The band Blink 182 was an American punk-rock trio, originally consisting of singer and guitarist Tom De Longe, vocalist and bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Scott Raynor. However, in 1998, drummer Travis Barker from ‘The Aquabats’ replaced Scott Raynor, after the band fired him for his alcohol problem. The band gained success with their second album, Dude Ranch, which was released in 1996.
The self titled or untitled album by Blink-182 is the fifth album released by the band. Known primarily for their juvenile and toilet humor lyrical style, this album marked a drastic change in both the lyrical and the musical style of the band. The album characterizes a more serious and darker side of the band as opposed to their earlier foul-mouthed compositions. Mark Hoppus, the bassist in the band, said in an interview with MTV Album Launch, that the desired effect of the album was for people to listen to it and ask, “Wait a minute…that’s Blink-182?”
The album that was released on November 18, 2003, comprises of songs such as ‘Violence’, ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ and ‘All of this,’ portraying the experimental side of the band. Along with these are others such as ‘Feeling This’, ‘Here’s Your Letter’ and ‘Easy Target’, which bear the signature Blink 182 music style. The first song on the album is ‘Feeling This’, which was included on soundtrack for the video game Madden NFL 2004. ‘I Miss You’ has, till date, been the most successful single of all time of Blink- 182, reaching the #1 spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart.
‘Stockholm Syndrome’ is about paranoia, being afraid of the outside world and convinced that people can hear your thoughts. The introduction features Joanne Whalley reading letters that Mark Hoppus’ grandfather wrote to his grandmother during World War II. For the song ‘All of This’, the band collaborated with one of their biggest inspirations: The Cure’s frontman Robert Smith. In this song, the girl named ‘Holly’, Mark’s first girlfriend, previously mentioned in ‘Easy Target’ returns. The lines ‘Use me, Holly’ refer to her only going out with him in order to get closer to his brother. The music video would have been directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who states that it is one of his favourite songs. The album ends with <>i‘I’m Lost Without You’, a six-minute plus track that apparently took over half a year to evolve. The track features plenty of piano, pensive vocals and a mad drum solo at the end played by Travis Barker, on two kits.
In a few of their interviews, Blink 182 has been saying that this album is a natural progression from their other work and that it’s galling if critics only take them seriously now. The fact is that this is a quantum leap from their previous albums; both in attitude and musicianship, and that it would have been a joke to have regarded them as anything other than immature brats before. However, the album has been criticized by many as having no catchy guitar riffs, boring drumming, commercial singing etc. The lyrical style has been accused of being empty and not staying true to punk, which is a lot more than talking about love, life in general and teeny themes. All in all, the album was a success, selling 313,000 copies in its first week, debuting #3 on the charts in the United States. So far, it has sold 2.4 million copies in US and around 3.5 million worldwide.
Unfortunately, following the huge success of the album was the ‘indefinite hiatus’ (which later turned into a full break up) of the band in 2005. This made their previous show on December 16, 2004 at The Point Depot in Dublin, Ireland, their last live performance. The planned tour was cancelled and on February 22, 2005, after much tension, their band manager called Hoppus and Barker to tell them that Tom had quit the band. DeLonge announced his new band, Angels & Airwaves in November 2005. They released their debut album We Don’t Need to Whisper on May 23, 2006, where it debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200. The band released their second album I-Empire on November 6, 2007. They also released a DVD, titled Start the Machine. The DVD concentrated mainly on the final days of Blink-182 and the genesis of Angels & Airwaves. 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 it debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200. On May 25, 2008, Hoppus stated that the new +44 album was still in pre-production.
In September 2008, Travis Barker was seriously injured in a plane crash in Columbia, South Carolina. He sustained second and third degree burns to his lower body and torso in the unfortunate accident. Barker’s personal assistant, Chris Baker and three others were killed in the crash. On October 17, Barker was released from the hospital and is expected to have a speedy recovery, and hopefully, a successful comeback.