Blink is Back (Hopefully)

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Blink 182 in 2011 (from left to right: Travis Barker, Tom Delonge, and Mark Hoppus)

In the almost five years since the 2011 release of Neighborhoods, legendary American pop-punk band Blink 182 has made a lot of promises to its borderline-rabid fanbase. An integral group in the rock music scene, Blink has an impressive discography and a long list of famous admirers who cite the band as inspirational (Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday). Formed in a suburb of San Diego in 1992, the band topped the alternative charts for over a decade, with classics like “Dammit” and “What’s My Age Again,” providing Generation X with albums full of angsty ammunition to fire back at strict parents and societal expectations. Despite the soaring success, the band went on an “indefinite hiatus” in early 2005, shattering the hearts of punks worldwide. Four years and a handful of tragedies later (producer Jeremy Finn’s untimely passing and drummer Travis Barker’s nearly fatal plane crash in 2008), the band reunited, vowing to the world that the future would be brimming with new records, tours, and other exciting notions. But alas, things went a little differently.

For years the band promoted “The Blinkumentary,” a docu-style film that would feature exclusive footage from the studio, backstage on world-tours, and other rare behind-the-scenes content, but no such film was ever released. After Neighborhoods had been out for around a year, hints were dropped by members that a follow-up was already in the works, with Instagram photos being posted from the studio and snippets of potential tracks being teased on Soundcloud. Blink has been a band for over 20 years, so fans were devoted and loyal, continuing to hold out hope after being let down time and time again: being lured in by false promises and the prospect of an album that seems to be nonexistent (we’re looking at you too, Frank Ocean). But the band was together, speaking and making music again, so waiting didn’t matter.

This held true up until February of last year, when lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Tom Delonge dropped one of the biggest bombs to hit modern alt-rock since the breakup of MCR in 2013: he was leaving Blink. Following a dispute that no one in the public really knows much about (thanks to countless conflicting tabloid reports), a rift was created in the band, with bassist/singer Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker on the side that still could call itself “Blink 182” and Delonge somewhere else entirely.

In the wake of the split, both Delonge and the Hoppus/Barker remnants of Blink continued to tease fans on their various social media platforms with snaps from the mixing board, and short audio clips on Soundcloud. But these projects were separate, and the band was still not whole. Then, Blink announced that Alkaline Trio singer and frontman Matt Skiba would be replacing Delonge in the touring lineup until further notice, playing a few LA shows that left fans satisfied, but only for a short moment, as an album still had not been announced.

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Hoppus and Barker with Matt Skiba

Then in December, the news that pop-punk fans had been so anxiously waiting for finally came: drummer Travis Barker revealed to media outlets that the band had most definitely been in the studio (sans Delonge), with as many as 8 songs tracked for the new album. So, despite all the cliché rock-and-roll drama that has plagued the band for the last year, it seems that Blink 182 is about to make a raucous and roaring comeback in 2016.

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