Interview: The Vandals

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 28.02.13 | Issue # 327

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HOLLYWOOD HORROR

The world’s seen or heard very little of The Vandals over the past nine or so years. Bassist Joe Escalante discusses the lawsuit that sent them into the shadows and almost broke up the band with Daniel Cribb.

It’s been almost nine years since The Vandals unleashed their tenth studio album, Hollywood Potato Chip, and this year they’ll be releasing their first new material since in the form of an EP. “It’s a darker, more introspective Vandals,” Vandals bassist and founder of iconic punk rock label Kung Fu Records, Joe Escalante tells.

Coming from a man whose band has song titles such as I’ve Got An Ape DrapeThe Vibrator Song and Live Fast, Diarrhea, something doesn’t sound quite right… “I’m kidding!” he chuckles. “It’s just more Vandals stuff; things that we thought were funny. It’s just punk rock.”

He may laugh at the thought of a darker form of The Vandals, but behind the scenes, that’s exactly how things had been for close to a decade. The original Hollywood Potato Chip artwork parodied US publication Variety, with the band name written in the same lettering as the publication. A few months following release, The Vandals received a cease-and-desist order. They settled the lawsuit, agreeing to reprint the album with a new cover, and thought it was all over. Then, in 2010, Variety filed another lawsuit over the imagery resurfacing on varies sites that The Vandals had nothing to do with. Variety claimed that the band had ignored their agreement.

“That was a hell that prevented a lot of Vandals songs from being recorded, because it was just a traumatic thing; it was like someone kidnapping your baby or something, and you’re like, ‘What? How can you do that?’. And it’s like, ’Well, it doesn’t matter how, they did it, and now what are we going to do?’. So we were in that mode for almost ten years, and it was terrible, just terrible. There would be fights, like disagreements on how to handle it; suspicion, intrigue, drama – it was hell on earth.”

The lawsuit came to a grinding halt, February 2012, the night before the trial when Variety dropped the case. “It was an extortion scheme and we wouldn’t pay the extortion,” he explains.

Escalante’s “only real” job was at a CBS television network in Hollywood, where he worked as a lawyer and negotiator for programs, writers and actors. Since then he has been hosting his own radio show, Barely Legal Radio, and giving away free legal advice twice a week for US company Legal Zoom. So when The Vandals found themselves in a spot of legal trouble, Escalante representing the band seemed like a logical choice.

“I didn’t really know what I was doing, because I’m not a real lawyer that litigates things in court – but I learned to, at least, put up a fight and let them know that we’re not going to bend over, and so we fought them and fought them until the night before the trial.

With the Hollywood Potato Chip nightmare well and truly settled, they’ve had an intense year of celebrating and rediscovering their love for the band. Soundwave is their first “foreign” venture since the lawsuit. “It’s very exciting, because we can just play and have fun and enjoy each other. There’s been the same four guys in this band for 25 years, but there was a lot of tension during that lawsuit, it was like, ‘Hey, why is this happening? Is it your fault? Why aren’t you doing this? Why don’t we try this?’, so there was tension. Now that that’s over it’s a freedom to just go and try be creative again.”

Unfortunately drumming legend Josh Freese wasn’t able to make the trip Down Under this time. But as Escalante explains, the helping hands enlisted already feel like part of the family. “[Freese] is so famous; he won’t even go to Australia with us. He has Sublime shows, so we’re taking Derek Grant from Alkaline Trio. He’s the only guy in the band with a tattoo, and he has a Vandals tattoo,” Escalante explains.

The Vandals will be playing the following dates:

Friday 1 March – Soundwave, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 2 March – Soundwave, Adelaide SA
Monday 4 March – Soundwave, Perth WA

Daniel Cribb

Drum Perth (Feb 28, 2013)

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Show Review: Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band 21.02.12

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 28.02.13 | Issue # 327

RINGO STARR & HIS ALL STARR BAND

CHALLENGE STADIUM

21 February, 2013

With the title track off their new CD, Offering, closing a short but sweet 15-minute set, Melbourne’s Mojo Jacket had proven their place opening for one of the world’s most iconic rock legends.

As the last of the punters squinted through darkness at a sea of numbers and letters to find their seats, Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band surfaced with a mission to prepare the audience for the arrival of their “boss”, before the man of the hour strolled out from stage left, throwing the peace sign in every direction to the intro of The Beatles’ Matchbox.

If you wanted to define the term ‘supergroup’, The All-Starr Band would be the right place to start. Featuring Toto’s Steve Lukather on guitar, Gregg Rolie on keys (Journey, Santana), Mr. Mister’s Richard Page on bass and mind-blowing vocals, amongst others, Starr had assembled a backing band so powerful that he ran the risk of falling into the shadows, and when he took his rightful throne behind the drum kit and let the others take the spotlight, it wasn’t long before his presence drifted off into the background.

While Starr was most engaging upfront, dancing in a manor that can only be described as a casual jive, watching him behind the kit, in his element, was surreal, and for many longtime fans, would have transported them back to their youth.

Although he gave out the clichéd “greatest audience ever” spiel, and while someone of his stature may go into auto-pilot after so many nights onstage, he was truly in the moment and there to have fun.

Toto’s Africa and Mr. Mister’s Kyrie went down smoothly and were executed better than ever, but it was unsurprisingly The Beatles songs, particularly Yellow Submarine, that won the audience over. What was surprising, though, was not once did Starr mutter the band’s name or talk about them. Introducing Yellow Submarine, he simply joked, “I’m not going to tell you the name of this song, because if you don’t know what it is, you’re at the wrong show.”

Starr isn’t the most talented member of The Beatles, and doesn’t put on a life-changing performance, but is a crucial part of music history, and after two hours darting between the drums and microphone, his formidable legacy was clear.

Written by Daniel Cribb

http://themusic.com.au/reviews/reviews-live/2013/02/27/ringo-starr-and-his-all-starr-band-challenge-stadium-daniel-cribb/

Interview: Penny & The Mystics

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 28.02.13 | Issue # 327

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THE OPEN ROAD

With NSW’s Penny & The Mystics about to embark on an impressive five-week regional tour of WA, frontwoman Penny Hartgerink assures Daniel Cribb the tour’s title, The Bogan Pilgrim Tour, isn’t a dig at the locals.

It’s often hard to see the place you call home as a tourist destination. Most residents of Paris are probably sick of tourists taking photos of the Eiffel Tower as they pass them on their way to work, and for New Yorkers, the Brooklyn Bridge would be nothing more than an effective method in and out of Manhattan. Most bands can’t wait to get on a plane and hit up every other capital city; especially artists in Perth, being so isolated from what’s going on over east. A lot of Perth bands can’t see the touring potential in such a huge state.

Having grown up in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, roots and rock band Penny & The Mystics see the how much of a touring goldmine WA is, and throughout February and March, with funding from the Federal Government, are spending five weeks touring the countryside. “Everyone should have a chance to see live music. I mean, we lived in a really small coastal town and, apart from karaoke at the pub, there’s not that much live music available, you know, you have to travel half an hour, an hour, or drive up to Sydney if you want to see quality music, so it’s great that these small towns will get a chance to enjoy a bit of live music,” Hartgerink tells.

“With the grant that we’ve received from the government, it’s specifically to do regional tours. The idea is to get live music into regional areas. I guess the government thinks that all the major cities get enough music and that small towns miss out a little bit, so they’re trying to get music out to places that wouldn’t normally get it regularly.” Touring small country towns is remarkably similar to her day job, teaching early-childhood music. Firstly, Hartgerink delivers music to those who aren’t usually exposed to it, and secondly, she often performs to alcohol-fuelled punters in the same frame of mind as a toddler. The word ‘bogan’ might come to mind when you imagine a pub in the middle of WA’s South West, and although their tour is called The Bogan Pilgrim Tour, it isn’t a stab at the country folk of WA, rather a tribute to someone back home.“It’s our drummer’s housemate’s name. That’s his real name,” she laughs. “We were at his house while we were trying to think of a name, and we were going through all these things and we just went, ‘Bogan! Bogan Pilgrim! Can we use your name?’, and he was like, ‘Yeah, sure!’.

That’s his legitimate name on his driver’s licence and everything. A lot of people are like, ‘Okay, but what’s your real name?’. Apparently, when his parents named him that like 30 years ago, it didn’t mean anything, it was just a word.”

Just like with anything else, it takes trial and error to formulate the perfect method of touring. Heading into unknown territory can be financially risky. They’ve had their fair share of failed shows, but always manage to look at the bright side of each situation. “One town we played at, the whole town was like 50 people, and like 20 people came,” she laughs, referring to a regional tour of New South Wales and Queensland they embarked on last year. “So that was a good turnout, I suppose. That place hadn’t had live music in their town in five years, so it’s not like we’re going to places where we’re expecting to play in front of thousands of people or anything – we’re just going to have a good time and see how it goes.”

Penny & The Mystics will be playing the following dates:

Sunday 3 March – Caves House Hotel, Yallingup WA
Friday 8 March – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River WA
Sunday 10 March – Redcliffe On The Murray, Pinjarra WA
Friday 15 March – The White Star Hotel, Albany WA
Saturday 16 March – Prince Of Wales Hotel, Bunbury WA
Tuesday 19 March – Perth Blues Club, North Perth WA
Wednesday 20 March – Mojo’s Bar, North Fremantle WA
Friday 22 March – Grass Valley Tavern, Grass Valley WA

Daniel Cribb

Drum Perth (Feb 28, 2013)

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/penny-and-the-mystics-penny-hartgerink/

Interview: Polar Bear Club

Drum Media (WA) | 21.02.13 | Issue # 326

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WELCOME TO THE CLUB

When he’s not on the road, eating an unsettling amount of Mexican and pizza, Polar Bear Club vocalist Jimmy Stadtworks for his family’s pasta making business. Daniel Cribb catches him cooking dinner and gets a taste of what’s on the menu for Soundwave.

Some musicians just seem to click from the moment they first play music together. Polar Bear Club are one of those bands, and after forming in the summer of 2005 and releasing a rough demo, they caught the attention of Triple Attack Records and Luchador Records, who joined forces to release the band’s debut EP in 2006, The Redder, The Better – five songs that would put their music careers into overdrive.

With the success of the EP, Polar Bear Club had the chance to break out of upstate New York in 2006. And while it was a no brainer, it still required a fair amount of sacrifice. Guitarist Chris Browne and vocalist Jimmy Stadt, the only founding members still in the band, were studying law and had just graduated school, respectively. With three successful full-length albums to date and another in the pipeline, there’s no doubt they made the right decision. But being back in their hometown since September, on their longest touring break to date, only playing the odd show here and there, they can’t help but think about the paths their lives might have taken had they decided to stay put. “I got a degree in acting. I knew that I wanted to get into performance in some way, and I always was simultaneously doing bands and doing acting, and then what happened was, the opportunity to do bands professionally came along, and I chose that,” Stadt explains. “It’s hard to say what the plan was, because back then I just thought I was going to be an actor. I think if the band thing stopped right now, I don’t know if I would go do that, I’m not sure if that’s what I would do.”

Soundwave sees the beginning of a busy year of touring, with a US tour with Bad Religion upon returning home, followed by festivals galore in Europe and the UK throughout April and May. “[Soundwave] is such a fun, nice and easy tour to do that it doesn’t really matter that it’s an outside festival,” he continues. “I mean, if you ask any band if they would prefer playing an outdoor festival to anything else, they’re going to say ‘no’. Playing an outdoor festival, as fun and as nice as it is, to a degree, does sort of suck. Because, you know, we’re built to play in dirty, dark clubs – that’s where we do best.

“I remember the first time we went to Australia, we were playing all old songs, and we were playing a couple of new songs here and there off the record we had just released at that time, [2009’s] Chasing Hamburg, and the new songs were just killing the old songs in the set. By the end of the tour we were playing mainly new material, because we didn’t know… we didn’t know what people wanted and what, of us, they expected. So when you’re going overseas like that, you kind of feel it out in the first day or two and then make a sort of educated guess from there.”

Playing a couple of one-off shows during their downtime, they performed The Redder, The Better in its entirety at Fest 11 in Florida in October of last year. Millencolin performed Pennybridge Pioneers in full at Soundwave 2011 and just this year Weezer toured their Blue Album around Australia. The Redder, The Better probably won’t make its way onto their Soundwave set, but Stadt sheds his thoughts on why more bands seem to be touring albums start-to-finish. “It’s a really tricky thing, you know,” he says. “We’ve only done it that once, and we tried to keep it as secret as possible. We didn’t really want to be advertising that we were going to be doing that, because it was a fun thing, exclusive to that festival, and the reason that we wanted to do it was that festival has been supporting us since those days, and a lot of the people at that festival really do enjoy that record. So us doing that was us saying, ‘Hey, we appreciate you and here’s this thing that hopefully you’ll appreciate as well’.

“I think more bands are doing it now because, to invest yourself in a band is such a personal decision nowadays – to make that choice to come out to the show instead of staying home, or buy the record instead of downloading it. I think bands are just becoming more conscious of how important fans like that are and they’re doing things like that to say thank you.”

Being away from home can be hard for a touring musician, especially one of the vegetarian variety. Stadt has no shortage of vegetarian options at home, but things can become a little harder on the road. That is, until he hits Sydney. “You just get so bored so easily because you’re just eating the same thing over and over again. For me, on the road, it’s like, ‘Okay, I had Mexican food and pizza yesterday, I guess I’ll have a sandwich and pizza today’,” he explains. “Sydney’s actually the home to one of my favourite vegetarian restaurants in the entire world, and I actually just did an interview for this food blog and we talked about it a little bit. It’s in Sydney, and it has a really generic name, Green Thai Palace. Last time I was in Sydney, I ate there every day – one of the days I ate there three times, and the next day I just ate their once and decided I needed to eat something else. But I love that place so much that sometimes when I’m home, I’ll just search it on Google and do the street view, just to look at it in my apartment,” he laughs. “I’m very excited to be eating there again.”

With an album release roughly every two years since 2008’s Sometimes Things Just Disappear, it would be reasonable to expect another release this year. But, as mentioned earlier, they’ve crammed as much touring into 2013 as possible, which leaves little time for penning album number four. “We’re working on it, but we’re just really taking our time and we were thinking about it – I think we’d already thought about it coming out this year – but we were thinking about it, and with the way our schedule sort of worked out and what tours we signed on to do and when we sort of envision ourselves in the studio, we were like, ‘Oh, man, our record might not come out until next year’. And that doesn’t bother me; it kind of excites me, to be honest. I like the idea of sort of just laying back for a little bit.

“I like sort of taking it easy for a second. I mean, we’ve been touring pretty extensively and releasing music pretty steadily for the past five years, and it’s been great, but it’s kind of nice to say, ‘Let’s chill out for a little bit’. Polar Bear Club doesn’t need to be in your face as hard as we have been for the past five years. We’re working on other stuff, and when it’s ready, we’ll be back in your face, don’t worry.”

Polar Bear Club will be playing the following dates:

Saturday 23 February – Soundwave, Brisbane QLD
Sunday 24 February – Soundwave, Sydney NSW
Monday 25 February – Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW
Wednesday 27 February – The Auditorium, Brisbane QLD
Friday 1 March – Soundwave, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 2 March – Soundwave, Adelaide SA
Monday 4 March – Soundwave, Perth WA

Daniel Cribb

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2013/02/21/polar-bear-club-jimmy-stadt/13157/

theMusic.com.au: BLINK-182’S TOM DELONGE ON TRAVIS BARKER’S FEAR OF FLYING TO SOUNDWAVE

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***Written by a staff writer at TheMusic***

BLINK-182’S TOM DELONGE ON TRAVIS BARKER’S FEAR OF FLYING TO SOUNDWAVE

18 February, 2013

Early Sunday morning it was revealed that Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker was not going to make the trip from Los Angeles to Australia for their shows this week due to his fear of flying.

The band had been announced as one of the headline acts for Soundwave 2013 and had booked a run of shows along the east coast as well.

All shows will still go ahead, but with Bad Religion drummer Brooks Wackerman filling Barker’s spot.

When speaking with theMusic.com.au’s Daniel Cribb earlier this year, Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge said that it was Barker’s fear of flying that had prevented the band from visiting Australia in such a long time.

“Oh, yeah, absolutely. I don’t blame him one bit; if I were him I’d be doing the exact same thing. It’s a big hurdle to get over and that’s why we’re all excited that this is the time.

When asked how Barker was going to be preparing for the flight, DeLonge admitted he wasn’t sure.

“You know, I don’t know,” he said “He’s an adult and he’s got his support group around him, and he’s got his own way of handling things – I can’t really answer for him – but I think like anybody else your logical steps are making decisions and challenging yourself and preparing emotionally for that kind of stuff, but I can’t even pretend to know how somebody does that, because it’s monumental.”

When the topic of a possible replacement drummer was broached DeLonge was open, admitting that the band were willing to do anything to make sure they made it back to Australia, no matter what.

“I think we’ll cross to that bridge when we come to it. If we’re set to come somewhere and people are expecting us to come and, to make good to the fans, I will try and show up no matter what. If Travis can’t make it, and we’re within reaching distance of a big tour, we might have to think about how to pull it off, even if we can’t pull it off to the best of our ability [laughs].

“We still want to be able to make good on what we said we would do, but it’s a delicate balance because Blink is the three of us, you know. We’re not gonna ever pretend that Blink is a different set of guys. But, you know, we’ve just got to take it one day at a time and see how it works.

Securing Blink – and Barker – was a massive coup for Soundwave given the drummer’s well publicised fear of flying. Barker was on board a plane that crashed upon taking off in South Carolina back in 2008; everyone on the plane died except for Barker and collaborator Adam Goldstein – aka DJ AM – who later died of a drug overdose.

Barker made a statement on his Facebook page announcing the news to fans yesterday.

“I’m sorry to announce I won’t be joining Blink-182 on this Australian tour. I still haven’t gotten over the horrific events that took place the last time I flew when my plane crashed and four people were killed, two being my best friends.

“I gave the band my blessing to take another drummer if they still wanted to do the tour without me. I hope to come to Australia again some day perhaps by ship if need be. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a boat that worked with the schedule this time around. Once again I’m sorry to all the fans.”

Blink-182 also released a statement online explaining the situation to their fans.

“The trip to Australia was planned during our European tour last summer. The band knew the chances of Travis overcoming his fear of flying, which was magnified after the horrible plane crash in 2008, would be a challenge, but we wanted to play for our fans in Australia nonetheless. The three of us tried all measures to get us all there in full form. Travis has been working to overcome his fear of flying. Since we now know we have to make the trip without Travis our friend Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion, Tenacious D) has stepped in. We love our fans in Australia so cancelling was not an option so we still plan to come and play some kick ass shows.”

http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2013/02/18/blink-182s-tom-delonge-on-travis-barkers-fear-of-flying/

 

theMusic.com.au: LACK OF COMMUNICATION LED TO BLINK-182 BOMB

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***Written by a staff writer at TheMusic***

LACK OF COMMUNICATION LED TO BLINK-182 BOMB

15 February, 2013

According to Blink-182 guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge, less than perfect critiques of the band’s 2011 comeback record Neighbourhoods can be attributed a complete lack of communication between the trio.

In recent interview, DeLonge told Daniel Cribb that Blink learnt from their mistakes made during the creation of that album – evident in their first independent release Dogs Eating Dogs, which hit shelves late last year.

“My aim was specifically to write music together and not apart, because for Neighborhoods we weren’t together at all – we just weren’t even really talking. This one was, ‘Let’s write music together, and let’s try and show a more progressive form of the band’. What I wanted to do was make [us] challenge Blink’s legacy to be more modernised with larger landscapes and more delicate compositions.”

“I wouldn’t change anything about that, very specifically because we were able to do it and it was an important conduit to get the band working again, and that’s really what its goal was. Its goal wasn’t to be the greatest Blink album, its goal wasn’t to be the greatest album – the goal was: can we make an album? And we did and now we can move on to make better stuff.”

Read the full story here.

Interview: Blink-182

Published in:

Drum Media (WA) | 21.02.13 | Issue # 326

Drum Media (NSW) | 12.02.13 | Issue # 1147

Inpress (VIC) | 13.02.13 | Issue # 1261

Time Off (QLD) | 20.02.13 | Issue # 1615

blink-182

THIS IS GROWING UP

From hosting a talk show to a plane crash – a lot has changed for Blink-182 since they made their last trip to Australia nearly a decade ago. While vocalist/guitarist Tom DeLonge is married with two children, runs numerous companies and is putting together the soundtrack for his second film, Daniel Cribb discovers he’s still making time to pen dick jokes for their appearance at Soundwave.

“I just got a picture of a vagina with eyeballs and a moustache on it yesterday from my friend,” Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge, 37, laughs down the line from his studio, Jupiter Sound, in California, assuring that he is still the same fart joke-fuelled pop punker he’s always been. It’s lunchtime and he’s taking a timeout from recording demos for a new album with his other band, Angels & Airwaves, that will coincide with the band’s second feature film due out in a couple of years. “This will be a very large project with hopefully many, many things that come along with it. I can’t really talk much about it, but this will probably be one of the more exciting things that I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of,” he explains.

If it’s anything like the band’s film debut, Love, sci-fi fans will be lining up out the door. It’s no secret that DeLonge has always had a fascination with the unexplained and extraterrestrial (see Blink-182’s Aliens Exist). After receiving some Gone Squatchin’ attire for Christmas from his managers, his interest is currently consumed by Big Foot. “I wanna find Big Foot like everyone else and if I can contribute, then I shall. He’s out there – he might even be here in the studio with me at this moment… my fascination with strange topics is what keeps me sanely insane,” he laughs. “It’s the one thing that pulls me out of worrying about music all day long, is when I start thinking about weird stuff like that. It’s a lot of fun.”

Such subject matter has drifted away from Blink-182’s music, but they’ve still kept their signature sound, as evident on their debut independent release, Dogs Eating Dogs, which sees them split with Universal Music after 15 years, cutting their ties with major labels for good.

“It’s amazing, we’re finally free. We’re able to do whatever we want to do. I mean, with a label, if you ever want to record something, you can’t, because they own it, so then you have to go to them and say, ‘Hey, we want to record something’, and they say, ‘Okay, we’ll get back to you and see if the funds are available to pay for it’. Then they get back to you and they say, ‘We don’t have the funds to do it’. It’s just a big joke, you know. You have to ask them to make music… I thinkDogs Eating Dogs is a much better example of what our band can do in these times, rather than when we were on a major label.”

With DeLonge first announcing their split with Interscope on Twitter with a picture of Mel Gibson in Braveheart in the midst of yelling “freedom”, one might assume the title Dogs Eating Dogs could, in some way, be a reference to the cut-throat world of major labels.

“It’s not. Mark [Hoppus, bass] came up with that – it was a lyric out of one of the songs. He sometimes gets in these interesting moments when he’s flying to and from Europe, back over here, where I think he kind of investigates and swims in the waters of the back of his mind. Sometimes he digs into some dark places – and I think most artists do that – and that’s really where that term came from. It showed its face in the song and it just seemed like a really great line, because everyone can interpret it in different ways.

“To me, it’s just very representative of humanity – the constant fight to get ahead and the constant fight to win summed up in three words. To everybody, that’s what’s great about art – it’s different and what I liked about it was it was ambiguous at best, so people can kind of think it means a few different things.”

Before the band went on an indefinite hiatus in ’05, the vocal split between DeLonge and Hoppus was almost 50/50, but both Dogs Eating Dogs and 2011’s Neighborhoods seem to be more DeLonge-heavy. “It’s not intentional,” Delonge says. “I mean, I’m more prolific now in my career than I’ve ever been. I’ve had a lot of experience over the past ten years, with all the Angels & Airwaves stuff and scoring movies, it comes naturally, or comes more naturally and quicker to me now than it ever has in my life, and you know, I’m a hard worker and I’ve got my studio and I like to be productive.”

It was a plane crash drummer Travis Barker was involved in 2008 that was the catalyst for the Blink-182 reunion, but the problem for Australian fans was it was also the thing stopping them coming Down Under. “I don’t blame him one bit; if I was him, I’d be doing the exact same thing. It’s a big hurdle to get over. I think like anybody else your logical steps are making decisions and challenging yourself and preparing emotionally for that kind of stuff, but I can’t even pretend to know how somebody does that, because it’s monumental… we haven’t been down there in a very long time, so I think we’re all looking forward to some really good stuff. It’s gonna be good – I’ve got like three or four dick jokes that I’ve been saving.”

The last time Blink-182 toured Australia was in 2004 to promote their self-titled album. Blink-182 saw Hoppus, Barker and DeLonge rent a house just outside of San Diego and spend months there writing. But with Hoppus spending half of his time at his second home in London and, until June 2012, hosting his own talk show, plus with Barker working on his solo material, amongst a slew of other commitments, it’s hard to get the band in one room for long enough to catch up, let alone write and record an album.

“My aim was specifically to write music together and not apart, because for Neighborhoods we weren’t together at all – we just weren’t even really talking. This one was, ‘Let’s write music together, and let’s try and show a more progressive form of the band’. What I wanted to do was make [us] challenge Blink’s legacy to be more modernised with larger landscapes and more delicate compositions.”

Admitting that Neighborhoods suffered due to the lack of communication, DeLonge believes it was an imperative step in getting the band back on track. “I wouldn’t change anything about that, very specifically because we were able to do it and it was an important conduit to get the band working again, and that’s really what its goal was. Its goal wasn’t to be the greatest Blink album, its goal wasn’t to be the greatest album – the goal was: can we make an album? And we did and now we can move on to make better stuff.”

***BREAKOUT***

BACK FROM THE BLINK

It was Tom Delonge that initiated Blink-182’s indefinite hiatus in 2005 – a decision that left fans worldwide, and even Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker, in shock. With two releases out since reforming in 2009, Delonge looks back on the band’s time apart.

“I feel good about it, you know. It was something that gave me an entirely different career experience. It made me into who I am, rather than just being the guy from Blink, and that’s important to me because I have a lot going on in my life – I have a technology company, I have a shoe company, I am making feature films, I have multiple albums out and I’m doing a lot of big stuff. I’m running fan clubs for Jack White and The White Stripes and Pearl Jam and Blink and a bunch of others that are launching. All that stuff came out of that hiatus and my challenging myself to be just me. That way when I come to Blink I can offer so much more because I’m not just one specific thing, I’m a complex dude,” Delonge laughs.

“So it was a really great thing for me and a really great thing for the band, for everyone to kind of rebuild themselves independently and come back and offer so much more. A lot of the time bands don’t have that ability, and then what happens is, they stay within the confine of their four walls for their whole career and they never branch out and become themselves personally, and when they do, they come back with much more of a solid foundation of what they know their limits are and what they are unlimited with and what they can bring to the table, and that’s when it gets really exciting, I think.”

But when he called the hiatus, it wasn’t specifically for those reasons; they were simply a byproduct of the hiatus. His initially motives were far more simplistic. “At the time, it was I needed to be with my family, and [Blink] weren’t communicating and I kind of lost control of our ship a little bit. When everyone needs time and support in different ways but no one’s communicating, things get defensive and offensive very quickly and that’s really what happened. Same old story – petty things built up and then everyone starts filtering the situation differently. Very normal, very human.”

Blink 182 will be playing the following dates:

Wednesday 20 February – Allphones Arena, Sydney NSW
Friday 22 February – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane QLD
Saturday 23 February – Soundwave, Brisbane QLD
Sunday 24 February – Soundwave, Sydney NSW
Tuesday 26 February – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne VIC
Wednesday 27 February – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne VIC
Friday 1 March – Soundwave, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 2 March – Soundwave, Adelaide SA
Monday 4 March – Soundwave, Perth WA

Daniel Cribb

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/blink-182-tom-delonge/