Mark Hoppus was recently interviewed by a Blink 182 fansite, b182.com. It's a pretty in depth interview, and if you are a fan of Blink, or if you are interested in Mark's new project, Plus 44, I would suggest you click here to read the entire interview. It is a very interesting read.
Here's an excerpt where Mark tells his side of the Blink breakup saga:
Interviewer: The circumstances of Blink's "indefinite hiatus" are still steeped in rumors. Tom has addressed the issue vaguely in some interviews. Could you give us your side of the story and explain exactly what happened, how it happened, and why? It must have been a pretty big deal for the band to have skipped out last minute at the Tsunami Benefit show.
Mark: The whole thing started a few months before the last European tour. We had been talking about and planning a final North American tour on the self-titled album in the spring. Our manager had encouraged it, and pushed us to do it, saying it was a great idea, that it would support the fourth single (Always). We had all agreed. Everyone wanted to tour. The touring we were doing was the most fun I think I have ever had on the road. The shows were awesome, we loved the songs we were playing, the reaction was amazing. The plan was for blink to finish the European tour, have January and February off, then tour in March and April or something like that. We have a fairly large crew (sound guys, guitar techs, tour manager, production crew, lighting crew, etc) that were put on retainer and told they would be working on blink tours at LEAST until the late spring, and possibly beyond. Everyone agreed on it all, and the tour was put together.
Later on, Tom started saying he DIDN'T want to tour, that he was burned out and wanted to stay home. He wanted to cancel the tour. Immediately our manager changed his mind as well. I was at an airport in Singapore, on my way to Nepal, and he called to tell me that he now thought we shouldn't tour. This is a good indication of the relationship between our old manager and blink-182 at that time. By that point, he was basically managing tom. Tom changed his mind on touring, and then our manager changed his too. Strange, right? Angry, I got on the plane and flew to Nepal and Bhutan, later meeting Travis and tom in London to begin the tour.
At the first show, our old manager flew out and sat us all down in the dressing room before the show. He needed to have a meeting about the spring tour. He and tom sat on one side of the room and Travis and I sat at the other. Our old manager did all the talking. He announced that tom was done touring. He needed a break. He was "over playing music" and wanted to be with his family. The spring tour was going to be canceled. Travis and I were in shock. After the tour we were on, there were two months off. Wasn't two months off enough time to go home and relax with your family? Who in the world gets two months off from their job to hang out at home? But it wasn't enough. He needed more time. Much more time. Travis and I said "okay, if you don't want to tour, how about let's stay home and start the next record?" We had a lot of ideas and were ready to start laying them down. And tom could be with his family. He didn't want to do that either. He was burned out and just wanted to stop. We asked him how long he needed, and he said he didn't know. The conversation got heated and lasted for two or three hours. It went around in circles, and the end result was the canceled tour, with no idea when we would be doing anything with blink-182 again. Travis and I told tom and our manager that we weren't willing to sit on our hands for six months, that we still wanted to write and play music. They understood and agreed. A couple of days later, tom told us that he needed six or more months off. Our entire touring crew was told that the six months of work they had been promised was canceled, effective as of the end of the European tour ten days later. That was a couple of weeks before Christmas. The mood on the rest of the tour was sour. Everyone was bummed. Everyone was fired. The whole thing had come to a grinding halt for one person. But the shows were fucking great!
Travis and I were super bummed and angry at the position we were being put in. We understood that tom wanted to be with his family. We all did. We all love our families and want to be with them. At the same time, this is our job. We are so lucky to get to do what we do the way we do. We love our work and want to be out there doing it, and it was being taken away from us. We had no say in it. blink-182 has been a democracy since day one, and toward the end there it wasn't. it was all about one person. it felt ugly. it really did. so we went home and started our six month break.
After Christmas the tsunami hit, and soon after that I called our old manager about the possiblility of doing some kind of benefit show. I felt we needed to do something. I knew we were in Tom's "time off" period, so I said I would do an acoustic set, or Travis and I could try and find a replacement guitarist for one show. I know there are allegations out there that I was booking blink-182 to shows without talking to anyone. This is absolutely not true. I called our old manager, and offered to do it without Tom, but Tom wanted to help the tsunami relief cause, so our old manager booked us to play on the benefit show at the Pond. It had been a long time since we had played, so we set up a few rehearsals the week before the benefit.
At one of the rehearsals, we started talking arguing about our forced break, the greatest hits record, and the possiblility of recording the next album. Tom said on the next blink-182 album, he would ONLY record at his house in San Diego. he would not come to Los Angeles. He wouldn't travel anywhere for the recording. He wanted me and Travis to record our parts up in Los Angeles as we wanted to, then send him the pro tools files down to San Diego for him to work on there. Mind you, on the last blink record, Travis drove down every day from Los Angeles to the studio in San Diego to report his parts. But Tom wasn't leaving his house. This was the point our band was at.
Tom was deciding when we would tour, how we would tour, when we would have time off, when we would record, and how we could record. One person was dictating everything. We told Tom this. Things got hot. We told him if we were going to record the album separately, in different studios, our band was ceasing to be a BAND. The magic in the studio is created when the three of us are there TOGETHER, working on parts, discussing, sometimes arguing, all pushing the album forward. Trying to frankenstein a cd together by mailing each other pro tools files to work in our own private studios was ridiculous. It would lessen the entire album. It would be a terrible cd. We asked Tom if he was ready for the consequences of what that meant? Would we really sacrifice the quality of our music for the convenience of his insistence that he record only at his house in San Diego? We said, "You are trying to control everything, and it's wrong." He said he couldn't be a part of anything he couldn't control, and he left the rehearsal space.
The next day our manager called and informed us that, "as of today, Tom DeLonge is no longer a member of blink-182." He said not to try and call Tom, that he had already changed his number and didn't want to talk to us. And that is how it ended. After 13 years of being in a band together, hundreds of thousands of miles toured, countless shows played, and seven albums released, Tom didn't even call to quit the band. He had his manager do it for him.