Blink-182 says guitarist DeLonge has left band – again

Published On January 27, 2015 | By lindsayw | Arts
Blink-182 co-singer and guitarist Tom DeLonge (right) has left the band for a second time. (Photo courtesy of Greg Andrews/Flickr)

Blink-182 co-singer and guitarist Tom DeLonge (right) plays with band members, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker at a show in 2009. (Photo courtesy of Greg Andrews/Flickr)

By Willy Phan

Two-thirds of pop-punk band Blink-182 came forward on Monday to confirm guitarist Tom DeLonge’s departure from the group after he initially refuted such claims on social media.

Bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker clarified that DeLonge has left the band with critical remarks in an interview with Rolling Stone.

DeLonge previously denied the rumours he was leaving Blink-182 on his Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Hoppus and Barker emphasized the guitarist’s growing disinterest and lack of participation with upcoming projects in the interview with Rolling Stone.

They told the magazine about a long exchange of emails with DeLonge’s manager that led to a final response stating “Tom. Is. Out.”

Delonge’s social media comments were made after the band’s publicist initially released a statement to radio.com earlier on Monday about the co-founder’s indefinite break from the group.

“We were all set to play this festival and record a new album and Tom kept putting it off without reason,” Hoppus said in the statement to radio.com.

“A week before we were scheduled to go in to the studio, we got an email from this manager explaining that he didn’t want to participate in any Blink-182 projects indefinitely, but would rather work on his other, non-musical endeavors,” Hoppus added.   

DeLonge’s quick response to the publicist’s statement prompted a few raised eyebrows from the other band members, leading to the direct response from Hoppus and Barker.

“It’s hard to cover for someone who’s disrespectful and ungrateful,” said Barker to Rolling Stone. “To say, ‘I didn’t quit the band’ is just not true. It’s disingenuous.”

Hoppus also told Rolling Stone that DeLonge’s departure from Blink-182 echoes similar circumstances that led to the band’s first break-up in 2005.

“This is exactly the same sequence of events that happened when Blink broke up 10 years ago,” said Hoppus. “We had things booked in advance and we get an email from Tom’s manager saying Tom’s out indefinitely.”

In 2005, Hoppus and Barker created a new band and continued to play together alongside other members as +44. Meanwhile, DeLonge also starred in his own band, Angels & Airwaves before reuniting with Hoppus and Barker in 2009.

Fans have expressed their disappointment on Twitter in reaction to the news of DeLonge’s second departure from the band.

The drama surrounding DeLonge’s exit has saddened aspiring punk rock artists, including Connor Johnstone, lead singer of Brave The Wild.

“The first real memory I have of making note of [Blink-182] was in 2000 when a friend of mine introduced me to The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show album,” said Johnstone, who has covered several Blink-182 songs and emphasized the band’s influence for his band’s music.

“Blink was not only one of the first bands I learned to cover, but often a reference point for us to visit while writing our music,” said Johnstone, of Welland, Ont.

Despite the messy fallout, Johnstone said he was satisfied with the Rolling Stone feature with Hoppus and Barker because it brought transparency and closure to the issue.

“It was nice to see the guys finally not letting themselves be steamrolled by a member who appears to have lost the real love of the band and it’s music,” Johnstone said..

Hoppus confirmed on Twitter that he and Barker will continue to headline the upcoming Musink Festival as Blink-182, with Alkaline Trio guitarist and vocalist Matt Skiba filling in for DeLonge.

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