Yesterday, all hell broke loose on the drama between the band members of Blink-182. Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker released a statement claiming DeLonge was essentially leaving, DeLonge responds with confusion, and Barker and Hoppus call him out in a Rolling Stone interview.
Fans have been waiting for DeLonge’s response to the whole thing, and today, he took to his official social media pages to release his own statement. Check it out below:
LETTER TO THE FANS
Where to begin?
The truth is always a good place. Let’s go there.
I love Blink and am incredibly grateful for having it in my life. It has given me everything. EVERYTHING. I started this band, it was in my garage where I dreamed up the mischief.
So what have I been doing behind the scenes? Well, I’ve tried to make things work. I’ve tried to help move this band down 50 different paths using my people, or other people, and people we don’t even know. I tried to put forth ideas about how we can grow and challenge ourselves to become a better band. I’m not sitting around waiting for someone else to do the work. I’m not wired that way.
The big reset was when I tried to put together a band summit in Utah where we’d talk and work things out. It quickly was narrowed down to three hours in someone’s dressing room in a shitty casino. What I hoped would be a positive get-together away from everything turned into an awkward meeting in a smelly convention hall dressing room. But it was there that I told Mark and Travis that as long as we talked, and things were good between us as real friends, that I would be engaged and work passionately. I’d mirror our personal relationship. Exact words.
Then, the EP was the test. Months later, we’re recording those songs. I was in the studio for two months and they came in for around 11 days. I didn’t mind leading the charge, but we had all agreed to give it 100%. And this time- no baggage.
Despite that, we still somehow managed to self-sabotage.
At one point, squabbling and politics forced me to pull the EP down at a time when 60,000 fans were trying to purchase it. And that blew my mind. I’d been trying so hard but that moment ultimately broke my spirit. I then realized that this band couldn’t lose the years of ill will.
It was after that episode that I promised myself I would never be in that position again – to rely on the words we said to each other.
I remember asking one of them on the phone, “did you try your best? Like we all agreed to?” He was silent.
Are they at fault?
Am I? Of course. I’m nuts.
But there’s three of us – we’re all accountable. At the end of the day, we’ve always been dysfunctional, which is why we haven’t talked in months. But we never did. In the 8 years we have been together it has always been that way.
Over the past two and a half years, while a recording partner was being sought for a new Blink record, I launched a media company. I just put out a new Angels & Airwaves record and as some of you know, there’s a lot more coming – comics, books, a film, etc. The books will all come with music. This is a wheel that’s already in motion. So you can imagine my frustration when I was handed a 60-page Blink contract saying I couldn’t release an Angels album for 9 months and that the Blink album had to be recorded in 6 months, which was impossible for me. Doing so would force me to breach several artist contracts. Authors, Concept Artists, Animators… Many people.
They did eventually drop the Angels provision, but the part about having to finish a Blink album in 6 months remained. All of these other projects are being worked, exist in contract form– I can’t just slam the brakes and drop years of development, partnerships and commitments at the snap of a finger.
I told my manager that I will do Blink 182 as long as it was fun and worked with the other commitments in my life, including my family.
But Mark and Travis know all of this.
I wrote this same letter to them a year ago. But it created a massive argument, the biggest one yet actually. I just wanted us to do things we all agreed on. But that was their moment to dig in. From their view I was controlling everything. In reality, I was scared to put myself out there again. To repeat the EP experience.
I also wrote all of this to their managers this past December (who told me my bandmates weren’t angry and agreed with some of my ideas of how to grow the band).
So you can imagine my surprise when a press release went out yesterday—without my knowledge—about the band’s future. This is new to me. It’s not in my nature to fuel negativity about the legacy of the band on something as trashy as the Internet world.
But I guess that’s another example of how I differ from most. I follow the light… I follow passion and I make art. I hang with my son, my daughter and my wife.
At the end of the day, all of this makes me really sad.
Sad for us.
Sad for you- that you’re witnessing this immaturity.
I know them very well, and their current actions are defensive and divisive.
I suppose they’re doing this as a way to protect themselves from being hurt.
Like we all do.
And even as I watch them act so different to what I know of them to be, I still care deeply for them. Like brothers, and like old friends. But our relationship got poisoned yesterday.
Never planned on quitting, just find it hard as hell to commit.
UPDATE #1: Let’s review what’s been going on up to now — Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker released a statement claiming Tom DeLonge has left the band. At the same time, DeLonge posted a status pledging allegiance to Blink.
Then, just to confuse everyone further, Hoppus and Barker conducted an impromptu interview with Rolling Stone, calling out DeLonge. Read it here.
UPDATE #2: According to The Examiner, DeLonge has not officially quit, although there is no word from his party as to the truth of this statement.
UPDATE #3: Mark Hoppus gives Alternative Press an exclusive interview.
UPDATE #4: DeLonge does a kinda-sorta, almost off-record post on his Facebook, which still hasn’t officially said he’s done.
UPDATE #5: Hoppus does interview with Billboard, denying that Barker was ever going to quit.
UPDATE #6: Regardless of DeLonge’s plans, Blink-182 will be moving forward with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba in his place, for the present time. As if adding salt to the wound, Hoppus instagramed a picture of rehearsal with Skiba’s gear.
UPDATE #7: Still no official interview from DeLonge’s team, but Travis Barker did take to sitting down with KROQ, reiterating his earlier statements. Read about it and listen here.
UPDATE #8: (The drama-war wages on) Delonge posts two instagramv ideos with the hashtags #SongWithoutaHome and #March1. It would appear that the songs had been intended for Blink-182, but who really knows at this point?
UPDATE #9: DeLonge took to Facebook and Instagram to post this. Again, another vague clue at what’s going on, but no actual answers.
UPDATE #10: Delonge posted this on his Facebook this morning, raising even more questions.
UPDATE #11: DeLonge tweeted that on March 1, he will release a few Blink-182 demo tracks. Then he deleted it. As of now, there is no word as to what the track names are or what Hoppus and Barker think. And just in case you missed it, he’s not talking about Blink, but he did a whole interview about how aliens are real…
UPDATE #12: DeLonge announces that he is going to release a new album on April 20 called There Will Be Stars. Many people are speculating that it will contain those Blink-182 demos he said would be released tomorrow. You can preorder the album here.
UPDATE #13: It’s official, DeLonge has not officially quit. In a recent interview with AlternativeNation, Barker explains everything…again, even offering up some detail on Matt Skiba and other projects.
UPDATE #14: Even though DeLonge has not officially quit, the band has officially moved on. Earlier today, Hoppus posted an instagram photo of himself, Barker and DeLonge’s (permanent?) replacement Matt Skiba. Also, DeLonge released the first song off his new album. which you can check out here.
UPDATE #15: DeLonge’s replacement, Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba, did a podcast talking about taking over for Delonge. Listen here.
UPDATE #16: DeLonge announced that he will be releasing four albums this year. You can read his ambitious tweet here.
Articles of note:
Tom DeLonge, longtime guitarist and co-vocalist of the punk trio Blink-182, has left the group, his bandmates announced in a statement Monday.
As first reported by Radio.com, Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge has “indefinitely” left the band. DeLonge has apparently made this decision in order to pursue his “other non-musical endeavors,” a representative for blink said in a statement.
From DeLonge’s Publicist:
Contrary to reports, Tom DeLonge has not left Blink 182. “I never quit the band,” he says. “Actually, I was on the phone discussing a possible Blink-182 event in New York City when I heard the ‘news.’ The ONLY truth here is that I have commitments that limit my availability this year. I love Blink-182 and I’m not leaving.”
This was originally posted on January 27th, 2015, and has since been updated.