Blink-182 is an American rock band formed in Poway, a suburb of San Diego, California in 1992. The trio consists of bassist and vocalist Mark Hoppus, guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge, and drummer Travis Barker. The band is considered a key group in the development of pop punk music; their combination of pop melodies with fast-paced punk rock featured a more radio-friendly accessibility than prior bands. The group, with original drummer Scott Raynor, emerged from the Southern California punk scene of the early 1990s and first gained notoriety for high-energy live shows and irreverent lyrical toilet humor.The band were initially known as Blink until Irish band Blink threatened legal action; they appended "-182" for no reason. Cheshire Cat (1995) led the band to tour with Pennywise and NOFX on the Warped Tour. Dude Ranch (1997) was co-distributed by major label MCA Records and featured their first rock radio hit, "Dammit". Raynor was fired midway through a 1998 tour and replaced by Barker. Enema of the State (1999) was an enormous success on the strength of hit singles "What's My Age Again?", "Adam's Song" and "All the Small Things", which enjoyed massive airplay and became MTV staples. 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 the group in 2005, sending the band into what was termed an "indefinite hiatus." The trio reunited in 2009 and their sixth studio album, Neighborhoods, was released in 2011.Blink-182 has sold over 35 million albums worldwide. In 2011, The New York Times asserted that "no punk band of the 1990s has been more influential than Blink-182," stating that even as the band receded after their 2005 split, "its sound and style could be heard in the muscular pop punk of Fall Out Boy or in the current wave of high-gloss Warped Tour punk bands, like All Time Low and The Maine."Formation and early years (1992–94)Blink-182 was formed in Poway, California, a suburb outside of San Diego, in August 1992. After Mark Hoppus graduated from high school in Ridgecrest, he relocated to San Diego to work at a record store and attend college. Tom DeLonge was expelled from 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 on August 2, 1992. The two clicked instantly and played for hours in DeLonge's garage, exchanging lyrics and co-writing songs—one of which became "Carousel". One of the pair's early meetings was at a local skate park where Hoppus, in trying to impress his new bandmate, managed to fall from a lamppost and crack his ankles, an injury that put him in crutches for three weeks. 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 formed the group after meeting at the Battle of the Bands and worked through a variety of bassists before meeting Hoppus.The trio began to practice together in Raynor's bedroom, spending hours together writing music, attending punk shows and movies and playing practical jokes. Hoppus and DeLonge would alternate singing vocal parts. The trio first operated under a variety of names, including Duck Tape and Figure 8, until DeLonge rechristened the band "Blink". Hoppus' girlfriend was angered by her boyfriend's constant attention to the band and demanded that he make a choice between the band and her, which resulted in Hoppus leaving the band shortly after formation. Shortly thereafter, DeLonge and Raynor borrowed a four track recorder from friend and collaborator Cam Jones and were preparing to record a demo tape, with Jones on bass. Hoppus promptly broke up with his girlfriend and returned to the band. Flyswatter—a combination of original songs and punk covers—was recorded in Raynor's bedroom in May 1993. Southern California had a large punk population in the early 1990s, aided by an avid surfing, skating and snowboarding scene. In contrast to East Coast punk music, the West Coast wave of groups, Blink included, typically introduced more melodic aspects to their music. "New York is gloomy, dark and cold. It makes different music. The Californian middle-class suburbs have nothing to be that bummed about," said DeLonge. San Diego at this time was "hardly a hotbed of [musical\] activity", but the band's popularity grew as did California punk rock concurrently in the mainstream. The band's first performance was at a local high school during lunch, and soon the trio graduated to San Diego's Spirit Club and influential local shop Alley Kat Records. 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 was onstage nearly every weekend, even at Elks Lodges and YMCA centers. The band soon became part of a circuit that also included the likes of Ten Foot Pole and Unwritten Law, and they found their way onto the bill as the opening band for local acts at Soma, a local all-ages venue located on Market Street which they longed to headline. Big-name acts such as NOFX and Green Day played on the main floor, while smaller acts were relegated to the basement, an area referred to as "the Dungeon." The original location closed its doors and relocated before the band would be promoted to the main stage (which required a 100+ crowd to attend). "Soma was like home away from home. All the punk kids who didn’t give a fuck about football games and proms or whatever came to hang out at Soma," claimed Hoppus. Their first big show on the main floor took place on a Thursday, where they opened for Face to Face. The band's equipment was piled into a blue station wagon and Hoppus' manager at the record store, Pat Secor, fronted him the money to properly record another demo at local studio Doubletime. The trio viewed Buddha (1994) as their first legitimate release and Hoppus loaded the cassettes, with insert sheets hand-folded by Hoppus' family, into his car to deliver them to local record stores. By this time, the group had branched out to venues such as the Soul Kitchen in El Cajon, but Raynor's family relocated to Reno, Nevada and 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. Hoppus was the only member to sign the contract, as DeLonge was at work at the time and Raynor was still a minor. 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 February 1995, 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. Meanwhile, the record also drew the attention of Irish band Blink. Unwilling to engage in a legal battle, the band agreed to change their name. Cargo gave the band a week, but the trio put off the decision for more than two afterward. Eventually, Cargo called the band, demanding that they "change the name or [we'll\] change it for you," after which the band decided on a random number, 182.The band borrowed a van from the band Unwritten Law for their first out-of-town show in Reno in 1995. The band soon had a manager, Rick DeVoe, who associated with larger bands such as NOFX, Pennywise and The Offspring. In addition, the band crucially drew the attention of Rick and Jean Bonde of the Tahoe booking agency, who were responsible for "spreading the name of the band far and wide and getting the group as many gigs as humanly possible." 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, founder 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.By March 1996, the trio began to accumulate a genuine buzz among major labels, resulting in a bidding war between Interscope, MCA and Epitaph. MCA promised the group complete artistic freedom and eventually signed the band, but Raynor held a great affinity for Epitaph and began to feel half-invested in the band when they passed over the label. The group, who were wary of purists attempting to define "punk" and discouraged by Cargo's lack of distribution and faith in the group, had no qualms about signing to a major label but were fiercely criticized in the punk community. After nonstop touring, the trio began recording their sophomore follow-up, Dude Ranch, over the period of a month in late 1996. 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 among the trio. Raynor had been drinking heavily to offset personal issues, and he was fired by DeLonge and Hoppus in mid-1998 despite agreeing to attend rehab and quit drinking. 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.Mainstream breakthrough and continued success (1999–2004)With the release of Enema of the State in June 1999, Blink-182 was catapulted to stardom and became the biggest pop punk act of the era. Three singles were released from the record—"What's My Age Again?", "All the Small Things", and "Adam's Song"—that became hit singles and MTV staples. "All the Small Things" became a number-one hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, but also became a crossover hit and peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Its video parodied boy bands and pop music videos and won a Moon Man for Best Group Video at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards. Although the band were criticized as synthesized, manufactured pop only remotely resembling punk and pigeonholed as a joke act due to the puerile slant of its singles and associating music videos, Enema of the State was an enormous commercial success. The album has sold over 15 million copies worldwide and had a considerable effect on pop punk music, inspiring a "second wave" of the genre and numerous acolytes.After multi-platinum success, arena tours and cameo appearances (American Pie), the band recorded Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001), which debuted at number 1 in the United States, Canada, and Germany. Hit singles "The Rock Show","Stay Together for the Kids" and "First Date" continued the band's mainstream success worldwide, with MTV cementing their image as video stars. Finn returned to produce the record and was a key architect of the "polished" pop punk sound, and he served as an invaluable member of the band: part adviser, part impartial observer, he helped smooth out tensions and hone their sound. Recording sessions were sometimes contentious, as DeLonge strove for heavier and dirtier guitar-driven rock. With time off from touring, DeLonge felt an "itch to do something where he didn't feel locked in to what Blink was," and channeled his chronic back pain and resulting frustration into Box Car Racer (2002), a post-hardcore disc that further explores his Fugazi and Refused inspiration. Refraining from paying for a studio drummer, he invited Barker to record drums on the project and Hoppus felt betrayed. The event caused great division within the trio for some time and an unresolved tension at the forefront of the band's later hiatus. Barker also explored hip-hop influences and teamed up with Rancid's Tim Armstrong to form the rap-core outfit Transplants.The band regrouped in 2003 to record their fifth studio album, infusing experimentalist elements into their usual pop punk sound, inspired by lifestyle changes (the band members all became fathers before the album was released) and side projects. Blink's eponymous fifth studio album was released in the fall of 2003 through Geffen Records, which absorbed sister label MCA earlier that year. Critics generally complimented the new, more "mature" direction taken for the release and lead singles "Feeling This" and "I Miss You" charted high, with the latter becoming the group's second number one hit on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The worldwide touring schedule, which saw the band travel to Japan and Australia, also found the three performing for troops stationed in the Middle East. Fans were split by the new direction, and tensions within the band—stemming from the grueling schedule and DeLonge's desire to spend more time with his family—started to become evident."Indefinite hiatus", side projects, and Barker's plane crash (2005–08)In February 2005, Geffen issued a press statement announcing the band's "indefinite hiatus." The band had broken up after arguments regarding their future and recording process. DeLonge felt increasingly conflicted both about his creative freedom within the group and the toll touring was taking on his family life. He eventually expressed his desire to take a half-year respite from touring in order to spend more time with family. Hoppus and Barker were dismayed by his decision, which they felt was an overly long break. In addition, DeLonge protested the idea of Barker's future reality television series, which was being produced for a 2005 premiere. DeLonge disliked television cameras everywhere, feeling his personal privacy was invaded. The band abruptly canceled a performance at a Music for Relief benefit show after rehearsals grew more heated. Further arguments had ensued during rehearsals, rooted in the band members' increasing paranoia and bitterness toward one another. DeLonge considered his bandmates priorities "mad, mad different," coming to the conclusion that the trio had simply grew apart as they aged, had families, and reached fame. The breakdown in communication led to heated exchanges, resulting in his exit from the group.In the interim, Hoppus and Barker continued playing music together in +44. The group first began to lay down electronic demos in Barker's basement and Hoppus' dining room shortly after the breakup. +44's debut, When Your Heart Stops Beating, was released the following year but stalled commercially and received mixed reviews. Barker starred in the MTV reality series Meet the Barkers with his then-wife, former Miss USA Shanna Moakler. Their later split, reconciliation and subsequent breakup made them tabloid favorites. Meanwhile, DeLonge disappeared from public eye, making no appearances, granting no interviews and remaining silent until September 2005, when he announced his new project, Angels & Airwaves, promising "the greatest rock and roll revolution for this generation." DeLonge later revealed he was addicted to painkillers at the time, recalling "I was losing my mind, I was on thousands of painkillers, and I almost killed myself," not realizing his statement sounded highly ambitious. The group released two albums in 2006 and 2007: We Don't Need to Whisper and I-Empire. During the hiatus, Hoppus shifted his attention to producing albums (most notably Commit This to Memory by former tourmate Motion City Soundtrack) and hosting his podcast, HiMyNameisMark, while Barker launched a shoe line and worked on three other musical projects—the Transplants, +44, and TRV$DJAM, a collaboration with friend Adam Goldstein (DJ AM).The band members did not speak for many years, until 2008. That August, Jerry Finn suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was taken off life support. On September 19, Barker and Goldstein were involved in a plane crash that killed four people, leaving the two the only survivors. Barker sustained second and third degree burns and developed post-traumatic stress disorder, and the accident resulted in sixteen surgeries and 4-8 hour blood transfusions. Hoppus was alerted about Barker's accident by a phone call in the middle of the night and jumped on the next flight to the burn center. DeLonge found out via the TV news at an airport while waiting to board a flight; within minutes, he was crying in his seat. "I thought he was going to die," says DeLonge, who quickly reached out to his former bandmate, mailing him a letter and photograph. "Instantly after the plane crash, I was like, 'Hey, I want to play music with him again.'" The trio eventually met up in the hospital, laying the grounds for what was going to be the band's reunion. Eventually, an arrangement was made for the trio to meet up at Hoppus and Barker's Los Angeles studio in October 2008. The three opened up, discussing the events of the hiatus and their break-up, and DeLonge was the first to approach the subject of reuniting. "Tom had just kind of come out to Los Angeles for the day," recalled Hoppus, "I remember he said, 'So, what do you guys think? Where are your heads at?' And I said, 'I think we should continue with what we've been doing for the past 17 years. I think we should get back on the road and back in the studio and do what we love doing.'"Reformation, Neighborhoods, and Dogs Eating Dogs (2009–2012)Eventually, the band appeared for the first time on stage together in nearly five years as presenters at the February 2009 Grammy Awards. The band's official website was updated with a statement: "To put it simply, We're back. We mean, really back. Picking up where we left off and then some. In the studio writing and recording a new album. Preparing to tour the world yet again. Friendships reformed. 17 years deep in our legacy." Blink-182 embarked on a reunion tour of North America from July to October 2009, supported by Weezer and Fall Out Boy. A European festival tour followed from August to September 2010, and another spring European tour was scheduled for 2011, but was cancelled in order to complete the band's promised comeback album. In the midst of the band's reunion tour in August 2009, DJ AM was found dead by a friend in his New York apartment. Though Goldstein had been prescribed medication for pain following the crash, the medical examiner reported that he died from "acute intoxication" listing several prescription drugs and cocaine. The following night's Hartford, Connecticut show was difficult for the band; as the band played "Down" in tribute, Hoppus began crying. Subsequent dates were rescheduled over the next week in order to allow the news to sink in.The recording process for Neighborhoods, the band's sixth studio album, was stalled by their studio autonomy, tours, managers, and personal projects. The band members produced the record themselves following the death of Jerry Finn. DeLonge recorded at his studio in San Diego while Hoppus and Barker recorded in Los Angeles. Completion was delayed several times, which Hoppus attributed to the band learning to work by themselves without Finn, and both DeLonge and Hoppus expressed frustration during the sessions at the band's cabal of publicists, managers and attorneys (which DeLonge described as "the absolute diarrhea of bureaucracy"). A result of the band's split was each member hiring his own attorney, and during the sessions the band had four managers. In addition, Barker was releasing a solo record, DeLonge was involved in Angels & Airwaves, and Hoppus had to fly to New York City once a week to film his television show Hoppus on Music. DeLonge was also diagnosed with skin cancer in 2010, which was cleared. He later expressed dissatisfaction at the method of recording for Neighborhoods, conceding that it led to a "loss of unity" within the band. The album was released in September 2011 and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200.Blink-182 headlined the 10th Annual Honda Civic Tour with My Chemical Romance, which ran from August to October 2011, with additional dates scheduled in Canada with Rancid and Against Me!. European tour dates rescheduled in order to complete Neighborhoods commenced in 2012, and the band left Interscope Records in October 2012, becoming an independent act. The band also released Dogs Eating Dogs, an EP, in December 2012. The band regrouped in a studio the month prior to record five songs, feeling that they found a flexibility to do things their own way without label intervention.Recent activity and seventh studio album (2013–present)The band toured Australia in spring 2013; Brooks Wackerman replaced Barker on drums as Barker was unwilling to fly after his near death experience in the 2008 plane crash. The band followed these dates with a small North American tour in September 2013, including a critically acclaimed benefit concert at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg. The band also celebrated the tenth anniversary of Blink-182 by performing it in full in November 2013. After a pair of Hollywood Palladium shows sold out in a record 32 seconds, the band added three additional dates at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, which also sold out.The band plans to enter the studio near the beginning of 2014 to record material for their seventh studio album. "We're hoping to head into the studio next year [and to have the\] album out in late spring/early summer," Hoppus told Kerrang!. The band have discussed hiring a producer for their next effort and have had discussions with major record labels. The band will headline the Reading and Leeds Festivals in 2014; it will be the band's fourth appearance at the festival and second headlining slot. "We said when they came off stage in 2010 that we wanted them back within five years," said festival organiser Melvin Benn. "The excitement around them was immense, the audience was just huge, the performance was fantastic."Musical style and influencesBlink-182's music can be described as pop punk, a fusion music genre that combines some light characteristics of punk rock with pop music, "combining frustration and fast, sunny hooks." The New York Times writes that the band "[took\] punk's already playful core and [gave\] it a shiny, accessible polish." They also are considered alternative rock. Their earlier work such as Cheshire Cat (1995) and Dude Ranch (1997) were rooted in skate punk and punk rock. Blink-182 emerged from a "nurturing, often slapstick" Southern California punk scene, playing with groups like Guttermouth, NOFX and The Vandals, but the band's sound was criticized when they achieved mainstream popularity by several punk acts who wished to not be associated with their music. The band's sound evolved with their 2003 untitled effort, which incorporated post-hardcore influences into deeper, darker pop territory. The band's newest material, Neighborhoods (2011), combines arena rock, hip hop and indie rock inspiration.Common lyrical themes include love, family, friends, and relationships. In greater detail, this includes "adolescent aimlessness, broken hearts and general confusion over the care and feeding of girls." Lyrics in singles such as "What's My Age Again?" reflect age and maturity, while more serious compositions such as "Stay Together for the Kids" touch on the subject of divorce. DeLonge said in a 1999 interview that the goal is to remain sincere and relatable, noting that the band takes their lyrics very seriously. Despite this, the band gained a reputation for occasional lyrical toilet humor (Take Off Your Pants and Jacket). As the band members grew older, lyrical themes began to reflect the realities of adulthood, including relationship woes, daily pressures and unexpected hardships, most prominently explored on Blink-182 (2003). On Neighborhoods, darker lyricism continues: themes concerning depression, addiction, loss and death were inspired by Barker's plane crash and the death of producer Jerry Finn.The band has cited the The Cure, Descendents, Bad Religion, Screeching Weasel, All, Face to Face, Down by Law, Pennywise, The Vandals, Operation Ivy, Generation X, the Ramones, Fugazi and Refused as influences. The band were also inspired by several mid-1990s "emo" acts, most prominently Jimmy Eat World and The Get Up Kids.LegacyBlink-182 was one of the most popular bands at the turn of the millennium, and spearheaded the second wave of pop punk and its journey into the mainstream. The glossy production instantly set Blink-182 apart from the other crossover punk acts of the era, such as Green Day. Cheshire Cat is often cited by bands and fans as an iconic release and Dude Ranch has been called a "genuine modern punk classic." Enema of the State catapulted the band to stardom, creating what New York described as a "blanket immersion among America's twenty-some million teenagers." At the band's commercial peak, albums such as Take Off Your Pants and Jacket and Enema of the State sold over 14 and 15 million copies worldwide, respectively. The band was featured alongside Green Day, Rancid, Bad Religion, NOFX, and The Offspring in One Nine Nine Four (2009), a documentary examining punk rock in California.The band never received particularly glowing reviews, with many reviewers dismissing them as a joke act based on the humorous slant of their music videos. British publication NME was particularly critical of the trio, begging them to "fuck right off," and comparing them to "that sanitised, castrated, shrink-wrapped 'new wave' crap that the major US record companies pumped out circa 1981 in their belated attempt to jump on the 'punk' bandwagon." Nevertheless, subsequent reviews of the band's discography have been more positive. Andy Greenwald of Blender wrote, "the quick transformation from nudists to near geniuses is down-right astonishing." James Montgomery of MTV called Blink-182 one of the "most influential bands of the past 20 years," writing, "despite their maturation, Blink never took themselves particularly seriously, which was another reason they were so accessible.""When it comes to having inestimable influence, Blink-182 might well be contemporary punk's version of the Beatles," wrote Scott Heisel in a 2009 Alternative Press cover story on the band. The new generation of pop punk and alternative rock fans found the Blink sound "hugely influential," with Montgomery writing, "... without them, there'd be no Fall Out Boy, no Paramore, or no Fueled by Ramen Records." In 2011, The New York Times asserted that "no punk band of the 1990s has been more influential than Blink-182," stating that even as the band receded after their 2005 split, "its sound and style could be heard in the muscular pop punk of Fall Out Boy or in the current wave of high-gloss Warped Tour punk bands, like All Time Low and The Maine." Maria Sherman of The Village Voice took that sentiment a step further, writing "It's pretty simple: Blink-182 is the most important band of the '90s, dick jokes and all. Apart from the sound, Blink's ideology has been popularized […\] their presence is everywhere." Bands such as Panic! at the Disco and All Time Low originated covering Blink-182 songs. "Anyone in our genre would be lying if they said they weren't influenced by Blink-182," said Joel Madden of Good Charlotte. The band's influence extends beyond pop punk groups, as well: Mumford & Sons, Owl City, FIDLAR, Best Coast, Wavves Male Bonding, Grimes and DIIV have acknowledged the band's influence, and critics have noted traits of the band's sound in Japandroids.