Mark Hoppus has revealed that he wrote the song’s iconic opening riff after trying to learn one of Green Day’s classic songs.
As it stands, blink-182 and Green Day are some of the most influential rock bands to emerge in the ’90s. Even today, they reign supreme as two bands we can’t seem to get enough of, even after thirty years.
Now, it looks like blink-182 fans owe Green Day a big thank you. Hoppus recently caught up with Less Than Jake‘s Chris DeMakes for the Chris DeMakes A Podcast. During the episode, Hoppus reflects on how the Enema Of The State single came to be.
Hoppus shares that he wrote the iconic opening riff to “What’s My Age Again?” after trying to learn a particular Green Day song.
“I was just writing a funny song,” Mark says. “There’s a Green Day song called ‘J.A.R.’ on the Angus soundtrack, and it starts off with this bass intro that’s really rad. And I was messing around on the guitar trying to learn that, and I kinda messed up the progression, and I played it incorrectly, and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s kinda cool…’ and that was the basis for the opening riff of the song: me trying to learn how to play J.A.R. on guitar and messing it up, and coming up with something that I liked that was different than that.”
blink-182 eventually hit the road with Green Day for the Pop Disaster Tour in 2002. Hoppus further reveals that during the opening night of the tour, he told Billie Joe Armstrong about how “J.A.R.” inspired the blink-182 hit.
Hoppus let the Green Day frontman know that “J.A.R.” is “so good, I think it’s your best song.” The compliment, however, didn’t exactly go down as well as Hoppus may have hoped.
“Oh, that’s cool,” Hoppus recalls Armstrong saying. “Mike Dirnt wrote that one; it’s the only one of our songs that he wrote.”
Nevertheless, blink-182 managed to have a massive hit with a little help from Green Day. “What’s My Age Again?” is still one of the trio’s most popular songs nearly 21 years after its release. Currently, it is the second most popular blink-182 song on Spotify with over 323 million streams.
Hoppus also reveals in the interview why the Enema Of The State track doesn’t have lyrics in the bridge. For blink-182, they believed that the incorporation of words in the bridge would’ve taken away from the song.
“It’s so crowded, everything happens so quickly,” he says. “The guitar starts [and] goes around twice. The bass comes in, the vocals come in [and] all of a sudden the chorus hits. If we had written a bridge that had a lot of stuff going on and lyrics happening, I don’t know. Like you said, ‘it’s a breath of fresh air’ [and] a break from the frenetic energy of the song.”
Mark Hoppus’ full interview with Less Than Jake’s Chris DeMakes is available to stream below. As well, try to hear the similarities between “What’s My Age Again?” and “J.A.R.”
Do you hear the similarities between the Green Day and blink-182 hits? Let us know in the comments below.