EXCLUSIVE: Blink-182 Opens Up About 'Rebirth,' New Album and Moving On Without Tom DeLonge
By Meredith B. Kile
Blink-182 is back!
The SoCal pop-punkers are back in action this year with a new single, a new album in the works, and an upcoming tour, their first in North America since 2013. According to bassist and vocalist Mark Hoppus, the band hasn't missed a beat.
“It’s been a year and a half of speculation and 'What’s it gonna sound like?' and ‘Is this gonna sound like Blink?’ and ‘What’s Blink really about?’” Hoppus told ET of the band’s upcoming seventh studio album, California. “I think this record really, really shows people that we are Blink-182.”
The band, which formed in the suburbs of San Diego in 1992 and ruled the pop and rock charts with irreverent anthems throughout the late ‘90s and early aughts, sat down with ET’s Katie Krause to talk about their “fresh start,” and moving on without founding member Tom DeLonge, who departed the band last year.
“I consider it more of a rebirth than an evolution,” Hoppus explained at the Blind Dragon in Los Angeles on Thursday. “I feel like this album really takes us back to what Blink is all about.”
“It’s a rebirth in that it feels like old Blink, but in a new presentation,” he added.
Alkaline Trio guitarist and vocalist Matt Skiba joined Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker after DeLonge departed the band last year, and made his mark on the band right away, penning the second verse to California’s first single, “Bored to Death,” which, true to Hoppus’ word, sounds very much like the Blink hits that fans love and remember.
“From my point of view, it was sort of a response to Mark's call in the first verse of us traversing a relationship and kind of navigating through when things get real murky,” Skiba explained of his verse. “It’s easier to say you're bored, or to be angry, than it is to be sad. To me, that's what that verse and that song represents.”
“That's what it's about,” Hoppus agreed. “It just felt very natural, and the song fell into place.”
While Skiba has been friends with Hoppus and Barker for many years, the Alkaline Trio frontman admits that officially joining the Blink-182 lineup was something else entirely.
“Making music with someone is like asking another man to dance,” he said with a laugh. “Just getting comfortable in a studio setting and being able to express your ideas...you know, these guys are the best.”
“It’s a dream in many ways,” he added. “Being in this band and working with these guys, it’s amazing.”
As for the new music, Barker said that California is “kind of like [1999’s] Enema of the State meets the untitled album [2003’s blink-182],” though the band admits that there is a “really sentimental ballad” on the record.
“It’s called 'Home Is Such a Lonely Place,' which I think is probably the bleakest line on the whole record,” Hoppus explained. “[It’s] one of my favorite lyrics on the record as well, but it just brings a very lonely feeling.”
However, fans need not worry that a few years and fatherhood have softened the rockers. The new album will still have plenty of, as Hoppus put it, “We’re-gonna-go-and break-things” songs.
“One of the last songs we wrote, called 'Teenage Satellites,’ it was one of the last days of recording, and it was another song that came together really fast,” he recalled. “I got to the studio early and I was literally just hitting one chord on the guitar over and over again. John [Feldmann, the album’s producer] walked in, and he’s like ‘What’s that?’ and I said, ‘I don't know, it’s just something I made up.’”
“Then Travis came in, and he had an idea... and that was another song that was built in a day,” he continued. “It’s a good, like, teen anthem.”