In November, [artist id="1349292"]Mark Hoppus[/artist] set the Internet abuzz with one simple blog post.
It was the first time he'd updated his site, HiMyNameIsMark.com since his best friend (and bandmate) [artist id="1526529"]Travis Barker[/artist] escaped a fiery plane crash in South Carolina, a crash that killed four people, including Barker's assistant, "Lil Chris" Baker — whom Hoppus was also close with — and security guard Charles "Che" Still. And while Hoppus' words about the death (and escape) of his friends were undoubtedly touching, they weren't what made message boards tick.
No, it was the last paragraph of the post, in which he wrote that, in the wake of the SC crash, he and Barker had begun spending time with their former [artist id="783"]Blink-182[/artist] bandmate, [artist id="1346650"]Tom DeLonge[/artist], who left the band under decidedly angry circumstances in February 2005. It was the first time they'd all been in a room together in more than three years, and to many, that meant just one thing: finally, after all that time, it sounded like Blink-182 were getting back together.
Of course, it didn't matter that within a few weeks, Barker had quashed those reunion rumors. For the first time in a long time, millions of Blink fans had hope. Especially since, after starting all the Blink talk, Hoppus had done little to deny it himself. In fact, he hasn't said much of anything since then.
Until now, that is. Late last week, Hoppus agreed to talk with MTV News about the past, the present and the future (all of which involve Blink-182). Here, in the first of our two-part chat with him — part two comes Wednesday — he addresses the impact of a single blog entry, repairing his relationship with DeLonge and the prospects of a full-blown Blink reunion.
On That Blog Post: "I'm amazed at the response from what I wrote on my blog. It's awesome that so many people want to know what's going on. And I know there are lots of questions people have, so I'm going to lay it all out here in this interview. I'm just speaking for myself here. The simple answer is, we're still reconnecting as friends right now. None of us know exactly what's going to happen. I do know that we're all very stoked to be talking again, laughing and letting the past remain in the past. But we're also coming together after an extremely acrimonious band breakup, a lot of anger and frustration with one another and four years of not talking. I think that we need to get back to a certain point as friends before we could ever take a stage together again, because that's what we always based everything on."
On His Relationship With DeLonge: "Right now, we're getting back to just being friends. I talk to Tom several times a week, sometimes several times a day, and you know, he's still the same Tom that I talked to on tour buses four years ago. He still talks about UFOs and lasers and conspiracy theories. We talk about new bands we dig — Vampire Weekend — and the movie 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall.' We also make stupid fart jokes. God help us, we're grown men still making fart jokes. ... Who knows? I know two things: One, I'm just glad we're all friends again, and two, none of us know anything for sure beyond that."
On the Future of Blink-182: "The future is wide open. ... Blink-182 wasn't manufactured by a label, and we weren't making music to make money or for fame. We were three friends in a band, writing music that we loved. That's where it began and ended. Before there's reunion talk, we need to get back to that point again. Actually, we would need to get beyond that point, to a place where you can say to someone, 'Hey, man, I'm not really feeling this,' and be able to argue constructively about the music. Because that's where the best of Blink-182 came into being. The pull between the ideas the three of us had. I've always thought that the three of us each brought something unique and special to the songs, and the collision of those elements made the music what it was. In short, we would need to get back to where we're all close enough friends and artists to be able to tell each other, respectfully, 'Suck it.' My final thought is this: If — and this is a big if — Blink-182 were ever to re-form, it would have to be the most amazing, ridiculous, mind-blowing show and tour ever. I feel like, as bitter as our breakup was, we stepped back at the top of our game, and we'd have to come back even stronger and better than before."
So, if there's no Blink reunion in the immediate future, what about Hoppus and Barker's other band, +44? The answer might surprise you. Check out MTVNews.com on Wednesday for more.