- Poway, California, United States
Tom DeLonge (Vocals/guitar) [(1992-2005)(2009-Present)]
Mark Hoppus (Bass) [(1992-2005)(2009-Present)]
Travis Barker (Drums) [(1998-2005)(2009-Present)]
Scott Raynor (Drums/Percussion) [(1992-1998)]
We admit we’ve never tried it. But we’re fairly certain if you asked a random selection of young Warped Tour attendees to name all four members of the Beatles, they might struggle with it. Now if you asked them who "Mark, Tom and Travis" are, you’d get the right answer in a nanosecond. Because Blink-182's influence on today’s pop-punk scene is that far and wide, encapsulating the fans at the front of the stage to the new generation of bands that have followed them since.Mark Hoppus (bass/vocals), Tom DeLonge (vocals/guitar) and Travis Barker (drums) have sold in excess of 25 million records worldwide: not shabby for a band whose legend only continued to gain more momentum during their hiatus.
Their story began in 1992 in the unassuming town of Poway, California, near San Diego, when DeLonge met Hoppus’ sister Anne in high school. The guitarist told her about his desire to be in a band, so she introduced him to her bass-playing brother. The two bonded over a shared love of classic pop-punk (notably Descendents and Screeching Weasel) and begin writing songs together. The duo enlisted drummer Scott Raynor, recorded demos and played shows under the name Duck Tape. By the time they entered the studio in 1993 to record their debut album, Buddha, they had changed their name to Blink. When the band signed with Cargo Music for the second installment, Cheshire Cat, they got notice that another band had laid claim to the name; the number 182 was an arbitrary number tacked on to end the threat of legal hassles. Given the indie success of that record, the trio signed with the now-defunct major label MCA to release 1997's Dude Ranch. The album’s mix of speedy pop-punk and snotty lyrics (“Dammit” remains an enduring fan favorite) connected with audiences who became enraptured with the magic of Green Day’s breakthrough album Dookie. Dude Ranch went platinum, but not all was perfect in the band’s universe: Hoppus and DeLonge fired Raynor in the middle of a 1998 tour, citing the drummer’s problems with alcohol abuse. Travis Barker, drummer for cartoonish ska band the Aquabats (a band who frequently opened Blink shows), was enlisted to finish the tour; and by the trek’s end, he agreed to quit the Aquabats and join Hoppus and DeLonge full-time.
The three hunkered down with producer Jerry Finn to record the follow-up to Dude Ranch, 1999's Enema Of The State. It was the most successful record of the band’s career, racking up more than 15 million sales worldwide, powered by two infectiously hooky singles: "What’s My Age Again?" and "All The Small Things."The former was immortalized in a video of the guys running “naked” through Los Angeles (the members were actually wearing tea-stained briefs to give the appearance of skin tones; pixilation of their nether-regions was added to make the video seem more shocking). During shows, Hoppus and DeLonge would make tasteless between-song banter about everything from defecation to having sex with everything from each other’s parents to their pets, further fueling controversy around them. (A lengthy audio montage of these one-liners appears on the band’s 2000 live album, The Mark, Tom And Travis Show: The Enema Strikes Back!). Their next album, Take Off Your Pants And Jacket, was released in 2001, and featured more pop-punk jewels ("The Rock Show," "First Date"), complete goofs ("Happy Holidays, You Bastard") and some completely unexpected serious fare ("Stay Together For The Kids," which was inspired by DeLonge’s personal travails when his parents divorced). In 2002, the men of Blink went out on the Pop Disastour, a cross-country road show with fellow pop-punk titans Green Day. Also that year, DeLonge and Barker formed a side project, the hardcore-tinged Box Car Racer, with guitarist David Kennedy and bassist Anthony Celestino, releasing a self-titled album.
Work on the band’s untitled fifth album commenced in 2002. When the album was released later that year, it was apparent that a sea change had been brewing. While there were some nuggets of pop-punk insanity, the majority of the album’s tracks were moodier, showing a more introspective side to the band, replacing all of the band’s trademark scatological humor with songs centered on lovers separated by war and personal heartbreak.Apparently, the making of the album took a toll on the members: A 2005 American tour in support of the record was canceled when DeLonge insisted on maintaining his familial obligations at home. Though it was made public the guitarist was no longer a part of the band, the term “breakup” was cast aside for the ever-popular “indefinite hiatus.”
The individual members remained busy during their (semi-) permanent vacation: DeLonge formed a new outfit, Angels & Airwaves, releasing three discs (2006’s We Don’t Need To Whisper, 2007’s I-Empire and 2010’s Love) in four years. He also launched a social networking site called Modlife, and created a feature film for the Love album. Hoppus and Barker formed (+44), issuing one album, When Your Heart Stops Beating, in 2006. Hoppus also produced for Motion City Soundtrack, New Found Glory, the Matches and Idiot Pilot, and hosted the podcast HiMyNameIsMark. Barker, in addition to having his own MTV reality show (Meet The Barkers), clothing line (Famous Stars And Straps) and short-lived record label (LaSalle), recorded two albums with Transplants, a hip-hop flavored side project featuring Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Rob Aston. Barker was active recording and playing live with former Crazy Town DJ Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein under the name TRV$DJAM. In September 2008, the duo and their entourage were traveling home from a gig when their plane crashed on take off in South Carolina, leaving Barker and Goldstein as the only survivors.
When Barker was convalescing in the hospital, DeLonge and Hoppus visited him, and the trio decided life was indeed too short to hold onto whatever frustrations they may have had with each other in the past. The three friends talked things out and decided to regroup, publicly announcing their intentions at the 51st annual Grammy Awards ceremony in early 2009. That summer, Blink-182 embarked upon a reunion tour, with promises of a full-length to follow. “I don’t think any of us wanted to tip-toe back into Blink,” Hoppus told AP in the summer of 2009. “We wanna take the biggest shot that we possibly can. We do this because we love it and because it’s fun for us.”