Save for a brief hiatus in the 2000s, Blink-182 has been active since 1992. The band’s past two albums, 2016’s California and 2019’s Nine, were different from the ones before it, though, as they were recorded after founding member Tom DeLonge left the group. Now, though, things are going back to how they used to be, as it was just announced a few days ago that DeLonge has rejoined Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker and returned to the band.
As for how we got here, it was quite the ride.
In 2001, DeLonge and Barker formed a new group called Box Car Racer, which DeLonge said in a 2005 interview with MTV “was really hard for Mark” and “caused a great division in the band.” Later, in 2005, Hoppus and Barker started a new band, +44, which DeLonge noted happened “even before Blink was finished.” He also said that in Blink, he “had to compromise all the time,” although he also said that “was part of the magic of that band.”
For these reasons and others, the group went on an indefinite hiatus starting in 2005. In 2009, though, the trio reunited and released the 2011 album Neighborhoods. Everything wasn’t perfect, however, as Hoppus later noted of that era, “Everything was just always very difficult. Everything was always very contentious. There was always just a strange vibe. I didn’t know that Tom was going to quit necessarily, but I knew there was something wrong.”
Indeed, DeLonge left the band in 2015. It wasn’t initially revealed why, but Barker later claimed it was because DeLonge wanted to focus more on his company, To The Stars… Academy Of Arts & Sciences. Whatever the case may be, Barker and Hoppus pressed on with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba replacing DeLonge, first performing on 2016’s California.
For some of that period, there were rumors about DeLonge reuniting with the band, rumors sparked by the band members themselves.
In a 2020 Rolling Stone interview, for example, DeLonge was asked about a reunion and he noted, “Everyone wants to know, ‘Are you guys gonna play again?’ Yeah, of course we are. We just gotta figure out the timing, how it works for everybody.”
In June 2021, Hoppus revealed he was diagnosed with cancer, and it appears that brought the band closer together and got the ball more seriously rolling on a reunion. That September, DeLonge noted his relationship with Hoppus improved after the diagnosis. Then, that November, DeLonge told James Corden, “I feel like I’m always talking about some kind of reunion. We always talk about playing together again and I think that that’s definitely something we’re all interested in. Finding the time to do it where it lines up with everybody’s priorities is really all that’s needed, and getting Mark healthy again, getting him strong again. But yeah, I’m down, I think those guys are down. I think just finding the time to do it and when is really what we just got to figure out.”
This past summer is when things really started to pick up. In July, Skiba indicated he wasn’t sure if he was still in Blink-182. Later that month, DeLonge appeared to hint he had returned to the band. Then, a few days ago, it finally happened: The band officially announced that DeLonge was back and that a new album and tour are on the way. The first taste of the reunion will come tomorrow (October 14) with “Edging,” a new single.
So, that’s the story of DeLonge’s latest reunion with Blink-182, a tale that pop-punk fans are pleased to know is still being written.
Blink-182 is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.