If you think Sum 41's metallic guitar runs are putting a new spin on
punk-pop, just wait until you hear Blink-182's next album, which just might be colored with electronic drums and keyboards, according to bassist and vocalist Mark Hoppus.
"I think the next record will surprise a lot of people, including me," he said.
Blink-182 guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge and drummer Travis Barker are currently indulging their alter egos on the road with their side project Box Car Racer (see "Box Car Racer, The Used Rev Up For Fall Tour"). After they wrap up the tour at the end of the month, they'll rejoin Hoppus in the rehearsal studio to work on material for the disc, which is aimed for release by next summer.
There are no songs completed yet, but Blink have already signed on Jerry Finn to produce, and they've got a pretty clear idea of where they want to go and how they want to grow.
"We always had these ideas [for things] we wanted to do, but we never spent the time in the studio to explore them," Hoppus said. "This time we're going into the studio with a bunch of new approaches. I think this will be one of those albums that people will either love or throw in the trash and spit on."
In addition to the electronic drum and keyboard flourishes, Blink want to experiment with new textures and musical approaches. The songs will still be rooted in melodic punk, but they'll venture further afield than the band has ever roamed.
"We want to do something really dynamic," Hoppus said. "We want to try different effects in the studio, try different instruments, try different sounds, different arrangements on songs. Before, we got one guitar sound that we changed a little bit through the record. This time we want to try a whole different setup for each song."
Blink-182 were inspired to explore and experiment in part after hearing the new album by Bad Astronaut, a group made up of members of Lagwagon, Nerf Herder and Sugarcult.
"They do a lot of different experimentation with the music that's rooted in punk rock, but it's vastly expanding the horizons," Hoppus said.
In addition to breaking new ground with Blink-182, Hoppus hopes to break into acting. He recently played a reclusive mountain man in an episode of the UPN supernatural series "Haunted," and would like to take on more roles when he's not working on music.
"It was cool to play something totally out of character from what people normally expect from the guys of Blink-182, to play someone darker and a little troubled," he said. I'd like to do some more stuff like that because it just expresses a different kind of creativity. When you're in a band, you're just yourself. When you act, you become somebody else or portray a completely different person, and I like that kind of creativity."