UNIVERSAL CITY, California — There's one drawback to Blink-182's decision to release "I Miss You" as their next single.
"This is the thing, the song's really hard to play," singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge said backstage at KROQ-FM's annual Almost Acoustic Christmas on Sunday. "We've never played it before. We might play it in the future, or we might have it on a ghetto blaster onstage and we might do an interpretive dance. It's one of those things, but it's gonna be good, though, no matter what it is."
It's not like the band doesn't have a good excuse for not having the ballad of sorts mastered. "There's probably 50 tracks of instruments going on the record," DeLonge said. "And there's three of us. So we're gonna try to fill up all those, with, well ... [Mark's] ambidextrous, so he can do lots of different things."
"There's no electronic instrumentation on the song," singer/bassist Mark Hoppus added. "It's all acoustic."
Given the title and gentle pace of "I Miss You" (see "Coincidence? Blink-182 Releasing 'I Miss You' When Barker Takes Break"), along with all that has been made of the members of Blink-182 being new fathers, some might assume the single is about leaving family behind to tour, but that's not the case.
"Once the lyrics start singing about a spider eating the insides of a bug, I think people take that and go, 'Maybe it's not about their families,' " DeLonge said, laughing. "And it talks about [celebrating] Halloween on Christmas and all these different dark kinds of things. The song's more about the vulnerability and kind of heart-wrenching pain you feel when you're in love and when you're a guy and you're trying to tell a girl, 'Don't waste your time coming and talking to me because, in my head at least, you probably already gave me up a long time ago.'
"That was great," he added, surprised at his own answer. "We should just end this [interview] now."
Not so fast. What about a video for "I Miss You"?
"The treatment is that we are performing in basically like a 1930s movie in this haunted house and there's ghosts around us," Hoppus said.
Jonas Akerlund, the edgy director behind the Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up" and Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful," is helming the clip in Los Angeles on Wednesday (December 17).
"He's done amazing videos," DeLonge said. "We kind of had an idea of what we wanted to do, but it's gonna be interesting because with a guy like that, they bring so much artistic vision to the project. You don't really know what's going on in their head, like how they wanna film it and all that stuff. All we can bring is just our charming selves, right?"
Charming personalities are exactly what the band brought to their latest video project, the documentary "Riding in Vans With Boys," about an unknown band who toured with Blink-182 and Green Day in 2002 (see "Butt Branding, Drunken Weddings Captured On Hoppus And DeLonge's 'Boys' ").
The recently released DVD is the first project from Hoppus and DeLonge's Resting Bird Entertainment. The company will next release a quarterly DVD magazine called "Dragging the Lake" and may follow that up with some kind of sequel to "Riding in Vans."
Blink-182 will have plenty of chances to shoot touring escapades in the new year. After traveling through Europe in February and Australia and Japan in March, the band will head back for a North American outing running April through June. No openers have been booked, but there are rumors the guys are going out with N.E.R.D.
"We're not going out with N.E.R.D., we're not dating," DeLonge joked. "No, we talked about a lot of different bands it'll be cool to tour with, but we have no idea what other bands' schedules are like or anything like that. If we had our way, we would probably bring out a whole bunch of bands and we wouldn't even play. We'd just watch them all night every night because we're big fans of lots of different music."