Strings (Blink-182 song)

Blink-182

Blink-182 was an American pop punk trio formed in 1992 in Poway, California. The band, then known simply as Blink, originally composed of vocalist and guitarist Tom DeLonge, drummer Scott Raynor and vocalist and bassist Mark Hoppus. In 1998, midway through a U.S. tour, drummer Travis Barker replaced Raynor. DeLonge left the group in early 2005, with the band portraying it as an "indefinite hiatus". DeLonge went on to play alternative rock in Angels & Airwaves, while Hoppus and Barker continued in a similar genre with their band +44.

DeLonge cites punk rock bands Descendents and Screeching Weasel as influences, although the band's songwriting and production were driven by a pop sensibility. Blink-182 are known for their simple melodies, teen angst and lyrical toilet humour, and by their hit singles "Dammit", "What's My Age Again?", "All the Small Things", "Adam's Song", "The Rock Show", "First Date", "Stay Together for the Kids", "Feeling This" and "I Miss You".

History

1992–1993: Early years

In May 1993, the band recorded their first demo tape Flyswatter in drummer Scott Raynor's bedroom. A 4-track was used to record the material, which resulted in poor sound quality. According to Hoppus, only a small number of demos were released, primarily to their family and friends. The same year, the band recorded another demo tape, this one untitled and known simply as 2nd Demo or Demo 2. It featured re-recordings of some Flyswatter songs, and also some new songs, some of which would go on to be re-recorded and re-released on the band's Buddha album. Buddha was released on cassette in 1993 with around 1,000 copies of the tape being produced by Filter Records, an independent record company headed by Hoppus's boss. It was later re-released in 1998, remastered and with a different track listing.

1994–1998: Independent and early success

Cheshire Cat

In 1994, Blink signed with Cargo Music. The band recorded their debut full-length album, Cheshire Cat in three days. The album contained a number of updated versions of songs such as "Carousel", "Strings", "Sometimes" and "TV" that had appeared on the Buddha demo as well as some originals. "M+M's" and "Wasting Time" were released as singles, but failed to chart.

Shortly after the release of Cheshire Cat, Blink was threatened with legal action by a pop band in Ireland of the same name. In order to avoid a dispute, Blink appended "182" to the end of their name.

After the release of Cheshire Cat, they released Buddha Promo; a promotional cassette intended to promote the re-release of Buddha, which would become available on CD as well as cassette. It is mostly a collection of old songs from the Flyswatter sessions. It also contained a few early versions of songs that appeared on Cheshire Cat and would later appear on Dude Ranch.

In 1994, Blink-182 released a split EP with Iconoclasts titled Short Bus. The 3-track EP They Came to Conquer... Uranus was released the next year.

Dude Ranch and lineup change

After moving to Encinitas, California, the band recorded the album Dude Ranch in 1996 with producer Mark Trombino. Blink-182 recorded the album under Cargo Records, but signed with MCA in 1998 in order to handle increased distribution. The album was released in 1997 and was relatively commercially successful, selling 1.5 million copies worldwide. The single "Dammit" did well on U.S. modern rock charts, and the band received a small degree of mainstream success.

After the album's release, midway through a U.S. tour in 1998, drummer Scott Raynor left the band. There are two common explanations for his removal - that Raynor had a serious drinking problem and was asked to go into rehab or face ejection, or alternately, that he departed in order to attend college. Raynor claims he agreed to go to rehab, but that DeLonge and Hoppus were doubtful of his sincerity and subsequently fired him over the phone. Hoppus and DeLonge asked drummer Travis Barker of Blink-182's support band The Aquabats to fill in for Raynor for the remainder of the tour, thus he had to learn all of the songs in a matter of hours before the show. After the set, Hoppus and DeLonge sat down and discussed Barker joining the band. The next day he was offered the position and consequently left The Aquabats.

1999–2004: Mainstream success

Enema of the State and The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show

For the 1999 album Enema of the State, the band hired Jerry Finn as producer. The album propelled the band into the mainstream, generating the hit singles such as "What's My Age Again?", "All the Small Things", and "Adam's Song" an incredible amount of airtime on radio and MTV. Enema of the State went on to sell over 15 million copies worldwide making it the band's bestselling album. "Adam's Song" caused a stir in 2000 when it was set to replay indefinitely on a stereo as 17-year-old Greg Barnes hanged himself in the garage of his family's home. Demos for the album were leaked as the Enema of the State Demo. It consists of eight demo recordings of some album tracks, plus an instrumental titled "Life's So Boring" which did not make the album. The demos are in a lossy MP3 format with tempo and pitch fluctuating due to problems with the ripping of the cassette. In 1999 the band made a cameo appearance in the film American Pie with Travis Barker incorrectly credited as Scott Raynor.

In 2000, the band released The Urethra Chronicles, a DVD which featured behind-the-scenes information, and The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!), Blink-182's sole live album, featuring songs from their three full-length records, including all their greatest hits coupled with previously unreleased material. The album quickly went out of print making it a much sought after item. A limited edition was printed in October 2006. The album also included one new studio song, "Man Overboard", among the live renditions. A demo of this song was previously featured on the Enema of the State Demo cassette.

Take Off Your Pants and Jacket

The band continued its commercial success with Take Off Your Pants and Jacket in 2001, which was a small change from their direction in Enema of the State. The album sold more than 350,000 copies in the first week. The album was released on three different CDs: yellow, red and green versions, each one featuring two unique bonus tracks. A European tour in winter 2001 was delayed in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Rescheduled dates in early 2002 were also canceled due to DeLonge's back problems.

Blink-182 co-headlined the Pop Disaster Tour with Green Day in 2002. The tour was documented on the DVD Riding in Vans with Boys. After taking some time off, DeLonge and Barker released a new album with their side-project Box Car Racer.

Blink-182

Recording of the band's next record began in early 2003. On November 18, 2003, Blink-182 released an untitled album, which spawned the hit singles "Feeling This", "I Miss You", "Down", and "Always". According to Barker, the album was supposed to represent a new Blink-182. Despite a major change in theme and tone that eschewed the juvenile singing and formulaic songwriting of past releases in favor of more conceptual, nuanced lyrics coupled with a darker, more experimental sound; their past foul-mouthed innuendo-filled writing was overtaken by a more serious, radio-friendly style. Robert Smith, whose band The Cure is often cited by Blink-182 as a major influence, appeared on "All of This".

During late 2003 through 2004 the band embarked on the memorable "DollaBill" tour, named for the inexpensive ticket costs which were originally planned to be completely free. A tour with No Doubt in the summer of 2004 was also very successful.

2005: Breakup

The band had been getting along at the time of their final album, but afterwards tensions arose because of DeLonge's desire for a half-year respite from touring to spend time with his family, despite a planned spring U.S. tour, coupled with Hoppus' feelings of betrayal after the formation of Box Car Racer. Further problems arose in discussions regarding the band's future recording endeavors. In mid-February 2005 the band inexplicably cancelled a performance at Music for Relief's Concert for South Asia (a show put on by Linkin Park to aid victims of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake). This made their previous show on 16 December 2004 at The Point Depot in Dublin, Ireland, their last live performance. The planned tour was cancelled and on February 22, 2005, after much tension, their band manager called Hoppus and Barker to tell them that Tom had quit the band. The label portrayed it as an "indefinite hiatus", while it was, in fact, a full break-up. DeLonge confirmed that "Blink-182 was dead" and "...people ask me if I'm ever going back to Blink. There's just no possible way that I can." In an interview with DeLonge, he commented that he, along with Hoppus and Barker, have changed too much over the years, that they are going different directions, and priorities of each member of the band wanted to take different turns at the time of the breakup. DeLonge wanted to go in a more positive, mature direction, which he didn't feel that he could do with Blink.

Geffen Records released a Greatest Hits compilation on November 1, 2005. It is essentially a collection of the band's singles. After many criticisms about the track listing from disappointed fans, the song 'Carousel' was added. A previously unreleased track was included on the CD, "Another Girl, Another Planet" (a cover song originally by The Only Ones). The song was also used as the theme song to Barker's new reality TV show, Meet the Barkers. Included was the previously issued "I Miss You" B-side and Blink-182 album bonus track "Not Now". The album reached number 6 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.

2005–present: Post-breakup

DeLonge announced his new band, Angels & Airwaves in November of 2005. They released their debut album We Don't Need to Whisper on May 23, 2006, where it debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200. The band released their second album I-Empire on November 6, 2007. They also released a DVD, entitled Start the Machine, about the final days of Blink-182 and the genesis of Angels & Airwaves.

Hoppus and Barker's new project +44 surfaced on December 13, 2005, with the song "No, It Isn't". They released their first album When Your Heart Stops Beating on November 14, 2006, and debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200. On May 25, 2008, Hoppus stated that the new +44 album was still in pre-production.

Since the band's breakup, there has been frequent speculation about the possibility of a reunion. In late July 2008, Travis Barker spoke to Metromix Los Angeles about whether Blink-182 will reunite in the near future, saying:

Blink-182 is one of the bands set to feature in a documentary about modern punk music. The film entitled One Nine Nine Four is expected to be released on 30 September 2008(US). Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk will narrate the film, which also features other punk acts such as; Rancid, Green Day, NOFX and The Offspring.

On September 19, 2008, Travis Barker sustained second and third degree burns to his lower body and torso in a plane crash in Columbia, South Carolina while headed to California following a free show with DJ AM. Barker's personal assistant Chris Baker, security guard Charles "Che" Still, and the two pilots of the aircraft were killed when the plane overran the runway and burst into flames. Barker and DJ AM were dumped out of the aircraft, and were reported by an eyewitness to be on fire. DJ AM was transported to hospital by air, while Barker was taken by an ambulance. According to doctors, both men are expected to make full recoveries within one year. Barker is currently in the Grossman Burn Center in Sherman Oaks, California.

Band members

(1992-1998)

(1998-2005)

  • Tom DeLonge - vocals, guitar
  • Mark Hoppus - vocals, bass
  • Travis Barker - drums, percussion

Discography

Awards

References

External links

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