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This article is about the band. For their 2003 album, see Blink-182 (album).
Blink-182 is an American rock band consisting of vocalist and bass guitarist Mark Hoppus, vocalist and guitarist Tom DeLonge, and drummer Travis Barker. They have sold over 28 million albums worldwide since forming in Poway, California in 1992. With original drummer Scott Raynor they released their debut album Cheshire Cat in 1994 and achieved moderate success with its follow-up, 1997's Dude Ranch, which went on to sell over one million copies. Raynor was replaced by Barker midway through a 1998 tour.
The band achieved greater success with 1999's multi-platinum selling Enema of the State, which reached number 9 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the singles "What's My Age Again?" and "All the Small Things", the latter of which became the highest-charting song of their career by reaching number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Blink-182 gained popularity for their irreverent sense of humor, and the follow-up album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001) reached number 1 in the United States, Canada, and Germany. The eponymously-titled Blink-182 followed in 2003 and marked a stylistic shift for the group, infusing experimental elements into their usual pop punk formula, resulting in a more mature sound.
DeLonge left Blink-182 in early 2005, sending the band into indefinite hiatus. Hoppus and Barker formed a new band, +44, while DeLonge formed his own act, Angels & Airwaves. Hoppus also pursued a career as a television host while Barker continued working in music as a producer and solo artist. Blink-182 reunited in February 2009 and their sixth studio album, Neighborhoods, was released in September 2011.
Formation and early years (1992–94)
Blink-182 was formed in Poway, California, a suburb outside of San Diego, in 1992. After Mark Hoppus graduated high school in Ridgecrest, he relocated to San Diego to work at a record store and attend college. Tom DeLonge was kicked out of Poway High for attending a basketball game drunk and was forced to attend another local school for one semester. At Rancho Bernardo High School, he befriended Kerry Key, also interested in punk music. Key's girlfriend, Anne Hoppus, introduced her brother Mark to DeLonge in August 1992. The two clicked instantly and played for hours in DeLonge's garage, exchanging lyrics and co-writing songs—one of which became crowd favorite "Carousel." DeLonge recruited friend Scott Raynor for drums, who he met at a Rancho Bernado Battle of the Bands competition. Raynor was by far the youngest member of the trio at 14, and his event account differs significantly: he claims he and DeLonge started the band together, which Hoppus later joined.
The trio began to practice together in Raynor's bedroom, spending hours together writing music. Hoppus and DeLonge would alternate singing vocal parts. The band was initially named Duck Tape until DeLonge thought of the name "Blink". Hoppus' girlfriend was angered by her boyfriend's constant attention for the band and demanded him to make a choice between the band and her, which resulted in Hoppus leaving the band shortly after formation. Shortly thereafter, DeLonge told Hoppus he had borrowed a four track recorder from a friend and was preparing to record a demo tape, which prompted Hoppus to break up with his girlfriend and return to the band. Flyswatter—a combination of original songs and punk covers—was recorded in Raynor's bedroom and landed the band their first shows.
The band's earliest shows were largely in empty clubs, but the band's popularity in the thriving San Diego music scene grew as did California punk rock concurrently in the mainstream. DeLonge called clubs constantly in San Diego asking for a spot to play, as well as calling up local high schools convincing them that Blink was a "motivational band with a strong anti-drug message" in hopes to play at an assembly or lunch. The band found their way onto the bill as the opening band for local acts at SOMA, a local all-ages venue which they longed to headline. The band's equipment was piled into a blue station wagon and Hoppus' manager at the record store fronted him the money to properly record a demo in the studio. In 1993, the band recorded Buddha at local studio Doubletime. Cassette copies of Buddha and T-shirts were compiled by the band and Hoppus' family. Raynor's family relocated to Reno, Nevada; he was briefly replaced by musician Mike Krull. The band saved money and began flying Raynor out to shows, but eventually Raynor moved in with Hoppus for a summer in which the band would record their first album, video and gain even more exposure.
Early releases and touring (1994–98)
The heart of the local independent music scene was Cargo Records, which offered to sign the band on a "trial basis," with help from O, guitarist for local punk band Fluf, and Brahm Goodis, friend of the band whose father was president of the label. The band recorded their debut album in three days at Westbeach Recorders in Los Angeles, fueled by both new songs and re-recordings of songs from previous demos. Although Cheshire Cat, released in 1994, made very little impact commercially, it is cited by fans and musicians as an iconic release. "M+M's", the band's first single, garnered local radio airplay from 91X and Cargo offered the band a small budget to film a music video for it. The band's popularity caught the ire of an Irish techno band of the same name, who threatened with legal action. To avoid a dispute, the band appended "182" to the end of their name, chosen at random. The band clenched a manager, Rick DeVoe, who associated with larger bands such as NOFX, Pennywise and The Offspring.
By 1995, the band borrowed a van from the band Unwritten Law and hit the road for their first out-of-town show in Reno. Taylor Steele, friend of DeVoe, was preparing a national tour to promote his new surf video GoodTimes, and the band signed on for their first national tour, which extended as far as the East Coast. The band purchased their own tour van and embarked on the GoodTimes tour with Unwritten Law, Sprung Monkey and 7 Seconds. Popularity for Cheshire Cat grew in the form of pirated CD copies across the country. The GoodTimes tour continued and the band was whisked away to Australia, with Pennywise paying for the band's plane tickets. Fletcher Dragge, guitarist of Pennywise, believed in the band strongly. He demanded Kevin Lyman, creator of the Warped Tour, sign the band for the 1997 festival, telling him that "they're gonna be gigantic." Australia was very receptive to the band and their humorous stage shows and pranks gained them a reputation, but also made them ostracized and considered a joke. Early shows featured wet T-shirt and wet pants contests. The band slowly built a young, devoted following with indie recordings and an endless series of performances and various clubs and festivals.
After nonstop touring, the trio began recording their sophomore follow-up, Dude Ranch, over the period of a month in late 1996. Discouraged by Cargo's lack of distribution for their first album, Blink-182 signed with MCA Records to handle Dude Ranch. The record hit stores the following summer and the band headed out on their first Warped Tour. When lead single "Dammit" began rotation at Los Angeles-based KROQ, other stations took notice and the single was added to rock radio playlists across the country. Dude Ranch shipped gold by 1998, but the exhaustive touring schedule brought tensions between the trio, and Raynor was fired under mysterious circumstances. Travis Barker, drummer for tourmate The Aquabats, filled in for Raynor, learning the 20-song setlist in 45 minutes before the first show. Barker joined the band full-time in summer 1998 and the band entered the studio with producer Jerry Finn later that year to begin work on their third album.
- Current members
- Mark Hoppus – bass guitar, vocals (1992–2005, 2009–present)
- Tom DeLonge – guitar, vocals (1992–2005, 2009–present)
- Travis Barker – drums, percussion (1998–2005, 2009–present)
- Former members
- Scott Raynor – drums, percussion (1992–98)
- Studio albums
- Cheshire Cat (1994)
- Dude Ranch (1997)
- Enema of the State (1999)
- Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001)
- Blink-182 (2003)
- Neighborhoods (2011)
Awards and nominations
Blink-182 has had the most success at the Teen Choice Awards, winning three awards: Choice Rock Group (2000) and Best Rock Group (2001) for the band, and Choice Love Song (2004) for the song "I Miss You". "All the Small Things", a single from the band's Enema of the State album, received three nominations from the MTV Video Music Awards in 2000: Video of the Year, Best Pop Video, and Best Group Video, which it won. Overall, Blink-182 has received seven awards from ten nominations.