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Left to right: Hoppus, Barker, and DeLonge in 2011
|Also known as||Blink (1992–94)|
|Origin||Poway, California, United States|
|Years active||1992–2005, 2009–present|
|Labels||Grilled Cheese, Cargo Music, Kung Fu, MCA, Geffen, Interscope, DGC|
|Associated acts||Box Car Racer, +44, Angels & Airwaves, Transplants|
Blink-182 is an American pop punk band consisting of vocalist and bass guitarist Mark Hoppus, vocalist and guitarist Tom DeLonge, and drummer Travis Barker. They have sold over 28 million albums worldwide since forming in Poway, California in 1992. With original drummer Scott Raynor they released their debut album Cheshire Cat in 1994 and achieved moderate success with its follow-up, 1997's Dude Ranch, which went on to sell over one million copies. Raynor was replaced by Barker midway through a 1998 tour.
The band achieved greater success with 1999's multi-platinum selling Enema of the State, which reached number 9 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the singles "What's My Age Again?" and "All the Small Things", the latter of which became the highest-charting song of their career by reaching number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Blink-182 gained popularity for their irreverent sense of humor, and the follow-up album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001) reached number 1 in the United States, Canada, and Germany. The eponymously-titled Blink-182 followed in 2003 and marked a stylistic shift for the group, infusing experimental elements into their usual pop punk formula, resulting in a more mature sound.
DeLonge left Blink-182 in early 2005, sending the band into indefinite hiatus. He went on to form Angels & Airwaves while Hoppus and Barker formed +44. Hoppus also pursued a career as a television host while Barker continued working in music as a producer and solo artist. Blink-182 reunited in February 2009 and their sixth studio album, Neighborhoods, was released in September 2011.
After moving to San Diego in the summer of 1992, Mark Hoppus was reunited with his sister Anne, to whom he expressed his desire to be in a band. Anne attended Rancho Bernardo High School, where she became friends with new student Tom DeLonge who had been previously expelled from Poway High School for showing up drunk at a basketball game. DeLonge often expressed the desire to be in a band as well, so in August 1992 Anne introduced him to her brother Mark Hoppus. The two played for hours in DeLonge's garage, showing each other songs they had previously written, and writing new songs together – one of which would become the track "Carousel". To impress DeLonge, Hoppus climbed to the top of a streetlight outside of DeLonge's home – however, he cracked both heels on the landing, resulting in being in crutches for the next few weeks. After deciding they needed to officially start a band, DeLonge recruited friend Scott Raynor, whom he had met at a party. (However, according to Raynor, he and DeLonge started the band together, which Hoppus later joined.) The three began playing together and called themselves Duck Tape, until DeLonge thought of the name Blink.
The band practiced constantly, which angered Hoppus's girlfriend. She told him he had to choose between the band and her, so he left the band just as it was starting. DeLonge then informed Hoppus that he borrowed a 4-track from a friend and he and Raynor were using it to make a demo tape. Upon hearing this, Hoppus decided he would leave his girlfriend and return to the band. The demo tape, titled Flyswatter, was recorded in May 1993 in Raynor's bedroom. The 4-track used to record the material resulted in poor sound quality. According to Hoppus, only a small number of demos were released, primarily to their family and friends. The same year, the band recorded another demo tape, this one untitled and known simply as Demo 2. It featured re-recordings of a few Flyswatter songs and also included new songs, some of which would go on to be re-recorded and re-released on the band's albums Buddha, Cheshire Cat, and Dude Ranch.
Buddha, their third and final demo, was recorded in 1993 on a 24 track recording system at Double Time Studios in San Diego, California, according to the CD's liner notes. It was released on cassette in 1993 with around 1,000 copies of the tape produced by Filter Records, an independent record company headed by Hoppus's boss. The album was one of the few Blink-182 productions released with the band name as Blink. A remastered version was released on Kung Fu Records in 1998 (with three of the original tracks omitted and two new tracks added).
Early days in the band included carrying and tuning their gear at every gig and living in a van. The band's first goal was to headline SOMA, a San Diego all-ages club only (then) capable of holding 1,500 people. After eventually playing other small clubs in Southern California, Hoppus recalls "[we] worked our way up from there." DeLonge called clubs constantly in San Diego asking for a spot to play, as well as calling up local high schools convincing them that Blink was a "motivational band with a strong anti-drug message" in hopes to play at an assembly or lunch.
The band gained fame for humorous stage shows and were eventually signed to a small record label named Cargo Music, where they released their first full-length album, Cheshire Cat, in February 1994. Recorded in three days and fueled by both new songs and re-recordings of songs from previous demos, Blink began to gain fame outside of California throughout 1995 and 1996. "M+M's" and "Wasting Time" from Cheshire Cat were released as singles, but both failed to chart. Although the album never made a commercial impact, it is cited by bands and fans as an iconic release.
Shortly after the release of the album, the band was threatened with legal action by an Irish pop band of the same name. To avoid a legal dispute, the band appended "182" to the end of their name. In 1994, the band released a split EP with Iconoclasts titled Short Bus. The 3-track EP They Came to Conquer... Uranus was released the next year. The band moved to Encinitas, California in 1996, where they would record their second album Dude Ranch with producer Mark Trombino. Blink-182 recorded the album under Cargo Records, but did well on U.S. modern rock charts, so they signed with MCA in 1998 in order to handle increased distribution. The album was released in 1997 and was relatively commercially successful, selling 1.5 million copies worldwide. The single "Dammit" became one of Blink's biggest hits, and the band received a small degree of mainstream success.
Thanks to the success of Dude Ranch, Blink-182 embarked on multiple worldwide tours during 1997 and 1998. Midway through a U.S. tour in 1998, original drummer Scott Raynor was asked to leave the band. Various conflicting reasons have circulated the Internet for years; a largely popular explanation is that Raynor had a serious drinking problem and was asked to leave. When he agreed to abstain from alcohol, bassist Mark Hoppus and guitarist Tom DeLonge doubted his sincerity and he was fired from the band through a telephone call. In a 2004 interview, Hoppus described the touring for Dude Ranch as "rough", with DeLonge adding "That was the worst tour ever. At that time, our drummer had a drinking problem. One show he dropped his sticks 10 times. It was so disturbing to see someone ruining himself." Raynor, in a 2004 interview with AbsolutePunk, stated the reason for his departure was his desire to stay in a small non-mainstream band against the increasing popularity Blink-182 was achieving.
Hoppus and DeLonge asked drummer Travis Barker of Blink-182's support band The Aquabats to fill in for Raynor for the remainder of the tour. He was later offered the position of a full-time drummer and consequently left The Aquabats. Barker reportedly learned the entire setlist of the tour (which consisted of 20 songs) in less than one day. The band entered the studio in October 1998 to begin work on what would become their breakthrough album, Enema of the State.
After finishing up production of Enema of the State with new producer Jerry Finn, the album was released in June 1999 and became a huge success, largely due to popular singles "What's My Age Again?", "All the Small Things", and "Adam's Song". The singles led to an incredible amount of airtime on music video channels, bringing the band to a new audience. The band's popularity soared to new horizons and the band made a cameo in the teen comedy American Pie (1999). A home video titled The Urethra Chronicles (1999) featured behind-the-scenes information, and was released in November 1999. "Adam's Song" caused a stir in 2000 when it was set to replay indefinitely on a stereo as 17-year-old Columbine survivor Greg Barnes hanged himself in the garage of his family's home. Enema of the State would go on to sell over 15 million copies, solidifying Blink-182 as one of the biggest pop punk acts of the era.
The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!) was released in November 2000, a live album based on tracks recorded in November 1999 in both San Francisco and Universal City, California. Although the album’s name references Blink-182’s highly publicized summer 2000 tour (The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show Tour), the album was actually recorded on the Loserkids Tour (during the tour’s arena shows early on in the tour) in 1999. The album quickly went out of print. Two singles were released from the album, the sole studio track "Man Overboard" and a live version of "Dumpweed".
The band continued its commercial success with Take Off Your Pants and Jacket in 2001, which was a small change from their direction in Enema of the State. The album sold more than 350,000 copies in the first week. It contains the hit singles "The Rock Show", "First Date" and "Stay Together for the Kids", while "Anthem Part 2" also received radio airplay. The album has sold more than 14.5 million records worldwide, while going double platinum in the US. The album was released on three different CDs: yellow, red and green versions, each one featuring two unique bonus tracks. A European tour in winter 2001 was delayed in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Rescheduled dates in early 2002 were also canceled due to DeLonge's back problems. In 2001, Mark Hoppus' sister released a book about the genesis of the band entitled Blink-182: Tales From Beneath Your Mom. Blink-182 co-headlined the Pop Disaster Tour with Green Day during summer 2002, which was documented on the DVD Riding in Vans with Boys.
During time off from Blink-182, DeLonge and Barker formed side project Box Car Racer with David Kennedy of Hazen Street. Created to experiment with non "Blink-friendly" darker content, the band recorded and released their debut album Box Car Racer in May 2002 to commercial success. The album is a salute to DeLonge's post-hardcore influences, such as Fugazi and Refused. Meanwhile, Barker was invited to join rap rock outfit Transplants and accepted; the band's eponymous debut album being released in October 2002. After finishing up the side-projects near Christmas of 2002, the band regrouped and began production of their next album.
The band rented a house in San Diego to record the album, which took much longer than expected, causing the band to be kicked out of the house before finishing the album. Whereas previous Blink-182 albums took less than three months to record, the new record would take Blink nearly all of 2003 to complete. The band embarked on a short tour in the Middle East in summer 2003, as well as co-headlining Britain's Reading and Leeds festivals for the first time, alongside Linkin Park where they performed new songs. The album was in production so late that final mixes were still being judged by Hoppus, DeLonge, and Barker in early October 2003. DeLonge described the final days of mixing the album as "crazy stressful", with "literally hours to turn [the album] to have it come it out on time."
Blink-182's eponymous fifth studio album was released on November 18, 2003 through Geffen Records, the band's first with the label. The album was commercially successful (bolstered by hit singles "Feeling This" and "I Miss You") and received favorable reviews from music critics, who praised the band's new direction and sound. The album represented a more "mature" Blink-182 than seen in the past, with the band infusing experimentalist elements into their usual pop punk sound, inspired by lifestyle changes (the band members all became fathers before the album was released) and side-projects (Box Car Racer and Transplants).
Shortly before the release of Blink-182, the band embarked on the "DollaBill" tour, named for the ticket cost of $1 each. They played ten club shows throughout the US and one in Canada. Barker broke his right foot after a gig in Melbourne, Australia in March 2004, forcing the band to cancel several shows there and in Japan. Blink-182 toured with No Doubt in the summer of 2004. Two more singles from Blink-182, "Down" and "Always", were issued during 2004, the latter celebrating the band's longevity. However, tensions were arising in the band as they completed a European tour in December 2004.
A North American tour, in support of Blink-182 and "Always" was planned for spring 2005. Tensions, however, arose between the band members as DeLonge expressed his desire to cancel the tour and enter a half-year respite from touring. At a band meeting which coincided with the beginning of Blink-182's final European tour, DeLonge expressed his desire to spend more time with his family. He also declined recording a new album. "The conversation got heated and lasted for two or three hours. It went around in circles, and the end result was the canceled tour, with no idea when we would be doing anything with Blink-182 again." During the band's six-month break, Hoppus expressed his desire for the band to perform at Music for Relief's Concert for South Asia, a benefit show to aid victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. DeLonge agreed to perform, and the band subsequently began rehearsing for the event. Further tensions, however, arose between the band members during rehearsals, and they began arguing about the band's "forced break, the greatest hits record, and the possibility of recording the next album."
DeLonge stated that he would only record his contributions to the band's next studio album at his home in San Diego, and that Hoppus and Barker could send him ProTools files to work on. Regarding the band's final moments together as a band, Hoppus states that: "One person was dictating everything. We told Tom this. Things got hot. [...] We said, 'You are trying to control everything, and it's wrong.' He said he couldn't be a part of anything he couldn't control, and he left the rehearsal space." DeVoe phoned Hoppus and Barker the following day to tell them that DeLonge had quit the band, stating: "As of today, Tom DeLonge is no longer a member of Blink-182." DeLonge subsequently changed his telephone number to avoid discussing the matter with Hoppus and Barker. In 2010, whilst reflecting upon the band's break-up, Tom Delonge stated that: "My biggest failure was the breakup of Blink. That was a failure of friendships, businesses and communications. In our hearts, we thought that was forever and gone. What's funny is, at the time, I looked at it as a triumph." Following the speculation as to whether the band had, in fact, broken up, Blink-182 announced that they had entered an "indefinite hiatus".
Hoppus and Barker announced in April 2005 that had formed a new band, +44. During the hiatus, Hoppus shifted his attention to producing albums for Motion City Soundtrack and hosting his podcast, HiMyNameisMark, while drummer Travis Barker launched a shoe line and worked on three other musical projects — the Transplants, TRV$DJAM, and +44. He also starred in the MTV reality series Meet the Barkers with his then-wife, former Miss USA Shanna Moakler. The show documented the former couple's lavish wedding and private life. Their later split, reconciliation and subsequent breakup made them tabloid favorites. Meanwhile, DeLonge disappeared from public eye, making no appearances, granting no interviews and remaining silent until September 16, 2005, when he announced his new project, Angels & Airwaves, promising "the greatest rock and roll revolution for this generation." DeLonge later revealed he was addicted to painkillers at the time, recalling "I was losing my mind, I was on thousands of painkillers, and I almost killed myself," not realizing his communication sounded highly ambitious.
+44 eventually recorded and released their debut album, When Your Heart Stops Beating, in 2006. The record was primarily based on feelings of resentment toward the break-up, with one track, "No, It Isn't", directed at DeLonge. Angels & Airwaves, which still continues to record and tour, released two studio albums during the hiatus: We Don't Need to Whisper (2006) and I-Empire (2007). Geffen Records released a Greatest Hits compilation album on November 1, 2005. A previously unreleased The Only Ones cover song, "Another Girl, Another Planet", was included. The song was used as the theme song to Barker's reality television show, Meet the Barkers. This track was the final studio recording completed by the band prior to their hiatus. The album reached number 6 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.
On August 21, 2008, the band's frequent producer Jerry Finn died of a cerebral hemorrhage. This event would become one of the catalysts for DeLonge to begin communicating with both Hoppus and Barker again in September 2008. On September 19, 2008, Travis Barker barely survived a plane crash after performing an event with Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell (see 2008 South Carolina Learjet 60 crash). Adam Goldstein (better known as DJ AM) and Barker were the only survivors. Barker sustained second and third degree burns on his lower body and torso and expected to recover within a year. While in the hospital, Mark Hoppus and former bandmate Tom DeLonge visited, allowing the band to reconcile and patch up their differences. Regarding Barker's incident, in 2010 Tom DeLonge stated that "if that accident hadn't happened, we wouldn't be a band. Plain and simple. That was fate."
At the 51st Grammy Awards ceremony on February 8, 2009, DeLonge, Hoppus, and Barker appeared onstage together for the first time since December 2004. Barker announced the band's reformation, stating that "we used to play music together, and we decided we're going to play music together again", with Hoppus adding "Blink-182 is back!" Expanding on the announcement on their website, the band stated "To put it simply, We're back. We mean, really back. Picking up where we left off and then some. In the studio writing and recording a new album. Preparing to tour the world yet again. Friendships reformed." Blink-182 embarked on a reunion tour of North America from July to October 2009, supported by Weezer and Fall Out Boy. A European festival tour followed from August to September 2010.
Completion of Blink-182's sixth studio album was delayed several times. In November 2010, Hoppus said that the band wished to release the album in April or May 2011. In February 2011, Barker speculated that they would "turn in our album in June or July, honestly, and, I mean, the stuff's awesome. It's coming close, to the point where these are completed songs and they're not going to change. These are album versions." The following month, DeLonge stated that the album would be out in time for the group's planned European tour that July, and that they would "not tour if there is no new record". That April, however, the band announced the postponement of the tour due to delays in completing the album, stating "We hoped we would have some new songs to play rather than do another 'greatest hits tour'". Geffen Records gave the band a deadline of July 31, 2011 to complete the album. "We thought we were closing in on the end, and literally a week ago we pumped out a whole set of stuff that I think will be some of the best on the album", said DeLonge that May. "Recording is never really finished. You slide or limp into home base." The album, titled Neighborhoods, was released on September 27, 2011. The album's first single, "Up All Night", premiered July 15, 2011. The Blinkumentary, a documentary film about the band, is also in production.
Blink-182 headlined the 10th Annual Honda Civic Tour with My Chemical Romance, which ran from August to October 2011, with additional dates scheduled in Canada with Rancid and Against Me!. In 2012, the band will travel the world on their 20th Anniversary Tour. A music video for the single "After Midnight" has been filmed. The band was scheduled to headline the Bamboozle 2012 Music Festival, however plans were cancelled due to Barker's medical reason.
Blink-182's musical style has been described by various sources as "pop punk" and "punk rock". When playing live, the band typically plays their songs at a faster tempo and often replaces certain lyrics with toilet humor and various gags. Blink-182 songs are known for their simple melodies, teen angst and occasional lyrical toilet humor. They are often targeting subjects such as love and growing up, these being fused into multiple hit singles such as "Dammit" and "What's My Age Again?". Before the release of their fifth album, more emotional songs by the band include singles "Adam's Song" and "Stay Together for the Kids". While writing, the trio take their songs very seriously, and intend to, according to DeLonge, "really write songs about things that we genuinely and sincerely think kids can relate to." The songs often deal with love, family, friends, and relationships. Bill Lamb of About.com described their music as being "marked by a radio-friendly sheen, but it still maintains much of the speed and attitude of classic punk rock".
The band has cited Descendents, Screeching Weasel, Bad Religion, Pennywise, NOFX, The Undertones, The Vandals, and Buzzcocks as influences, and they have been cited for their influence on contemporary pop punk music, with MTV News declaring "...Without them, there'd be no Fall Out Boy, no Paramore, or no Fueled by Ramen Records." All Time Low has cited Blink-182 as a major influence, as have bands such as Paramore, Relient K, Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Motion City Soundtrack, New Found Glory, We the Kings, Good Charlotte, Hey Monday, The Cab, Forever the Sickest Kids, Cute is What We Aim For, and Yellowcard. Blink-182 is one of the bands to be featured in a documentary about modern punk music. The film, entitled One Nine Nine Four, was due to be released in 2009 but has been delayed. Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk will narrate the film, which will also feature other punk acts such as Rancid, Bad Religion, Green Day, NOFX, and The Offspring. In 2011, The New York Times asserted that "no punk band of the 1990s has been more influential than Blink-182," stating that even as the band receded after their 2005 split, "its sound and style could be heard in the muscular pop punk of Fall Out Boy or in the current wave of high-gloss Warped Tour punk bands, like All Time Low and The Maine."
Blink-182 has had the most success at the Teen Choice Awards, winning three awards: Choice Rock Group (2000) and Best Rock Group (2001) for the band, and Choice Love Song (2004) for the song "I Miss You". "All the Small Things", a single from the band's Enema of the State album, received three nominations from the MTV Video Music Awards in 2000: Video of the Year, Best Pop Video, and Best Group Video, which it won. Overall, Blink-182 has received seven awards from ten nominations.
|2000||Blink-182||Best New Act||Won|
|2001||Blink-182||Best Rock Act||Won|
|2000||"All the Small Things"||Best Group Video||Won|
|Video of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Pop Video||Nominated|
|2002||"First Date"||Best Group Video||Nominated|
|2000||Blink-182||Choice Rock Group||Won|
|2001||Blink-182||Best Rock Group||Won|
|2004||"I Miss You"||Choice Love Song||Won|
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