Blink-182‘s Mark Hoppus (pictured above) has addressed a controversial tweet posted – and then deleted – by former member Tom DeLonge following the recent announcement that he was no longer in the band.
In the tweet, which was screengrabbed and widely circulated among fans yesterday (January 27), DeLonge wrote: “A year ago Mark and I spent a week on the phone with managers debating parting with Travis… Don’t pretend there isn’t more to this story.”
Hoppus has now confirmed conversations about replacing drummer Travis Barker did take place, but that they were simply a case of Tom DeLonge venting his frustration.
Speaking to Alt Press, Hoppus explained that the situation occurred following a 2013 Australian tour, which Barker was unable to participate in due to a fear of flying he developed after his involvement in a 2008 plane crash that killed four. Barker hoped to travel, but decided he was not able and a backup drummer, Brooks Wackerman, stood in for him. Hoppus says an Australian promoter engaged DeLonge in a Twitter argument because he felt “that Travis had never intended to come to Australia and felt that he had been duped,” according to Hoppus.
Hoppus stated: “After the tour, Tom was very upset about being put in that situation on tour, where people were threatening to sue, the promoter was angry and everything else. But he was really just blowing off steam. We got back from tour and Tom was having these calls where he was talking about ‘Can we replace Travis, can we do whatever”, but it was really just Tom blowing off steam. There were a few days of calls where I listened to Tom, commiserated with Tom and, immediately afterwards, called up my manager and [said], ‘Tom’s upset right now, he’s talking about trying to replace Travis, but I’m not into it. That’s not going to happen.’ And sure enough, Tom, after a month, called back up and was like, ‘Hey you know what? I was just angry about it. It was a bad situation, and of course I don’t want to kick Travis out of the band.’ I don’t think Tom was ever truly serious about it. Even at the time, I felt he was just angry and he just needed to vent.”
Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba will be filling in for DeLonge at a forthcoming live date at Musink festival on March 22. Hoppus confirmed that, at present, it is too soon to say whether Skiba will become a full time member of the band, or if another replacement for DeLonge will be sought.
“After that, we don’t know,” said Hoppus. “We haven’t played a show with Matt yet, so it’s too soon to really say what goes beyond on that. We’re very optimistic and excited about the possibilities of continuing with Matt in some way. He’s a good friend, a great guitarist, a great singer. He has a really positive attitude. I think we’ve been friends for, what, 15 years? We don’t have anything booked beyond that, but we are hopeful and excited.”
Hoppus also said that the show would include “a bunch of old stuff” and “some newer stuff”, and seemed positive about the future of Blink-182.
Hoppus: “It feels like a license to have fun right now. I love Blink: I want to keep playing in Blink, I want to keep playing Blink songs. I love the legacy. I love where we started. I love where we’re going. I feel very relieved somehow. Everything is out in the open and everyone can do what they want to do.”
News broke on Monday night that the band’s Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker had split from DeLonge after the singer allegedly refused to enter the studio and record a new album with them this month. Following a statement that DeLonge had quit the band “indefinitely”, the singer and guitarist took to Instagram to deny the story. “To all the fans, I never quit the band,” he began.