If you believe the members of Blink-182, the band's upcoming album is going to explore the far reaches of sonic and lyrical achievement. Of course, when it comes to these notorious pranksters, their word isn't exactly gospel.
"The album's going to be the best thing that's ever been written by any band in the history of time," quipped bassist and vocalist Mark Hoppus. "We have a great song about me and my dog playing fetch that's 17 minutes long. It'll make you cry."
"We have another one about a pirate that becomes a superhero," guitarist Tom DeLonge added. "He doesn't really do much, but through his communicative powers he can talk to people and really find out where they're coming from, diffusing tense situations lightly."
When the disc arrives later this year it probably won't really contain any songs about pirate superheroes or Frisbee-catching dogs. That's just Blink being Blink. What it will likely contain, however, is tangible evidence of the group’s musical growth. Blink-182 have stressed that they're striving to grow beyond the confines of pop punk. They've rented a Los Angeles house that they've converted into a studio where they’re free to experiment to their hearts' content. Working on the album for just over a month, so far they've recorded a bunch of ideas and toyed with a variety of styles and instrumentation.
"The structures of the songs are a lot more sophisticated and the arrangements are very different," Hoppus said.
"We have these weird Polynesian Gamelan bells and turntables, which is cool. I think the record is gonna be a combination of straight-ahead Blink music and things people don't expect."
These days Hoppus is working harder than he has in years, and not only because he's cranking away with Blink. His 6-month-old son, Jack, also keeps him busy. Like any proud papa, Hoppus boasts about his kid's exceptional attributes.
"He already kicks my ass at playing bass," he joked. "I've been playing bass for 15 years and he's already way better than I am. And he's better looking, he's got more wit, more charm. ... It's ridiculous."