New & Cool: Blink 182's Sad Story

Band sings about 'getting dumped on by girls.'

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

album, Dude

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

like that."

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]