Though its first album in seven years will be just turned in when it starts its headlining run on the Honda Civic Tour on Aug. 5, blink-182 will definitely be previewing the new songs during its concerts.
"Oh, definitely," the group's Mark Hoppus told Billboard.com during a conference call with reporters. "I think it'll be a good mix of the new stuff and the music we've been playing for the past couple of decades. All of us know when people come to a blink show they're gonna want to hear 'All the Small Things' and 'Rock Show' and 'Stay Together For the Kids' and the singles we've had over the years. And we'll put some of the new songs into the set list as well. We're just working to figure out what those songs are gonna be."
Hoppus, guitarist Tom DeLonge and drummer Travis Barker are committed to deliver the as-yet-untitled, self-produced set to Geffen on July 31, with a single due July 3. "Travis is tracking drums right now," Hoppus said. "Tom is finishing guitars and vocals on some stuff. I'm finishing guitars, bass and vocals on some things. We'll be working probably through July 31." DeLonge added that, "We'll probably actually drive it to the (Geffen) president's house at two in the morning and hand it through his bedroom window at the last possible minute."
Hoppus said the group is "very happy with the way (the album) is coming together," while DeLonge -- who's recording in San Diego while Hoppus and Barker are working in Los Angeles -- added that the new material sounds both familiar and fresh. "We have these songs that are total throwbacks, exactly what people know blink is," he explained. "Then we have songs...that are madly different and experimental, (and) songs that are prog-rock blink music, taking a blink song but (adding) stadium rock qualities to it. I really think we have a tremendous, diverse palette. We will have the album that I think is really modern and relevant to where we are in our career."
Hoppus said there are "three or four contenders for the first single" and are waiting for songs to be finished before making a final choice. "Travis is still racking the drums on those," he noted, "and once we get those songs mixed it will determine which... will become the first single, 'cause a lot can change when you add drums to something. A song you thought was the one might not be the one, and a song you weren't sure about comes up. So we have a lot of work to do in the next 10 days."
The duo did confirm that one of the new songs is titled "Ghosts on the Dance Floor," which has been widely reported, but said it's not about the deaths of former blink producer Jerry Finn and DJ AM. But, DeLonge said, "One of the things I like is the fact it did strike some of those emotional chords in people. That's what music's supposed to do."
blink plans to continue touring following the album's expected fall release; Hoppus said recently postponed dates in the U.K. and Europe will take place in the summer of 2012, while more North American shows are likely after the Honda Civic tour wraps in mid-October. DeLonge is also planning a late summer release of his other band Angels & Airwaves' "Love" movie, as well as a November release for its "Love II" album. blink will be hitting the silver screen as well with "blinkumentary," a documentary that's also slated for fall release.
"blink is the priority," DeLonge said, "so we've got to fit (the side projects) into those pockets and make them happen. It's one of those things that creates a juggle, but also it's a lot of fun. So that keeps us all happy."