You'll be at my show,
blink-182 is a three-piece pop-punk band from Poway, California. The band was formed in 1992 by Tom DeLonge (vocals/guitar), Mark Hoppus (vocals/bass) and Scott Raynor (drums), under the name blink, eventually adding the 182 after being threatened with a lawsuit from an Irish band of the same name.
Raynor left the band in 1998, to be replaced by the semi-legendary Travis Barker (the guy with the tattoos who survived that plane crash). DeLonge left the group early in 2005, putting the band on hiatus until 2009, when they got back together "for real", according to them (due to Travis surviving said plane crash). After releasing their comeback album Neighborhoods in 2011, they celebrated their 20th anniversary the following year, released an EP Dogs Eating Dogs in December of that year, and released Califonia in 2016. Their current sound is a mixture of the traditional blink sound and various elements of the groups they formed during their hiatus.
As of 2015, Tom DeLonge was "confirmed" by his bandmates that he has left the group again, citing reasons to focus on other projects. The confirmation and the aftermath of it was...messy, to say the least. After months of shoving in and promoting him, Mark and Travis announced that Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio would be their new vocalist. Their sound now is influenced by more modern pop punk as well as taking cues from both Alkaline Trio and older blink. The band is also known for their gross-out sense of humor, which they use for stage banter, and occasionally gets used for songs.
Band Members (Founding Members in Bold)
- Tom DeLonge: Vocals, guitar (1992 - 2005, 2009 - 2015)
- Mark Hoppus: Vocals, bass (1992 - 2005, 2009 - )
- Scott Raynor: Drums, percussion (1992 - 1998)
- Travis Barker: Drums, percussion (1998 - 2005, 2009 - )
- Matt Skiba: Vocals, guitar (2015 - )
- Cheshire Cat (1995)
- Dude Ranch (1997)
- Enema of the State (1999)
- The Mark, Tom & Travis Show (2000)
- Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001)
- Untitled (2003)
- Neighborhoods (2011)
- Dogs Eating Dogs [EP] (2012)
- California (2016)
- Nine (2019)
blink-182 provide examples of:
- All Drummers Are Animals: Subverted with Travis...up to the point that he actually starts playing.
- Anonymous Public Phone Call: The second verse of "What's My Age Again?" by blink-182 describes a disguised prank call from a pay phone:Later on, on the drive home,I called her mom from a pay phone.I said I was the cops and your husband's in jail.This state looks down on sodomy.
- Anti-Christmas Song: "I Won't Be Home For Christmas", "Happy Holidays, You Bastard", "Boxing Day"
- Atomic F-Bomb: "Dysentery Gary" features one that comes out of absolute nowhere due to a break in the vocals occurring right before it.FUCK this place.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: The hidden track "Fuck A Dog." Three guesses as to what it's about.
- Boy Band: Parodied brilliantly in the video for "All the Small Things".
- "All The Small Things" ended up influencing other groups, pop punk or otherwise, to make similar videos. All Time Low went out of their way to make two parody videos with heavy influence: "Poppin'" is "All The Small Things": Hip-Hop Edition and "I Feel Like Dancin'" parodies current pop acts, with the addition of a label executive critical framing device.
- Heck, they even influenced One Direction. Their first video for "What Makes You Beautiful" was filmed at Santa Monica Beach, along with 1D having similar outfits and the video being filmed with the same angles, but the content wasn't Played for Laughs. This lead to jokes that blink had retroactively parodied them, a decade before 1D came into existence. Later on, their video for "Best Song Ever" would evoke classic blink videos by taking the piss out of 90s boy band cliches, taking even more of the piss out of themselves, introducing characters that wouldn't feel out of place in the "First Date" video, and Zayn Malik◊ beating Tom◊ in the crossdressing department. Louis Tomlinson has even covered "First Date" live, which Mark was actually curious about.
- Bowdlerise: Several song titles were changed name-wise for the live album.
- The Bus Came Back: Looks like Boomer from the "First Date" video is out of prison. No one is safe.
- Canon Discontinuity:
- The band's first video "M&Ms", which the band pretty much disowned.
- "Man Overboard" was banished into discontinuity when fans started asking if the mean spirited Take That! was about Scott Raynor, their previous drummer. However, it's now back in their live set as of 2011.
- Changing Chorus: The chorus of "What's My Age Again?" changes after every verse:
- First chorus:And that's about the time she walked away from meNobody likes you when you're twenty-threeAnd I'm still more amused by TV showsWhat the hell is A.D.D.?My friends say I should act my ageWhat's my age again, what's my age again?
- Second chorus:And that's about the time that bitch hung up on meNobody likes you when you're twenty-threeAnd I'm still more amused by prank phone callsWhat the hell is call ID?My friends say I should act my ageWhat's my age again, what's my age again?
- After the guitar solo at the bridge, the chorus plays twice:And that's about the time she walked away from meNobody likes you when you're twenty-threeAnd you still act like you're in freshman yearWhat the hell is wrong with me?My friends say I should act my ageWhat's my age again, what's my age again?That's about the time she broke up with meNo one should take themselves so seriouslyWith many years ahead to fall in lineWhy would you wish that on me?I never want to act my ageWhat's my age again, what's my age again?
- First chorus:
- Cloudcuckoolander: All the members could qualify, but Tom takes this a step further, the only exception being Matt.
- Tom in the "All The Small Things" video, as with many things blink does, Played for Laughs.
- Touched on in the album artwork for Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, one of the photos included in the liner notes shows him holding up a dress with a floral pattern and smiling.
- Celibate Hero: "Going Away To College".
- Cluster F-Bomb: Tom at live shows.
- Cover Version: They covered Billy Idol 's "Dancing With Myself" and Jan and Dean 's "Dead Man's Curve" for tribute albums.
- Darker and Edgier: Started to head this way with the untitled album and dove right in after they reunited with Neighborhoods as they had gone through a significant amount of turmoil throughout the hiatus, especially with the death of their longtime producer Jerry Finn and the near death of Travis.
- They intended on including a few more Lighter and Softer songs on Neighborhoods with the humor that people came to expect from the band, but concerns of Mood Dissonance and not having the time to put them on led them to be shelved for the time being. Apparently their next studio album might have a song with an entire chorus about dicks. Lyrics posted by Tom on Instagram featured a song about a guy who is really proud about really getting around.
- California manages to bring back quite a bit of the band's humor, if tracks like "She's Out of Her Mind" and "Brohemian Rhapsody" are any sign. On the other hand, the album also has "Home is Such a Lonely Place" and "Long Lost Feeling", so it's more of a balance now than anything else.
- Double-Meaning Title:
- Dying Alone: In "Adam's Song", the lyrics twice mention the words, "I never thought I'd die alone."
- Epic Instrumental Opener: The Prelude to "Heart's All Gone"
- Fading into the Next Song: On Enema of the State, "Going Away to College" fades into "What's My Age Again?". Makes sense, as the two songs are thematically connected (the former has the singer growing up, moving on, and going off to college, apparently leaving his girlfriend back in high school; the latter is about a Manchild who continues to pull childish shenanigans at age 23 and coming to terms with the fact that people are tired of dealing with his act).
- Faux Yay: For better or worse, Mark and Tom's bromance inspired an entire generation of pop-punk bands to play-up stage gay for all its worth.
- Funny Background Event: Spend too much time watching Mark get hot wax poured on him in the "All The Small Things" video and you'll miss Tom making out with his future wife◊ completely oblivious to Mark's pain.
- Goodbye, Cruel World!: Subverted in "Adam's Song". While the song comes off as this at first, it ends on a much lighter note. Word of God says that the song is about loneliness in general, not suicide. Tom, however, says that it is about suicide. It also doesn't help that Columbine Massacre survivor Greg Barnes killed himself while this song was on indefinite repeat. So there's that.
- Goth: The video for "I Miss You".
- Grammar Nazi: Mark, as seen here, when he was a guest on Nevermind The Buzzcocks.
- Intercourse with You: "Feeling This" and "Always". Admittedly, they are also both break up songs, with sections in flashback that are very much this trope.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A whole band full, with the obvious exception being Matt Skiba.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Adam's Song" and "Carousel".
- Manchild: "What's My Age Again?" is about a 23-year old who is about to get laid, but he gets distracted by the TV, so the girl leaves, and he prank calls her mother in retaliation.
- Miniscule Rocking: A few. "Happy Holidays, You Bastard" (0:42), "Family Reunion" (0:46) "Built This Pool" (0:16) and "Brohemian Rhapsody" (0:30) off California.
- Mushroom Samba: "Neighborhoods" has the song Fighting the Gravity, a little ditty Mark wrote about what he was going through when he was accidentally slipped LSD in a drink. Spoilers: It wasn't a fun time. Even for "Neighborhoods", it was an exceedingly different sounding track.
- Music Video Overshadowing: While running around naked is something a Manchild such as the narrator of "What's My Age Again?" would do, the video's still not fully representative of the lyrics.
- Naughty Nurse Outfit: Porn star Janine wears one in the cover for Enema of the State, and also appears in the video for lead single "What's My Age Again?".
- New Sound Album:
- "Neighborhoods" brings in elements of Angels & Airwaves, +44, and Boxcar Racer, along with a lack of the juvenile content the band is known for. Understandable, considering what they've been through since 2005, but the fanbase reaction is inevitable.
- Their untitled album, that came before the hiatus, was also noticeably different from the rest of the blink-182 catalogue, with a more somber and introspective tone, almost to the point of being a Trope Codifier of Emo as we know it. The album itself is somewhat a Spiritual Successor of Tom's Box Car Racer project and clearly went on to influence Angels and Airwaves.
- The Dogs Eating Dogs EP goes like this: Neighborhoods styled song, old school-ish blink song, (practically) an AVA song about the Zombie Apocalypse, a folk song, and another Neighborhoods song with rap guest vocals at the end. People who weren't pleased with the direction blink has been going still aren't pleased now, but otherwise, the reception has been refreshingly positive.
- Noodle Incident:
- Scott Raynor's departure from the band. Tom and Mark refuse to talk about it at all, and so does Scott. The most popular theories are: Mark had Scott fired due to an alleged drinking problem, Scott bailing because he wanted nothing to do with the band "selling out" with a more commercialized direction, and him being utterly unprepared with fame and the lengthy tours that the band would be going on to promote their music and basically bowed out on his own free will.
- "Man Overboard" is widely seen as blink-182's "response" to the departure of Raynor, even though the band denies it. Of course, they refuse to say WHO the song is about and continue to refuse to talk about why Raynor quit.
- Tom's "departure" is seen as this. Mark and Travis state they got an email from Tom's manager, confirming that he had "exit the band" and he had "not taken interest in blink anymore" (which is considered by a majority of fans false due to Tom's energetic attitude during 2013-2014, especially at the Readings Festival). The two broke the news to the media, but then Tom posted on his Instagram that he had not left the band. But then Mark and Travis went to Rolling Stones and confirmed that Tom was in fact out. The entire spectacle was a huge public break up which left fans devastated, but no one really knows what happened (or Tom's position due to the ambiguity of it, although the majority of the media thinks Tom has 'left the band for good'). Nobody really knows.
- No Pronunciation Guide: It's supposed to be pronounced "Blink One Eighty Two" instead of "Blink One Eight Two".
- One of the Kids: "What's My Age Again?"
- Out-of-Genre Experience:
- "Boxing Day", intended to be a folk song.
- "I Miss You," which is a goth-pop song done In the Style of... The Cure, particularly their 1983 single "The Lovecats", and was done entirely on acoustic instruments. Mark even plays double bass.
- "Stockholm Syndrome" has quite a post-hardcore/emo sound to it, featuring shouted vocals in the verses that are characteristic of the genre, as well as a slower, melodic chorus. Although the self-titled album had an emo influence, it never quite played the genre straight except for this song - which went on to be very influential on the crossover emo bands of the day.
- Precision F-Strike: While they're not usually this subtle, "Dammit" has a good example (and yes, it has a subtle emphasis on the F-bomb):The steps that
The sad look
On your face
Did you hear?
He fucked her
- Properly Paranoid: Travis is completely terrified of planes, which often gets in the way of tours since they either need a bus or a boat, but it's hard to blame a man who survived a plane crash.
- Pun-Based Title: Enema of the State and Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (complete with a Visual Pun cover)
- Real Soon Now: Expect to wait a long time for new releases from them, what with everything else they're juggling.
- Except for Dogs Eating Dogs, they started on it around Halloween of 2012 and it came out in December of the same year. It's just way faster for them to get work done when they're actually in the same room.
- Rearrange the Song: The band has done this with several of their songs for live shows:
- "Aliens Exist" has been reworked with new lyrics so that it's now about a closeted gay teenager comparing his secret sexuality to the notion of the government covering up the existence of aliens.
- "What's My Age Again" has lyric changes: "hell" is replaced with "fuck" and Mark, instead of singing "What's My Age Again" as part of the chorus, will occasionally sing "Where's My Asian Friend".
- "Going Away To College", when performed live, has Mark name-dropping his wife's name in the chorus, to make the song a love ballad from him to her.
- "Dammit" is considerably changed in live form: Tom now sings the chorus instead of Mark and the band sticks in verses from other songs during the instrumental break right before the final repeating of the chorus.
- "Waggy" was first released on the 1996 EP "They Came To Conquer Uranus", and includes the line "I'll just hide in my room until then" and no vocals after this point. When it was rerecorded for Dude Ranch, the line was changed to "I'll just jack off in my room until then", and a coda was added featuring the lyrics "It's never over till it's done, and I don't think that you're the one".
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Tom and Mark respectively.
- Refuge in Audacity: "Family Reunion" is literally nothing but the Seven Dirty Words in song. The video for "What's My Age Again" is the band running naked through the streets of LAnote . They have a song titled "Dysentery Gary" and "Fuck a Dog". blink is not afraid to cross some lines and when they do they cross all of them at once.
- Repeat After Me: In their live album The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!), Tom addresses the audience: "I want all of you to say FUCK with me!" On the count of three, the audience yells out— you guessed it— "Fuck with me!" Mark asks Tom why he would want them to say that. They explain that Tom wanted them to say fuck, but he wanted them to say it with him. They try it a second time and get it right.
- Rock Trio
- Self-Backing Vocalist: Usually averted - if the song is Tom's, he sang it and Mark provided the backing vocal; if the song is Mark's, the opposite happened; there are some occasional duets too, but the rule remains for the person who's not the "main" on that particular section (verse/chorus/bridge). Exceptions include "What's My Age Again?", "On-line Songs" and "Feeling This", all of which, at some point, have Mark's lead (sometimes double-tracked), Tom's backing and another harmony vocal by Mark.
- Mostly by Tom: "we're professionals at what we do - we professionally suck!"
- If their merch is to be believed, their genre is "crappy punk rock".
- Seven Dirty Words: "Family Reunion" is the titular words in song!'
- From 'I Miss You': "We can live like Jack and Sally if we want, where you can always find me, and we'll have Halloween on Christmas."
- From 'Adam's Song': "I took my time, I hurried up; the choice was mine, I didn't think enough."
- "Family Reunion" is the seven words you can't say on TV put to music.
- 'The Rock Show' is basically a modern Ramones song.
- Spiritual Successor: Travis and Mark's short-lived band +44 (formed soon after blink's breakup) was supposed to be this. It's a stark contrast to Tom's post-blink band Angels & Airwaves, which has a completely different style. Though it's now a moot point, since the band eventually got back together.
- Stop and Go: "Always".
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Averted with Travis Barker replacing Scott Raynor, as Travis was the polar opposite of the shy, normal looking Raynor.
- Take That!: According to Tom and Mark, "Man Overboard" isn't about Scott Raynor, the band's original drummer who left the band under mysterious circumstances and deny that the song is a mean-spirited attack against Scott (the song is about an unnamed drunken friend who Mark is glad is not around anymore and one of the rumors about why Scott Raynor left the band was that he had a drunken problem that caused Mark and Tom to fire him over). But the band won't say who the song is about and more so, they had refused to even play it live up until their 2011 shows due to people repeatedly asking whether it was about Raynor.
- Toilet Humour: Frequently. In "Happy Holidays, You Bastard", the singer complains about their grandpa because he's "always fuckin' shittin' his pants".
- Transparent Closet: Played with, most notably by Tom in the live version of "Aliens Exist".
- Vocal Evolution: Tom is frequently noted for this, as his voice varies from high-pitched and nasal to more mellow depending on the era of the band. Even more so when considering his other projects, where he sounds almost completely different.
- Vocal Tag Team: Some songs by Tom, some songs by Mark, and tracks such as "Feeling This" and "I Miss You" will alternate them.
- Vulgar Humor:
- Several of their shorter, ruder songs, such as "Happy Holidays, You Bastard" and the misleadingly-titled "Family Reunion", whose lyrics consist entirely of the expanded version of George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words.
- They also seem to enjoy yelling things of varying obscenity, like "Fuck Oprah!" and "Orgasm!", right before starting a song live. About half of The Enema Strikes Back! The Mark, Tom & Travis Show is stage banter between songs, rife with them. The iTunes version even has an expanded tracklist with one long hidden track consisting of nothing but banter.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Travis most of the time.
- We Used to Be Friends: In spades. Around 2005, Mark and Travis had a huge fallout with Tom following an immense complication of Poor Communication Kills, not speaking to each other until 2008 when Travis endured his plane crash. The reasons of the fallout were caused by Tom's formation of Box Car Racer with Travis, which Tom only made to expand his style and skills as a musician with music that wasn't "blink friendly". This was only complicated by Mark (who was not included in the project note ) who felt very betrayed by the situation and lead to more complications with Tom wanting to be with his family and Mark and Travis desiring to continue blink which lead to the break up.
- Here We Go Again!: And history repeats itself, when the same shit went down again, back in January of 2015, this time with Mark and Travis telling Rolling Stone that they received an email from Tom's manager that he was out of the band due focus on]] his other project. The result was now Tom being out of blink (although some fans are still clinging that he's out for now), and Mark and Travis keep promoting blink with Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio as their temporary vocalist (although Mark and especially Travis keep hinting Matt will be a permanent member).
- From an outside perspective, it looks like the problem was, them not really communicating well. Tom apparently had contracts signed with AVA's label, to make 2 of their albums, and 2 solo albums, for release in 2015, which would be an heroic amount of work, even if he wasn't also busy, with another band. His "I'm too busy to do this right now" message, was clearly misinterpreted, and the lack of an actual face to face conversation going on, has exacerbated it. Shouting at each other through social media, really isn't the way to stay friends.
- Following Hoppus' lymphoma diagnosis and successful treatment, tensions between the two sides have cooled considerably. Tom tweeted a sweet message of support to Mark when the diagnosis was made public, and by late 2021, he said that his friendship with Mark had completely repaired.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: It's something of an easy target, making fun of Tom's, ahem, "unique" vocal style. This article attempts to pin down just exactly, what Tom's singing voice sounds like.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The video for "First Date."
- A Wild Rapper Appears!: Yelawolf shows up at the end of "Pretty Little Girl". While he's good friends with Travis and partnered up with him for their Psychowhite side project, this makes it only the second time a blink song had guest vocals.
- Window Love: The video for "Feeling This."