First, Tom DeLonge was out of Blink-182. Then he said he wasn’t. Either way, the veteran pop-punk band clearly has its dysfunctions, so bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker cleared the air yesterday (Jan. 26) in a tell-all interview.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, the pair discussed years of flakiness from DeLonge, who has allegedly been stringing along Blink’s other two-thirds for years. The frustration peaked late last month, just when the band was supposed record new music.
“We booked Jan. 5 to go into the studio,” Hoppus said. “On Dec. 30, we get an e-mail from Tom’s manager saying that he has no interest in recording and that he wants to do his other, non-musical stuff and that he’s out indefinitely. There’s a flurry of e-mails going back and forth for clarification about the recording and the show and his manager sends [an e-mail] back saying, ‘Tom. Is. Out.’ Direct quote. This is the exact same e-mail we got back in 2004 when Tom went on indefinite hiatus before.”
This, coupled with the guitarist’s refusal to play Musink Festival this March in Costa Mesa, Cali., prompted the band to finally announce DeLonge’s resignation yesterday, after years over covering up his disinterest.
For Blink fans, it’s upsetting to hear that DeLonge only communicates with his bandmates via e-mail, through his manager. But it gets worse. Barker implied that the band only reunited for its 2011 LP Neighborhoods because of his near-fatal plane crash:
“When we did get back together after my plane crash, we only got back together, I don’t know, maybe because I almost died. But he didn’t even listen to mixes or masterings from that record. He didn’t even care about it. Why Blink even got back together in the first place is questionable.”
According to the interview, the band spent the past few years looking at labels to record a new album with. Barker and Hoppus were willing to front the money but DeLonge demanded a label. They did sign with an undisclosed label, but given DeLonge’s lack of interest, the chance of new Blink music seem almost zilch.
As it stands, Blink-182 will play Musink Festival with Alkaline Trio guitarist-vocalist Matt Skiba replacing DeLonge. Hoppus maintains he wants to continue playing live under the Blink-182 name, but admits DeLonge “technically didn’t quit the band… it gets all lawyer-y.”
Seems like they couldn’t even stay together for the kids.