Today Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker announced that they were done waiting for founding guitarist Tom DeLonge to participate in band activities and were moving on without him, calling upon Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba as his replacement. Although DeLonge countered that he never quit the band, it appears he’s out of Blink-182 one way or another. Now Hoppus and Barker have elaborated on their side of the story in an interview with Rolling Stone detailing DeLonge’s history of “disrespectful and ungrateful” behavior.
To sum it up: Blink-182 signed a record contract and were planning to make a new album starting 1/5, with DeLonge fully on board. But a couple days before the New Year, DeLonge’s manager sent an email declaring that he would be focusing on nonmusical projects for now and would not be involved in band matters for the foreseeable future. Explained Hoppus, there was no ambiguity about DeLonge’s position:
Every single thing that we’ve heard from his camp — from e-mails from his manager to our production team — was, “Tom is out indefinitely. For the foreseeable future, Tom is done.”
When asked why DeLonge is insisting he didn’t quit, Barker had this to say:
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. You don’t even have the balls to call your bandmates and tell them you’re not going to record or do anything Blink-related. You have your manager do it. Everyone should know what the story is with him and it’s been years with it. When we did get back together after my plane crash, we only got back together, I don’t know, maybe because I almost died. But he didn’t even listen to mixes or masterings from that record. He didn’t even care about it. Why Blink even got back together in the first place is questionable.
They added that despite whatever legal matters need to be ironed out, they just want to get back to playing Blink-182 songs, and they’re sick of bending over backwards to meet DeLonge’s demands only to have him not come through. “It feels humiliating to be in a band where you have to be apologizing for one person all the time,” Hoppus said. “That’s how it’s felt for a long time.” As for whether they’ll ever let DeLonge come back, Hoppus was noncommital:
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.
There’s a lot more here, and it’s just as messy.
UPDATE: Revolt points out that DeLonge tweeted and then deleted the following message in the early hours of Tuesday morning: “A year ago Mark and I spent a week on the phone with managers debating parting with Travis… Don’t pretend there isn’t more to the story.” Revolt captured a screenshot, which they shared on Instagram:
Well, I guess this is growing up.