Blink-182’s Travis Barker’s Talks Tom DeLonge’s ‘Identity Crisis,’ Why He Refused To Record

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Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker discussed Tom DeLonge’s departure from the band in a new interview with Drum magazine.

“It’s complicated because there was a bandmember change. We would do huge tours and the whole time Tom would be like, ‘We gotta make a huge album, we gotta get in the studio right when we get back.’ Then we’d never hear from him. He’d go ghost. After doing that for so long, the last attempt to make an album, he was like, ‘I refuse to be in the studio without a record deal in place.’ So, we go and sign this record deal, just so we can get this guy in the studio to work. Then he quits the band. You find yourself in this deal that he really wanted and now he’s not in the band!”

“Make no mistake, Tom’s a great songwriter. I think he outgrew being in a punk rock band. I think he wanted to change the sound of the band, which I don’t mind, if the sound progresses. It was hard to get in the studio with someone who was playing songs by other bands and trying to write songs just like them. It was frustrating. It was shouting out ‘identity crisis!’ to me. I think it was more of a personal thing than a band thing. Now, we’ve made a better record than I think we’ve put out in the last ten years. This is the best group of Blink songs since Blink-182. Very modern, yet still giving the fans what Blink-182 has always been. There’s a new energy. It’s the greatest energy the band has felt in years.”

DeLonge left Blink-182 in early 2015 after refusing to record with the band. He was replaced by Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba, and the band are set to release their new album California next month. Barker also discussed DeLonge’s departure in a March 2015 interview with Alternative Nation.

“I think this is the third time he’s quit without anyone knowing about it because we didn’t announce the other times. But this is just the last straw. It’s just not cool for the fans. He’d always agree to go on huge tours and record albums, but when it came down to going into the studio, he’d find some excuse not to. And we wouldn’t even hear from him, it would be his management. It comes to a point where you decide you’re not going to force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do and it’s time to move on.”

He added, “As far as I’m concerned, no bad blood from me. I wish him the best in everything he does. I think the right thing for him to do would just man up and quit the band instead of telling people he didn’t quit and just be real with the fans. I think that would give him some closure too and really do what he’s passionate about. Even amongst all the other projects I do, I can always find a way to prioritize and still be passionate about Blink-182 when it comes around. I love playing, listening, and everything about punk rock. It changed my life. I think for Tom, he doesn’t like punk music and it was a phase for him.”