By Jon Blistein
When Blink-182 reconvened to record their 2011 comeback album, Neighborhoods, they didn’t actually convene.
It was similar to their process in the early days: guitarist Tom DeLonge and bassist Mark Hoppus penning songs they’d later demo then record instrument-by-instrument. But Neighborhoods was actually even more fragmented: Hoppus and DeLonge wrote and recorded separately, then sent their tracks off to each other; Travis Barker joined them at the tail end to lay down his drum tracks.
“We were just kind of walking on eggshells, trying to make sure that everyone does what they want, nobody yells at each other for not being there,” DeLonge recently told Radio.com. “Just try to get it done and not get on each other’s nerves.”
The trepidation was understandable. The band went on a hiatus in 2005, hardly speaking, but reunited in 2008 in the wake of the death of longtime producer Jerry Finn, as well as Barker’s near-fatal plane crash. But with Neighborhoods under their belt and nerves now cooled, Blink-182 are dropping the factory-line method for their next record.
“We were able to complete that and now we’re cool,” DeLonge said. “We can take the next step and really get back to risk-taking.”
They’ll pick up where they left off on 2003’s Blink-182, the last album they recorded before their break and the band’s biggest musical risk to date. Fittingly, the album turns 10 this year, a landmark the band is celebrating with a string of shows during which they’ll play the record in its entirety.
“We didn’t go into that record with anything specific that we wanted to do other than take our time and do it the way we want to do it, to really see what would happen if we did it on our clock, in our world and really disappeared for a while and tried to reinvent the band,” DeLonge said. “After that we did the Neighborhoods record, and we didn’t do that [experiment together] – we weren’t even in the same studio aside for like three days. So this next record, what we’re gonna do is repeat that [the Blink-182 recording experience]. That’s why we wanted to bring back [Blink-182]. We’re about to embark on the exact same trip [as the self-titled record], so I think that’s exciting.”