The third blink-182 LP, Dude Ranch, was jointly released in 1997 by Cargo and MCA. Dude Ranch expanded the group's audience and went platinum by the end of 1998, due in part to the popularity of the infectious teen anthem "Dammit (Growing Up)." The group also signed officially with MCA, which released the band's fourth album, Enema of the State, in the summer of 1999. The album, produced by Jerry Finn (Green Day, Rancid), also welcomed a new member into the trio's ranks; Travis Barker, formerly with the Aquabats, settled in on drums after Raynor left midway through a 1998 U.S. tour. Enema was greeted with almost immediate success, and helped the band achieve the mainstream status of toilet-humored pop-punk kings that Dude Ranch had only hinted at. Driven by the commercially successful singles "What's My Age Again?," "All the Small Things," and "Adam's Song," music videos for the three songs (whose clips included themes of streaking and boy band spoofs) were MTV smashes as well.
After selling over four million copies of Enema of the State, the trio played on with the limited-edition release The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back) in fall 2000. The album featured their radio hits in a live setting, intertwined with their quirky sense of humor as well as the new song "Man Overboard." Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, issued in spring 2001, saw the band return to its SoCal punk rock roots. Maturity, of a sort, came with 2003's self-titled album, released on Geffen. Not only did the album sport a song ("All of This") that featured Robert Smith of the Cure, but "I Miss You" also topped the modern rock charts in 2005. In February 2005, however, popular as ever and seemingly indestructible, blink-182 unexpectedly announced they would be going on an "indefinite hiatus," supposedly to spend more time with their growing families. Asking fans for help in selecting tracks, the group issued Greatest Hits that November.
The bandmembers also continued on with other projects. Barker -- who had previously released an album with DeLonge as Boxcar Racer -- continued playing with the Transplants and running his clothing company, Famous Stars and Straps. His family was also spotlighted in the MTV reality show Meet the Barkers. Hoppus carried on with his Atticus fashion venture, began producing -- starting with Motion City Soundtrack's Commit This to Memory -- and hosting his own podcasts. He further began work with Barker in a new band, Plus 44. DeLonge also continued work with his lifestyle clothing company, Macbeth, and formally announced his new project, Angels and Airwaves, that fall.
While still on hiatus in 2008, the group endured a handful of personal setbacks including the death of longtime producer Jerry Finn, who suffered a brain hemorrhage and subsequent heart attack; eventually going off life support and passing away that August. Then in September, both Barker and frequent collaborator DJ AM were seriously injured in a plane crash in which both pilots and two of Barker's associates died. It ultimately took 11 months for Barker to fully recover from his injuries and led to the drummer suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The crash prompted Hoppus and DeLonge to reconnect with the drummer in support of his recovery and in 2009, blink-182 announced that they were reuniting, hitting the road with Weezer for their reunion tour. They went into the studio later that year and began laying down the groundwork for a new album, which would be plagued by delays until 2011, when they were eventually able to release their sixth studio album, Neighborhoods.
Despite growing evidence of remaining friction between the members, blink-182 toured throughout much of the rest of 2011, joining My Chemical Romance, Rancid, and Against Me! on the 10th Annual Honda Civic Tour. A 20th Anniversary Tour found the group appearing together again in 2012. That same year, blink-182 also parted ways with Interscope, a transition they marked with the release of their self-produced Dog Eat Dogs EP.
Following a string of sold-out dates in Los Angeles in 2013, as well as headlining appearances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in August of 2014, blink-182 had purportedly been in talks to record a follow-up album to Neighborhoods. However, in January, 2015, Hoppus and Barker were quoted in Rolling Stone as saying that DeLonge had left the band and announced the possibility of Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba filling in for the guitarist at future shows. DeLonge then quickly responded via Facebook that he had not quit blink-182, and that any decision for the band to move forward was made without him. ~ John Bush & Corey Apar, Rovi