Blink-182's Mark Hoppus Reveals the Green Day Song That Inspired 'What's My Age Again?'

Mark Hoppus
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for iHeartMedia

Mark Hoppus of blink-182 performs onstage at the 2020 iHeartRadio ALTer EGO at The Forum on Jan. 18, 2020 in Inglewood, Calif.

blink-182 fans immediately recognize the opening riff of the band's breakout hit "What's My Age Again?" but did you know a Green Day mishap is what inspired it?

In the latest episode of Less Than Jake's Chris DeMakes's podcast, Mark Hoppus talks through writing the track, which was originally meant as a "joke song" called "Peter Pan Syndrome."

"I was just writing a funny song," he explained when DeMakes asked if the track was autobiographical. "I’ll tell you what the very origin of the song was. There’s a Green Day song called 'J.A.R.' that’s on the Angus soundtrack, and it starts off with this bass intro that’s really rad."

"I was messing around on the guitar trying to learn that and then I kind of messed up the progression and I played it incorrectly," he continued, "And then I was like, ‘That sounds kind of cool,’ and that was the basis for the opening riff of the song. It was me trying to learn 'J.A.R.' on guitar and messing it up and coming up with something that I liked that was different than that."

Hoppus' love for "J.A.R." also led to a bit of an embarrassing moment with Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstong while they were on tour together. "I was in Green Day’s dressing room on the first night of the show, talking with Billie Joe, just like, ‘Hey, you know, I’m a big fan and I’ve been influenced by your band’ and stuff, and, ‘Man, I fucking love 'J.A.R.' so much, that song is so good. I think that’s your best song, and I really am a fan.’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, that’s cool. Mike Dirnt wrote that one. That’s the only one of our songs that he wrote.’"

"I did not know that," DeMakes responded, laughing.

"I didn’t know it either!" Hoppus said. "I was like, ‘Oh, I love all your songs a lot.’"

Listen to the full podcast below, with the story beginning at around the 18:45 mark.