“I can’t tell you any of it,” says long-time Blink 182 fan Bryan Funk, referring to the weather on the day that Blink-182 announced their hiatus in 2005. “It was Senior Year. That’s all I know,” Funk continues, taking a sip from his glass of iced tea. Bryan Funk grew up with the music of Blink 182. Mark Hoppus and Tom Delonge, the creators of the popular pop-punk band Blink 182, are two of his main inspirations for becoming involved with music, learning how to play the bass and guitar, and starting a band during high school. Blink 182 had that effect on many people, not just Bryan Funk. When the band went on an indefinite hiatus in November of 2004, fans felt that a very important part of the pop-punk genre died. “I remember not being too bummed about it,” Funk recalls, “until the Greatest Hits album which was released in 2005. I was shocked though.”
Shock is the ample word. Blink 182 was just one year removed from an album which re-invented their sound. The band expanded beyond the parameters of pop-punk, creating a mature and confident sound which was reminiscent of bands such as The Cure. But as quickly as the new Blink arrived, the band dissolved thanks to numerious behind-the-scenes problems. Bryan Funk remembers reading the news on a punk rock website (punknews.org) and thinking, “is this because of Box Car Racer?” Reports had circulated that Hoppus felt betrayed when Tom DeLonge began his solo project, Box Car Racer. When Tom DeLonge expressed the desire to take time off to spend time with his family; despite a planned spring tour, the band collapsed. Tom decided to quit. Mark and, drummer Travis Barker, learned of this through their manager Rick DeVoe. Adding insult to injury, Tom did not even have the courtesy to inform two of his best friends that he no longer wanted to play music with them. The band split. Tom began Angels and Airwaves. Mark and Travis began +44. The pop-punk scene did die a little on that November day when the hiatus was announced.
Meanwhile, Green Day had released their ground-breaking record, “American Idiot,” a few months before Blink 182 announced their hiatus in 2004. Green Day, a band considered one of the founding fathers of modern pop-punk, surprised fans and music critics everywhere with a record that transcended the sound they had created for thousands of bands to come.
For some Blink fans, such as 22-year old Pete Smith, “American Idiot” helped dull the pain of the Blink 182 hiatus. “‘American Idiot’ came out of nowhere,” Smith says, “and the CD lasted so long. That album saw such a resurgence of what now is considered old school pop punk while also creating a new sound for a whole new crop of bands to imitate. The ‘comeback’ of Green Day, as it were, kept people occupied while Blink was separated.”
Green Day and Blink 182 are closely related. Green Day created the pop-punk sound, but both bands defined it. In the spring of 2002, the two bands toured together on the Pop Disaster tour.
A generation of young teens were inspired to start their own bands because of Green Day and Blink 182. Despite the impact of “American Idiot,” something was missing. Bands such as Fall Out Boy, Simple Plan, and Good Charlotte could not fill the void left by Blink 182.
A third band, however, can be considered another of the founding father of the modern pop-punk sound with their unique blend of pop-punk with hardcore punk. New Found Glory, a band who made its start in Florida, had a great deal of success following the release of their self-titled album in 2000 and their “Sticks and Stones” album, released in the spring of 2002, drew inspirtation from Green Day and Blink 182. After the release of their fourth album, “Catalyst,” the band began having problems with their record label. In 2006, the band released their fifth studio album, “Coming Home,” but their record label barely promoted the record. New Found Glory eventually left their label, Geffen Records, and began the process of finding themselves.
Following the release of “American Idiot,” and the world tours, Green Day laid low as did New Found Glory, except for a release of an album of cover songs, and an EP. Blink 182 remained on hiatus, with Mark and Tom not even on speaking terms with one another. The bands responsible for bands such as Fall Out Boy, Simple Plan, and Good Charlotte were hardly involved in what they created.
But then Travis Barker was in a plane crash which changed everything. Following the accident, Tom took it upon himself to contact Mark Hoppus, and mend the broken friendship, and they did mend their broken friendship. At the Grammy’s, as a band, Blink 182 announced that they were back. On their website, the band announced that they would tour as well as release a new album in 2009. “I felt excitement, joy and motivation,” said Bryan Funk when asked about his feelings regarding the reunion of Blink 182. “I keep thinking, ‘they aren’t getting back together, they are just giving out an award.'” But Blink 182 did get back together. In previous months, news came out that Mark Hoppus would be producing the newest New Found Glory record, scheduled for a March 10th release. And Green Day announced that their newest record, entitled “21st Century Breakdown,” would be released in May as well.
Blink 182 is back, and the music scene they helped created seems right again.
Chris Monigle is a fourth-year student majoring in literature. He can be reached at CM660983@wcupa.edu.