What’s their Age Again? The Ugliness of Blink-182


Dammit, why’d it have to come to this? Why did Blink-182 have to really let everyone in on all the small blink-182-bigthings that soon became big things, which eventually resulted in an online political debate by the divided party?

If you have any interest in this week’s news of Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker cutting ties with Tom DeLonge – yet not the Blink-182 brand – then by now you’ve read Hoppus and Barker’s Rolling Stone takedown, as well as DeLonge’s attempt to clear his name. Let’s not rehash the specifics too much…you know them. And, you know how much of a dumpweed everyone involved in this pop-punk saga has become.

While it hasn’t been confirmed what will come of Blink-182 apart from any current live commitments (for which Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba will fill the void), what’s tremendously sad here is the seriousness in which a band known for its sense of humour has had to lay at the feet of its public.

If you were to summarize Hoppus and Barker’s points of view, you’re led to believe that DeLonge is no longer in love with the rock show. Maybe DeLonge just feels like Blink-182 was his musical high school and going away to college makes the most sense for him right now. Maybe none of that’s true and he’s just become a ghost on the dance floor. No matter how you slice it, DeLonge is the man overboard, and shit just got real.

Why couldn’t Blink-182 just stay together for the kids that allowed them back into their lives after a lengthy hiatus earlier this century? Why couldn’t they just be one of those bands that has fractured internal relationships, but continues to roll out the hits?

Well, neither Hoppus, Barker, or DeLonge were feeling this. They wanted to make new music, but couldn’t find a way to get on the same page. They couldn’t come up with a new anthem to rally around. Instead, the internal politics between members began to weigh too heavily. Thus, Blink-182 collapsed under the weight of years of bullshit that – based on what we’ve read – had been accumulating since well before the band’s re-emergence in 2009.

To lessen the load, DeLonge walked, or was fired without knowledge of an impending pink slip. Chances are we may never know the truth, so there’s no use in staying up all night to try and figure it out. It just seems far too ugly.

Moving forward, it’ll be hard to view and or listen to Blink-182 the same way again. The fun that came from the music, in which they released, will always be overshadowed by the theories, secrets, and stories that each band member has been flinging into cyberspace this week. It may be time to break up entirely. Don’t bother with a new member. Hoppus and Barker can very easily go back to +44 and throw some Blink songs into the mix. Sure, such a move brings with it a slice of cold criticism as well, but at least there’ll be some sense of honesty to it.

Right now, it’s hard to determine what to believe. We will miss you Tom DeLonge, but most importantly, we will miss the Blink-182 we’ve come to know and accept. Not the Blink-182 that’s as awkward as a first date.

-Adam Grant

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