It’s fitting that the title of the new Blink-182 single connotes permanence. The release of “Always” has given the band’s year-old untitled album unprecedented longevity.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever had four singles,” singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge explained. “[This album] is like ’The Little Engine That Could.’ We even talked about a fifth single. We’ve never done this before. It is kind of weird that we’re still around.”
Since the band’s sixth album dropped last November, it’s yielded the singles “Feeling This,” “I Miss You,” “Down” and “Always,” which is expected to surface at radio next week. Should there be another cut culled from the album, the band hopes it would be “All of This.” Simple showing off is chief among their rationale.
“We would love it because it’s a bad-ass song, and [the Cure’s Robert Smith] sings on it,” DeLonge said. “And that makes us cooler than everybody else.”
Blink-182 may have grown up on their latest, comparatively darker album, but they’re obviously not above some juvenile jibbing.
Like just about everything off the new album, “Always,” a revved-up plea for making up after breaking up, bears nearly no resemblance to the songs off the trio’s previous albums. However, an uptempo backbeat combined with a New Romantic-era keyboard does position the tune as something of a throwback.
“It’s kind of a love song,” DeLonge said. “It’s got kind of an ’80s thing. It’s not a dance song, but if you were to dance to it, you’d look like you were right out of ’85.”
The song’s special-effects-laden clip, however, couldn’t have been hatched 19 years ago. Directed by Joseph Kahn (Nelly, Eminem), the video is displayed as three horizontal panels in which a beautiful woman cavorts with DeLonge, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker. However, the panels sever the onscreen participants in three. The woman appears as a fractured whole, while parts of the bandmembers combine to make one character.
“It’s like doing an algebraic formulation on paper when you watch it,” DeLonge said. “It’s the same kind of feeling … but it’s rad.”
It’s probably a good thing that DeLonge and his bandmates have better things to do than describe their new video. The band is working on assembling a DVD for release next year with Estevan Oriol, who directed the “Down” video and has taken most of the band’s album photography. DeLonge recently directed a video for Taking Back Sunday (see “Blink-182’s DeLonge Directs Video For Taking Back Sunday” ). Barker has already started work on the next Transplants album (see “Transplants Write 22 Songs In 12 Days But Can’t Think Of Names For Any Of Them” ). And at the end of the month, Blink-182 will head overseas for a two-week European trek.
In the meantime, Barker can enjoy life as a new husband. He and Shanna Moakler wed on October 30 in a “Nightmare Before Christmas”-themed ceremony. Exchanging vows with the film’s Jack Skellington as an unofficial witness makes sense considering how the couple got engaged.
“I proposed to her at the haunted mansion in Disneyland when there was a ’Nightmare Before Christmas’ theme, and she proposed back to me there,” Barker explained. “So that was the whole motif of our wedding. It was inspired by it.”
“It was gorgeous,” DeLonge interrupted. “It was the most fantastic event I ever been to. It was gnarly. It was beautiful. It was very Travis.”
“All my guys looked rad,” Barker continued. “My son and I had matching tuxes. We had matching hair; he had a little mohawk. I surprised my wife, and had the blues artist Solomon Burke perform. I played drums with him. It was awesome.”