The status of Blink-182 is up in the air after Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker issued a press release Monday declaring that Tom DeLonge was out of the band, followed by a strong denial from DeLonge, who says he didn't quit.
The pop-punk band's initial press release announced that DeLonge was out of the group indefinitely but added, “The show must go on for our fans.” That prompted a swift rebuttal from DeLonge, who wrote on Facebook, “To all the fans, I never quit the band. I actually was on a phone call about a blink 182 event for New York City at the time all these weird press releases started coming in... Apparently those releases were 'sanctioned' from the band. Are we dysfunctional- yes. But, Christ..... #Awkward #BabyBackRibs"
DeLonge later added, via radio.com, “The ONLY truth here is that I have commitments that limit my availability this year. I love Blink-182 and I’m not leaving.”
“Dysfunctional” seems to be the appropriate word, though, because later that day, Hoppus and Barker responded again, telling Rolling Stone that DeLonge had indeed pulled out of Blink-182, despite his denial. Hoppus explained that the entire group had been scheduled to begin recording a new album on January 5, but DeLonge's manager sent an email reading, “Tom. Is. Out.” “This is the exact same e-mail we got back in 2004 when Tom went on indefinite hiatus before,” Hoppus said, referencing the band's previous split ten years ago.
When the band broke up back then, Hoppus and Barker formed the alternative group +44 and scored a couple of hits, while DeLonge started Angels and Airwaves. The trio reunited a few years later after Barker survived a plane crash that killed four people. They publicly announced their reunion at the 2009 Grammy Awards.
Barker said he can't explain why DeLonge believes he's still in the band. “I think he's just bummed because Mark and I were finally honest,” Barker told RS. “It's hard to cover for someone who's disrespectful and ungrateful. You don't even have the balls to call your bandmates and tell them you're not going to record or do anything Blink-related. You have your manager do it.”
Hoppus added, “I think that the fans know. Look at each of our social media accounts and look who talks and promotes Blink-182 or is excited about Blink-182. Travis and I were ready to walk into a studio January 5th. That speaks louder than anything.”
The band's most recent studio album, Neighborhoods, debuted at No. 2 in 2011 and produced a couple of hits on the rock charts. Keep following Blink-182's AXS.com artist page to stay up to date on the latest developments as the guys continue trying to figure out whether or not they are a unit.