Interview: Mark Hoppus on Blink-182’s new EP, the end of “Hoppus On Music” and Future Idiots

December 11, 2012 by Scott Heisel

Interview: Mark Hoppus on Blink-182’s new EP, the end of “Hoppus On Music” and Future Idiots

Looking back now on the recording process and the fallout from that record, are you happy with Neighborhoods? Do you think it accomplished what you wanted it to accomplish, or did it let you down anywhere?

No. I love Neighborhoods. I think I’m proud of Neighborhoods. I’m proud of the songs we wrote for it. It’s a documentation of us reforming as a band after a very difficult five years and trying to find our way through that. I listen to it now and I hear things that I think could be different about it, but I’m happy with every single record we’ve ever recorded, and I think that’s just the nature of being an artist. Once you let things go, you always want to go back and revisit it and change certain things about it. But no, I love Neighborhoods. I think it’s a learning experience for us as well to compare those songs that we recorded at the end that, I think, are the standout songs of the album, and then this EP—how we’ve done this EP. The feeling in the band is better than it’s ever been.

Did you feel like the album received the attention it deserved in a live setting?

Absolutely. For me, I make no illusions that people are gonna wanna hear a couple of new songs, but they’re also going to want to hear “The Rock Show” and they’re going to want to hear “What’s My Age Again?” and “All The Small Things” and “Dammit” and “Carousel” and all the songs from the back catalog—and that’s great. When I go see a band that I’ve liked and has a number of albums out, I don’t want to hear all just their new stuff. People always want to hear new music, but when people go to shows, they want to hear the stuff they grew up listening to, and I like that about our band. I like that we can play “After Midnight,” which we wrote last year, and then we can play something that we wrote almost 20 years ago.

What do you view as your responsibility as far as keeping Blink’s legacy alive?

I don’t know. I don’t really think in terms of that. The thing that’s always been the most important to me as far as our band has been that we do what we feel is right. We don’t try to guess what people are going to like and try to hit a target of what we think people expect from us. We’ve always done our best work when we just keep our heads down and do stuff that we like ourselves, and I like that we haven’t written the same album seven different times. Every album sounds different. Every album does something different. Every album expresses something different, and I like that about our band. I just want to keep writing good music and keep having fun. I think that the destruction of our legacy would be to just sit back and go, “All right, you know what? We’re just going to tour every two years and we’re just going to do a compilation tour.” That’s not exciting to me. That’s degrading to our legacy, which is, to me, to play all of those songs and keep recording new things and keep feeling vital and relevant and making something that we like. There’s nothing like the feeling of completing a song and driving away from the studio and thinking, “Wow, There’s some really cool stuff on there.” There’s nothing like that, and I never want to stop feeling that way.

Tom DeLonge’s other band, Angels And Airwaves, are releasing an EP on the same day that Blink are releasing your new EP. Was that not talked about beforehand?

It was a total coincidence and something Tom didn’t even realize was happening. He called up maybe a week ago and was like, “Hey, I just realized that Angels are releasing something on the same exact day that Blink are and it totally slipped my mind, and somebody alerted me to it, and I totally don’t want to offend you or Travis or have it be weird or anything.” And I said, “Dude, just do your thing. It’s not weird to me. It’s not weird to Travis. It’s fine.”

Do you plan on going out and buying a copy?

I will probably ask Tom for a free copy. [Laughs.]

You’ve been really busy with Blink throughout the past year, but you own a studio and you have done a lot of production work and co-writing with bands in the past. Is there anyone you’re working with right now or that you’re planning on working with in the future?

No, not really. Right now I really enjoy focusing on Blink as what I do. I loved doing the TV show with Fuse. I’m not doing that anymore. I’m not producing any bands. I’m not co-writing with any bands. When I’m not doing Blink, I like being home with my family and doing stuff in the U.K. and being part of that experience and it’s, knock on wood, a very happy existence right now. I like the pace of what I’m doing, and I like the time that I have to spend with my family and the time I have to focus on the band I’ve loved for 20 years now.

You mentioned the Fuse show. So is Hoppus On Music completely done or just on hiatus?

No, it’s done. We’re not doing a show anymore.

Was that your decision, or was that their decision?

It was their decision, but I totally understand their decision. It’s an expensive and difficult proposition for that show. To have a full staff of crew, writers and producers, fly me over and put me up in a hotel and have the full studio with cameramen, audio engineers and everything else. I think it was just way too expensive to have the show continue, but the Fuse people are awesome. They’re such rad people that love music and want to do good work, and I still support them no matter what.

A few weeks ago, there was a band called Future Idiots who put out a cover album of Neighborhoods. Are you familiar with that?

Oh, no, that’s rad. Is it good?

They tried to cover each song as though it was an old Blink-182 song—like playing it in your “old” style, so it’s fast skate-punk. I didn’t know if you were familiar with it or not, and I was just curious what you thought about your fans reinterpreting your material?

I think that’s awesome. That’s really cool. That’s an honor that people would spend that much time to recreate something that we recorded. That’s awesome. I’m going to check it out now.

Some people were upset because they felt it was disrespectful to the band.

I can’t really comment on that because I haven’t seen it, but just from what you said, it doesn’t offend me at all. It sounds cool. Honestly, I’m so stoked that our band have become this multi-generational thing, in that people that come to the shows have been people who were there 20 years ago and there are people that are there for their first concert—and having it be a Blink-182 concert is so rad. It’s such a honor to have people still come to the shows and still want new music. It’s so rad, and if a new band are coming up and referencing something we did or whatever, I think that’s great.

What are some new albums you’re anticipating?

The new Future Idiots album. alt

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mark hoppus fuse hoppus on music

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