Tom DeLonge Is An Interesting Cat

 So, is Tom DeLonge no longer in blink-182 or what?

Yesterday, shit started to get real in that band’s camp, as Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker released a statement saying DeLonge had “indefinitely” left.  Tom then went on Instagram and said  It’s kind of not surprising, as Blink has taken forever to get in the studio and record the follow-up to 2011’s Neighborhoods and it seemed like things were weird.  Hoppus and Barker talked to Rolling Stone in great detail, and they don’t pull punches.  Here’s one quote, talking about plans to start 2015 in the studio:

“We booked January 5th to go into the studio. On December 30th, we get an e-mail from Tom’s manager saying that he has no interest in recording and that he wants to do his other, non-musical stuff and that he’s out indefinitely. There’s a flurry of e-mails going back and forth for clarification about the recording and the show and his manager sends [an e-mail] back saying, ‘Tom. Is. Out.’ Direct quote. This is the exact same e-mail we got back in 2004 when Tom went on indefinite hiatus before.”

So…there’s that.  That was Hoppus commenting, but I think Barker’s thoughts on DeLonge denying he quit are the standout part of the interview:

“I think he’s just bummed because Mark and I were finally honest. We always covered up for him before. It was always, “We’re going to record an album,” then “Tom refuses to get into the studio without a record deal.” So everyone does hella amounts of work to get a record deal and now Tom isn’t part of Blink-182. It’s hard to cover for someone who’s disrespectful and ungrateful. You don’t even have the balls to call your bandmates and tell them you’re not going to record or do anything Blink-related. You have your manager do it. Everyone should know what the story is with him and it’s been years with it. When we did get back together after my plane crash, we only got back together, I don’t know, maybe because I almost died. But he didn’t even listen to mixes or masterings from that record. He didn’t even care about it. Why Blink even got back together in the first place is questionable.”

Yeesh.  You know, I totally agree that DeLonge doing this through his manager is a dick thing.  You’ve been a band for how long?  Friends how long?  I think it should’ve been done in person, but at the very least you get on the phone.  C’mon Tom.

 Barker’s point about Blink’s reunion in the first place is pretty telling too.  I think we all figured that they got back together because of his plane crash, because they realized that life’s too short for feuds when someone you care about almost dies.  But, to hear Travis pretty much say “yeah that’s basically it, we maybe shouldn’t have” is eye-opening.

Here’s the thing about Tom DeLonge, regardless of this latest deal: I don’t know about you, but he strikes me as someone who is fun and personable and talented, but high-maintenance.  People that creative and ambitious – think of Angels & Airwaves and all that is them – can be like that, it’s the less desirable part of the package.  It’s possible he may have outgrown blink-182, I suppose, and has all these grand ideas that don’t fit the band he’s been in since the nineties that has this song, and that’s fine.  But, just break away if you want to man.  If you no longer want the Mark, Tom and Travis show, just move on clean.  Hell, the other two would probably appreciate that.  Oh, here’s Tom’s latest statement on this brouhaha via PropertyOfZack.

So, is this actually it for Tom DeLonge in blink-182?  Is this actually it for Blink period?  Well, after the MusInk festival I guess.  Who knows.  You know what I do know though?  Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio is filling in for Tom at that festival, and Matt Skiba is basically my favourite frontman in music.  That’s gonna rule.  That, that my friend, is known.  No matter what happens, hopefully things get ironed out soon so we 1) don’t have to follow a soap opera and 2) know what the definitive deal is.  I also hope the friendships don’t end, because at the end of the day that’s more important than making music together.  There’s no vested interest for me there of course, that’s just speaking as a human being.  Ultimately, gentlemen of blink-182, “Stay Together For The Kids” if you want, but only if you’re genuinely “Feeling This”.