Blink-182 (formerly known as blink) is a Southern-Californian pop punk band that was formed in 1992 by Tom Delonge and Mark Hoppus in Poway, California. After the rise of mainstream punk bands such as Green Day, The Offspring, and Rancid, they are credited for continuing the post-grunge pop-punk revolution.
Blink-182 is made up of three members: Thomas (Tom) Matthew DeLonge on guitar, Markus (Mark) Allan Hoppus on bass, and Travis Landon Barker on drums. The band is known for playing catchy melodies as well as for their satirical toilet humour. Blink-182 are unusual amongst punk rock bands for playing up-tempo songs in a major key, with prominent major-chord harmonies that are usually digitally mixed to provide a much cleaner sound than most other punk/rock recordings, which generally employ distortion and a ragged analogue mix to achieve the opposite effect. The lyrical content of their songs is often humorous and uplifting.
In 1992, when Hoppus moved to San Diego, California and was thinking of starting a band, he was introduced to Delonge. They decided that they needed to look for a drummer, and DeLonge discovered Scott Raynor at his school who played drums. After considering a number of names (such as Duct Tape) the band agreed to call themselves just 'blink. This would later have the numbers 182 added onto the end to avoid legal conflicts with an existing Irish band called blink (see below).
Early demos and Cheshire Cat
Towards the end of 1992 blink released an EP known as Flyswatter, recorded using a boom box in Scott's bedroom, which explains the poor sound quality. Before the end of the year, the band released another demo cassette known as Buddha. Around 1,000 copies of this were produced by Cargo Filter Records. In early 1994, blink released their first full-length album, Cheshire Cat, released on Grilled Cheese Records. The album contained many new versions of songs that had appeared on the Buddha demo.
Shortly after the release of Cheshire Cat, blink were threatened with legal action by a techno band in Ireland of the same name. In order to avoid a lengthy lawsuit, blink added the numbers 182 to the end of their name. Although there are rumours as to why these numbers were chosen (for example, that it is the number of times Al Pacino utters the word “f*ck” in Scarface, or that they represent Hoppus' ideal weight), all the band members but one have made it clear that the numbers were picked at random. In one interview, Travis stated that the '182' was the U.S radio codeword meaning 'homicide' (apparently confusing '182' for '187'). During the pop punk boom of the 1990s, blink-182 were signed by MCA.
After moving to Encinitas, California, the band recorded the album Dude Ranch with producer Mark Trombino. The album was a hit, and two singles from it ("Josie" and "Dammit") rose to the top of the U.S. airplay charts. In 1998, the band met a slight setback. Raynor, who had a serious drinking problem at the time, was reportedly asked to leave the band and go into rehab, although there are also reports that he decided to leave to go to college and earn a degree. Whatever the explanation, he left midway through a U.S. tour. He was replaced by Travis Barker, who had been playing with support band The Aquabats.
Enema of the State
In 1999 the album Enema of the State was released. The CD was successful, propelling the band to pop punk fame, and gaining a large amount of airtime on MTV and Total Request Live(TRL). This was largely due to the commercial success of the songs "What's My Age Again?", "Adam's Song", and "All the Small Things"; and particularly to the infamous music video for "What's My Age Again" which featured the band streaking. They sold seven and a half million copies of the album worldwide, which made it their best-selling album up to that point. The sound on Enema of the State was rooted in the same genre as earlier punk-rock bands such as NOFX, Green Day, and The Offspring, but it was more accessible to the mainstream, with a punky-feel. Many original fans felt that the band had strayed from their punk rock roots.
Take off Your Pants and Jacket
2001 saw blink-182 continue their commercial success, recording Take off Your Pants and Jacket (the strange title was a punning reference to masturbation), which followed the same basic formula of "Enema of the State". In 2001, Blink-182 appeared on the cover of CosmoGirl, and won a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award. Tom Delonge and Travis Barker were involved in side-projects The Transplants and Box Car Racer, bands which explored other musical styles.
In 2002, bands such as Good Charlotte, New Found Glory, and Simple Plan began following the same route as blink-182, marking the expansion of the pop-punk genre. Mark Hoppus participated in the making of Simple Plan's debut album, No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls.
The band released their fifth untitled record on November 18, 2003. Described as a self-meditation on romantic decay, the album featured the hit singles "Feeling This", "I Miss You", "Down", and the 80s-influenced "Always". Travis Barker has confirmed that the band left the album untitled (rather than self-titled) to represent a whole new blink-182. It showcased a style of music deeper than anything blink-182 had done previously, but still got a good deal of play on pop stations and MTV. Critics have deemed their sound similar to that of The Police and U2, although members of the band claim they took most of their influence from The Cure, whose front man Robert Smith had appeared on "All of This". Listeners called the riffs heavier and the lyrics profound. A tour with No Doubt was very successful in the summer of 2004.
2005 was set to be a busy year for blink. In the midst of a European tour, Geffen records had them scheduled to release another album, as well as a fifth and final single from the untitled album. However, on February 21, 2005, the band announced that they would not be able to play at the "Music for Relief" Tsunami benefit show in Anaheim, California due to "unexpected circumstances". The following day it was stated on the band's official website that they would take an indefinite break in order to spend more time with their close friends and loved ones. The statement has since been removed.
Band member Travis Barker confirmed during a recent interview on KROQ that they are taking a rest from their normal activities, and that they are focusing on some alternative projects: DeLonge will continue directing music videos, Hoppus will be producing records, and Barker will be busy with the Transplants and this summer's Warped Tour. In addition to this, the beginning of 2005 marked the premiere of Barker's own reality TV show, called "Meet The Barkers". In a similar fashion to previous MTV reality TV shows (such as "The Osbournes") "Meet The Barkers" features all the members of the Barker family in their day-to-day activities.
In an interview held with MTV News, Mark Hoppus announced that he and Travis Barker were working on a side-project called Plus 44, that Carol Heller (of So-Cal punk band Get the Girl) would be in the band, and also that a CD release is expected in Autumn 2005. Later Barker said that the date has been pushed forward to February–March 2006. In a recent interview with Drum! Magazine Travis Barker stated that the band "probably, most likely" will make a new record in January 2006. However, if the date for the Plus 44 record is pushed forward, this probably means that date for the next blink project will be pushed forward too.