This week, in news related to 15-year-old dick jokes, two members of Blink-182 — Mark Hoppus (the non-whiny one) and Travis Barker (the tattooed drummer that used to have that fucking reality show) — are having a bit of a tiff with the third guy — Tom Delonge (the whiny one who also sometimes thinks he's Jesus). And by tiff, we mean they've announced that Delonge's out of the band, and temporarily replaced by Matt Skiba (that handsome gothic fellow who sings for Alkaline Trio.)
This all started on Monday when Hoppus and Barker released a statement saying: “A week before we were scheduled to go in to the studio, we got an email from [Delonge's] manager explaining that he didn’t want to participate in any Blink-182 projects indefinitely, but would rather work on his other non-musical endeavors… No hard feelings, but the show must go on for our fans.” Must it, fellas? Really? Because we kind of feel like it's gone on long enough.
[jump] Shortly after Hoppus' and Barker's press release, Delonge hit Instagram and stated: “To all the fans, I never quit the band. I actually was on a phone call about a blink 182 event for New York City at the time all these weird press releases started coming in… Apparently those releases were 'sanctioned' from the band. Are we dysfunctional- yes. But, Christ…..”
This, in turn, prompted Hoppus and Barker to leap from “No hard feelings” to “Let's go talk a bunch of shit to Rolling Stone” in literally the same day. Most remarkably of all, Barker — usually a monosyllabic mumble machine — vented like a miserable housewife trying therapy for the first time.
“We always covered up for him before,” Barker said. “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.”
Now, amidst all of this man-boy drama, and the he-said-he-said bullshit of the last couple of days, one thought kept coming back to us repeatedly, like a mantra: “Just break up… Just break up already… Just break the fuck up already… Just BREAK THE FUCK UP already!”
When the trio reformed in 2009 and hit the road, it was a nice little bit of nostalgia and the opportunity to hear some undoubtedly catchy songs that we've all jumped around and drunk puked to at some point in our lives. Blink-182 is a gleeful, childish, silly and, yes, very fun band, when they're at their best. So the initial reunion tours were welcomed. And they were a good idea. “Make some money while you still can, fellas!” we thought at the time.
But as with many bands re-living their glory days, Blink didn't know when to stop. They dragged out recording 2011's Neighborhoods, in the face of numerous recording and internal disasters, and it only got released after the initial reunion momentum had passed. The record arrived late and was only okay — not bad, not particularly memorable. By the time they headlined the U.K.'s insanely popular Reading Festival in August 2014, they were clearly tired and going through the motions. The performance was widely slated by Britain's music press as “awful.” Delonge's performance was called “dreadful,” “dire and bizarre,” and even “a disgrace.”
Delonge clearly didn't want to be there and now — hurray! — he's not going to be anymore. But you know what? Neither should Barker and Hoppus. It's dead. It's over. Don't limp around to any dates you've booked, dragging Matt Skiba down with you. Don't whine to the press. Don't rant on social media. Just accept that Blink-182 ran its course and came to a natural conclusion about a decade ago. And just break the fuck up already.
We understand Barker's desire to still perform at the Musink Festival this March — he's the one that put the line-up together — and we understand the urge to stay defiant in the face of Delonge's indifference. But this public infighting and member-replacing is a truly pitiful way to end a reunion that has been decidedly patchy anyway. We know Blink isn't a band that's ever been concerned with their own dignity, but this might be the least dignified way to finish a reunion ever.
The exact root cause of all of Blink-182's current problems is actually talked about in that Rolling Stone interview Hoppus and Barker did this week. It's only mentioned in passing in the feature, but it's actually a truly remarkable public admission: “When we did get back together after my plane crash,” Barker said, “we only got back together, I don't know, maybe because I almost died.”
Um, WHAT? So this wasn't about the music, or the shows, or the fans, or the urge to spark up that old magic in the studio again — it's purely because someone almost died. Isn't this the musical equivalent of pity sex?
So please, Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker, Tom Delonge (who seems to think he hasn't quit the band), we implore you once more: just do us all a favor — and break the fuck up already.