Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker have opened up a fully blown can of whoop ass on their estranged bandmate Tom DeLonge this afternoon via Rolling Stone, in response to a confusing he-said, she-said regarding his status with the band.
Confusion first erupted from the Blink-182 camp earlier today, after the band released a statement indicating founding member DeLonge had split from the group “indefinitely”. Said confusion then intensified after DeLonge took to Facebook to refute the claims, assuring fans that he had not, in fact, quit the band.
Now things have turned ugly, with remaining Blinksters Hoppus and Barker spilling their guts about the situation to Rolling Stone, in an incredibly candid tell-all interview which shines a spotlight on the alleged behind-the-scenes pain-in-the-arsery that culminated in DeLonge’s controversial ousting.
They’ve described months of back-and-forths between themselves and DeLonge’s manager, trying to negotiate a time to record the next Blink-182 album, which became something akin to banging their heads against a brick wall.
“We’re booked January 5th to go into the studio,” said Hoppus. “On December 30th, we get an e-mail from Tom’s manager saying that he has no interest in recording and that he wants to do his other, non-musical stuff and that he’s out indefinitely.
“There’s a flurry of e-mails going back and forth for clarification about the recording and the show and his manager sends [an e-mail] back saying, ‘Tom. Is. Out.’ Direct quote. This is the exact same e-mail we got back in 2004 when Tom went on indefinite hiatus before.”
“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’.”
Hoppus continued: “This is exactly the same sequence of events that happened when Blink broke up 10 years ago. We had things booked in advance and we get an e-mail from Tom’s manager saying, ‘Tom’s out indefinitely.’ But last time, Travis and I took a step back and said okay and we just kept our mouths shut.”
That’s not been the case this time, though. Hoppus and Barker responded to DeLonge’s social media blast about not quitting the band with an incredulous eye-roll.
“I think he’s just bummed because Mark and I were finally honest,” said Barker. “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,” the sticksman continued. “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.”
Hoppus added: “His actions speak louder than whatever he feels compelled to write on an Instagram post… I think that the fans know. Look at each of our’s social media accounts and look who talks and promotes Blink-182 or is excited about Blink-182. Travis and I were ready to walk into a studio January 5th.”
At this point in time, it certainly seems like DeLonge will be out of the band for the forseeable future. Hoppus noted, “There are legalities involved with this. As Tom pointed out, he technically didn’t quit the band. Then it gets all lawyer-y, which I will leave to the attorneys and managers.”
On the status of any forthcoming Blink-182 album, and what lies ahead, Hoppus was perhaps even less clear. “When the press release went out today, it felt like a giant weight lifting off my shoulders. Finally, people know what the deal is with our band. Beyond that, we’ll see what happens… Travis and I are intent on protecting the legacy of Blink-182 and continue to do what we’ve been doing for the past two decades: continue playing the songs.”
Perhaps the most telling statement came at the end of the interview, when the pair was asked whether Tom would be welcome in the band should he decided to make an album tomorrow. Barker deferred to Hoppus as “the sweeter” of the two, and the bassist unleashed some choice words that left no room for interpretation.
“We’ve done everything that we could to give Tom what he says he needs. It’s been years of pushing back and I have to tell you: It feels humiliating to be in a band where you have to be apologizing for one person all the time. That’s how it’s felt for a long time.
“When Tom finally said, ‘I’m not going to go into the studio or play this show,’ it was kind of a gigantic relief because at least he finally said it. But to then say, ‘I didn’t quit the band,’ it’s just not true. It’s disingenuous. 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.”
Hoppus and Barker also confirmed DeLonge will be replaced by Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba in the band’s upcoming engagements. Read the full interview at Rolling Stone, and prepare for more drama — DeLonge will be sure to respond soon. Things are about to get lawyer-y.
UPDATE 28/01/14: DeLonge has finally responded to the accusations laid against him by his bandmates (or former bandmates, we’re still not too sure), and commented on his future with the band — details here.
UPDATE 28/01/14: Hoppus has addressed claims by DeLonge that the two founding members of Blink had debated ditching long-time drummer Travis Barker after the sticksman pulled out of the band’s last Australian tour, sparking a spat between Barker and Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah — details here.
Gallery: Blink-182 – Allphones Arena, Sydney 20/02/2013