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Blink-182 (also known as blink-182 or simply Blink to fans) was a United States rock trio that played pop punk and punk rock music. The band was originally formed in 1991 by Tom DeLonge (vocals and guitar) and Scott Raynor (drums) who quickly recruited Mark Hoppus (vocals and bass) in Poway, California, a northern suburb of San Diego. Originally, the band's official name was "Blink", however, the numerical three digit suffix was appended early in their career following an objection from an Irish band with the same name. Travis Barker replaced Raynor on drums in 1998, midway through a U.S. tour. Delonge left the group in 2005, with the band portraying it as an "indefinite hiatus" and virtually ceasing to exist. DeLonge went on to play alternative rock in a band called Angels & Airwaves, while Hoppus and Barker continued in a similar genre with their band +44.
Blink-182 was known for their catchy, simple melodies, teen angst, and lyrical toilet humor. Songwriters Hoppus and DeLonge cite punk rock bands such as The Descendents and Screeching Weasel as their early influences, however, the band's songwriting and production was driven by a pop sensibility and they were primarily known for popular hits such as "All The Small Things", "Feeling This", "Adam's Song", "What's My Age Again", "The Rock Show", "Dammit" and "I Miss You" . Their last album featured more musical experimentation and lyrical sophistication than previous releases.
Early years (1991-1993):
In 1991, Blink recorded its first demo tape, entitled Flyswatter. It was recorded in drummer Scott Raynor's bedroom. A 4-track was used to record the material, resulting in poor sound quality. According to Hoppus, only around fifty copies of the demo were produced to give to their family and friends. In 1992, the band recorded another demo tape, this one untitled and known simply as "2nd Demo" or "Demo 2". It featured re-recordings of some Flyswatter songs, and also some new songs, some of which would go on to be re-recorded and re-released on the band's Buddha album. Buddha was released on cassette in 1993. Around 1,000 copies of the tape were produced by Filter Records, an independent record company headed by Hoppus's boss. It was later re-released in 1998 with a different tracklisting.
Independant success (1994-1998):
In early 1994, Blink signed with Cargo Music. The band recorded their debut full-length album, Cheshire Cat in three days. The album contained a number of updated versions of songs such as "Carousel", "Strings", "Sometimes" and "TV" that had appeared on the Buddha demo as well as some originals.
Shortly after the release of Cheshire Cat, Blink was threatened with legal action by a pop band in Ireland of the same name. In order to avoid a dispute, Blink appended "182" to the end of their name. Although there are many theories suggested by the band as to why that number was chosen, DeLonge has stated that it is just a number that meant nothing.
The Buddha Promo is a promotional cassette which was released after Cheshire Cat to promote the re-release of the Buddha album. It is comprised of mostly a collection of old songs from the Short Bus sessions. It also contained a few early versions of songs that appeared on Cheshire Cat & would later appear on Dude Ranch.
In 1995, the band's 3-track EP, They Came to Conquer Uranus, was released on a 7" black and clear blue vinyl.
After moving to Encinitas, California, the band recorded the album Dude Ranch in 1996 with producer Mark Trombino. Blink-182 recorded the album under Cargo Records, but signed with MCA in 1996 which later became Geffen Records in 2003, in order to handle increased distribution. The album was released in 1997 and was relatively commercially successful, selling 4 million copies worldwide. The single "Dammit" did well on U.S. modern rock charts, and the band recieved a small degree of mainstream success, though nothing compared to what they would later achieve with Enema of the State.
Drummer Scott Raynor left the band. There are two common explanations for his removal - that Raynor had a serious drinking problem and was asked to go into rehab or face ejection, or alternately, that he departed in order to attend college. Raynor claims he agreed to go to rehab, but that DeLonge and Hoppus were doubtful of his sincerity and subsequently fired him over the phone. Hoppus and DeLonge had asked drummer Travis Barker of Blink-182's support band The Aquabats to fill in for Raynor for the remainder of the tour, thus he had to learn all of the songs in a matter of hours before the show. He ultimately went on to join the band permanently afterwards, leaving The Aquabats.
Mainstream success (1999-2004):
For the 1999 album Enema of the State, the band hired Jerry Finn as producer. The album propelled the band into the mainstream, granting the hit singles "What's My Age Again?", "All the Small Things", and "Adam's Song" a significant amount of airtime on radio and MTV. Enema of the State went on to sell over 12 million copies worldwide making it the band's bestselling album to that point.
In 1999 the band had small parts in the film American Pie, though Travis Barker was incorrectly credited as Scott Raynor, the band's ex-drummer.
In 2000, the band released The Urethra Chronicles, a DVD which featured behind-the-scenes information, and The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show: The Enema Strikes Back, Blink-182's sole live album, featuring songs from their three full-length records. The album quickly went out of print making it a much sought after item. A limited edition was printed in October 2006. The album also included one new studio song, "Man Overboard," among the live renditions. A demo of this song was featured on the Enema of the State Demo cassette, which was leaked to the internet in a lossy MP3 format.
The band continued its commercial success with Take Off Your Pants and Jacket in 2001, which was in the same vein as Enema of the State. However, a European tour in winter 2001 was canceled in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. Rescheduled dates in early 2002 were also canceled due to DeLonge's problems with his back.
In 2002, Blink-182 co-headlined the Pop Disaster Tour with Green Day. The tour was documented on the DVD Riding In Vans With Boys.
After taking some time off in 2002, recording of the next record began in early 2003. On November 18, 2003, the band released Blink-182, which spawned the hit singles "Feeling This", "I Miss You", "Down", and "Always". According to Barker, the untitled/self-titled record was supposed to represent a new Blink-182. Despite a major shift in theme and tone that eschewed the juvenile lyrics and formulaic songwriting of past releases in favor of a more conceptual, nuanced lyrical style coupled with a darker, more experimental sound, the album received significant airplay on radio and TV. Robert Smith, whose band The Cure is often cited by Blink-182 as a major influence, appeared on "All of This".
During late 2003, through 2004 the band embarked on the successful "Dolla Bill" tour, named for the inexpensive ticket costs (It was originally planned to be completely free but later realised that it would be necessary to charge something for the ticket). A tour with No Doubt in the summer of 2004 was also very successful.
Indefinite hiatus and new bands (2005-present):
In mid-February 2005 the band inexplicably cancelled a performance at Music for Relief's Concert for South Asia (a show put on to aid victims of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake). Shortly thereafter, before a planned final US spring tour, on February 22, 2005, the band announced they were going on an "indefinite hiatus".
Geffen Records released a Greatest Hits compilation on November 1, 2005 in the U.S. It is essentially a collection of the band's singles. After many criticisms about the tracklisting from disappointed fans, 'Cheshire Cat' was added. A previously unreleased track was included on the CD, "Another Girl Another Planet" (a cover song originally by The Only Ones). The song was also used as the theme song to Barker's new reality TV show, Meet the Barkers. Included was the previously issued "I Miss You" B-side and Blink-182 album bonus track "Not Now". The album reached number 6 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.
In the wake of the Greatest Hits album and the announcement of his new band, DeLonge suggested that the mounting tension between himself and Hoppus, caused by DeLonge's desire for a break with his family coupled with Hoppus's feelings of betrayal after the formation of Box Car Racer, were the primary reasons for tensions within the band. After a year-and-half abstaining from any interviews surrounding the issue, Hoppus gave an extensive interview with b182.com in August 2006. Contrary to DeLonge's statements, Hoppus said that the band had been getting along at the time of their final album. Hoppus went on to say that DeLonge requested a half-year respite from touring to spend time with his family, despite a planned final spring U.S. tour. Hoppus and Barker hesitantly conceded, leading to the cancellation of the upcoming tour. Further problems arose in discussions regarding the band's future recording endeavors. It also finally surfaced in this interview that DeLonge had actually left the band before Hoppus and Barker announced that they were to make a new band and before they went on an indefinite hiatus, and that Delonge had changed his phone number so that they could no longer contact him. In multiple interviews since then, Hoppus has mentioned that he and Barker are still members of Blink-182 and could tour as such as they wished, because DeLonge left the band, but will not.
DeLonge announced his new band, Angels & Airwaves in November 2005. He also announced his plans to create a film about the final days of Blink-182. Angels & Airwaves released their debut album We Don't Need to Whisper on May 23rd, 2006, where it debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200. The band released their second album I-Empire in November 6, 2007. Hoppus and Barker's new project +44 surfaced on December 13, 2005 with the song, "No It Isn't". They released their first album When Your Heart Stops Beating on November 14, 2006 and debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200. The band is preparing their second album for as yet unannounced release.
On April 5, 2007, it was confirmed that Blink-182, along with Rancid and Green Day are some of the bands set to feature in a documentary about modern punk music. The film entitled One Nine Nine Four is expected to be released early next year. Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk will narrate the film, which also features the likes of NOFX and The Offspring.
-Mark Hoppus (vocals and bass).
-Travis Barker (drums and percussion).
-Tom DeLonge (vocals and guitar).