Pop-Punk Kings Blink-182: Reunited and Ready to Party Like It’s 1999
Plane crash spurs reconciliation, band plans tour, album by year’s end
When Blink-182 broke up in 2005, they were sick of fame. “The giant vehicle of the band was determining everything,” says bassist Mark Hoppus. “It sounds cheesy, but we needed to take time to find ourselves.” Apparently they have: At the Grammys, on February 8, the pop-punk superstars announced that they are reuniting – and sources say the band will tour this summer and release a new album by the end of the year.
Tragedy sparked the reconciliation. After drummer -Travis Barker was injured in a plane crash in September, guitarist-singer Tom DeLonge – who had been estranged from his bandmates since abruptly quitting – reached out. (Barker just underwent hand surgery for nerve damage sustained in the crash.) “I put the bullshit aside and wrote him a letter,” DeLonge says. “There was no big talk; after a couple of phone calls, things were back to normal.”
Now, the trio – who have sold almost 13 million records since forming as teens in San Diego in 1992 – are in the early stages of recording their self-produced sixth album. “We’re talking about using analogue keyboards from the Sixties,” says DeLonge, who fronted emo-rock act Angels and Airwaves after leaving Blink. (Barker and Hoppus released one album as +44.) “People are going to be blown away.”
Promoters expect the trio’s tour will be a hit. (Their last trek, in 2004, grossed $6.9 million.) “On the Warped Tour Website, we ask fans who they want to see, and Blink pops up all the time,” says the fest’s founder, Kevin Lyman. For a new generation of emo fans and bands, Blink’s irreverent, upbeat take on punk rock with hits like ‘What’s My Age Again?’ and ‘All the Small Things’ was hugely influential. “They’re the godfathers of punk pop,” says the Academy Is… frontman William Beckett – who wasn’t old enough to drive during Blink’s late-1990s heyday. “When I heard they were reuniting, I was losing my mind on my blog.”