Blink 182 Biography
After releasing debut album Cheshire Cat (1994), the band achieved relative success with Dude Ranch (1997), now having sold over a million copies. However, the trio achieved even greater success with the multi-platinum selling Enema of the State (1999). Their following two albums maintained their popularity; Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001) and Blink-182 (2003) before DeLonge left the group in early 2005, initiating an indefinite hiatus. DeLonge went on to form Angels & Airwaves, while Hoppus and Barker continued playing music together in +44. After some tragic events involving the band and its entourage, they reunited in February 2009 and a new album is in the works.
Blink-182 has sold over 25 million albums worldwide.
After being expelled from Poway High School, DeLonge attended Rancho Bernardo High School where he became friends with Anne Hoppus. DeLonge often expressed wanting to be in a band, so in August 1992 Anne introduced him to her brother Mark Hoppus, who also wanted to be in a band. The two played for hours in DeLonge's garage, showing each other songs they had previously written, and writing new songs together. One of these songs would eventually become what is now "Carousel". That night the two decided they needed to officially start a band, so DeLonge recruited friend Scott Raynor, who he had met at his school's Battle of the Bands competition. The three began playing together and called themselves Duck Tape, until DeLonge thought of the name Blink.
The band practiced constantly, which angered Hoppus's girlfriend. She told him he had to choose between the band and her, so he left the band just as it was starting. DeLonge then informed Hoppus that he borrowed a 4-track from a friend and he and Raynor were using it to make a demo tape. Upon hearing this, Hoppus decided he would leave his girlfriend and return to the band.
In May 1993, the band recorded their first demo tape Flyswatter in Raynor's bedroom. A 4-track was used to record the material, which resulted in poor sound quality. According to Hoppus, only a small number of demos were released, primarily to their family and friends.  The same year, the band recorded another demo tape, this one untitled and known simply as Demo #2. It featured re-recordings of a few Flyswatter songs, and also included new songs, some of which would go on to be re-recorded and re-released on the band's albums Buddha, Cheshire Cat, and Dude Ranch.
Buddha was recorded from 1992 to 1993 over three rainy nights on a 24 track recording system at Double Time Studios in San Diego, California, according to the CD's liner notes. It was released on cassette in 1993 with around 1,000 copies of the tape produced by Filter Records, an independent record company headed by Hoppus's boss. The album was one of the few Blink-182 albums released with the band name as Blink. A remastered version was released on Kung Fu Records in 1998 (with three of the original tracks omitted and two new tracks added).
Early albums (1994-1998)
In 1994, the band signed with Cargo Music and recorded their debut studio album Cheshire Cat in three days. The album contained a number of updated versions of songs such as "Carousel", "Strings", "Sometimes", and "T.V." that had appeared on the Buddha demo as well as some originals. "M+M's" and "Wasting Time" were released as singles, but both failed to chart. Shortly after the release of Cheshire Cat, the band was threatened with legal action by an Irish pop band of the same name. To avoid a legal dispute, the band appended "182" to the end of their name. In 1994, the band released a split EP with Iconoclasts titled Short Bus. The 3-track EP They Came to Conquer... Uranus was released the next year. "Wrecked Him", a song from the EP, can be found on the compilation album Keep the Beat (1996).
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 1998 in order to handle increased distribution. The album was released in 1997 and was relatively commercially successful, selling 1.5 million copies worldwide. The single "Dammit" did well on U.S. modern rock charts, and the band received a small degree of mainstream success.
After the album's release, midway through a U.S. tour in 1998, drummer Scott Raynor left the band. Raynor had a serious drinking problem and was asked to go into rehab. Raynor claims he agreed to go to rehab, but DeLonge and Hoppus were doubtful of his sincerity and subsequently fired him over the phone. Hoppus and DeLonge asked drummer Travis Barker of Blink-182's support band The Aquabats to fill in for Raynor for the remainder of the tour. After the set, Hoppus and DeLonge sat down and discussed Barker joining the band. The next day he was offered the position and consequently left 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, generating the hit singles "What's My Age Again?", "All the Small Things" and "Adam's Song", and an incredible amount of airtime on radio and MTV. Enema of the State went on to sell over 15 million copies worldwide making it the band's best selling album. "Adam's Song" caused a stir in 2000 when it was set to replay indefinitely on a stereo as 17-year-old Greg Barnes hanged himself in the garage of his family's home. Demos for the album were leaked as the Enema of the State Demo. It consists of eight demo recordings of some album tracks, plus an instrumental titled "Life's So Boring," which did not make the album.
In 2000, the band released the DVD, The Urethra Chronicles, which features 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, including all their greatest hits coupled with previously unreleased material. The album quickly went out of print. The album also included one new studio song, "Man Overboard", among the live renditions. A demo of this song was previously featured on the Enema of the State Demo cassette.
The band continued its commercial success with Take Off Your Pants and Jacket in 2001, which was a small change from their direction in Enema of the State. The album sold more than 350,000 copies in the first week. It contains the hit singles "The Rock Show", "First Date" and "Stay Together for the Kids", while "Anthem Part 2" also received radio airplay. The album has sold approximately 4.5 million records worldwide, while going double platinum in the US. The album was released on three different CDs: yellow, red and green versions, each one featuring two unique bonus tracks. A European tour in winter 2001 was delayed in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Rescheduled dates in early 2002 were also canceled due to DeLonge's back problems.
In 2002, while after taking some time off from Blink-182, DeLonge and Barker released a new album with their side-project Box Car Racer.
Blink-182 co-headlined the Pop Disaster Tour with Green Day in 2002. The tour was documented on the DVD Riding in Vans with Boys. The band made a cameo appearance in The Simpsons episode "Barting Over", playing "All the Small Things" at a party held in Tony Hawk's loft.
Recording of the band's next record began in early 2003. On November 18, 2003, they released their eponymous fifth studio album, which spawned the hit singles "Feeling This", "I Miss You", "Down" and "Always". According to Barker, the album was supposed to represent a "new" Blink-182. Robert Smith, whose band The Cure is often cited as a major influence, appeared on "All of This".
In November 2003, the band embarked on the "DollaBill" tour, named for the ticket cost of $1 each. They played ten club shows throughout the US and one in Canada. Blink-182 toured with No Doubt in the summer of 2004.
"Indefinite hiatus" (2005)
A North American tour, in support of Blink-182 and the recent single release "Always", was planned for spring 2005. Tensions, however, arose between the band members as DeLonge expressed his desire to cancel the tour and enter a half-year respite from touring. According to Mark Hoppus, the band's manager Rick DeVoe, who had previously encouraged the forthcoming tour, sided with DeLonge in the decision to cancel the shows: "I was at an airport in Singapore, on my way to Nepal, and [DeVoe] called to tell me that he now thought we shouldn’t tour. This is a good indication of the relationship between our old manager and blink-182 at that time. By that point, he was basically managing Tom. Tom changed his mind on touring, and then our manager changed his too."
At a band meeting which coincided with the beginning of Blink-182's final European tour, DeLonge expressed his desire to spend more time with his family. In an interview published in 2006, Hoppus stated that, at this meeting, Delonge stated that he was: "'over playing music' and wanted to be with his family. The spring tour was going to be canceled. Travis and I were in shock. [...] [We] said 'okay, if you don’t want to tour, how about let’s stay home and start the next record?' We had a lot of ideas and were ready to start laying them down, and Tom could be with his family. He didn’t want to do that either. He was burned out and just wanted to stop. We asked him how long he needed, and he said he didn’t know. The conversation got heated and lasted for two or three hours. It went around in circles, and the end result was the canceled tour, with no idea when we would be doing anything with blink-182 again."
During the band's six-month break, Hoppus expressed his desire for the band to perform at Music for Relief's Concert for South Asia, a benifit show to aid victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. DeLonge agreed to perform, and the band subsequently began rehearsing for the event. Further tensions, however, arose between the band members during rehearsals, and they began arguing about the band's "forced break, the greatest hits record, and the possibility of recording the next album."
DeLonge stated that he would only record his contributions to the band's next studio album at his home in San Diego, and that Hoppus and Barker could send him ProTools files to work on. Regarding the band's final moments together as a band, Hoppus states that: "Tom was deciding when we would tour, how we would tour, when we would have time off, when we would record, and how we could record. One person was dictating everything. We told Tom this. Things got hot. [...] We said, 'You are trying to control everything, and it’s wrong.' He said he couldn’t be a part of anything he couldn’t control, and he left the rehearsal space." DeVoe phoned Hoppus and Barker the following day to tell them that DeLonge had quit the band, stating: "As of today, Tom DeLonge is no longer a member of blink-182." DeLonge subsequently changed his telephone number to avoid discussing the matter with Hoppus and Barker. In 2010, whilst reflecting upon the band's break-up, Tom Delonge stated that: "My biggest failure was the breakup of Blink. That was a failure of friendships, businesses and communications. In our hearts, we thought that was forever and gone. What's funny is, at the time, I looked at it as a triumph."
News of the band's break-up initially appeared on Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro's blog, 6767.com. Navarro, who was also scheduled to perform at Music for Relief benefit concert, posted the following: "the big shock came when Blink-182 pulled out. Evidently, they broke up yesterday. I am surprised they couldn't hang in there one more day in order to do Southeast Asia a service like this, but having said that, I know how it can get when it's just not working anymore. Anyway, best of luck to those guys." Following the subsequent speculation as to whether the band had, in fact, broken up, Blink-182 announced that they had entered an "indefinite hiatus".
Solo projects and Barker's plane crash (2005-2008)
Following the band's break-up, DeLonge founded a new band, entitled Angels & Airwaves. The band, which still continues to record and tour, have thus far released three studio albums: We Don't Need to Whisper (2006), I-Empire (2007) and LOVE (2010). Hoppus and Barker continued working together in a new band, +44. They released their debut album, When Your Heart Stops Beating, in 2006.
Geffen Records released a Greatest Hits compilation album on November 1, 2005. A previously unreleased The Only Ones cover song, "Another Girl, Another Planet", was included. The song was used as the theme song to Barker's reality television show, Meet the Barkers. This track would be the final studio recording completed by the band prior to their hiatus. The album reached #6 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.
On August 21, 2008, the band's frequent producer Jerry Finn died of a cerebral hemorrhage. This event would become one of the catalysts for DeLonge to begin communicating with both Hoppus and Barker again in September 2008.
On September 19, 2008, Travis Barker barely survived a plane crash, after performing an event with Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell. Adam Goldstein (better known as DJ AM) and Barker were the sole survivors. Barker sustained second and third degree burns on his lower body and torso and expected to recover within a year. While in the hospital, Mark Hoppus and former bandmate Tom DeLonge visited, allowing the band to reconcile and patch up their differences. Regarding Barker's incident in 2010, Tom DeLonge stated that "if that accident hadn't happened, we wouldn't be a band. Plain and simple. That was fate."
Reformation and sixth studio album (2009–present)
At the 51st Grammy Awards ceremony on February 8, 2009, all three members of the band appeared onstage for the first time since December 2004. Barker announced the band's reformation, stating that "we used to play music together, and we decided we're going to play music together again," with Hoppus adding, "Blink-182 is back!" A message appeared on the band's website the same day stating "To put it simply, We're back. We mean, really back. Picking up where we left off and then some. In the studio writing and recording a new album." The band also updated their "smiley face" logo to feature six arrows instead of the previous five.
During an interview after their reunion announcement, Travis confirmed that they had been in the studio since December 2008 writing and recording new material. Each member had brought in their own musical ideas and songs, while also writing new material together. Blink 182 also revisited older demos they had written in 2004, before they went on indefinite hiatus. A new single, titled "Up All Night," has been announced for the new album. On January 25, Tom DeLonge stated that blink-182 was in discussion to release a new album in 2011. On January 26, however, Hoppus stated via Twitter that 2011 is "too far away" and will do everything he can do to release the new album in 2010.
The summer tour was at first mentioned during the reformation, though no concrete information was given until April 7, 2009 when website buzznet.com stated that Weezer would be supporting Blink-182 on their upcoming tour. The May 28, 2009 issue of Rolling Stone magazine later added Fall Out Boy, in addition to Weezer, as an opener for the tour. Official tour dates were announced on May 15, 2009 on Billboard.com; the well-received tour lasted from July 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada and ended on October 3 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Several additional dates were added to make up for the shows cancelled due to DJ-AM's passing. In December 2009, Hoppus announced that the trio will embark on a European tour in Summer 2010 including headlining the Reading and Leeds Festivals. In June, the band plans to go back into the studio to continue recording their newest album.