With the album California leaking over the internet this past weekend, we now have our first Blink-182 album without Tom DeLonge. Tom exited the band back in early 2015. He was quickly replaced by the great Matt Skiba. We still think that Tom DeLonge is a very talented songwriter and WAS a big part of Blink-182’s fame and popularity, this article will give you what we feel are the top 5 reasons that Blink-182 are better off withOUT Tom DeLonge now, and why DeLonge himself is better off without the band Blink-182.
Reason 1 – The Album ‘California’ sounds more tenacious than ‘Neighborhoods’
While Neighborhoods had some very underrated songs that showed off Blink-182’s more mature side, including “Up All Night,” “After Midnight,” “Ghosts on the Dance Floor,” and “MH 4.18.2011,” it sounds like an album that could have easily been right up there with Blink-182’s strongest work if they had worked together more on honing the songs. This was a challenge, as DeLonge recorded his parts separately from Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus, and the disconnect was obvious with the DeLonge and Hoppus songs sounding like they came off of different records at times.
California is a much tighter recording because it sounds like a band in a studio focused on writing good songs. Most of the album’s tracks came together in a month, they didn’t overthink it, and the result is a cohesive record full of nonstop hooks.
Reason 2 – Tom DeLonge is NOT really missed on the new album California
While it’s easy to imagine Tom singing the choruses to “Bored to Death” and “Home Is Such A Lonely Place,” I didn’t find myself missing him while listening to California. This is immediately established on album opener “Cynical,” where Matt Skiba delivers one of Blink-182’s most memorable refrains: ‘What’s the point of saying sorry now/not sorry you’re not sorry.’
Mark Hoppus also shines on California after taking a backseat on Neighborhoods and Dogs Eating Dogs, turning in his most inspired performances in a long time on songs like “Bored to Death,” “She’s Out Of Her Mind,” and “Left Alone.” Hoppus knows how to keep things simple and not over-complicate songs. It’s pop punk, not everything needs to be a 7 minute epic with an instrumental interlude.
Reason 3 – Matt Skiba is the ‘better than’ perfect replacement
To compare Blink-182’s situation to Stone Temple Pilots when they hired Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington but it ultimately failed because Linkin Park and Stone Temple Pilots’ styles were so obviously different from each other, despite Bennington’s STP fandom. They were bands from completely different eras with little in common musically and songwriting wise. The fanbases had little to no cross section because of this, and the little music they released (the 5-song EP High Rise) didn’t have the power to legitimize the lineup. Bennington’s Linkin Park fans for the most part didn’t care, and many STP fans saw Bennington as a poser, despite his very respectable live performances.
Matt Skiba’s band Alkaline Trio is actually a contemporary of Blink-182, they both come from the same genre so the fanbase has been more accepting. While it’s too early to tell if Blink-182 with Skiba could be pop punk’s equivalent to Van Hagar, the partnership is off to a great start. Skiba’s guitar playing, vocals, melodies, and lyrics fit onto California seamlessly.
Reason 4 – Tom didn’t like doing live performances
Tom’s lack of passion for Blink-182 became evident as the reunion reached its later years. He even wore an Angels and Airwaves shirt at just about every show on one tour. His guitar playing and vocals at times were also lackluster, his heart just didn’t seem into it every night. Since Matt Skiba joined in 2015, Blink-182 have been recharged as a live performance act.
Reason 5 – Tom hated to actually record music
While Blink-182 did followup 2011’s Neighborhoods with the Dogs Eating Dogs record the following year, DeLonge continually kept pushing back the writing and recording of the band’s next studio album for almost 2 full years. According to Hoppus and Barker, he demanded a record label contract, but balked at the terms when it seemed like an agreement was set in stone. He then bailed on entering the studio in January 2015, telling his bandmates that he had no plans to do anything with Blink-182 in 2015.
We feel that there are even more reasons, but there is no excuse to go on. We think we made our point. You can check out our BLINK 182 TOUR PAGE to see the band’s tour plans, look for tickets and for some other cool stuff.
MUSIC VIDEO – Blink-182 – Bored To Death (Official Video)
Written by Craig Scott