So after the long awaited celebration of Blink-182’s return, today, in the midst of the new album hype, it has been revealed that Tom DeLonge has yet again left Blink-182. It sounds like the same story as last time; everything was all set and ready to go. Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker were excited, DeLonge was less so, and an e-mail was sent. The band’s publicist released this statement earlier on today:
“Matt Skiba of the Alkaline Trio will join Blink-182 in replacement of Tom DeLonge at the 8th annual Musink Music and Tattoo Festival. 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 into 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. Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus plan to honour all Blink-182 commitments including the Musink Festival and are excited to have singer/guitarist Matt Skiba join them for this project. No hard feelings, but the show must go on for our fans. Additionally, Skiba will continue to make new music and tour with the Alkaline Trio.”
This statement followed that of the announcement that Blink-182 would play the Musink festival in California, the band’s hometown. Blink-182 fans sparked conversations on Twitter; there are break up speculations, accusations that the trio were never friends at all since the re-birth of the iconic pop-punk band, and the fact that the band didn’t even record their last album Neighbourhoods.
This news does not necessarily mean that Blink-182 have broken up – not at all. The biggest concern now for fans is the album that they were promised. The album that DeLonge himself seemed so excited about releasing, saying that they have “nothing to prove.” They have to prove if they can “Stay together for the kids.”
For the meantime, Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba will be filling in for DeLonge on the Musink festival dates (as well as touring and writing with Alkaline Trio), which is a partnership most fans are pretty excited about, despite the circumstances. The questions still stand; why did Tom DeLonge return to Blink-182 if he had no intention of staying as a dedicated member indefinitely? What are his “non-musical endeavours,” and will the fans get to see any of them? Why can’t everyone just be friends? Blink fans will just have to wait and find out.
Update: As fans were restless for a couple of hours, Mark Hoppus cryptically tweeted the words that mean the most to Blink-182 fans around the world: “Blink-182 life. For Life.” It, still however, didn’t dismiss any rumours. Some fans took it as Hoppus simply declaring his love for the band that has meant so much to him throughout its entirety, while some took it as Hoppus telling everyone that everything was indeed okay, and that Blink-182 were still a union. DeLonge then, 30 minutes later, posted on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter a picture of a man in an LED suit with the caption:
“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”