Tom DeLonge Exits Blink-182?

Blink 182

Tom DeLonge Exits Blink-182?
| published January 27, 2015 |

By Thursday Review staff


The news came as a shock to the band's legion of fans. Tom DeLonge, lead guitarist for the San Diego-based Blink-182, has decided to pursue “non-musical ventures,” according to the group and its website. But DeLonge’s manager and publicist say that DeLonge never quit the band. At any rate, DeLonge has already been replaced for the near future.

Blink-182, who’s last album was released in 2011, was scheduled to perform at several upcoming events, and was also set to go into the studio to begin recording new songs for a forthcoming album. But DeLonge, who has reportedly been ambivalent about committing to more studio work, apparently had other ideas. The band issued a statement which said, among other things, “no hard feelings…but the show must go on.” Remaining members Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus said that DeLonge would be temporarily replaced with Matt Skiba, a guitarist on loan from the band Alkaline Trio.

The sudden change of personnel—which may become permanent—will surely cause dismay to the huge audiences who follow the band’s influential sound. Blink 182 is widely considered at the core of the Pop-Punk movement, a fusion of melody-based pop sounds and high-energy, fast-paced American punk—a somewhat less edgy version, some might say, of Green Day or Pennywise. The band was formed in the explosion of punk and alternative sounds that emerged from the 1990s, but by the beginning of the aught years, Blink 182 was one of the biggest musical acts of the era. The band has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide.

Though it is not clear if DeLonge will return to the band in the distant future, current members say they still want to begin recording for their next album, which is already overdue. DeLonge has told some members of the music press that he never quit the band. The website Alternative Press says it received a statement from DeLonge’s publicist which disputes the band’s explanation of events, and says that DeLonge simply has scheduling conflicts which will limit his availability.

“I love Blink-182 and I’m not leaving,” DeLonge says in the statement.

The band had a rough ride in the middle aught years. Producer Jerry Finn suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, was treated, but remained unconscious and hospitalized (he would later die after being taken off of life support). Disputes and personality clashes brought about a hiatus during the years from 2005 to 2008, much of it based on DeLonge’s concerns about the toll touring and recording was taking on his family. DeLonge felt especially constricted by media attention, interviews and the press. DeLonge also had problems with drugs, primarily prescription painkillers. During this hiatus, Hoppus and Barker continued to perform and record. In 2008, a plane crash killed several people, including some associated with the band. Barker was badly burned, and required multiple surgeries before he reached a modest recovery. The band reunited in late 2008 after a conversation in the hospital where Barker was being treated.

By 2009 Blink-182 was back in full swing with appearances at the Grammy’s and other major venues. The band recorded Neighborhoods, a full album, in 2009, and it released the EP Dogs Eating Dogs in 2012.

Related Thursday Review articles

Broken Bells; After the Disco; music review by Maggie Nichols; Thursday Review; January 21, 2014.

Cage the Elephant; Melophobia; music review by Maggie Nichols; Thursday Review; January 27, 2014.

In Love With Mother Mother; Lori Garrett; Thursday Review; February 3, 2014.