1:30am PT by Lars Brandle, Billboard
Blink-182 Going Through "Friendly Divorce" With Tom DeLonge, Band Will "Move Forward"
No amount of marriage counseling is going to fix Tom DeLonge’s on-off relationship problems with Blink-182.
The singer and guitarist’s position with the group is ending in “friendly divorce,” according to his long-time friend and bandmate Mark Hoppus.
The alternative-rock veterans have pushed ahead without DeLonge’s services in recent months, leaving fans equally confused and hopeful that the singer would retain his spot with the band at some stage. Wrong. Irreconcilable differences and dramas have got the better of the partnership and, according to Hoppus, they’ve got closure.
Hoppus gave an update on the situation during an extensive Q&A for the Das Process podcast. When asked if and when new Blink material would materialize, the bass player said, “We are right now going through what so far has been a friendly divorce with our former guitarist. Hopefully, things clear up, and it doesn't get all manager-y and lawyer-y and all that, and we can move forward."
Hoppus talked about Blink as “family,” but pinned the blame on DeLonge for his delays and commitment issues with the trio. However, he admitted feeling proud when his pal decided finally to walk away.
"This time, when we got the call that Tom was out, and that he didn’t want to do Blink anymore, it was almost like, 'Oh, OK.' I was crushed because we were set to go into the studio, and set to do all these things,” Hoppus said. “I was bummed that Tom doesn’t want to do Blink because we have this huge, beautiful thing that we’ve spent 20 years building, and you just want to walk away from it? But that’s Tom's choice. At the same time, I was like, 'He finally did it.' "
Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker tapped Alkaline Trio guitarist Matt Skiba to fill in for DeLonge for a pair of club shows and a Musink festival set (the experience was “really great. We clicked,” he told Billboard at the time). Skiba’s busy year has included stints with Alkaline Trio and with his other band the Sekrets, though Hoppus hasn’t ruled out future contributions from the guitarist.
“We're starting not from square one; it’s exciting to think that we’re going to move forward,” Hoppus noted. “And it’s a little scary to think that we’re going to move forward and sound a little bit different, but also exciting in the same way.”
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.