Published Jan 26, 2015Today (January 26) marked a confusing day for fans of long-running American pop punk group Blink-182, as early reports indicated that singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge was no longer in the group. From there, the founding member claimed that he was only taking a break. Now, however, singer/bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker have stood by their initial statements.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Hoppus and Barker offered a clear explanation of their side of the story, explaining that DeLonge has frequently been backing out of prior engagements and stopping the band from moving forward on their new album.
As Hoppus explained, the group have been looking for a new record label to partner with them on their follow-up to 2011's Neighborhoods. They were also scheduled to perform at California's Musink Festival on March 22.
"At the end of December, we were finalizing our record deal and on Christmas Eve, all three of us signed the deal," Hoppus explained. "We had been talking about where we wanted to record, what producers we want to use, what day we want to start. This is all through email. I don't think either of us have spoken to Tom in person in months, but everything's been moving positively."
He continued: "We booked January 5 to go into the studio. On December 30, we get an email 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 emails going back and forth for clarification about the recording and the show and his manager sends [an email] back saying, 'Tom. Is. Out.' Direct quote. This is the exact same email we got back in 2004 when Tom went on indefinite hiatus before."
Hoppus went on to explain that DeLonge is "absolutely" out, quoting the guitarist's management as saying "Tom is out indefinitely. For the foreseeable future, Tom is done."
Further, Hoppus said he was expecting this reaction from DeLonge. "To be honest, I wasn't that surprised because his attitude leading up to that had been not excited and not interested. Even though we'd been talking about recording and dates, things kept getting pushed back."
In response to the initial reports, DeLonge shared an Instagram photo with a caption explaining that he hadn't quit Blink-182. "His actions speak louder than whatever he feels compelled to write on an Instagram post," Hoppus said, adding, "We've been trying to record an album for the better part of two years and we had agreed to go in to record and my guess is that Tom was embarrassed because he doesn't want to do Blink."
Barker added his own statements, saying, "I think he's just bummed because Mark and I were finally honest. We always covered up for him before. It was always, 'We're going to record an album," then 'Tom refuses to get into the studio without a record deal.' So everyone does hella amounts of work to get a record deal and now Tom isn't part of Blink-182. It's hard to cover for someone who's disrespectful and ungrateful."
Further, Hoppus said that he intends to continue playing Blink-182's music with Barker in one way or another, adding that while it's unclear about the status of the band's future recorded material, he intends to keep playing.
"When the press release went out today, it felt like a giant weight lifting off my shoulders," he said. "Finally, people know what the deal is with our band. Beyond that, we'll see what happens. Last time this happened, Travis and I didn't say anything and we did +44, which wasn't Blink-182 because we weren't playing Blink songs. But Travis and I are intent on protecting the legacy of Blink-182 and continue to do what we've been doing for the past two decades: continue playing the songs."
Hoppus added, "When Tom finally said, 'I'm not going to go into the studio or play this show,' it was kind of a gigantic relief because at least he finally said it. But to then say, 'I didn't quit the band,' it's just not true. It's disingenuous. I just wish Tom does whatever makes him happy and stops holding Blink-182 back from what we all agree that we're going to do: play shows, record music, continue this legacy and have a good time doing it."
For more from Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker, read the Rolling Stone interview here.