This may be the end of an era. Bandmates Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker of acclaimed pop/punk band Blink-182 have confirmed that their on-again off-again vocalist/guitarist Tom DeLonge has “indefinitely” left the band. DeLonge countered with an Instagram post stating, “I never quit the band,” calling the press release “weird” and questioning its legitimacy. In a candid interview, Hoppus and Barker set the record straight on the band’s inner struggles, album delays, and a long-failing friendship between the trio.
Hoppus describes the last two years with Blink-182 – working with multiple labels in the hopes of securing a record deal (which they all signed on Christmas Eve 2014), booking studio time, and then DeLonge’s manager sending a last minute email stating that Tom was out. To be more specific, the email said, “Tom. Is. Out.” Which was the exact same email the other two bandmates received in 2004 when DeLonge went on indefinite hiatus.
Hoppus and Barker did not seem surprised by DeLonge’s exit strategy. They refer to countless occasions where the entire Blink-182 team has made extreme accommodations for DeLonge, and that “It feels humiliating to be in a band where you have to be apologizing for one person all the time. That’s how it felt for a long time.”
The day after the statement from Hoppus and Barker, DeLonge released his own, very lengthy statement. He claimed to be the victim of a dysfunctional Blink-182 family, and that he felt pressure from Hoppus and Barker to get a record deal during a specific timeframe, when they knew it would conflict with prior contracts he held with Angels and Airwaves.
Hoppus ended his statement with, “I just wish Tom does whatever makes him happy and stops holding Bink-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.” We may not know what actually happened between the members of Blink-182, but what we do know is that the band that generations of fans loved will not be the same without those three guys.