Following the departure of guitarist Tom Delonge, pop-punk legends Blink-182 are back in the studio with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba filling in for him. So there was understandable excitement when bassist Mark Hoppus announced the was doing an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit last night. Here’s what we learned (aside from the fact that, no, he doesn’t want to “>”fuck a dog in the ass”).
Ageing doesn’t bother him
One user asked the 43-year-old: “Is it harder to relate to the adolescent lyrics of the earlier songs now? I mean, you’ve been a dad for 10 years now.” Hoppus replied: “no. when i sing “>dammit, a song written more than 15 years ago, i remember the exact day i wrote it, what i was going through, what it meant to me.” During this section of the Q&A, he also announced that “>‘Adam’s Song’ may be “permanently retired” from Blink’s set list because it’s “too hard.”
He’s kind of a grumpy old man of rock
The user SamBo asked the elder statesman of the genre what he thinks of pop-rock nowdays. “i feel like it needs a kick in the ass,” Hoppus said, “something fresh and brave to shake it up. the whole thing feels safe and stale and formulaic. but that’s just me.” Pop-punk bands of 2015, take note.
Box Car Racer, the 2001 side project start by Blink members Tom Delonge and Travis Barker, made him uneasy
Hoppus wasn’t in that band and he said it was difficult to see his band mates make music without him. Or, in his words, he felt “weird, betrayed, jealous. probably more than i should have.” Pressed as to why he provided backing vocals on their song ‘Elevator’ if that were the case, Hoppus explained: the whole situation sucked. but i sang on the track because, at the heart of it, tom and travis are my friends. i’m sure tom felt the tension and asked me as an offering. i was glad to have done it, and i was glad that he asked.”
His favourite Adventure Time character is Lump Space Princess
The man knows his cartoons.
He’s surprisingly earnest
One user asked the jokey question: “If you could have lunch with any person, living or dead, what would you order?” The pop punk pranskter missed the gag and offered a lengthy, touching answer about his grandfathers, one of whom he never met. They served in WWII and Hoppus said: “i never got to ask them what they had seen or how it felt, or say thank you for what they did. much respect to them and everyone who serves.”
The questioner responded: “That was a much more poignant answer than my stupid question warranted. For the record I’d order a BLT.”
“>‘Carousel’ was the song that made Blink
Recorded for the 1994 demo Buddha and released on the band’s 1995 first proper album Cheshire Cat, the song made the band realise they were onto something, Hoppus said. “we wrote it the very first time i met tom. i showed him a bassline i’d been working on, and it fit perfectly with a guitar part he’d been working on. we’d only known each other for less than an hour and the song was fairly formed even then. it was weird”
Don’t expend an odd-‘n’-end or rarities album
Blink-182 don’t really “do” unreleased songs, Hoppus explained. “we mostly release all of the songs we finish recording, and abandon songs that aren’t working along the way. there are a lot of ideas and half-demos that we may go back to. there was a song on neighborhoods called “not for real” that i was working on, that i beat to death. i would like to revisit it for the next record.
And this is the song he’d like to listen to on his deathbed
“listen to it and i think you’ll understand,” was all he would say.