Founding member speaks out on dramatic break-up.
Punk rock fans all over the world were stunned and confused when it was announced this past January that Blink-182 member Tom Delonge had quit the iconic band for a and the guitarist has spoken in length about the contentious decision, claiming that his other artistic ambitions lead to his departure.
Speaking to Radio, Delonge cites his other projects, specifically his record label and entertainment company, To The Stars, as the catalyst for leaving the hugely popular trio.
"I hit a very specific part in my life," Delonge said.
"I'm 39 years old. If I was to continue to stay in the studio for a year to write a record that I need to rehearse for eight weeks to go on tour for another six months, and it’s only about those twelve songs I'm going to be severely limited in what I can achieve artistically and I'm going to be looking back when I'm 50 kinda going, ‘Fuck, I really love all these other forms of art, I really wish I could have done something with it."
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Delonge said that while the band were fans of all kinds of art, Blink-182 was more a "vehicle for emotion".
"It wasn’t about musicianship or whatever. It was a group of skate rats that didn’t like how they grew up. But for me, as an individual, when you’re part of something that big, you're branded as a very specific thing. And I get it."
Rather than living in regret, Delonge decided to pull the trigger on his ambitious idea.
"I decide to do it because it afforded me the ability to be with my family a hell of a lot more," he explained.
"It afforded me to inspire other artists. It afforded me to use all the other skill-sets I've acquired of bringing people together and putting a business model to a new form of art. Guys are creating graphic novels, guys are writing books, guys are making movies, guys are making animations… I created a system of glue to pull all those people together into one vehicle and make it happen, then it's bigger for everybody."
He is currently working on a feature film based on his new novel Of Nightmares, out 6 October, which has seen him team up with acclaimed director Brett Ratner and James Cameron's 'RatPac' who most recently produced Oscar-winning sci-fi, Gravity.
"They read the novel. We sent them an advance copy and they, 'We're in.' From day one, 'We're in.'"
Though as it turned out, balancing a company which produces novels,comics, music and films, while simultaneously staying active in a internationally famous band proved much harder than he thought.
"Up to that point, I was so stressed on trying to handle everything. In many ways, the decision got made for me," Delonge recalled of the break-up earlier this year, which came about through a press release which he claims he didn't know anything about.
"I was thinking, okay cool, now I don't have to stress any more. Because I was juggling all of it and I knew for about five months prior to that, that shit was going to hit the fan. And it was going to hit the fan when everyone says 'Okay, we're ready to go record, okay, we’re ready to go tour, okay, where you at, what are you doing, come on, what are your priorities—what's your priorities?'"
"I was stressing because I was in the middle of a whole bunch of contracts with authors and animators and filmmakers and I was getting my company off the ground. I had just hired ten people, we got our space and we were doing construction, we were getting ready to launch a retail store… and then all of a sudden KROQ let out the announcement and I was like, okay, well, shit, it's gonna make it much easier now."
That's not to say Delonge doesn't aspire to make new music with Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker sometime in the future.
Last month he admitted that he thinks about Blink every day and that he would be "totally willing and interested in playing with those guys again."
In the meantime however, it looks as though Hoppus and Barker are pushing ahead and are currently writing new music with Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba after the bassist confirmed last month that the future of the band "begins now".
Over the past few weeks, Hoppus, Barker and Skiba have shared some Instagram posts in the studio — check out some of the pics below.