Ok, I’m probably going to make a few enemies with this opinion piece but it has to be said for the sake of everything that is right with the world. Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker will be heading back into the studio next month to work on what they’re calling the next Blink-182 record with a bit of help from Alkaline Trio‘s Matt Skiba who will be “filling in” for original member Tom Delonge. Earlier this year Tom was outed from the band in a very public display after complications arose between his prior contractual commitments and the fact Mark and Travis wanted to get into the studio as soon as possible to work on the next album, amongst other issues. We’ve all read the stories by now and have our own opinions of the whole situation.
So here’s mine. This isn’t Blink-182, this isn’t even close to being the band that we were raised on and grew up with heading back to work on the next chapter of their careers. This is another incarnation of Mark & Travis’ side project +44 returning after an elongated hiatus to make music again with their newest member, Matt Skiba. You can’t continue and change the memory we have of Blink with a new member filling in and singing the songs that were written and performed by Tom Delonge. They are personal stories about his life, love and loss and the relatability for us as listeners/fans exists though his own story telling. Having Matt come along and performing songs like “Stay Together For The Kids” which was written about Tom’s parent’s divorce, is like a stranger coming along and telling someone else’s story that you’ve already heard and made a special bond with, if you’ve gone though a similar situation.
The new music if heavily written and sung by Mark Hoppus will have the same feel as the previous +44 album. If Matt Skiba sings on this album too, it will just be the second coming of +44 which has now taken themselves in a new direction. You can’t mess with the system and the foundation of an already established and universally loved band like Blink-182, there are too many connections fans have with it’s members and their songs, stories, personalities and lives. In saying this, I’m not encouraging you to boycott the new album. Take a listen, try to enjoy the songs and support these guys in their next musical adventure, just don’t compare this new edition of “Blink-182” to the old version, as it’ll just bring a flood of mixed emotions which could potentially ruin the love you once had for them.
Let’s hope somewhere down the track these guys can put their differences aside and reunite for the benefit of fans all across the globe. It may take a fair bit of time for things to cool off, but in the words of one of their most memorable songs “Not Now” I say this:
“Don’t forget, that I will be right here, waiting!”
Until next time, rock the fuck out