So, How Was Your Decade, Mark Hoppus?
So, How Was Your Decade is a series in which the decade’s most innovative musicians answer our questionnaire about the music, culture and memorable moments that shaped their decade. We’ll be rolling these pieces out throughout December.
Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus began the 2010s with his old band back together, ready for a fresh start. A 2009 reunion tour had led to a new album, 2011’s Neighborhoods, which marked their first LP since 2003’s self-titled effort. The next few years, however, would be some of the most tumultuous in Blink’s career, with band friction prompting co-founder Tom DeLonge to leave. Determined to keep Blink going, Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker recruited Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba and uncovered a new creative spark. In 2016, they released their first album with Skiba, California, and this September they followed it up with another new LP, Nine.
Along with sticking with Blink-182, Hoppus has branched out into other mediums — he hosted a TV show on Fuse between 2010 and 2012, and launched a podcast in 2014 — while also embracing his role as an elder statesman of pop punk and emo (he even spun a special DJ set at a Los Angeles emo night). He’s collaborated with artists like McBusted, New Found Glory, All Time Low, State Champs and Neck Deep, and even worked as a producer for the Scottish outfit PAWS. Even with Blink-182 newly stabilized, Hoppus seems intent on evolving as an artist beyond the band. Earlier this year, he teamed with All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth to launch a new project, Simple Creatures, which already has two EPs out and debut album on the way.
My favorite album of the 2010s was: Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Listened to this album a ton when it first came out and the songs still hold up even years later.
My favorite song of the 2010s was: Alt-J’s “Bloodflood.” Alt-J is one of those bands whose music is new and weird and yet feels like you’ve been listening to it since you were a baby.
The artist who had the best decade was: Beyonce. She transcended the mortal bounds of being an “artist,” and has become an icon and American royalty.
The craziest thing that happened to me in the 2010s was: I sat in Winston Churchill’s chair in 10 Downing Street.
My least favorite trend in music this decade was: I love it all. This past decade has seen the death of genre, and I couldn’t be happier. Every style of music blending into and borrowing from each other. So much creativity in the world and it’s all intertwined.
The TV show I couldn’t stop streaming in the 2010s was: Game of Thrones. No other TV show had the same zeitgeist and following.
The best new slang term of the decade was: Ok Boomer. It’s the perfect dismissal of the generation who blames millennials for the “death” of everything, while continuing to deny climate change, refusing to pass even the most basic gun safety laws, and creating an economy that leaves future generations little hope of steady jobs or home ownership.
The best live show I saw in the 2010s was: Twenty One Pilots. It’s amazing how much happens onstage with just two people.
The most surprising encounter I had with a fellow artist this decade was: Standing in line at the Mann Chinese Theatre with Marylin Manson to get popcorn and soda at the Halloween premiere.
The misstep I learned the most from in the 2010s was: The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now. Meaning, get off your ass and start doing whatever it is you want to do. It’s not just going to happen on its own.
The best book I read this decade was: John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. It being a classic, I assumed it would be stodgy and safe, and instead it burst forth with biblical battles between brothers.
Something cool I did this decade that nobody noticed was: During a day off, I learned the NATO phonetic alphabet. Now every time we fly somewhere I’m insufferable with, “Yes we are on flight one two zero Romeo Quebec.”
The strangest thing someone said about me in the media this decade was: I saw a Google alert that I’m worth $70 million. If only.
The best outfit I wore this decade was: Halloween this year when the three of us dressed up as Joker.
The most “2010s” moment of the 2010s was: A failed casino-owning reality TV star became President of the United States.
My biggest hope for the 2020s is: We move past the era of daily outrage and cancel culture, and push the world to a better, fairer, more equitable place.