Despite reports earlier today (Jan. 26) that Blink-182 had lost its longtime guitarist, Tom DeLonge maintains he hasn’t left the band.
To all the fans, I never quit the band. I actually was on a phone call about a blink 182 event for New York City at the time all these weird press releases started coming in… Apparently those releases were ‘sanctioned’ from the band. Are we dysfunctional- yes. But, Christ….. ?#?Awkward? ?#?BabyBackRibs
For the moment, this news should ease the pain of Blink-182 fans, though the mere issue speaks volumes for the dynamic between DeLonge, bassist Mark Hoppus, and drummer Travis Barker. These guys are not on the same page.
In a statement released on Monday morning (Jan. 26) from the band’s publicist and obtained by Radio.com, Blink-182’s remaining members announced that DeLonge “didn’t want to participate in any Blink-182 projects indefinitely, but would rather work on his other non-musical endeavors.” On Monday, Blink-182 was announced as a headliner of the Musink Tattoo & Music Festival, to be held March 20-22 in Costa Mesa, Cali. with Alkaline Trio‘s Matt Skiba joining the group in place of DeLonge.
“We were all set to play this festival and record a new album and Tom kept putting it off without reason,” the other two thirds of Blink wrote in the statement. “A week before we were scheduled to go in to the studio we got an email from his manager explaining that he didn’t want to participate in any Blink-182 projects indefinitely, but would rather work on his other non-musical endeavors. No hard feelings, but the show must go on for our fans.”
Hoppus and Barker have yet to respond to DeLonge’s rebuttal, nor has the status of Skiba’s role in the upcoming concert been addressed since.
A rep for DeLonge did not immediately return Billboard.com’s request for comment.
Blink-182 released five albums after forming in 1992 and before announcing an “indefinite hiatus” in 2005. The group reformed in 2009 and released one more album, Neighborhoods, in 2011.
Last month, DeLonge’s band Angels & Airwaves released its fifth album, The Dream Walker, and the guitarist told Billboard.com that things were progressing with Blink-182’s next album. “I think we found the house we’re going to start recording the next record in,” he said. “That’s a big deal, finding location, for us. That’s usually the biggest obstacle, finding a place everyone can get to.”
DeLonge added that the trio hoped to start work during “the first week or two of January,” and that he and Hoppus “have a little toolbox of things we’ve put together, little riffs and ideas, that are good inspirations for songs. I think the goal on this record is to really craft it together form scratch as much as we can, but it’ll be a good mix of things that are partially planned out and a lot of stuff we just really dig in and create from scratch, with everyone’s influence. Our best records were made that way.”