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."

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."