The members of the San Diego, Calif., punk-trio Blink 182 are not known
sporting outrageous haircuts, tattoos or band uniforms, but guitarist
singer Tom DeLonge says people nonetheless have no problem spotting the
group in public.
"If you ever see us in an airport or a movie theater, we're just loud
obnoxious," DeLonge, 22, said recently by phone from his California
To be sure, DeLonge's not bragging, but rather just owning up to his
behavior and explaining the role of obnoxiousness in Blink's master
plan. "It's really hard for that not to come through in our band
because it's so
overwhelming sometimes," DeLonge said. "The beauty of punk music is
it's all based on real things. We find it's more sincere to write a
about something you've experienced. That's why all our songs are about
getting dumped on by girls."
According to DeLonge, the lone exception to that rule is
"Dammit"(RealAudio excerpt), the first single from Blink 182's second
Ranch. The song is the exception, that is, not for its subject
(it is indeed about getting dumped), but for its non-autobiographical
"That was written in about five minutes, and it's not about any of us,"
DeLonge said. "Sometimes [bassist and singer] Mark [Hoppus] says it's
about him, but it never happened to any of us. It's weird how the one
that is the most meaningless -- well, not meaningless, but not inspired
real events -- is the hit."
"Dammit"'s staccato rhythm and melancholy pop-spirit call to mind
punks Screeching Weasel as much as they do the emotional fretting of the
Descendents, a group that DeLonge said he grew up worshipping. He and
along with drummer Scott Raynor, 19, formed Blink 182 five years ago,
they met through mutual skateboarding friends. DeLonge christened the
Blink (he likes short verbs), and added the 182 at the request of an
band also named Blink.
The guitarist said that he and Hoppus have little choice but to write
relationships gone awry. "If we tried to write about politics, you'd
realize that we're all a bunch of idiots," he said. "So we write about
relationships, and just growing up through high school, that kind of
That's what we relate to, because even though we're in our early
we're really immature."
Such self-deprecating sentiment belies the seriousness with which
takes Blink 182's music. Despite the Mad magazine-esque visual
humor that adorns the band's album, he said the group doesn't want to be
painted as a joke outfit. "We don't want to be known as a novelty, joke
band, for sure. Nobody does, I think. But there's nothing on the album
That said, the fellas in Blink have no intention of becoming artistes --
they're much more comfortable in their role as pranksters at the airport
movie theater. "Hopefully, one day we won't become mature," DeLonge
"We're having a lot of fun right now." [Mon., Jan. 5,
1998, 9 a.m. PST]