Over the past weeks it has been somewhat impossible to avoid the airing of Blink 182’s dirty laundry all over social media and various publications. All we have seen is a back and forth of 3 grown men, bickering and fighting for their version of events to prevail in the eyes of the public. Is this really the way to handle band affairs?
This soap opera storyline sparked into being on January 26th with a statement from Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker, claiming that vocalist and guitarist Tom DeLonge had left the band. For the second time. This statement was immediately responded to by DeLonge himself via Instagram, on which he posted,
In a seemingly more official manner, Hoppus and Barker chose to respond to this in an interview with Rolling Stone that evening. From their point of view, DeLonge had most definitely left the band, quoting that they had received and email from Tom’s agent simply saying ‘Tom.is.out’. Both parties went on to talk of DeLonge’s unwillingness to commit to the recording of a new album, as well as his disinterest in the last release Neighbourhoods. Hoppus added that,
"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."
It didn’t even end there. A day later DeLonge posted an open letter on his Facebook page, in an attempt to get his side of the story out there in full. The letter addressed to ‘the fans’ was essentially an update for the public on the goings on of DeLonge himself and Blink 182 since they got back together in 2011. DeLonge spoke of issues regarding the EP released in 2012, as well as his other commitments such a Angels & Airwaves. At the heart of the letter, DeLonge wished to stress that,
"I love Blink and am incredibly grateful for having it in my life. It has given me everything. EVERYTHING. I started this band, it was in my garage where I dreamed up the mischief"
He also admits fault, as well as stating ‘but there’s three of us – we’re all accountable’. The letter ended with what seems like a regretful spin.
"At the end of the day, all of this makes me really sad. Sad for us. Sad for you- that you’re witnessing this immaturity. And even as I watch them act so different to what I know of them to be, I still care deeply for them. Like brothers, and like old friends. But our relationship got poisoned yesterday."
DeLonge’s recognition of the immaturity shown over the course of this palaver is some form of conciliation. At least he has come out and stated unequivocally that what Blink 182 have done is acted immaturely, shouting who did what’s as if involved in some school yard argument.
As well as this, Tom DeLonge also posted a twitter post, soon to be deleted, that he and Hoppus had discussed parting ways with drummer Travis Barker. Hoppus denied this, claiming that Tom was just blowing off steam after a stressful Australian tour due to promoter's anger over Barker’s absence. Mark admitted to Alt press that after calming down, DeLonge took back his outburst.
Following the controversial tweet, all went quite for a few days. However, following an Instagram post from Mark Hoppus showing an empty rehearsal space with the heading ‘blink-182 rehearsals’ that could be seen as a possible mocking post, DeLonge once again responded.
Posting on March 1st, Tom DeLonge uploaded 2 song clips with the hashtag #SongsWithoutAHome. A fan in turn commented asking if these songs were meant for Blink-182, to which DeLonge replied with a clapping hands emoji. This has largely been seen to have meant "Yes".
There it is, the last 2 weeks of Blink-182. A messy, unnecessary, and entirely public dispute between friends of 20 years plus. Grown, 40 year old men fighting on social media like a trio of immature teenagers. All these weeks have done is soil the reputation of Blink-182, a worldwide phenomenon in music, with millions of fans at theirs backs. Tom DeLonge, however, seems to be making some sense. Out of the three, he appears to be the one more concerned with looking elsewhere, in creating new ventures that aren’t Blink-182. Can we really blame him? Being in the same band for over 20 years is a feat in itself, should he be punished and hated on just for wanting change? That said, there are ways to go about such things, and DeLonge has not entirely done so in these ways, which gives Hoppus and Barker definite reason for their frustrations.
So what is to become of Blink-182? For the moment rehearsals continue minus Tom DeLonge, with Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio filling his boots for one show. As for the legacy that Mark Hoppus has spoke of wanting to protect, it is yet to be seen if the damage is beyond repair.
To listen to the leaked demos, go Tom DeLonge’s Instagram.