Stereotypes song in A Dog’s Journey; the relaunch of Angels & Airwaves; and Glory: Iron Butterfly/Beat Farmers/Bratz supergroup reunion
Jay Allen Sanford noon, May 16
Sound description: Entry-level pop punk.
RIYL: Angels and Airwaves, Sum 41, +44, Box Car Racer, the Transplants, Expensive Taste, the Aquabats, Green Day, NOFX, the Offspring
Inception: Poway, 1992
Influences: The Descendents, Screeching Weasel, the Cure, Rancid, Green Day, the Ramones, the Buzzcocks, the Jam, the Undertones, the Offspring, the Queers, the Lillingtons, Angels & Airwaves, Box car Racer
Blink-182 was originally formed in 1992 by Tom DeLonge (vocals and guitar), who quickly recruited Mark Hoppus (vocals and bass) and Scott Raynor (drums) in Poway, California, a northern suburb of San Diego. Originally, the band's official name was "Blink"; however, the numerical three-digit suffix was appended early in their career following an objection from an Irish band with the same name. Travis Barker replaced Raynor on drums in 1998, midway through a U.S. tour.
Known for their catchy, simple melodies and lyrical toilet humor, songwriters Hoppus and DeLonge cite punk rock bands such as the Descendents and Screeching Weasel as their early influences. The title Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, their 2001 CD that sold 14 million copies worldwide, was created by blink’s ex-guitar tech Larry Palm.
“They were stressing for a name,” says Palm. “They were still recording and [guitarist] Tom [DeLonge] asked me for suggestions.”
Palm joined the band’s road crew in 1999. “That was just when Enema of the State was taking off, and they went from a club band to an arena act.”
Everyone knew the blink boys liked dick jokes.
“I was at Big Bear snowboarding. It was a rainy day and we were hanging out at the Bear Bottom Lodge. This kid came in completely drenched. His mom said, ‘Take off your pants and jacket.’ Me and my friends started busting up. It just lodged in my head. I later told Tom that I had a name for his record. After I told him, he said, ‘Let me talk to [blink cofounder] Mark [Hoppus] and get back to you. But I think it’s gonna stick. If we use it we’ll totally hook you up.’”
Blink took the name. “In a couple of months the record comes out. In the first week it sold a million copies. By the third week it sold two million.”
But Palm didn’t get any liner notes crediting him with creating the album title.
“Then I get this letter from [blink manager] Rick DeVoe. It says, ‘Thanks very much for your contributions for coming up with the name.’ It said they would cut me a check for $500. I got a pretty good laugh out of that one. They just sold two million copies and they wanted to give me $500? They just made a major chunk of change.”
Palm says the letter proved he came up with the name. “Plus, it was written up in Rolling Stone that I came up with it.... Management called me up and asked if I got the letter. I said, ‘Yeah, I got it.’ They asked me if I was going to sign it [and agree to the $500 payout]. I told the guy, ‘$500, you have got to be kidding me. Last night [on the road] they offered this videographer guy named Chino $1000 to get naked in the catering room.’ They would also spend, like, a couple grand for someone to get fireworks for a show....”
Palm says he found an intellectual property attorney named Ralph Loeb who filed suit in 2003 against blink alleging breach of contract and fraud.
“He took it from there. I was expecting to get $20,000. He told me they would settle for $10,000.”
Though concieved as a punk band, the group's songwriting and production were driven by a pop sensibility. Their last album featured more musical experimentation and lyrical sophistication than previous releases.
In mid-February 2005 the band inexplicably canceled a performance at Music for Relief's Concert for South Asia (a show put on to aid victims of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake). Shortly thereafter, before a planned final U.S. spring tour, the band announced they were going on an "indefinite hiatus" on February 22, 2005.
DeLonge went on to form a different style of band called Angels and Airwaves, while Hoppus and Barker spawned a more punkish yet poppish-style band called +44.
Geffen Records released a Greatest Hits compilation on November 1, 2005, in the U.S. that included one previously unreleased track, "Another Girl Another Planet" (a cover song originally by the Only Ones). The song was also used as the theme song for Barker's new "reality" TV show, Meet the Barkers. Also included was the previously issued "I Miss You" B-side and blink-182 album bonus track "Not Now." The album reached #6 on the Billboard Top 200 in the U.S.
In 2008, Blink-182's song "Dammit" was added to the Rock Band 2 video game. In November '08, Mark Hoppus posted a message on his blog today that appeared to be an olive branch for his two estranged ex-bandmates. Apparently, the death of Blink producer Jerry Finn and the harrowing plane crash that drummer Travis Barker survived kickstarted talks between all three Blink members.
"We're just reconnecting as friends after four years of not talking," blogged Hoppus. "It's a good thing. Obviously the first question for a lot of people will be, 'Does this mean a Blink-182 reunion?' The answer is none of us know. We haven't talked about it at all. Right now it's just good for the three of us to see one another, reconnect and let the past be the past."
In 2009, the band announced that it would indeed regroup to record and tour. At the time, DeLonge was the only member still living within San Diego. By early 2010, he was selling his house in Rancho Santa Fe, the same neighborhood where Hoppus had previously lived.
After DeLonge was diagnosed with a form of cancer in 2010, he used his alter ego Boomer to promote the Keep A Breast programme and its I Heart Boobies bracelets.
During the summer 2010 reunion tour, Mark Hoppus joked about performing a sexual act on President Barack Obama during an August 27 concert in Leeds, England. Hoppus told the crowd “I’m going to go down on Barack Obama.” In a later report, Spinner columnist Julian Marszalek wrote "If that is the case, that won’t be the only incident of Blink-182 sucking.”
In late November, 2010, they announced their first UK arena tour in over seven years.
In early 2011, Mark Hoppus said the upcoming Blink reunion album was being recorded in two different studios, with DeLonge working at home in San Diego and Barker and Hoppus laying down parts in Los Angeles. “I’d say we’re working with the better part of ten or so songs at this point.” A new single “Up All Night” was leaked online.
Hoppus then responded to angry backlash over the band canceling its 2011 European summer tour. “We don’t want to be one of those bands who rests on former success and keep playing the same songs over and over – we want to tour new songs...When we booked the tour last year, we were confident that we would have the new album out before the summer. Turns out we were mistaken as the album is taking longer than we thought and won’t be out till later this year.” Tom DeLonge’s next Airwaves and Angels album (and film) were also bumped up by almost a year.
In August 2011, the band hit the U.S. highway for the 10th annual Honda Civic Tour (blink played the first Honda tour in 2001) with My Chemical Romance, for a 40-plus date nationwide trek.
Their Neighborhoods full-length dropped September 27, 2011, with the first single being “Up All Night.” It debuted at number two on the Billboard chart, selling 151,000 copies its first week.
They played 91X-FM’s Wrex the Halls music marathon at Valley View Casino Center on December 11, 2011, along with locals Switchfoot, Pennywise, Social Distortion, DMC (of Run DMC), and Everlast. Around the same time, a new video for “Heart’s All Gone,” compiled from live footage taken during their recent tour, began streaming at http://www.blink182.com .
They played network TV’s New Years Rockin’ Eve on December 31, 2011/2012.
The band was also announced among the headliners at the 2012 Bamboozle Festival, celebrating its tenth anniversary at North Beach Asbury Park, New Jersey from May 18 through 20.
“I’m writing songs and Tom [DeLonge] is doing other stuff,” Mark Hoppus told Kerrang magazine in February 2012. “Basically, we’ve been on a break since last summer's U.S. tour. I’m sure these will all be Blink songs at the moment. I don’t have any plans to write songs with anybody...everything I’m writing right now is for Blink-182.”
A short May 2012 tour was scheduled to happen during their Bamboozle Festival appearance at North Beach Asbury Park, New Jersey from May 18 through 20 (with Bon Jovi and Foo Fighters), with arena shows in upstate New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Quebec City. However, a medical emergency forced them to cancel all of their May 2012 tour dates, when Barker required an urgent tonsillectomy with a recovery period expected to extend beyond the scheduled tour dates. The May 10 and 11 concerts at the Winstar Casino in Thackerville, OK were rescheduled for September 13 and 14, 2012.
Travis Barker also said his fear of flying may require the band to use a stand-in for an Australian tour. The August 2012 Owl City full-length The Midsummer Station includes Mark Hoppus guesting on the track “Dementia.”
They canceled a July 26, 2012 London show after Mark Hoppus was diagnosed with bronchitis, laryngitis, and sinusitis. Most of their May dates were canceled after Travis Barker required an urgent tonsillectomy.
The following month, DeLonge tweeted “Me, Mark, and Travis are having a 2-day sexual retreat in valley of Utah next month to discuss world domination, and get a couple’s massage.”
Then, “We’re releasing some new Blink-182 songs in a few weeks,” bassist Mark Hoppus tweeted. “Watch this space.” Hoppus told NME Magazine “Early next week, I go back to Los Angeles to record an iTunes session for Blink-182, and we’re starting to write the new record right now...we’re going to tour Australia in February with Blink.”
A five-song EP, dogs eating dogs (recorded at Tom DeLonge’s local Neverpants Ranch Studio and Travis Barkers’ L.A. Opra Music Studios) was released in several configurations on December 18, 2012, priced from $19.99 to $99.99. The “Santa's Lap Package” ($99.99) contains the digital EP, a limited edition blink-182 print by Brandon Heart, a holiday edition T-shirt, holiday wrapping paper, and a holiday card. The “Nice Package,” priced at $54.99, contains the digital EP, a holiday edition fleece, plus holiday wrapping paper and a card. The $19.99 “Naughty Package” contains the digital EP, holiday edition T-shirt, and a card.
Dogs eating dogs debuted in the U.S. at no. 23 on the Billboard 200 chart, as well as no. 3 on the publication's Independent Albums chart, no. 5 on the Rock chart, no. 2 on the Alternative Albums chart, and no. 3 on the Digital Albums chart.
In early 2013, they toured Australia without drummer Travis Barker, who says he hasn’t gotten over his fear of flying after the 2008 plane crash, so Brooks Wackerman of Bad Religion and Tenacious D manned the drumkit. Their only California show of 2013 was at X-Fest on September 20 at Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista.
They played a surprise show on September 11, 2013 in Brooklyn for a 9/11 tribute at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg, with proceeds benefiting two hospitals; New York's William Randolph Hearst Burn Center and Los Angeles' City of Hope.
When they played the Hollywood Palladium on November 6 and 7, 2013, the band celebrated the 10th anniversary of their 2003 self-titled release by performing the album in its entirety for the first time, as well as other classic Blink songs. Around the same time, they announced they'd headline the next year's Reading and Leeds festivals in their only UK appearances of the year, where they said they'll perform tracks from their upcoming seventh album.
They performed a one-off warm-up show in London at O2 Academy Brixton on August 6, 2014, a couple of weeks before their headline performances at the Leeds Festival (August 22) and the Reading Festival (August 24).
Rehearsals were underway in summer 2014 for a new album, a process made more difficult due to DeLonge living in San Diego, while Barker lives in Los Angeles and Hoppus lives in London. That Autumn, it was reported that Weezer frontman Rivers Coumo and Hoppus had written tracks for McBusted's debut album.
"I think we found the house we're going to start recording the next record in," Tom DeLonge told Radio.com of Blink's plan to record in January 2015. "That's a big deal, finding location, for us. That's usually the biggest obstacle, finding a place everyone can get to."
However, it appeared Tom DeLonge quit the trio - again - in January 2015. "March 1, I will be launching personal recordings of new Blink demos along with a few extra tracks on TomDelonge.me," the band's ex-frontman then announced online.
Blink featured a new lineup when they played Soma on March 20, 2015, with Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba taking over for Tom Delonge for a show in San Diego and two days later at the Musink Tattoo & Music Festival in Costa Mesa.
All Time Low surprised their Los Angeles audience on May 3, 2015, when they were joined on stage by Mark Hoppus for a performance of "Tidal Waves," a ballad featuring the Blink-182 singer.
In August 2015, Blink became the latest band to have their songs turned into lullabies for children, with the album Lullaby Renditions Of Blink-182 released by Rockabye Baby Music, while Hoppus scored the animated short I'm Scared.
Also in August, Hoppus revealed to Billboard that the band was entering the studio to record a new album with Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba in place of departed frontman Tom DeLonge. Hoppus joined Mumford And Sons onstage on August 18 at the Forum in Inglewood, CA for a cover of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)." Shortly after that, he turned up onstage with the Mumfords again at the Troubadour in L.A., this time playing a Blink song with Tom Morello on lead.
In October 2015, it was reported that Skiba had recorded at least five more new tracks with the band. That same month, Barker's book Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death & Drums, Drums, Drums was released by William Morrow Publishers.
Four of their albums were rereleased on limited edition cassette (2,500 copies) in late 2015, including their second album Dude Ranch (1997), Enema Of the State (1999), 2003's self-titled effort, and the Mark, Tom And Travis Show live album (2000).
Their 2016 album California was previewed by a single for "Bored to Death," which debuted April 28 on the Kevin & Bean morning show on Los Angeles radio station KROQ. The album had already topped the chart when the band released a new music video for "Bored to Death."
In October 2016, Geffen/UMe released a Blink-182 limited edition seven-album vinyl box set. The trio announced a 10-date UK tour for summer 2017, opening in Cardiff on July 3 and wrapping up in London on July 19.
Hoppus and Barker make guest appearances on the 2017 Goldfinger album The Knife, the band's first new full-length in nine years. A music video for the Blink balled "Home is Such a Lonely Place" was filmed in a home video style, at home with their family and friends as they prepared to leave for a tour.
Hoppus and Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda wrote a song together, from scratch, while on stage at the 2017 MIDEM Keynote presentation in Cannes, France.
In September 2017, Hoppus' song “Not Every Dog Goes To Heaven,” inspired by National Lampoon’s Vacation, appeared on the charity album Dog Songs, released to raise money for the ASPCA (American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to help dogs who were affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“As a dog lover, I was honored to be asked. I wanted to write an anti-tribute to Dinky, the total bummer of a dog from Vacation, one of my favorite films of all time...I went into the studio with John Feldmann and we bashed out the guitars, bass, and vocals in a morning. Travis came in that afternoon and absolutely destroyed the drums. It was all finished in a matter of 3-4 hours. In a matter of days, it went from an idea in the back of my head to a song on an album out in the world. It's a fun, energetic track that I'm proud to have included on the album, and it's for a great cause.”
In early 2018, the band announced a residency in Las Vegas starting in May at a theater in the Palms Casino-resort, with additional shows slated for June, October, and November. However, the June dates were cancelled due to Barker being diagnosed with blood clots in each arm.
It was also announced that Blink-182 and Beck will headline Chicago's Riot Fest, scheduled to take place September 14, 15, and 16, though those dates were cast in doubt by Barker's medical issues.
Funko Toys debuted a set of Blink 182 toys at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con International. Vocalist / bassist Mark Hoppus and All Time Low frontman Alex Gaskarth teamed up for a band called Simple Creatures, releasing their debut EP in March 2019.