Hard to Do

Earlier this month, former blink-182 members Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker played their first show with their new band (+44) at the Roxy in West Hollywood. Until August, Hoppus had been silent about the band's breakup initiated by cofounder Tom DeLonge nearly two years ago.

In an interview posted at blink-fan website b182.com, Hoppus is quoted as saying DeLonge demanded that all recording be done in his North County home studio or that the band members could record their parts separately.

"Trying to Frankenstein a CD together by mailing each other Pro Tools files to work on in our own private studios was ridiculous," says Hoppus. "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 then he left the rehearsal space.... Tom didn't even call to quit the band. He had his manager do it for him."

Also at b182.com, Hoppus says, "On the last North American tour, we took out a Pro Tools rig and set up a demo studio in a dressing room every day.... During the long hours of downtime on tour, we would go in there and lay down ideas for the next blink-182 album. There were some cool songs started in those dressing rooms. After Tom quit, our old manager [Rick DeVoe] called and said that he was going to take some of the ideas that we had started on the tour and rerecord them for Tom's new band [Angels & Airwaves]...."

DeVoe, based in Encinitas, did not respond to a request for comment.

"I think it is in poor taste that [DeLonge] plays blink songs at [Angels & Airwaves] shows," says Hoppus on the website. "It is disrespectful to the fans. It is disrespectful to the legacy of blink-182."

At their first show, (+44) did not play any blink songs, but one L.A. music-industry insider who was at the show says, "Some songs were real blink-sounding; really happy and poppy.... There was one really funny line. Mark says, 'Man, it's been almost two fucking years since I've been onstage.' There's silence. Then he says, 'So, has anything happened since I've been gone?' Everyone laughed. Then he plays this song that is about the breakup of blink-182."

That song, "No It Isn't," is on the first (+44) CD, When Your Heart Stops Beating, to be released November 14. The band kicks off their six-week nationwide tour at Soma on October 13.

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