Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus has played down Tom DeLonge’s claim that the pair spent a week discussing the replacement of Travis Barker.
The suggestion appeared as part of the public meltdown since DeLonge distanced himself from the band, with an official statement – which he disagreed with – stating that he “didn’t want to participate in any Blink projects indefinitely.”
In a tweet this week, quickly removed, DeLonge said: “A year ago Mark and I spent a week on the phone with managers debating parting with Travis. Don’t pretend there isn’t more to this story.”
Now Hoppus confirms there was a conversation after Blink toured Australia without Barker – but says it grew out of the drummer’s continued problems with flying after the 2009 plane crash that nearly killed him.
Hoppus tells AltPress: “Travis didn’t go on that tour, which was a possibility that we’d known about from day one. When we agreed to tour Travis said, ‘If it gets to the day and I’m not ready, we need a backup plan.’”
When Barker told his bandmates he couldn’t fly, they brought in Brooks Wackerman as a stand-in. But that led to an argument between Barker and the band’s Australian rep.
“The promoter thought Travis has never intended to come to Australia, and felt he’d been duped,” says Hoppus. “That wasn’t the case.
“After the tour, Tom was very upset about being put in that position. Tom was having these calls, ‘Can we replace Travis? Can we do whatever?’ But it was really just Tom blowing off steam. I listened, commiserated, called my manager and said, ’Tom’s upset right now – he’s talking about trying to replace Travis, but that’s not going to happen.’
“Sure enough, after a month Tom was like, ‘I was just angry. It was a bad situation. Of course I don’t want to kick Travis out the band.’”
Blink have one date confirmed with Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio in DeLonge’s place. They play the Musink Festival in California in March – but Hoppus admits there’s nothing planned after that date.
He says: “We haven’t played a show with Matt so it’s too soon to say what goes on. We’re very optimistic about the possibilities of continuing with Matt in some way.
“He’s a good friend, a great guitarist, a great singer. We’re hopeful and excited.”