Reunited Blink-182 finally feels comfortable together again

When Blink-182 split in 2005, it was called an indefinite hiatus. In fact, it seemed doubtful that t

When Blink-182 split in 2005, it was called an indefinite hiatus. In fact, it seemed doubtful that the band would ever play together again.

Though the trio reconciled in 2009, in 2005 tensions between guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge and the rest of the band — bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker — had reached a boiling point. The two factions went on to play in separate bands — DeLonge’s Angels and Airwaves and Hoppus and Travis’ +44, respectively — and neither side was speaking.

“I think that it sucked — it was definitely a very painful and awful part of all of our lives,” Hoppus said recently from Seattle, a stop on the Honda Civic Tour that Blink-182 has been co-headlining with My Chemical Romance since August. The tour heads to Saratoga Performing Arts Center Friday night.

“But it was something that ultimately had to happen. I don’t think we’d be at the point we’re at now without having gone through that.”

Two back-to-back incidents brought the trio together as friends again in 2008. In August of that year, the band’s longtime producer Jerry Finn died from a cerebral hemorrhage. A month later, Barker and friend Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein were the only two survivors in a plane crash in South Carolina.


with My Chemical Romance, and Matt & Kim

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Saratoga Performing Arts Center, 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs

How Much: $69-$25

More Info: 587-3330,

“That was definitely, for Tom, the impetus for him to call after not having spoken to us in a number of years, saying, ‘I hope you’re OK,’” Hoppus said. “From there, the band — not the band, the three of us, really — were talking again. And after a while, one of those things that we were obviously going to talk about was Blink, and we all wanted to do it again. That’s why we’re all here doing it now.”

Now, with “Neighborhoods” due out on Sept. 27 — the band’s first album since 2003’s self-titled effort — Blink-182’s reunion has come full circle. When the band’s members announced they were getting back together in 2009, they planned a new album, but it took a tour and some more practice time for everyone to get to the point where they felt comfortable creating together again.

“When we first got together and started up Blink again, we started writing, but we were all still too polite with one another,” Hoppus said. “We wanted to be a band again, and be able to disagree with one another, and to get to that point you have to go on the road and get what it’s all about.”

First single “Up All Night” is officially out now — a three-minute blast of power-pop riffs and DeLonge and Hoppus’ singing that sounds like the band is picking things up from the more serious tone it set on the self-titled album. “After Midnight,” “Heart’s All Gone” and “Ghost on the Dance Floor” have all been regularly making the band’s setlists as well.

“After the first show, when we played four new songs, Travis and I were talking — it felt like the show came to a stall, and we’d have to take those songs out of the set,” Hoppus said. “Then we went online, and everyone was raving about the new songs. And it’s actually been really good having them in the set. It’s really cool — fans are going on Youtube and listening to the live versions, and now there’s people on tour singing the words of unreleased songs back to us onstage. That’s really gratifying.”

In past interviews, the band has reviewed that DeLonge’s desire to work on Blink-182 material by himself, in his home studio in San Diego, contributed to the issues that tore the group apart. For “Neighborhoods,” the band’s first self-produced effort, the band did indeed split its time between DeLonge’s studio and a studio where Barker and Hoppus live in L.A., but the results were still very collaborative.

“We would get together and compare notes, and then split up again, email each other back and forth, call each other and sing different songs over the phone,” Hoppus said. “It took a lot longer for the record to be recorded in that manner, but it allowed us more opportunities to explore ideas.”

The resulting album is one of the rawest the band has recorded, but doesn’t sink into the jokey territory found on the band’s late ’90s breakthroughs “Dude Ranch” or “Enema of the State.”

“There’s still a couple love songs on there,” Hoppus said. “But I think this record is a little — just in its lyrical content, not necessariliy in the overall tone and sound — I think it’s a little darker of a record than previous Blink records have been, at least the stuff I’ve written for it, for sure. I like to write poppy songs with really depressing lyrics, apparently.”

As far as tapping into the old chemistry the band had that took infectious hits like “What’s My Age Again?” and “All the Small Things” to the top of the charts in the ’90s and 2000s, that was the easy part.

“We’ve been performing together — Tom and I almost 20 years, and us with Travis for 15 years, so it’s all pretty natural to us at this point,” Hoppus said. “There’s a real feeling of home, a connection between the three of us, when we get into the studio to write music together. The personalities of the three of us just needed to get back into line.”

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