Why did Tom DeLonge leave Blink 182?
13 December 2020, 21:00
The musician left the band back in 2015, but what was the main reason for his departure?
Tom DeLonge left Blink 182 in 2015, and never looked back.
He was soon replaced by Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba, who with Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker went on to release the band's seventh studio album, California, in 2016 and NINE in 2019.
Earlier this year, in a post for his organisation To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, DeLonge gave a definitive reason why he left the trio.
Speaking in a video, the All The Small Things rocker revealed “The last show I played was in front of 100,000 people and then they wonder why I’m not doing that now, and I’ll say because this is the one moment in my life where I’ll be able to look back as an old man and say, ‘Oh my god, I was a part of the team that changed the world.’”
In the 3:50 second clip, he continued: "As an artist, I'd kind of conquered what I wanted to do with music, so I thought this is a great time to kind of do something else".
As the clip shows early footage of the band, the rocker finally reveals: "I left my band and all that I was known for, because this is the moment in time that I can change the world for my kids and everybody else's."
See the full clip below:
So it seems like an open and shut case then?
While it has been widely reported that DeLonge did seem to leave his Blink 182life behind to delve deeper into the truth behind UFOs, there could be more to his departure than meets the eye.
At the time of DeLonge leaving the band, things seemed strained between the trio.
In January 2015, the remaining members of Blink issued suggested their singer came to the decision quite suddenly.
They wrote in their official statement: "A week before we were scheduled to go in to the studio, we got an email from [Tom's] manager explaining that he didn’t want to participate in any Blink-182 projects indefinitely, but would rather work on his other non-musical endeavours.
"No hard feelings, but the show must go on for our fans."
Meanwhile, in an open letter DeLonge confusingly shared an Instagram, saying he'd "never quit the band".
In an open letter on his Facebook page, he wrote: "I love Blink and am incredibly grateful for having it in my life. It has given me everything...At the end of the day, all of this makes me really sad. Sad for us. Sad for you- that you’re witnessing this immaturity."
He added: "And even as I watch them act so different to what I know of them to be, I still care deeply for them. Like brothers, and like old friends. But our relationship got poisoned yesterday. Never planned on quitting, just find it hard as hell to commit."
The cracks may have started to show when drummer Travis Barker was in a near-fatal plane accident in 2008.
Speaking about his book, Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, And Drums, Drums, Drums the sticksman revealed to Radio X why he chose to put gruesome pictures of his recovery in the autobiography.
"I got those pictures [taken] because Tom [DeLonge], especially, was pressuring me to fly again. I tried to explain it to him, like ‘I can’t do it yet, I’m not ready’.
"So I ended up showing Tom and Mark, although Mark was always very supportive from day one. He even visited me in the hospital."
He added: "Whereas, with Tom, there was constant pressure."
Whether or not DeLonge's lack of support for Barker began to cause rifts in the band, he left to pursue the truth about UFOs or there was a massive misunderstanding between the bandmembers, it's clear that by 2015 his priorities had changed.
However, things might not be as over with as we once thought.
Back in May this year, the former Blink singer shared a video of the band's All The Small Things track being played at a softball game.
While that seemed like an awkward moment, June saw him share a video of himself lip syncing to I Miss You, which led fans to believe he was feeling nostalgic for the band.
Speaking to Radio X this year, Mark Hoppus also revealed he'd spoken to his former bandmate recently, and though they were happy doing their own thing, he'd "never say never" about a reunion.
Asked by Radio X's Polly James if the bromance between them is alive and well, Hoppus revealed: "I talked to him not too long ago, a couple of months [ago] right before we left to go out on this [Enema of the State anniversary] tour, actually."
He added: "He's good. Very Happy. He seems like he's in a good place."
Quizzed if we would ever see DeLonge back in the band's line-up again, the Dammit singer replied: "I don't know. Never say never.
"I don't know. We haven't even talked about it. Like I said, he's very happy with what he's doing and we're very happy with what we're doing and we'll see what the future holds."
Hoppus even piled on the compliments for his ex-bandmate in another interview and admitted that Blink's "best work" took place when Tom Delonge was in the band.
Speaking to Alt Press, he mused: "There was a real unity of spirit in the band; [it’s] when the band found itself".
"When Tom was in the band, that’s when Blink did its best work,” he added. "Now post-Tom, with Matt in the band, we’re approaching songs differently."
Watch our interview with Mark Hoppus and Matt Skiba:
Watch Mark Hoppus talk about not being recognised in the UK: