Tom DeLonge
Tom DeLonge live with Blink-182 in 2011 (Photo by Ethan Miller, Getty Images)

by Jade Hanley

Blink-182 had big plans for 2015: the band talked about releasing a record as well as doing tours. That’s what the fans were expecting. What they received on Jan. 26 were statements from two band members, Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus, that founding member Tom Delonge was no longer a member of the world-famous rock band.

In the press release, they state: “A week before we were scheduled to go in to the studio we got an email from his manager explaining that he didn’t want to participate in any Blink-182 projects indefinitely, but would rather work on his other non-musical endeavors.” The band also announced that Matt Skiba, lead vocals and guitar of Alkaline Trio, would replace DeLonge on the upcoming tours and festivals that Blink-182 has already booked.

Delonge released a statement of his own a few hours later about the situation. “I never quit the band,” he wrote on his Facebook, “Apparently those releases were ‘sanctioned’ from the band. Are we dysfunctional- yes. But, Christ….”

So what’s the deal? Is Delonge in the band or not?

Rolling Stone Magazine did an exclusive interview with Hoppus and Barker to get the details. Mark Hoppus told Rolling Stone that the band had received the original email a few days before they were booked to go into the studio, and it had contained the same words as it did when Tom went on hiatus a previous time. “There’s a flurry of e-mails going back and forth for clarification about the recording and the show and his manager sends back saying, ‘Tom. Is. Out.’”

“I think he’s bummed because Mark and I were finally honest,” Barker states. “It’s hard to cover for someone who’s disrespectful and ungrateful. You don’t even have the balls to call your bandmates and tell them you’re not going to record or do anything Blink-related. You have your manager do it.”

It’s clear the band has moved on from DeLonge. Between the recent Feb. 1 Instagram post titled “Blink-182 rehearsals” to touring temporarily with Skiba, Blink-182 isn’t giving up on their original dreams of 2015.

As for Tom, he’s teasing his own work. On the same day that Blink-182 rehearsed without him, Tom released some sneak peaks to songs with the tags #SongsWithoutAHome, #March1st, and #Tom. Hopefully we’ll have more news about new work from DeLonge soon. In the mean time, all we know is that he didn’t want for this to happen. In his lengthy press release and letter to the fans on Jan. 27, DeLonge states, “Never planned on quitting, just find it hard as hell to commit.”