set off a spark that made the whole band explode. Some bands make it through adulthood intact, and some don’t. It’s just a sad reality and a real shame that Blink-182 is one of the bands that have taken a tumble at the final hurdle.