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Origin: Poway, California, United States
Genre(s): Pop Punk, Punk Rock
Years active: 1992 – 2005
Label(s): Filter, Grilled Cheese, MCA, Geffen
Associated acts: +44, Angels and Airwaves, Box Car Racer, Transplants
Members:Tom DeLonge (vocals and guitar), Mark Hoppus (vocals and bass), Travis Barker (drums and percussion)
Former members: Scott Raynor (drums and percussion) (1992 - 1998)
Blink-182 (also known as blink-182 or simply Blink to fans) was a United States rock trio who played pop punk and punk rock music. The band was originally formed in 1992 by Tom DeLonge (vocals and guitar) who quickly recruited Mark Hoppus (vocals and bass) and Scott Raynor (drums) in Poway, California, a northern suburb of San Diego. Originally, the band's official name was ''Blink'', however, the numerical three digit suffix was appended early in their career following an objection from an Irish band with the same name. Travis Barker replaced Raynor on drums in 1998, midway through a U.S. tour. The group effectively broke up in early 2005, portraying it as an ''indefinite hiatus''. DeLonge went on to play a different style of music in a band called Angels and Airwaves, while Hoppus and Barker continued in a similar genre with their band +44.
Blink 182 was known for their catchy, simple melodies and lyrical toilet humor. Songwriters Hoppus and DeLonge cite punk rock bands such as The Descendents and Screeching Weasel as their early influences, however, the band's songwriting and production was driven by a pop sensibility. Their last album featured more musical experimentation and lyrical sophistication than previous releases.
Early years (1992 - 1998)
In May 1993, Blink recorded its first demo tape, entitled Flyswatter, in drummer Scott Raynor's bedroom. A 4 - track was used to record the material, resulting in poor sound quality. According to Hoppus, only around fifty copies of the demo were produced to give to their family and friends. Before the end of the year, the band released another demo, Buddha. Around 1,000 copies were produced by Filter Records, an independent record company headed by Hoppus's boss. In early 1994, Blink signed with Cargo Records. The band recorded their debut full length album, ''Cheshire Cat'' in three days. The album contained a number of updated versions of songs such as ''Carousel'', ''Strings'', ''Sometimes'', and ''TV'' that had appeared on the Buddha demo as well as some originals. Shortly after the release of ''Cheshire Cat'', Blink was threatened with legal action by a pop band in Ireland of the same name. In order to avoid a dispute, Blink appended ''182'' to the end of their name. DeLonge has stated that it is just a number that meant nothing.
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 which later became Geffen Records in 1996, in order to handle increased distribution. The album was released in 1997 and was relatively commercially successful, selling 4 million copies worldwide. The single ''Dammit'' did well on U.S. modern rock charts, however drummer Scott Raynor later left the band. There are two common explanations for his removal that Raynor had a serious drinking problem and was asked to go into rehab or face ejection, or alternately, that he departed in order to attend college. Raynor claims he agreed to go to rehab, but that DeLonge and Hoppus were doubtful of his sincerity and subsequently fired him over the phone. Hoppus and DeLonge had asked drummer Travis Barker of Blink-182's support band The Aquabats to fill in for Raynor for the remainder of the tour, thus he had to learn all of the songs in a matter of hours before the show. He ultimately went on to join the band permanently afterwards, leaving The Aquabats.
Mainstream success (1999 - 2004)
The cover of ''Enema of the State''
For the 1999 album ''Enema of the State'', the band hired Jerry Finn as it's producer. The album propelled the band into the mainstream, granting the hit singles ''What's My Age Again?'', ''All the Small Things'', and ''Adam's Song'' a significant amount of airtime on radio and MTV. ''Enema of the State'' went on to sell over 12 million copies worldwide making it the band's bestselling album to that point. In 1999 the band had small parts in the film American Pie, though Travis Barker was incorrectly credited as Scott Raynor.
In 2000, the band released ''The Urethra Chronicles'', a DVD which featured behind the scenes information. The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show: ''The Enema Strikes Back'', Blink-182's sole live album, was also released in 2000, featuring songs from their three full length records. The album also included one new studio song, ''Man Overboard,'' among the live renditions. The album quickly went out of print making it a much sought after item. A limited edition was printed in October 2006. The band continued its commercial success with ''Take Off Your Pants and Jacket'' in 2001, which was in the same vein as ''Enema of the State'', However, a European tour in winter 2001 was canceled in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. Rescheduled dates in early 2002 were also canceled due to DeLonge's problems with his back.
In 2002, Blink-182 co-headlined the Pop Disaster Tour with Green Day. The tour was documented on the DVD ''Riding In Vans With Boys''. After taking some time off in 2002, recording of the next record began in early 2003. On November 18, 2003, the band released ''Blink-182'', which spawned the hit singles ''Feeling This'', ''I Miss You'', ''Down'', and ''Always''. According to Barker, the untitled self-titled record was supposed to represent a new Blink-182. Despite a major shift in theme and tone that eskewed the juvenile lyrics and formulaic songwriting of past releases in favor of a more conceptual, nuanced lyrical style coupled with a darker, more experimental sound, the album received significant airplay on radio and TV. Robert Smith, whose band ''The Cure'' is often cited by Blink-182 as a major influence, appeared on ''All of This''.
During late 2003, through 2004 the band embarked on the successful ''Dolla Bill'' tour, named for the inexpensive ticket costs (It was originally planned to be completely free but later realized that it would be necessary to charge something for the ticket). A tour with ''No Doubt'' in the summer of 2004 was also very successful.
Indefinite hiatus and new bands (2005 - present)
In mid-February 2005 the band inexplicably cancelled a performance at Music for Relief's Concert for South Asia (a show put on to aid victims of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake). Shortly thereafter, before a planned final US spring tour, on February 22, 2005, the band announced they were going on an ''indefinite hiatus''.
Geffen Records released a Greatest Hits compilation on November 1, 2005 in the U.S., one previously unreleased track was included ''Another Girl Another Planet'' (a cover song originally by ''The Only Ones''). The song was also used as the theme song to Barker's new reality TV show, ''Meet the Barkers''. Included was the previously issued ''I Miss You'' B-side and Blink-182 album bonus track ''Not Now''. The album reached number 6 on the Billboard 200 in the United States. In the wake of the Greatest Hits album and the announcement of his new band, DeLonge suggested that the mounting tension between himself and Hoppus, caused by DeLonge's desire for a break with his family coupled with Hoppus's feelings of betrayal after the formation of ''Box Car Racer'', were the primary reasons for tensions within the band. After a year and a half abstaining from any interviews surrounding the issue, Hoppus gave an extensive interview with b182.com in August 2006. Contrary to DeLonge's statements, Hoppus said that the band had been getting along at the time of their final album. Hoppus went on to say that DeLonge requested a half year respite from touring to spend time with his family, despite a planned final spring U.S. tour. Hoppus and Barker hesitantly conceded, leading to the cancellation of the upcoming tour. Further problems arose in discussions regarding the band's future recording endeavors. It also finally surfaced in this interview that DeLonge had actually left the band before Hoppus and Barker announced that they were to make a new band and before they went on an indefinite hiatus, and that Delonge had changed his phone number so that they could no longer contact him.
DeLonge announced his new band, ''Angels and Airwaves'' in November 2005. He also announced his plans to create a film about the final days of Blink-182. ''Angels and Airwaves'' released their debut album ''We Don't Need to Whisper'' on May 23rd, 2006, where it debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200. The band is preparing their second album ''I - Empire'' for November 6, 2007. 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 debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200. The band are preparing their second album for as yet unannounced release.
On April 5, 2007, it was confirmed that Blink-182, along with Rancid and Green Day are some of the bands set to feature in a documentary about modern punk music. The film entitled ''One Nine Nine Four'' is expected to be released early next year. Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk will narrate the film, which also features the likes of NOFX and The Offspring.