Earlier today, Blink-182 members Mark Hoppus and Travis Braker released a statement noting that founding member Tom DeLonge had “indefinitely” left the band and that Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba would replace DeLonge for the band’s upcoming set at Musink Festival. DeLonge countered shortly after, posting on his Instagram, “I never quit the band,” calling the press release “weird” and questioning its legitimacy. In an exclusive, candid interview with Rolling Stone, Hoppus and Barker set the record straight on Blink’s inner turmoils, album delays and ongoing frustrations.
There seems to be a disconnect between your statement saying Tom left the band and Tom saying that he didn’t quit. Who’s right?
Hoppus: That’s all true [Laughs]. I’ll walk you through the past two years of Blink-182 history: For the past two years, we’ve been working with a bunch of different labels to try and get a record deal because the three of us collectively decided that we wanted to make a record with a partner. A few months ago, Travis has this festival that he is co-owner of and presenting and he asked Tom and I if we would play and we said, “No problem.” At the end of December, we were finalizing our record deal. On Christmas Eve, all three people signed the record deal. We had been talking about where we wanted to record, what producers we want to use, what day we want to start. This is all through e-mail. I don’t think either of us have spoken to Tom in person in months, but everything’s been moving positively.
We’re booked January 5th to go into the studio. 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.