In the last week Blink 182 fans have been on a roller coaster as the band that so many have grown up with appeared to fall apart. You don’t have to be a hardcore Blink fan to have been aware that something was going down as the story was picked up on by numerous major publications and quickly went viral. It says a lot about the popularity and scope of this band that it was so widely reported on, Blink brought pop-punk to the masses and have been a major inspiration to a whole host of bands breaking through today.
Despite this the band itself are no strangers to conflict. Blink 182 went on indefinite hiatus in February 2005 citing disagreements over the bands future and direction. In the interim period all three members took on new projects, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker remained together playing music in +44, a band that never really flourished and that was met with mixed reviews. Tom Delonge introduced his side project Angels and Airwaves in September 2005, a supergroup which has seen members of The Offspring, Thrice and Thirty Seconds to Mars among others grace its line-up. Despite numerous changes to the bands line-up it has a solid fan base and has produced five albums alongside a huge range of accompanying media including a film, documentary and soon, comic books.
In 2008 Travis Barker was involved in a serious plane accident in which four people were killed. This would be the catalyst to Blink 182’s comeback, with Delonge immediately making contact with his old band mates. To fan’s delight Blink 182 picked up where they left off and started touring and making music again. Their comeback album ‘Neighbourhoods’ released in 2011 was well received despite Delonge revealing dissatisfaction with the recording process. An EP entitled ‘Dogs Eating Dogs’ was released in December 2012 as the band continued to tour and headline festivals, it all appeared to be going well.
Here in 2015 fans were desperately awaiting the new album, (the recording of which appeared to be continuously delayed) when last week the press began reporting that Delonge had left the band and was to be temporarily replaced by Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba. The reports were at first debunked by Delonge who posted on Instagram refuting claims that he had left. The next few days were an embarrassing display of how out of touch Blink 182 have become not only with each other but with their fan base. Hoppus and Barker went on to release an official statement confirming that Delonge’s manager had contacted them to say he would no longer be playing music with the band. Delonge retorted with an open letter to fans, maintaining that he had never left the band but that ‘squabbling and politics’ was rife.
For now it appears that Blink 182 will continue to make music without Delonge as they begin to rehearse with Skiba. I am sure I echo many Blink 182 fan’s thoughts when I say it’s unbelievably sad to see such a great band fall apart so publicly. It seems very likely that Tom Delonge’s commitments outside of Blink 182 have contributed to the downfall of the band as Angels and Airwaves continue to expand and produce more content. It is extremely hard to imagine Blink 182 playing with any other line up, one of the best things about this band was always that they just appeared to be three friends having a great time. Matt Skiba will no doubt bring a huge amount of talent to the band but I cannot imagine that they will be able to recreate the magic and sound of Blink 182 without Delonge.