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“That makes it interesting for me,” Barker adds, “but I never try to force that stuff into this project because I understand the difference between what I do by myself and what I do in Blink.”
Hoppus says the band embraced modern recording techniques on California “but tried to keep an old-school ethos.” While he describes “Bored to Death” as representative of the album, he calls the songs wide-ranging, with the modern balanced by classic anthemic choruses and soaring guitars.
“It goes in a lot of different directions,” says Hoppus. “We have some songs that sound like Blink-182 from 1999. … We have some songs that are like nothing we have ever done before. We have a ballad called ‘Home Is Such a Lonely Place’ that has clean arpeggiated finger-picking guitars with strings underneath it. We have super-fast late-Nineties-punk-rock-sounding songs. … We tried to capture the energy and not worry so much about all the knobs.”
Hoppus says his lyrical content has evolved over time, but that the emotional impact remains the same as ever. “I write less about high-school stuff now than I did 15 or 20 years ago, but the topics are universal,” he says. “There is a lot of angst that could be teen angst or it could be angst of everyday life. I still have the same emotions I had 20 years ago – I get frustrated or I get excited. I still feel like I’m falling in love with my wife.”
In the past, Blink-182 has prepared for major tours with as little practice as possible, says Hoppus. This time, the new band has been spending quality time in the rehearsal studio, investing in an open-ended future. “We want to be really focused and have our chops up,” he says. “With the previous incarnation of Blink, there were times when we wouldn’t rehearse or we would rehearse five times before a tour. We really want to be road-ready when we step out onstage.”
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