If this is a permanent break for Tom, do you see a future for the name Blink-182 without him?
Hoppus: There are legalities involved with this. As Tom pointed out, he technically didn’t quit the band. Then it gets all lawyer-y, which I will leave to the attorneys and managers. I just want to go out and play Blink songs. I want to go out and play the songs that we’ve been spending the last 20 years of our lives writing. That’s what Travis and I want to do. If Tom doesn’t want to do that, which obviously he doesn’t, that’s OK. He doesn’t have to be embarrassed or try to claim that he’s secretly really working on Blink. People know what’s up. C’mon, man.
Tom wrote on Instagram, “Apparently those releases were ‘sanctioned’ from the band. Are we dysfunctional- yes. But, Christ…..” How did you interpret that?
Hoppus: The press release that came out today is 100 percent from Travis and me and we stand by it 100 percent because it’s all true. There’s no ambiguity.
Was it odd seeing a conflicting view of the statement you released?
Barker: It’s just funny to me. I think he’s just in shock that he’s finally been exposed. The truth is out. I just don’t think he knows how to deal with it, so he says, “I didn’t quit the band. I’m booking Blink shows as we speak.” You’re not the booking agent. We all know that’s a lie. You don’t want to twist any grown man’s arm to do anything he doesn’t want to do, but step up to the plate and say, “Yeah, I don’t want to play with those guys. I’ve been saying I’d record with the guys for the last two or three years and I’ll just do Blink shows when I need money.”
If Tom says tomorrow that he wanted back in and the three members should start recording a new album, would he be welcome?
Barker: Mark’s the sweeter one, so I’ll let him answer [laughs].
Hoppus: Travis and I and the whole Blink-182 organization have bent over backwards for years to accommodate all of the stuff that Tom wanted to try. Tom calls up in October 2013 and says, “I want to do an EP for Christmas release.” I live in London and five days later, I’m on an airplane to Los Angeles to record because he wanted to. We’ve done everything that we could to give Tom what he says he needs. It’s been years of pushing back and I have to tell you: It feels humiliating to be in a band where you have to be apologizing for one person all the time. That’s how it’s felt for a long time.
When Tom finally said, “I’m not going to go into the studio or play this show,” it was kind of a gigantic relief because at least he finally said it. But to then say, “I didn’t quit the band,” it’s just not true. It’s disingenuous. I just wish Tom does whatever makes him happy and stops holding Blink-182 back from what we all agree that we’re going to do: play shows, record music, continue this legacy and have a good time doing it.