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Members of Blink-182 Discuss Overcoming Years of Acrimony

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Tom Delonge

How is the tour going?
Well, I just got over being sick, so I'm a little nasally right now. That's been the primary reason it's been a little difficult. Losing your voice completely and you have a sold-out show in front of 17,000 fans in Detroit, sucks. But besides that, the tour's been great. From my perspective, this is a good time for us. I am able to present the band the way I was hoping to. I always wanted this band to start taking steps towards . . . I'm really proud of the way that the band is presenting itself on the live show. It's a much more modern and relevant form of rock & roll, I think, than the small, little punk scene that we grew up in. So that's exciting to me.

So many bands establish a sound and then just keep making the same record over and over.
Well, I think that people saw a lot more potential in Blink-182 than we saw in ourselves until the last record. I think with that record, we proved to ourselves, "Wow, we can actually be like a real rock band rather than your next-door neighbors that got famous." I always thought the band could be gigantic just because of the approachability of it and the humbleness of it and the fun of it. The songs were good and catchy, but I never thought we were going to maintain being big because we were revolutionary or because our ideas or our art was so all encompassing. But I think on the last record we started to touch on that. 

I was talking to Mark and he told me that you want an epic sound, like Muse or U2. It's hard for some people to imagine how you can reconcile that sound with Blink.
But that's what's so fun about it. What would that sound like? And you hear it on the record. You hear a little bit with "Up All Night." You hear it with "Natives." These songs have big builds and some crescendos. But, how do you mix those two worlds? People hear me do it with Angels and Airwaves. People know that Travis can play anything that he wants to. People know that Mark is into the coolest, newest music and producing records and he's been writing great songs forever. So, it's just an ambition and an arrangement in my mind. But I like the idea that people wonder or go, "There's no way to pull that off." That to me is the fun part of it.

Do you see the final sound as a compromise, or a melting pot?
It's both. I mean, the melting pot is the compromise. The magic of Blink is the compromise. We would have had more intros and epic crescendos on the record if I had my way – but then it wouldn't have been Blink. Mark and I are almost on two opposite ends of the spectrum. I'm always trying to push things forward and he's always nostalgic for who we were and where we grew up and how we meet in the middle is always the beauty.

Were there moments during the making of the record when you became frustrated?
Oh yeah.

So how did you deal with that?
I'd just bite my tongue. I'd just get pissed and bite my tongue. And I just kept telling myself that everything happens for a reason and everything's supposed to be the way it's supposed to be. I also really believe in the natural course of events. I'm constantly finding myself fighting battles with what I want and what the natural course of events are pushing me to have. So I was always like, "I really want this stuff and I really believe in my heart that this is something that will make the band better." But just because I believe that, it doesn't make it so. It really doesn't. So, learn to get over it and let the compromise happen.

There's a lot of demands on your time right now. You have the new Blink album and tour, the new Angels and Airwaves album, all your businesses and your family. Do you ever feel that it's just all too much?
I never wanted to have two bands. But yeah, it's too much. Especially the past six months have been really hard because the Angels film was a five-year journey and that just hit theaters a couple of weeks ago, and now it comes out in November with a double album, 22 songs. And I started a whole company around it. Angels and Airwaves is a company now. So, all that was going while I was supposed to make this Blink-182 comeback record. And I'm trying to balance everyone's interests and then my wife is looking at me like, "I hate your guts because you're supposed to be working less and hanging out more." I'm like, "I can't let anyone down because I care about them all." Both of these sides of the fence are, like, who I am. I am still this little punk rock kid, but I am also this armchair academic that's trying to look at the world a little bit differently. 

Do you see Blink continuing indefinitely, or are you worried that you might start to feel too overwhelmed in two or three years?
No, I think that my most overwhelming points were the past six months. Blink was supposed to go earlier, but everyone's schedule got pushed back and then it got pushed right on top of the Angels release that was already planned. So, I had no choice but to do them both at the same time. I never want to do that again. But will Blink continue? Absolutely. As long as it's fun and people care. And as long as we keep respecting each other the way we are now . . . myself included to them. I think we've proved that the worst is behind us.

Next: Travis Barker

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