Disclaimer: I don’t like the new Blink 182 video for “She’s Out of Her Mind”, but for completely different reasons to Browny. I simply found the experience of watching a bunch of Vine celebs lip-syncing poorly to be totally cringe and not worthy of a song which is actually mad. The problem is, that I can’t agree with the arguments Browny has put forward in support of his opinion, because they are, for the most part, not even grounded in reality.
Browny’s first argument that the video is ‘far from new, for old-school Blink fans’ implies the band tried to pull the wool over their fans eyes, when in reality, this a nostalgia soaked video made purely to appeal to old fans. It can’t have been made to appeal to new fans, because they wouldn’t have understood the meaning and no-one, in the entire marketing campaign for this video has pretended that this video is anything but what it is, a remake (or, if you will, an homage).
Further, Browny posits that Blink aren’t moving forward if they ‘pull shit like this’, saying that they are ‘still trying to cash in on that (their early 2000’s) success’. The question must then be asked, if they are still cashing in on that success, at what point did they start? I know it wasn’t with Skiba, because they only did a couple of tour dates (that everyone’s favourite alleged musical demi-god Tom Delonge pulled out of) playing 100% old songs before recording a new album of material in order to move forward with Skiba as a full member of the band. So, it must’ve been that greatest hits reunion tour they did through 2009/2010 … which would seem to drop a mega dump all over the overall tone of Browny’s article, that Blink would be better off with Tom Delonge. In fact, according to Travis Barker’s Can I Say Tom would only get enthused about the band when money was coming in. Although this may be a biased source, wouldn’t this suggest it was Tom himself who was attempting to cash in on previous successes and nostalgia?
On the topic of Tom, he wasn’t pushing them in new and exciting directions (as Browny suggests he was ‘all over like a rash’), but rather was pushing the band to sound more like Angels and Airwaves. You know, that mildly successful (mild, like how a case of mild Diarrhea doesn’t burn that bad, but still ruins your 21st birthday) band Tom has been doing for a decade, which sounded exactly the same for the majority of that decade, until IIan Rubin joined the band and basically started writing most of the music.
Browny argues that Blink is living in the past and trying to recapture the success of their early years… but let’s just look at some figures shall we?
Enema peaked at #9 in the States, #4 in Australia and #15 in the UK.
TOYPAJ peaked at #1 in the States, #2 in Australia and #4 in the UK.
Self-titled peaked at #3 in the States, #7 in Australia and #22 in the UK.
Neighbourhoods peaked at #2 in the States, #2 in Australia and #6 in the UK.
California peaked at #1 in the States, #1 in the UK and #2 in Australia.
So, apparently Blink are trying to cash in on their previous successes, by bastardising the lead single from their least successful album from the above list? In attempt to continue ‘cashing in’ on the success that they have subsequently surpassed? Finally, apparently they’re better off with Tom Delonge and that’s why their only album without Tom is the highest charting of them all?
Or, maybe, here’s a thought: Blink is better off without Tom Delonge, because Matt Skiba wants to be in a pop-punk band and isn’t interested in Blink sounding like AVA or chasing aliens. If they are worse off without him, why is California the bands highest charting album since 2001 in the States and EVER in the UK?!? Why was “Bored to Death” the band’s first #1 single in 12 years?
Maybe, the band wasn’t trying to cash in on old nostalgia. Maybe, the video is what it is because it was made as part of Spotify’s Flash Frame series, a series which focuses on the CAREERS of musicians. So maybe, just maybe, SPOTIFY (not the band themselves) had the (brilliant, but poorly executed) idea of recreating one of the band’s most iconic moments (the entire getting naked thing was synonymous with Blink from this video onwards) in order to acknowledge and pay tribute to the band’s legacy.
The thing is, Browny, like a number of Blink fans, wrote off the band once they heard Skiba was joining and is now grasping at straws to avoid acknowledging that California is killer and the band is more popular than they have been in a long time because they are no longer being held back by a disinterested member. The problem is, that none of these Tom Delonge fan boys will ever acknowledge the band is better off, because they committed hard to Tom the moment he left and now can’t go back without losing face. Unfortunately for them, the facts (as shown above) markedly indicate Blink is better off without Tom and in this particular case, Browny’s argument seems to be based purely on a lack of research surrounding the video itself and Tom-centric bias.
I was not a fan of this video. I like the idea but not so much the execution. Of course, this isn’t the fault of Blink, but rather the people who made the actual video (Spotify). Regardless of my feelings towards the video, I found Browny’s arguments to not be particularly grounded in fact and requiring a healthy rebuttal.
Blink is doing extremely well and it’s great to see them touring and recording as a cohesive group with a common vision again. There is a particularly vocal, internet based, minority which needs to realise that Mark and Travis are better off with Skiba in the band and Tom is better off chasing aliens, writing books and doing what he actually wants to be doing (which isn’t Blink). Besides, as Tom pointed out in Pursuit of Tone, approaching music with a closed mind is the polar opposite what punk rock stands for. Maybe it’s time for the Tom Delonge Militia to acknowledge everyone in the band (and Tom) is better off with things as they are and it is time to move on. Besides, it’s been a while… I think it’s pretty clear Daddy didn’t go to store for some smokes and ain’t coming back anytime soon.
The good news is, music is subjective and Browny and I can still be mates regardless of differences in opinion.
Hugs ‘n’ Kisses.
Michael Thomas and his opinions