Blink were introduced to me in my very early high school years by my best friend, he had all the albums and adored them, I'd heard a few songs here and there but my blink knowledge went as far as I miss you. I started to listen to them more and they became, in the shortest period of time my favourite band of all time and remain so to this day.
My love for blink goes as far as getting the blink 182 smiley face logo tattooed on me. Like, seriously...I love this band, so damn much. It's not just a case of growing up with them, their music although sometimes ridiculous means so much to me. I put so many hours into studying lyric pages and hours worth of time listening to blink when doing coursework or before bed, my closest friends are fans of blink and so is my boyfriend. I make friends via a common interest in a band that sings about sex in unusual ways that then alternates to music based off a suicidal letter.
Some days when I get sad, blink cheers me up. My ipod walking music? blink. Party playlists? Must have a bit of blink. So, they're not the greatest band live apparently, and Tom DeLonges voice is questionable to some people who don't exactly enjoy their music, but there is and always will be something about blink that when they come on the radio, I'll go "Ahh yes, my boys!" To me blink has been one of the largest and greatest parts of my life.
So recently when an article came out about Tom DeLonge leaving blink182, an untrue statement which sent people (and twitter) in to a melt down of "Whats going on, this can't be happening" it put me in a huge statement of disbelief, shock and quite frankly, a little bit of anger flashed towards Tom. My brain started working overtime as to why someone who started one of the greatest and most loved bands of its time had suddenly gone into this meltdown of child like behaviour that wasn't vented out through 'Crappy punk rock'.
When I heard myself? I was sat downstairs, read about 10 different articles that were coming out by the second, refreshed the 'Tom Delonge' and 'blink' twitter feeds that were going crazy and skipped back and forth through blinks social media to find just the smallest detail or sentence that said "Rumours, not facts." I ended up genuinely shedding a tear over the fact something I loved so much was finishing, since they got back together I couldn't see them on any occasion they came to the UK, I was either too skint to afford to go and when I wasn't I was working and couldn't get time off, it broke my heart thinking I wouldn't ever get to see them live, ever.
Anyway, (tangent) this statement was quickly retracted by people saying actually, Tom just can't/doesn't want to do a few shows because he wants to be with his family and focus on stuff with AVA, fair point, that's been Tom ever since the split, AVA became his number one.
Tom hit back with a instagram post, stating that he never left blink, he loves blink, and that these weird articles were coming out that were untrue. Followed by a post on twitter stated "Me hugging the band" and a photo of a man hugging a lioness. Beautiful. Great news and sigh of relief. No one wanted the split and Tom had said he was still in the band, amazing news actually!
Shortly after though, an article came out from Mark and Travis, saying that the truth to the story was that they was meant to go into the studio January 5th, but Tom kept making excuses. It said that they had been making excuses for Tom for years and that he just didn't seem interested in blink anymore, posting on social media about his endeavors with AVA rather than blink, claiming Tom to be ungreatful.
Reading this was like a huge stab in the heart. I feel like a child who's parents are going through divorce, with Travis being the person who rarely speaks in interviews, I feel like Travis is my younger brother who I'm having to console sat on the top of the stairs like in the movies whilst Mark and Tom fight over the bands future. Which is a huge shame, because despite musical differences and clashes, they've always come across as three guys who are so close that they secretly need each other, they play off each other and despite debates shake hands and go "Lets make some really fucking good music and forget this happened" but of course, its not that simple.
Tom hit back at Travis and Mark with a tweet that was quickly deleted, one about him and Mark talking about continuing blink without Travis, this again was hit back by Mark who said it was somewhat true, after Travis' crash, his nerves about flying were so bad he had to call in a back up drummer for shows, the band were fine with that and that's quite clear, that neither Tom or Mark wanted to pressure Travis into getting on to a flight again, but promoters were pissed that Travis wasn't there and took it out on Tom and Mark, Tom vented his anger to Mark about getting Travis out and knowing Tom was pissed listened to him and agreed with him, knowing the frustration but called their managers straight after saying "Toms upset, he wants Trav out, give him time to vent" and he did, and neither of them wanted Trav out, frustration lead to words without thought. I believe Mark on that 110%, that he knew Tom needed time.
Tom then goes on to say he asked down the phone if they gave their all and heard silence. Blaming not only Tom and Travis, but himself too. Tom claims that in 8 years, they've barely spoke and it's always been that way. Which is hard to imagine, a band that seemed so close in videos and interviews, on stage? To just get off stage and go home and not speak until they had too? It seems a damn shame.
Tom says he was frustrated when he was handed a contract claiming he couldn't release his AVA album because of his contracts with blink, seeing both perspectives of this I can see Toms frustration as he has wanted to make AVA his number one project, and to be denied something he really wants frankly pissed him off. So Tom has been quite clearly stuck, when he wanted to do his own musical and non musical things, be with his family and have 6 months to record a new blink album. It's a lot on someones shoulders. Which he told Mark and Travis, which apparently led to an argument in itself, seeming like Tom was controlling the band when in some reality he's been scared to release anything to repeat the EP experience of not putting their all in to the album.
Tom does quite clearly apologise for the immaturity of the backlash between the three and is sorry that we're having to witness the legacy of the band online through social media back and forth like 3 men in love with the same woman, that woman being the band and trying to get their friends/fans to side with them as to who's better and who should get custody of us.
I feel like Tom understands that there is a divide, and he hasn't spoke to them clearly about this divide in the band, he still loves Travis and Mark, they're his close friends, and he sees the interviews as there way of voicing their opinion and not getting hurt by the idea of Tom leaving blink.
Finally, Tom states that because of the interview, because of the replacement, whilst he loves them both, his relationship with them got 'poisoned' reading their thoughts through social media rather than through each other.
"Never planned on quitting, just find it hard as hell to commit." - Tom
In honesty, I see points from all their sides, especially the public's.
Tom has AVA, when blink originally split he focused on his own musical things, AVA and Boxcar Racer. Boxcar didn't work as well for him personally as much as AVA so he focused entirely on AvA and his family, with Tom comes lot's of projects. Tom writes childrens books, he produces music, has his own clothing line, works two bands, writes music and produces films. He IS a busy man, and contracts limit him to what he can do. After Travis' crash, he approached the band because he thought Trav was going to die, him and Mark love Travis and he wanted nothing more than to make music with blink again. However, because he'd started focusing on AvA, he'd matured. His vocal abilities were improving and Tom was growing up, it happens! Tom is easily seen to make excuses to get out of working with blink, and it's most likely because he wants people to take him seriously now, he never thought singing about fucking dogs in the ass would get him that far and it did, so going back to blink to sing the songs him and mark wrote when they were just teenagers has clearly been quite difficult for him. This is shown in the Neighbourhoods album, Tom put a lot of effort in to Neighbourhoods and the fans just werent as in to it, it was like looking at a tribute AVA and people said "This isn't that great for blink music"and this clearly had a huge impact on Tom, he IS incredibly creative, he wants to do 100 things at once and be taken seriously and it just doesn't happen.
Travis was the last person to enter blink, but he's clearly very greatful for it. Travis is a drummer, songwriter and producer. He's in tons of music videos not just of blink, he drums for other musicians such as Demi Lovato and works with people like Yelawolf?! The guy does loads. He also has the family commitment to work around, and after his crash has to know where he's going in advance because he no longer will travel by plane. He works with an apparel company called Famous Stars and Straps and was on TV. Travis has always been quite quiet when it comes to interviews, you can see that all he wants to do is make music and not deal with all the behind the scenes shit that comes his way. Fair play to Travis, he's a decent guy that wants to live his life to the fullest and bring his kids up right, he's a good man and just wants to continue making music with blink and because of the delays, he becomes frustrated, because blink has been his life too, he wants to make the fans happy.
Mark Hoppus doesn't have as many musical devours as Travis and Tom, but he is again a busy guy. Mark has grown up with blink, when they split, him and Travis did +44, but that didn't stop him from wanting blink back which is clear by spending an hour listening to the +44 album. Blink IS Marks musical career and he loves it, he promotes it like crazy and is so excited to get back on tours, make music and go on the road with his friends and see the fans. Mark otherwise had his television show, he's a singer songwriter and produces music. He's also in loads of music videos other than blink and again has his own clothing company (HiMyNameIsMark) It's quite obvious that Mark wants blink to be in his life for the rest of his life, Travis' crash got them back together but he never really wanted it to end in the first place.
Between the 3 of them? The difficulties are lack of communication, big time. You can't be a band when you don't talk to each other and say what you want from the next record or how you want to develop without setting strict dates with yourself. Blink have always been indecisive and argumentative on what they all want for the band. Tom wants blink to grow up, to be put on the map as 'punk rock' whereas Mark will always consider blink 'crappy punk rock', how they've labeled themselves for so many years. Poor Travis just wants to record and perform. Blink haven't spent enough time with each other to agree on an inbetween, thus...arguments. Not to mention the fact that they live all over the place! Up until 2014 Mark lived in London, Tom in Cali? It's so far apart from each other, how CAN they remain close with distance and time difference? Thus come the emails and contact through management and their come part of the problem...
I'm saddened deeply by this fall out of a great band with an amazing legacy, they got back together because they wanted to perform like they used to, together as a band of friends, to look down on a crowd thats grown up with them and say "We've done something incredible" and right now that's not happening. I do feel at heart like blink should just call it a day, say "We had a good run, lets not end this on a series of bitchy interviews about each other" but I would love to hope that all this fuss means they'll have a sit down together as friends, no lawyers or record labels in the room and have that long needed talk and get back to playing music together. Genuinely hug it out, shed a few tears and create a plan of what blinks future is in the next 10 years. Use this hole ordeal as an excuse to get to writing music about friends being dicks but forgiving them because sometimes you get older and wiser. Give themselves some actual time off to do their other projects?
I want that more then anything.
But, boys will be boys. Blink will be blink.