Blink bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker on Monday announced three bits of information: The band had upcoming tour dates, DeLonge had left the band, and DeLonge would be replaced by Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba during the performances. “We were all set to play this festival and record a new album and Tom kept putting it off without reason. A week before we were scheduled to go in to the studio we got an email from his 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,” the band said in a press release.
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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….. #Awkward #BabyBackRibs
— Tom DeLonge (@tomdelonge) January 26, 2015
Hoppus somewhat ominously alluded to the situation as well. Barker has not, although the drummer does not maintain a particularly active Twitter presence.
blink-182 life. For life.
— Ḿå℟₭ (@markhoppus) January 26, 2015
It remains unclear whether DeLonge will be performing alongside his bandmates in the near future, or what Blink-182 will look like the next time it performs. For now, at least, it appears the band has stayed together for the kids.
Update 3:57pm CT, Jan. 27: Hoppus and Barker, in an interview with Rolling Stone, clarified that while DeLonge did not quit the band, he has given the band the cold shoulder and shown no interest in recording or performing live. As such, Skiba will play with Blink-182 in the short term.
“I think he’s just bummed because Mark and I were finally honest,” Barker said. “We always covered up for him before. 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. When we did get back together after my plane crash, we only got back together, I don’t know, maybe because I almost died. But he didn’t even listen to mixes or masterings from that record. He didn’t even care about it. Why Blink even got back together in the first place is questionable.”
Hoppus added: “His actions speak louder than whatever he feels compelled to write on an Instagram post. We’ve been trying to record an album for the better part of two years and we had agreed to go in to record and my guess is that Tom was embarrassed because he doesn’t want to do Blink.”
Photo via David Price/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)