DJ, international party-starter and noted caking enthusiast Steve Aoki and lovably dorky pop-punk institution Blink-182 would seem to inhabit different musical worlds. But the two have teamed up on a new track, Aoki’s remix of “Bored to Death,” the lead single from the band’s recent Number One LP, California.
The new version finds Aoki inserting a huge, head-spinning EDM groove after the song’s anthemic chorus. The track’s video cuts between portions of the original “Bored to Death” clip – which blends narrative scenes of high-school life with footage of Blink-182 performing in an intimate club – with shots of Aoki onstage in front of a huge festival crowd.
For the DJ, the collaboration has been 20 years in the making.
“I was in college at the time, sophomore year at UCSB 1996-97, and a roommate of mine was blasting Cheshire Cat in the vegan co-op I was living in,” he tells Rolling Stone. “That was my intro to Blink-182. Their songs become undeniable sing-a-longs with the most relatable lyrics. They are extremely cool dudes in general, and I love working in the studio with people so dedicated to their craft. I’ve been a long time fan before becoming friends with them. Once the door opened to work on music with Travis Barker back in 2010, we did a lot of collaborative music together and it was always a dream to work with Blink-182 in any way possible. Once I heard they were back together working on this album I had to get in Feldmann’s studio with them and chop it up. The first thing I could get my hands on was the stems to ‘Bored to Death,’ so I went to work immediately on this remix. The thing is, I love every song on the new album and I’d probably remix all of them because I’m that much of a fan boy. I wanted to make a fun, crazed out drop that would make kids go wild to this song at my shows. It’s definitely the peak moment for me in my sets when I want the energy level at 11. I play this remix in every DJ set around the world, and I always stop the music to let the crowd know that Blink-182 is one of my favorite bands in the world – because they are.”
The band is equally excited about teaming with Aoki.
“So stoked to have Steve’s remix of ‘Bored to Death’ released to the world,” adds Blink-182 singer-bassist Mark Hoppus. “We’ve been talking for a couple of years about collaborating on a track together, and all of our schedules finally aligned. He came to the studio we were recording California in for a couple of days, bounced some ideas back and forth, and he took the song back to his studio and worked his magic there. I really dig what he did with the track, took it to a whole different place. He’s at the top of his game, and we’re proud to have a song in his arsenal. Steve is one of the most talented and hardest working artists I know, and approaches everything with a sense of joy and excitement. Cake me.”
As Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker tells RS, he and Aoki started collaborating together around 2010. “I have played drums on some of his past remixes, and we have done live TV together as well. Any chance I can get to play with one of my brothers or have him remix something I have worked on, I am all for it. When ‘Bored to Death’ came out, it just seemed like the next natural thing for us to do together.”
Steve Aoki stars in the new Netflix documentary I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead. Blink-182 are currently on tour in support of California. Aoki’s “Bored to Death” remix will be available for purchase on Wednesday.