Current Events in the Lives of Blink-182

Formed by Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus in 1992, Blink-182 went on to wide acclaim as American punk rockers until 2005, when the group disbanded for a time after the loss of Delonge due to rising tensions among the members of the band. Unlike many punk rock groups that enjoyed only fleeting fame, the enduring messages of the band’s music and their musicality helped them overcome this setback and they were successfully reunited in 2009. To determine the recent and current events in the lives of the members of Blink-182, this paper provides a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and popular press, followed by a summary of the research and important findings concerning the band in the conclusion.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Current Events in the Lives of Blink-182 Essay
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

Review and Analysis

Formerly known as Blink when it was founded in 1992 by Mark Hoppus and Tom Delonge, Blink-182 was essentially a garage band in search of a voice and direction (Blink-182 Biography 1). According to Eberstadt, the popularity of Blink-182’s music can be largely attributed to the angst experienced by much of the youthful American community as it suffers from the aftereffects of a “lost generation” during the last 20th century that found many young males incarcerated and millions of youths fatherless. Against this backdrop, the group’s message has frequently found receptive ears in ways that have made Blink-182 a major cultural force. In this regard, Eberstates points out that, “The odd truth about contemporary teenage music — the characteristic that most separates it from what has gone before — is its compulsive insistence on the damage wrought by broken homes, family dysfunction, checked-out parents, and (especially) absent fathers” (20).

Certainly, Blink-182 sings about a great many issues and in a number of different styles. For instance, one biographer notes that, “The group is notable for the lyrical content of their songs which is humorous and often uplifting” (Blink-182 Biography 1). Nevertheless, one of the more common topics is the problem created by broken homes and its concomitant impact on the community. For instance, Eberstadt emphasizes that, “Blink-182 [are] award-winning top-40 performers and among the most popular icons in America, have their own generational answer to what ails the modern teenager” (20). As obvious as the problem may be to some observers, political correctness typically precludes its active debate by mainstream Americans, but groups such as Blink-182 enjoy a certain amount of carte blanche in discussion these issues in their lyrics because may of them have in fact experienced the adverse effects of broken and dysfunctional homes for themselves. In this regard, Eberstadt point out that like some other groups in this genre, Blink-182 “explicitly links the most deplored themes in music today — suicide, misogyny, and drugs — with that lack of a quasi-normal, intact-home personal past” (20).

Indeed, Eberstadt describes Blink-182 as “chart-topping and multiple award-winning” and “growing out the skateboard and snowboard scene to become of the most popular bands in the country” (20). The group came to be classified as “pop punk” based on these origins in popular adolescent male sports. In this regard, Moore reports that, “Punk music was still dominated by the juvenile aesthetic when it resurfaced and enjoyed unprecedented commercial success beginning in the mid-1990s, reworked by California-based bands like Blink-182 as the soundtrack for surfers, skaters, and snowboarders. The impudent yet catchy tunes of these bands led them to be designated as ‘pop punk’” (56).

The group’s primary fan base is comprised of adolescents, mostly male, and many of whom are likely experiencing at least some of the difficulties Blink-182 is famed for discussing in its music. According to Eberstadt, “Blink-182 grew out of the skateboard and snowboard scene to become one of the most popular bands in the country. The group’s interest in the family breakdown theme is partly autobiographical: At least two members of the band say that their personal experiences as children of divorce have informed their lyrics” (21).

For instance, one of the group’s top-40 hits and best-known songs, “Stay Together for the Kids” (2001), contains this lyric about broken homes: “What stupid poem could fix this home. I’d read it every day” (cited in Eberstadt at 21). A member of Blink-182, Tom Delonge, guitarist and singer, described the group’s reaction to the response received by the song, “Stay Together for the Kids.” According to Delonge:

We get e-mails about ‘Stay Together,’ kid after kid saying, ‘I know exactly what you’re talking about! That song is about my life!’ And you know what? That sucks. You look at statistics that 50% of parents get divorced, and you’re going to get a pretty large group of kids who are pissed off and who don’t agree with what their parents have done. (cited in Eberstadt at 21).

Likewise, the group’s singer/bassist, Mark Hoppus, reported a deep sense of empathy with Blink-182’s core fan base because of their shared backgrounds of dysfunctional homes with absentee fathers. According to Hoppus, “Divorce is such a normal thing today and hardly anybody ever thinks how the kids feel about it or how they are taking it, but in the U.S. about half of all the kids go through it. They witness how their parents drift apart and all that” (cited in Eberstatdt at 21).

The intensity of that formative recording experience together with the loss of their guitarist and singer Tom DeLonge in 2005 due to increasing tensions in the band caused the rest of the members to take a 4-year sabbatical from touring during which it reevaluated its priorities and future directions for their music (Behe 37). During the band’s hiatus, their drummer, Travis Barker, was critically injured in an aircraft accident that left him badly burned (Larkin 1). After his recovery, Barker launched an initiative to help young people overcome their own fears of flying (Larkin 2).

Following their reunion in 2009, the group received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the former fan base as well as new legion of fans that had grown up under the same circumstances as the band’s own members. According to Hoppus:

Taking four years off really gave us perspective. Not only about each other and ourselves as friends, but on how lucky we are to do what we do as a band. It’s really humbling because so few bands in the world ever get the chance to have the success that Blink has had. And then to go away for four years and come back and have this tour so well-received and people be so supportive is really amazing and humbling. (cited in Behe at 37)

The group’s lyrics have been lauded for more than just their powerful social content, though. For example, according to Connell and Gibson, Blink-182’s lyrics are “as much collages and fractured images as messages for action, or even introspection” (78). The introspection that results from Blink-182’s has even been credited with changing some young people’s lives. In this regard, Waterman emphasizes that, “If a teenager comes up to me and says, you know, the latest Blink-182 song changed his life profoundly and he thinks it’s the greatest song that’s ever been written, he’s right. To his experience, if that song did that, then he’s right” (96).

Finally, Blink-182 is on the cutting-edge in its use of technology to promote its recordings. For instance, Mathieson reports that, “Frito-Lay printed a symbol on bags of its Doritos Late Night Tacos that, when held up to your webcam, “explodes” to reveal holographic images of either Blink 182, as they perform hot new singles floating in midair right before your eyes” (39). Although these feature the band’s latest hits, these videos have been carefully selected to conform to the Frito-Lay family brand image because the group’s performances are not necessarily G-rated. The band has also contributed to a number of motion pictures and music video sound tracks, including “The School Trip” (2004), “Meet the Barkers” (2005),” as well as being featured on video games such as “Guitar Hero” and “SingStar Amped” (Blink 182 2).

Indeed, it is the group’s boisterous and even lewd performances that help engage young people, and then connect with them on another level concerning the message there are communicating. As Aizlewood points out, “There are two versions of Blink 182: the scatological oafs who parade naked in the videos to their bog-standard punk and the musically innovative crusaders who pen thoughtful and sometimes beautiful songs concerning their pet topic, fractured families, when they are not attending to their ” (43). The band has maintained a rigorous concert schedule since their reunion, including a tour of Australia (Larkin 3).

Taken together, it is clear that the members of Blink-182 have taken their 4-year reflection to heart and have used this opportunity to leverage their past punk rock success into a contemporary genre that still appeals their core fan base, but to a wider audience as well due to the band’s talent and musicality. Moreover, the band’s reunion resulted in the release of “Neighborhoods,” but it also spurred a break with the group’s record label, Interscope, to become independent artists (Orlol 1). This move represented a major change in direction for the band since it had been under contract with Universal Music Group (Interscope’s owners) since 1997 (Orlol 2).


Potentially a , the research showed that Blink-182’s enduring popularity is attributable not only to the band’s poignant messages and timely lyrical content, but to the talent of the band members as well. By connecting with their core fan base in these meaningful ways, Blink-182 makes each of its fans feel like their a speaking directly to them, thereby making them feel special and part of a larger group of people who have shared their misery. By doing these things in ways that musically appeal to a wider range of fans, Blink-182 is well situated to continue its track record of success in the future.

Works Cited

Azlewood, John. (2004, December 15). “They’re More like 40 Winks.” The Evening Standard

(London, England) 43.

Behe, Rege. (2009, August 12). “Blink-182 Returns with a New Perspective.” Pittsburgh

Tribune-Review 37.

“Blink-182.” (2013). IMDb. [online] available:

“Blink-182 Biography.” (2013). AceShowBiz. [online] available: / celebrity/blink_182/biography.html.

Connell, John and Gibson, Chris. Sound Tracks: Popular Music, Identity, and Place. London:

Routledge. [Print]

Eberstadt, Mary. (2004, December). “Eminem Is Right: The Primal Scream of Teenage Music.”

Policy Review, 128, 19-24. [Print]

Larkin, Mike. (2012, July 12). “They are scared to death to fly’: Blink 182 fatal crash survivor

Travis Barker reveals he wants to for children.” Daily Mail. [online]


Mathieson, Rick. The On-Demand Brand: 10 Rules for Digital Marketing Success in an Anytime, Everywhere World. New York: AMACOM.

Moore, Ryan. Sells like Teen Spirit: Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis. New York: New

York University Press, 2010. [Print]

Orlol, Estevan. (2012, October 24). “Blink-182 Split With Record Label — Band ‘is now an independent artist,’ Tom DeLonge tweets.” Rolling Stone. [online] available:


Waterman, J. Douglas, Song: The World’s Best Songwriters on Creating the Music That Moves

Us. Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest Books. [Print]