No collection of a musicians is more impactful outside their band than blink-182. If there is, it’s tough to think of who. Despite the multi-platinum records and countless sold out shows, the sum of blink’s parts might be better than the whole.
Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker (Matt Skiba is great too, but let’s focus on the main trio) don’t need more praise or fanfare. Countless up-and-coming pop-punk acts are deserving of your internet bandwidth. But maybe a note on blink’s continuous impact is overdue.
From clothing lines, charities to other bands and media ventures, the trio’s hands are always full. And what they touch usually turns to gold. Here are 11 ways blink-182 impacted the scene outside its music.
Creation Of Atticus Clothing Line
The black shirt with the eerie, dead bird gives even the most of timid of fans the confidence to crowd surf and mosh. It’s like a superhero cape for emo kids. Founded by Hoppus, DeLonge and childhood friend Dylan Anderson, Atticus became synonymous with the scene in the early 2000s. blink-182 wasn’t the first band to parlay their fame into fashion success. But they developed a blueprint for scene bands, while the Atticus tour presented an opportunity for similar artists to blossom.
Tom, UFOs and To The Stars Media
Is there a more bizarre non-musical contribution from a rock star than DeLonge’s work with United States government on UFOs? Nobody could have predicted the often-nude blink-182 co-founder would share a headline with former Senator Harry Reid, but here we are. DeLonge’s To The Stars Media houses this contribution to scientific advancement. But more applicable to the scene, it encourages musicians to expand through its films, books, and toys, acting as DeLonge says, a “sci-fi Disney for millennials.”
Tom incorporating media into music
Speaking of creativity, DeLonge’s often results in head turning, and sometimes head scratching, projects. Including nudity in a children’s book was an, uh, interesting direction. While a beautiful film, the 2011 movie Love’s story line was as spacey as some of DeLonge’s UFO beliefs. Yet, he reminds us to chase our ambitious and not be limited by what others think we should be doing. Maybe young musicians aren’t writing books, but they can feel secure about their own creative paths by watching DeLonge expand his.
Tom’s creation of Angels & Airwaves and Modlife
When blink’s budding superstar left the band after its iconic untitled album catapulted him to a new level of fame, DeLonge stunningly departed to form Angels & Airwaves. A key part of the early AVA days was the music distribution platform Modlife. The startup helped artists sell products direct-to-consumer, chat with fans and avoid ticket scalpers through its innovative software. It joined an increasingly supportive music environment, greatly needed as record labels tightened their grips.
Mark hosting podcast, radio and TV shows
Hoppus’s personality was always too big for the concert stage. So it spilled into TV, where he hosted Fuse’s Hoppus On Music (at one point titled A Different Spin With Mark Hoppus). He was an early adaptor of podcasts eventually hosting After School Radio on Apple Music. His broadcast work opened doors for young artists while gifting us this “timeless winter classic” accompanied by “the incomparable” Ben Folds.
Mark forming Simple Creatures, featured on tracks
Hot Mulligan’s new single “Featuring Mark Hoppus” endears while gently chiding the almost comically high number of tracks including the pop-punk legend . That count appears to be at least 26 songs. Still, Hoppus’s partnerships lead to added exposure as he liberally shares his fame with budding acts. One of those collabs is with long-time fan Alex Gaskarth through Simple Creatures, whose band All Time Low (maybe you’ve heard of them?) rediscovered the top of the alternative music charts last year.
Mark’s social media innovation
An early adaptor of Twitter, Hoppus took to the platform in January, 2009. He’s effectively used social media ever since. The bassist’s heartwarming Twitch sessions with his son reflect his loving, fatherly nature. And his calm demeanor during cancer updates reminds us to remain steady even in the face of a serious diagnosis.
Travis spurring pop-punk revival
At the pop-punk revival’s center sits Barker, smashing symbols and snares. He helped Machine Gun Kelly tap into his inner punk, while putting guitars in the hands of wayward young musicians. Teens take to TikTok to learn about this “new kind of music that jxdn invented.” We know the real story, though.
Travis blending genres
Compared to his other projects, Barker’s 2011 album Give The Drummer Some wasn’t a major, commercial success. But it allowed him to be a bridge between genres which would later be crossed by the Lil Nas X and the Trippie Redds of the world. Barker has made incorporating hip-hop into pop-punk more commonplace, giving new groups like Point North, Magnolia Park and 408 room to test the waters. Barker didn’t just catalyze contemporary pop-punk. He helped make music more fluid and open.
Travis, Famous Star And Straps, tattoo culture
Barker is so covered in ink his tats have tats. But it’s not just a look for the famous drummer. Barker is an advocate for the culture, whether it be through his Famous Stars & Straps clothing line or his a Musink Festival & Tattoo Convention. He’s made tattoos, and consequently those who get them, more accepted.
Blink-182 helping wildfire victims
When bushfires ripped through Australia in early 2020, the band launched a charity merch collections for victims. They did something comparable for victims of the California wildfires in 2018. Both cases were on brand for a band whose overall positivity is only bested by the individual example set by its members.