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

for

sporting outrageous haircuts, tattoos or band uniforms, but guitarist

and

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

and

obnoxious," DeLonge, 22, said recently by phone from his California

home.

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

that

it's all based on real things. We find it's more sincere to write a

song

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

HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Blink_182/Dammit.ram">

"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

matter

(it is indeed about getting dumped), but for its non-autobiographical

quality.

"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

song

that is the most meaningless -- well, not meaningless, but not inspired

by

real events -- is the hit."

"Dammit"'s staccato rhythm and melancholy pop-spirit call to mind

Chicago

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

Hoppus,

25,

along with drummer Scott Raynor, 19, formed Blink 182 five years ago,

after

they met through mutual skateboarding friends. DeLonge christened the

band

Blink (he likes short verbs), and added the 182 at the request of an

Irish

band also named Blink.

The guitarist said that he and Hoppus have little choice but to write

about

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

stuff.

That's what we relate to, because even though we're in our early

twenties,

we're really immature."

Such self-deprecating sentiment belies the seriousness with which

DeLonge

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

or

movie theater. "Hopefully, one day we won't become mature," DeLonge

said.

"We're having a lot of fun right now." [Mon., Jan. 5,

1998, 9 a.m. PST]