Twenty years of growing fame, family commitment, near death experiences and professional pressures mounted on Blink 182 guitarist Tom DeLonge, leading to bandmates Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus announcing his departure from the band.
But at the time of writing, Blink 182 have played two shows and are on the bill for another with a brand new guitarist-vocalist.
The new line-up played a warm-up at The Roxy in LA on 18th March, and here’s a song that Tom should be singing:
It’s a bit blurry, so in case you didn’t recognise him by his vocals or the loud F-bomb he drops during Mark’s verse, here’s a new photo:
In his resplendent Hurley t-shirt you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s just his head photo-shopped onto Tom’s body, but – holy crap – that’s Matt Skiba from Alkaline Trio!
Billed as ‘Blink 182 with Matt Skiba’, they’ll be headlining MusInk Festival on Sunday night.
From the video it’s kinda hard to tell with so much crowd participation – and Travis Barker’s usual enthusiasm on drums – but you can tell Matt’s very into it. (You could say he’s feeling this…I’ll get me coat.)
For now it’s a temporary gig, as Skiba’s already announced he intends to continue with his bandmates in the Trio. Did you ever think this would happen?
It’s blowing my mind a bit more than it really should, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot ever since I saw the above footage for the first time last night. I’ve had plenty of ‘dream band’ discussions with friends at practices and after a few beers, but I never thought that lifting Skiba out of the Trio and into Blink would figure in the equation.
And to be honest, it still doesn’t – I much prefer Skiba’s musical talents over DeLonge, but Blink 182 just isn’t right without Tom. Alkaline Trio were once one of my very favourite bands, in fact they probably received the baton from Blink once I’d heard Private Eye for the first time, but in the days before I Miss You and Feeling This, Blink were much further along the poppier, sunnier side of the road than Alkaline Trio ever were, a gateway band into punk rock for me along with The Offspring.
If nothing else at least it’s a fun novelty.
Whether that fun novelty should ever find its way into a recording studio is another debate entirely. I’ll be posting later in the week about Blink 182 – let’s see if we can nail down the root of the problem.