Tom DeLonge: "People thought Blink-182 were a boy band"

11 October 2021, 14:38 | Updated: 11 October 2021, 14:42

Blink-182 in 2001: Travis Barker, Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus
Blink-182 in 2001: Travis Barker, Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus. Picture: DPA Picture Alliance/Alamy Stock Photo

Tom DeLonge has revealed that Blink-182's success led many people to think they were a manufactured boy band.

The 45-year-old star - who left the group in 2015 as Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba replaced him in the line-up alongside Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus - reflected on the trio's astronomical rise with their 1999 album Enema Of The State, and the contrast between their success and punk rock attitude.

He told Guitar magazine: "We weren't a mainstream pop-punk band. We were touring for seven years with bands like Guttermouth and the Vandals.

"We were coming from a more raw, unfiltered, un-produced scene. Those attributes are in our DNA, regardless of how big Enema got.

"People were putting us up and thinking we were a boy band. We didn't get it. We were like, 'What the f*** is going on?'

"A week ago we were lighting drumsticks on fire in our ass on stage and then people think we're supposed to be on MTV dancing around."

blink-182 - The Rock Show (Official Video)

The public reaction to Blink's music made the band return to their punk roots for the 2001 follow-up Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, which spawned the hit singles The Rock Show and First Date.

DeLonge recalled: "On that record, I remember specifically the things that appealed to us were, 'What's NOFX doing? What's Fugazi doing?

"Just cool s*** that's raw, where you can hear the guitars. You can hear the angst. You can hear the, 'F*** off, what I've been doing is cooler than what you've been doing.' "

And the musician suggested that outlook is missing from much of the current scene.

He added: "You don't hear that now in pop punk bands. They do vocal acrobatics or they f*****' have lots of electronics that disguise everything.

"We were trying to be very clever with three instruments, coming from a place that was all angst and breaking the law and growing up in broken families."