Tom DeLonge, longtime guitarist and co-vocalist of the punk trio Blink-182, has left the group, his bandmates announced in a statement Monday. Suspicions began when the band revealed that Alkaline Trio guitarist/singer Matt Skiba was recruited to join Blink-182 at the group’s upcoming headlining set at drummer Travis Barker’s eighth annual Musink Festival on March 22nd in Orange County, California, KROQ reports.
Soon after, Blink-182’s Barker and bassist/singer Mark Hoppus issued a statement that DeLonge decided to “indefinitely” leave the band. “We were all set to play this festival and record a new album and Tom kept putting it off without reason,” Hoppus and Barker said. “A week before we were scheduled to go in to the studio, we got an email from his manager explaining that he didn’t want to participate in any Blink-182 projects indefinitely, but would rather work on his other non-musical endeavors.”
Hoppus and Barker continued, “No hard feelings, but the show must go on for our fans.” It’s unclear how long Skiba will collaborate with the remaining Blink members, but Alkaline Trio fans can breathe easy: Barker and Hoppus promise Skiba will continue to record and tour with his own band.
At press time, DeLonge had not commented on social media about his split from Blink-182, but he has been active in recent weeks promoting new music from his other band Angels & Airwaves. Shortly after his decision to leave Blink-182, however, DeLonge posted a selfie on Instagram with a sundown in the background. Hoppus tweeted shortly after the announcement, “Blink-182 for life. For life.”
After taking a four-year hiatus from 2005 to 2009, the reunited Blink-182 toured frequently and recorded one album, 2011’s Neighborhoods. Rolling Stone talked to DeLonge and Hoppus in September 2013 about whether the band had begun work on their next album.
“The way we always work is Mark and I pick up our acoustic guitars in our living rooms with our families,” DeLonge said. “And once we start getting little things together, you’ll see text messages and emails, then managers get involved and then everyone needs to talk and then we’re on tour talking, so we’re three or four steps in, so the actual getting onto the same room and tracking that has not happened yet, but that’s pretty soon. That’s probably the next step, to be honest.”