Blink-182 (often stylized as blink-182) is an American punk rock band from Poway, California that predominantly plays pop punk music. The band was formed in 1992 as "Blink" with members Tom DeLonge (vocals, guitar), Mark Hoppus (vocals, bass) and Scott Raynor (drums). In 1998, midway through a U.S. tour, drummer Travis Barker replaced Raynor. DeLonge left the group in early 2005, initiating an indefinite hiatus. DeLonge went on to form Angels & Airwaves, while Hoppus and Barker continued playing music together in +44. On February 8, 2009, Blink-182 announced that they are continuing as a band, with the brief statement posted on their website saying "To put it simply, We're back. We mean, really back. Picking up where we left off and then some. In the studio writing and recording a new album."
Formation, early years, and Cheshire Cat (1992–1995) Edit
After being expelled from Poway High School, Tom DeLonge attended Rancho Bernardo High School where he became friends with Anne Hoppus. DeLonge often expressed wanting to be in a band, so in August 1992 Anne introduced him to her brother Mark Hoppus, who also wanted to be in a band. The two played for hours in DeLonge's garage, showing each other songs they had previously written, and writing new songs together. One of these songs would eventually become what is now "Carousel". That night the two decided they needed to officially start a band, so DeLonge recruited friend Scott Raynor, who he had met at his school's Battle of the Bands competition. The three began playing together and called themselves Duck Tape, until DeLonge thought of the name Blink.
The band practiced constantly, which angered Hoppus's girlfriend. She told him he had to choose between the band and her, so he left the band just as it was starting. DeLonge then informed Hoppus that he borrowed a 4-track from a friend and he and Raynor were using it to make a demo tape. Upon hearing this, Hoppus decided he would leave his girlfriend and return to the band.
In May 1993, the band recorded their first demo tape Flyswatter in Raynor's bedroom. A 4-track was used to record the material, which resulted in poor sound quality. According to Hoppus, only a small number of demos were released, primarily to their family and friends. The same year, the band recorded another demo tape, this one untitled and known simply as Demo #2. It featured re-recordings of a few Flyswatter songs, and also included new songs, some of which would go on to be re-recorded and re-released on the band's albums Buddha, Cheshire Cat, and Dude Ranch. Buddha was released on cassette in 1993 with around 1,000 copies of the tape produced by Filter Records, an independent record company headed by Hoppus's boss. It was remastered and re-released on Kung Fu Records in 1998 (with three of the original tracks omitted and two new tracks added).
In 1994, the band signed with Cargo Music and recorded their debut studio album Cheshire Cat in three days. The album contained a number of updated versions of songs such as "Carousel", "Strings", "Sometimes", and "T.V." that had appeared on the Buddha demo as well as some originals. "M+M's" and "Wasting Time" were released as singles, but both failed to chart. Shortly after the release of Cheshire Cat, the band was threatened with legal action by an Irish pop band of the same name. In order to avoid a legal dispute, the band appended "182" to the end of their name.
After the release of Cheshire Cat, Blink-182 released Buddha Promo, a promotional cassette intended to prompt the release of Buddha, which would become available on CD as well as cassette. In 1994, the band released a split EP with Iconoclasts titled Short Bus. The 3-track EP They Came to Conquer... Uranus was released the next year.
Dude Ranch and lineup change (1996–1998) Edit
After moving to Encinitas, California, the band recorded the album Dude Ranch in 1996 with producer Mark Trombino. Blink-182 recorded the album under Cargo Records, but signed with MCA in 1998 in order to handle increased distribution. The album was released in 1997 and was relatively commercially successful, selling 1.5 million copies worldwide. The single "Dammit" did well on U.S. modern rock charts, and the band received a small degree of mainstream success.
After the album's release, midway through a U.S. tour in 1998, drummer Scott Raynor left the band. There are two common explanations for his removal - that Raynor had a serious drinking problem and was asked to go into rehab or face ejection, or alternately, that he departed in order to attend college. Raynor claims he agreed to go to rehab, but that DeLonge and Hoppus were doubtful of his sincerity and subsequently fired him over the phone. Hoppus and DeLonge asked drummer Travis Barker of Blink-182's support band The Aquabats to fill in for Raynor for the remainder of the tour. After the set, Hoppus and DeLonge sat down and discussed Barker joining the band. The next day he was offered the position and consequently left The Aquabats.
Enema of the State and The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (1999–2000) Edit
For the 1999 album Enema of the State, the band hired Jerry Finn as producer. The album propelled the band into the mainstream, generating the hit singles "What's My Age Again?", "All the Small Things" and "Adam's Song", and an incredible amount of airtime on radio and MTV. Enema of the State went on to sell over 15 million copies worldwide making it the band's best selling album. "Adam's Song" caused a stir in 2000 when it was set to replay indefinitely on a stereo as 17-year-old Greg Barnes hanged himself in the garage of his family's home. Demos for the album were leaked as the Enema of the State Demo. It consists of eight demo recordings of some album tracks, plus an instrumental titled "Life's So Boring" which did not make the album.
In 2000, the band released The Urethra Chronicles, a DVD which features behind-the-scenes information, and The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!), Blink-182's sole live album, featuring songs from their three full-length records, including all their greatest hits coupled with previously unreleased material. The album quickly went out of print. The album also included one new studio song, "Man Overboard", among the live renditions. A demo of this song was previously featured on the Enema of the State Demo cassette.
The band continued its commercial success with Take Off Your Pants and Jacket in 2001, which was a small change from their direction in Enema of the State. The album sold more than 350,000 copies in the first week. The album was released on three different CDs: yellow, red and green versions, each one featuring two unique bonus tracks. A European tour in winter 2001 was delayed in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Rescheduled dates in early 2002 were also canceled due to DeLonge's back problems.
Blink-182 co-headlined the Pop Disaster Tour with Green Day in 2002. The tour was documented on the DVD Riding in Vans with Boys. After taking some time off, DeLonge and Barker released a new album with their side-project Box Car Racer. The band made a cameo appearance on the 300th episode of The Simpsons playing "All the Small Things" at a party held in Tony Hawk's loft.Recording of the band's next record began in early 2003. On November 18, 2003, they released their eponymous fifth studio album, which spawned the hit singles "Feeling This", "I Miss You", "Down" and "Always". According to Barker, the album was supposed to represent a "new" Blink-182. Robert Smith, whose band The Cure is often cited as a major influence, appeared on "All of This".
In November 2003, the band embarked on the "DollaBill" tour, named for the ticket cost of $1 each. They played 10 club shows throughout the US and 1 in Canada. Blink-182 toured with No Doubt in the summer of 2004.
Hiatus and new bands (2005–2009) Edit
Tensions between the band members arose when DeLonge found the desire for a half-year respite from touring to spend time with his family, despite a planned spring U.S. tour, coupled with Hoppus' feelings of betrayal after the formation of Box Car Racer. Further problems arose in discussions regarding the band's future recording endeavors. In mid-February 2005 the band inexplicably canceled a performance at Music for Relief's Concert for South Asia (a show put on by Linkin Park to aid victims of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake). This made their previous show on December 16, 2004 at the Point Depot in Dublin, Ireland, their last live performance. The planned tour was canceled and on February 22, 2005, after much tension, their band manager called Hoppus and Barker to tell them that DeLonge had quit the band. This began an almost four year hiatus.
Geffen Records released a Greatest Hits compilation on November 1, 2005. It is essentially a collection of the band's singles. After many criticisms about the track listing from disappointed fans, the song "Carousel" was added. A previously unreleased track was included on the CD, "Another Girl, Another Planet" (a cover song originally by The Only Ones). The song was also used as the theme song to Barker's new reality TV show, Meet the Barkers. Included was the previously issued "I Miss You" B-side and Blink-182 UK bonus track "Not Now". The album reached number 6 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.
DeLonge's new band, Angels & Airwaves released their debut album We Don't Need to Whisper on May 23, 2006, where it debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200. The band released their second album I-Empire on November 6, 2007. They also released a DVD, entitled Start the Machine, chronicling the final days of Blink-182 and the genesis of Angels & Airwaves.
Hoppus and Barker's new project +44 released their first album When Your Heart Stops Beating on November 14, 2006. It debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200. On May 25, 2008, Hoppus stated that the new +44 album was still in pre-production.
Blink-182 is one of the bands to be featured in a documentary about modern punk music. The film, entitled One Nine Nine Four, is due to be released in 2009. Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk will narrate the film, which will also feature other punk acts such as Rancid, Bad Religion, Green Day, NOFX, and The Offspring.
On August 21, 2008, Jerry Finn (Blink 182's producer) died of a cerebral hemorrhage. This would later be one of the catalysts for all the members of Blink 182 communicating again in September 2008, which would be the first time Tom would communicate with his bandmates in 3.5 years.
On September 21, 2008, after performing an event with former Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell, Gavin DeGraw and DJ AM (Adam Goldstein), Travis Barker boarded a Learjet 60, headed for Van Nuys, California. According to the Federal Aviation Administration; the plane was departing the airport when air traffic controllers saw sparks emanating from the plane. It went off the runway, smashed through a fence, crossed a nearby road, slammed into an embankment and caught fire. A total of four people were killed: two crew members, Barker’s personal assistant (Chris Baker) and his security guard (Charles Still).
Barker and Goldstein were the sole survivors. Barker sustained second and third degree burns on his lower body and torso and expected to recover within a year. While in the hospital, Mark Hoppus and former bandmate Tom DeLonge visited.
In November 2008, Mark Hoppus officially announced on his blog that him and Travis were communicating with Tom again and spending time with him after years apart.
Reformation and sixth studio album (2009–present) Edit
At the 51st Grammy Awards ceremony on February 8, 2009, all three members of the band appeared onstage for the first time since December 2004. Barker announced the band's reformation, stating that "we used to play music together, and we decided we're going to play music together again," with Hoppus adding, "Blink-182 is back!" A message appearing on the band's website the same day confirmed the reformation and added that the band was in the studio writing and recording a new album and preparing for a world tour. The band also updated their "smiley face" logo to feature six arrows instead of the previous five. In June, Blink-182 once more appeared on the cover of Alternative Press (issue #252). Among many questions, including some of Barker's plane crash, the story writer Scott Heisel asked Travis about the commitment to touring, recording a new album and what if the rest of the band wanted to replace him. Barker responded by saying, "I was still really, really, really recovering, and it was just cool to talk to my friends again."
During an interview after their reunion announcement, Travis stated that they had been in the studio since December 2008 writing and recording new material. Each member had brought in their own musical ideas and songs, while also writing new material together. Blink 182 also revisited older demos they had written in 2004, before they went on indefinite hiatus. Blink 182 also stated that they had been practicing together, with "Always" being the first song they played at their first rehearsal in 4 years.
The summer tour was at first mentioned during the reformation, though no concrete information was given until April 7, 2009 when website buzznet.com stated that Weezer would be supporting Blink-182 on their upcoming tour. The issue of Rolling Stone magazine later added Fall Out Boy, in addition to Weezer, as an opener for the tour. Official tour dates were announced on May 15, 2009 on Billboard.com; the tour is scheduled to start July 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada and end on October 3 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Blink-182 manager, Rick Devoe, also went onto say that the band has offers to play in Australia's Big Day Out festival this summer as well as European festivals in 2010.. As a surprise to fans, the band played their first live performance since 2004 at the T-Mobile launch for the new Sidekick at the Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood, California on May 14, 2009.. In addition to the performance, the band made their first television appearance since the 2005 break up; they played "The Rock Show" on May 18 and also performed "All the Small Things" on May 19, both on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. On June 9, to continue promoting the 2009 summer tour, they played "What's My Age Again?" and "Dammit" on Jimmy Kimmel Live. A new single, titled "Up All Night," has been announced for the new album. Blink-182 completed a demo for "Up All Night" during writing and recording sessions in early 2009, but didn't have sufficient time to complete a recorded version of the song before they set out on their summer 2009 tour, and it is currently unknown when the song will be released.
The band played their first show on the new tour on July 23, 2009. In an interview with MTV, Hoppus stated that the trio plan to do a European tour in 2010. After the tour is finished, the band plans to head back into the studios and start working on their new album.
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