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Interview:
blink-182 members re-establish band as their priority
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

The three members of blink-182 stayed busy during the group’s four-year hiatus, launching other bands and projects that are continuing concerns.

But since regrouping in 2009, they say there’s no question about what comes first.

“blink is our priority,” says bassist Mark Hoppus, who co-founded the punk group with guitarist Tom DeLonge and drummer Travis Barker during 1992 in southern California. “It’s not a side project at all. It’s what we’ve done since day one, almost 20 years at this point.

“The other projects in our lives allow us to break away and do something creative and bring that knowledge and those skills back to blink as a band. But blink is no side project by any means.”

DeLonge, who started and recorded two albums with the group Angels & Airwaves during the interim, seconds that “blink is the priority, so we’ve got to fit (the side projects) into those pockets and make them happen.”

“It’s one of those things that creates a juggle, but also it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “So that keeps us all happy.”

blink fans, meanwhile, are happy that the group’s reunion is finally resulting in some new music. “Neighborhoods,” the trio’s first album of fresh material in eight years, is due out Sept. 27, preceded by the singles “Up All Night” and “After Midnight.” It’s the band’s first self-produced effort, and DeLonge, 35, says the set will sound both familiar and fresh.

“We have these songs that are total throwbacks, exactly what people know blink is,” the guitarist explains. “Then we have songs ... that are madly different and experimental, (and) songs that are prog-rock blink music, taking a blink song but (adding) stadium rock qualities to it.

“I really think we have a tremendous, diverse palette. We will have the album that I think is really modern and relevant to where we are in our career.”

Hoppus adds that the group will preview several of the “Neighborhoods” songs in concert, but he also promises that the emphasis will be on what fans already know and love from the band’s previous five albums.

“All of us know when people come to a blink show they’re gonna want to hear ‘All the Small Things’ and ‘Rock Show’ and ‘Stay Together For the Kids’ and the singles we’ve had over the years,” Hoppus, 39, acknowledges. “And we’ll put some of the new songs into the set list as well. It’ll be a good mix of the new stuff and the music we’ve been playing for the past couple of decades.”

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The Honda Civic tour has not been a smooth ride for My Chemical Romance.

The group publicly fired drummer Mike Pedicone after he was allegedly caught stealing from the band. His replacement, Jarrod Alexander from Dead Country, took over as of the Sept. 3 show in Salt Lake City.

Pedicone — who replaced Bob Bryer during fall 2010 — was booted out on Sept. 1. Guitarist Frank Iero posted a message on MCR’s official website saying that Pedicone “was caught red handed stealing from the band and confessed to police after our show in Auburn, Washington. We are heartbroken and sick to our stomachs over this entire situation.

“The band has no intention of pressing charges or taking this matter any further than we have to. We just want him out of our lives. The people who play in this band are a family, and family should not take advantage of each other like he did. We are currently moving forward. ... The show must go on.”

Pedicone, meanwhile, Tweeted that, “What happened is more complicated than it sounds but I did make a mistake. It was never my intention to hurt this band or all of you. It was an error in judgment based on a whole other situation that’s way deeper but this does not define me.”



blink-182, My Chemical Romance and Matt & Kim perform on the Honda Civic Tour/89X Birthday Bash at 7 p.m. Sunday at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are sold out. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.



Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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