Noel Gallagher, formally of the band Oasis, was recently asked by NME about a possible reunion, to which he replied: “it would be only for the money”. Now, let me preface this by saying that I don’t wholeheartedly believe that the initial Blink-182 reunion was driven by money…entirely. There may have been an itch to scratch or a flicker of a flame left, but sometimes it’s like getting back with your ex; it feels familiar, but the initial love and romance is gone. Who is this person? You might be unrecognizable and there’s a whole mess of insults and status updates (well, I hope not).
For the past couple of days, there has been some mudslinging from the Blink-182 camp akin to any Jerry Springer soundstage studio, save for the throwing of chairs. In the blue corner, you have Tom DeLonge proclaiming his innocence and in the red corner, you have Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus ultimately throwing him under the bus for the latest full-on collapse of the band. Who’s really at fault? I would say all parties involved at this point in time. In the first instance, I may have put a little more on DeLonge. After all, he went all “nomad” on us before they were due to go on another tour. Probably a little this time, too, for his recent comments on “kicking Barker out of the band”. All the blame however? Not so much. Arguments through the press jocking for the affection of the public–I mean, I know we used to love the band for the immature and fun attitude within their punk music, but now…we have no music.
I know it’s hard to believe at this point to the Blink faithful, but that band is long gone and has been for a while. Just like “fetch”, you can’t make Blink-182 happen. In February 2005, the band went on an indefinite hiatus citing many creative differences mostly spouting from DeLonge. There were many projects; DeLonge started Angels & Airwaves and Hoppus and Barker went to start bands like (+44) and collaborations with the late DJ AM. Each side project personified where each person was at that point in time–hell, even now.
All three band members would reunite to record Neighborhoods in 2011 and that even sounded disjointed. Hoppus was filming his television show, Hoppus On Music and DeLonge was still doing Angels & Airwaves things. What you got from all that was an album that was trying to force something that wasn’t there in the first place. It wasn’t Dude Ranch or even the self-titled album; it was a recording of three men who still had love for each other, but clearly had different roads to go on. I’m not saying that I totally disliked Neighborhoods, but with listening to the side projects, I was okay with not having a Blink-182 album. People may evolve out of things.
I feel that bands and fans alike get caught in the nostalgia factor where we want to see the glory days. With Barker’s unfortunate plane accident in 2008, perhaps there was a re-ignition of friendship, but not the music. Once you lose the music, it’s hard to get it back. I have no doubt that Tom DeLonge’s heart is with AVA, Poet Anderson, and the dozens of “cinematic” projects he’s working on. Was it wrong to tie Blink up? Perhaps. Maybe the verbal jousting should serve notice to any band that considers reformation. The legacy that you may have built and worked hard for may cease to exist when it comes down to public in-fighting. We tend to think of the most recent things at first. In this particular case, like “fetch”, you can’t just make Blink-182 happen. Maybe we won’t get to see “Dammit” played live again. Maybe we won’t get to hear Tom and Mark joke on stage again. It had it’s time and all band members and fans alike should accept it.
Let’s remember them from happier times, shall we?