You might imagine that the members of Blink-182 have been pretty busy over the last year or two - and if so, you'd be right. Both the band as a whole and some of its most prominent personalities have been hard at work on a number of joint and individual projects.
With the summer festival season right around the corner, attention has been increasingly focused on Blink 182 and their new music, as well as what band members have lined up for the future. Things don't seem to have been going entirely smoothly for all of them, but the future outlook does appear to be broadly positive - and one thing is for sure: following this band is never likely to be dull!
Unsurprisingly, festivals play a major role in Blink-182's plans for this summer. They will be the headline attractions at several of the most popular events, kicking off on June 20 in Quebec with the ninth instalment of the ever-popular Amnesia Rockfest. This two-day festival in Montebello will feature many of the world's biggest names in punk, heavy metal, and rock. Band’s attending include Megadeath, Alice in Chains, and Weezer. The band will also satisfy their thousands of British fans with two high-profile, headlining appearances at the Reading and Leeds festivals.
Following those announcements the band’s bassist Mark Hoppus hinted to new material in production by tweeting an image of tracks on his computer with the caption ‘Them Blink-182 demos.’ The announcements left fans excited and eager to be reunited with their favourite band, with the added bonus of being able to listen to brand new, fresh material that will complement the classics.
Expectations were that the band would record their new album, before embarking on a tour to showcase and promote it to fans all over the world. The album was set to be worked on, with the release to coincide with their headline gig at the Leeds and Reading festival.
But if drummer Travis Barker's latest interview is anything to go by, there remain some tensions within the membership of the band. He told OC Weekly that the band needed to "get their shit together" and that until this happened, he would concentrate on other projects. Travis said: “Until all three of us get in the same room and other people’s schedules clear, it’s kinda outta my hands. So I keep myself busy in the studio. I’m in the middle of rehearsals with the Transplants for MusInk and we’re recording a covers album.”
Barker claimed that his "other projects" included "a lot of things" to keep himself busy, and not merely practicing his drumming. He cited a collaboration with Yelawolf, the hip-hop star, a partnership which led in 2012 to the excellent Psycho White EP. Away from music itself, Barker has been working on his long-awaited autobiography, which is slated to appear this June. The book, "Can I Say", will cover traumatic events such as the plane crash in 2008 that came close to costing the drummer and several of his friends their lives. Its subtitle, which includes the phrase "Drums, Drums, Drums" suggests that there'll be plenty of lighter moments, too.
Meanwhile, Tom Delonge has also been busy with his own music, working with his popular band Angels & Airwaves to create a new album, to be titled "POET". This will be released in October 2014. Delonge has referred to it as being a "defining album" which will sum up their career. The band has spent two years working on this follow-up to 2011's well-received "LOVE" double album.
The BIG elephant in the room is the fact that the band are still scheduled in to perform at Reading and Leeds, but with no solid new material seemingly in the pipeline as of yet, it seems that they are either going to play their old tracks (which will still be awesome), or are going to be in a big rush to churn out some new stuff in a short amount of time if they are still aiming to stick to the original plan.
The promise from the band to the festival goers is: “We are getting ready to rock the fine people of the UK. Prepare for the fury.”
Whatever they do, with the plan of delivering fury, they sure as hell are pledging to deliver an extraordinary comeback show for the band's legions of fans. It will surely be this summer's live performances that will be the highlights of 2014.
Hopefully, they will ‘get their shit together’ just in time...