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Blink-182 Considered Ditching Travis Barker After Soundwave No-Show

Written by Emmy Mack on January 28, 2015

A war of the words has ramped up inside the Blink-182 dude ranch over the past 24 hours, yielding some hefty revelations about what went on behind-the-scenes during the band’s last trip to Australia for Soundwave 2013. But first, a quick recap. Previously, on Blink-182…

Yesterday’s controversial Blink split really heated up after bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker vented their spleens to Rolling Stone, calling out wayward son Tom DeLonge for being a general dick.

“It’s hard to cover for someone who’s disrespectful and ungrateful,” Barker told the music rag. “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.”

But, in a retort posted to (and then quickly deleted from) Twitter overnight, DeLonge says it ain’t so (he will not go).

“A year ago Mark and I spent a week on the phone with managers debating parting with Travis,” he said. “Don’t pretend there isn’t more to the story.”

The latest twist in Blinkgate has prompted Hoppus to address DeLonge’s claims about plotting to give their beloved beatman the double-kick out of the band, and it turns out, it all went down following Barker’s decision not to play Soundwave 2013.

“[For the 2013] Australian tour in January, Travis obviously didn’t go on that tour because he didn’t feel comfortable flying, which was a possibility that we had known about from day one,” Hoppus tells Alternative Press. “When we agreed to do the tour of Australia Travis said, ‘I will do everything in my power to get back on an airplane, but if it gets to the day and I’m not ready to go, we need a back-up plan’.

He continues:

“As it [came] closer to the time, Travis called me and Tom and said, ‘I’m not ready yet, I don’t think I’m going to be able to make the flight. We should go with a back-up drummer.’ With Travis’ blessing we enlisted Brooks Wackerman and completed the tour.

“However, during the course of the tour, Travis and the promoter [AJ Maddah] got into a Twitter argument back and forth that was very contentious and was a lot of stress. Tom was upset, I was upset because it was happening while we were on this tour, and the tour was going very well. Everything should’ve been cool. The promoter thought that Travis had never intended to come to Australia and felt that he had been duped. Of course, that wasn’t the case.”

But, as far as wanting to oust Travis from the band goes, the bassist says Tom was just overreacting to, uh, all the small things.

“After the tour, Tom was very upset about being put in that situation on tour, where people were threatening to sue, the promoter was angry and everything else. But he was really just blowing off steam. We got back from tour and Tom was having these calls where he was talking about ‘can we replace Travis, can we do whatever,’ but it was really just Tom blowing off steam.

“There were a few days of calls where I listened to Tom, commiserated with Tom and, immediately afterwards, called up my manager and [said], ‘Tom’s upset right now, he’s talking about trying to replace Travis, but I’m not into it. That’s not going to happen.’ And sure enough, Tom, after a month, called back up and was like, ‘Hey you know what? I was just angry about it. It was a bad situation, and of course I don’t want to kick Travis out of the band.’

“I don’t think Tom was ever truly serious about it. Even at the time, I felt he was just angry and he just needed to vent.”

Hoppus’s interview with AP sees the bassist give a measured and mature response to the controversy that has been turbo-charged by a day’s worth of principals’ office style he-said she-said (what’s their age again?), which began when Blink first announced that DeLonge had left the band indefinitely, followed by DeLonge denying he ever quit, and finally Hoppus and Barker laying the smackdown on their guitarist via Rolling Stone.

“…Tom doesn’t want to be in Blink,” Hoppus continues. “It’s obvious. That’s fine. But it’s so confusing to get emails from people saying, ‘Tom’s out indefinitely, Tom’s not going to do these things, Tom doesn’t want to record, doesn’t want to tour, doesn’t want to do anything,’ and then at the same time say, [adopts shocked tone] ‘I never quit the band. I just said I wasn’t ever going to do anything again’.”

“…Travis and I aren’t angry or mad or whatever. When we got the email from Tom’s manager saying that he didn’t want to record, at least he was being honest at that point. We’ve been dragging for so long to try to get into the studio and try to get to work. For him to finally say, ‘I’m not going to do it,’ was almost like, ‘Okay, now you’ve actually said it. Now let’s move forward: You do whatever you want to do and we’ll continue doing what we love doing. Which is Blink’.”

On the other side of the internet, DeLonge has tweeted a photo of a fella getting up close and personal with a man-eating lion, along with the descriptor “Me and the band #hugging” (below). Make of that what you will. That was followed up by a lengthy Facebook post this morning, detailing the Blink saga from his own point of view.

Check out Hoppus’ full Alternative Press interview with Mark Hoppus here.

Gallery: Blink-182 – Allphones Arena, Sydney 20/02/2013

Watch: Blink 182 – What’s My Age Again?

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