"It's hard to cover for someone who's disrespectful and ungrateful," drummer Travis Barker said of DeLonge

By Alex Heigl
Updated January 27, 2015 11:45 AM
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Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

Has Tom DeLonge officially left Blink-182?

It depends who you ask.

On Monday, two-thirds of Blink-182 – bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker – released a statement noting that guitarist/vocalist and founding member Tom DeLonge had “indefinitely” left the band.

DeLonge, 39, contradicted the statement on Instagram, writing that he “never quit the band.” “Are we dysfunctional?” he added, “Yes. But, Christ ”

Later Monday, Barker, 39, and Hoppus, 42, gave a wide-ranging interview to Rolling Stone where they explained the reasons for the band’s decision.

“We booked Jan. 5 to go into the studio,” Hoppus said. “On Dec. 30, we get an e-mail from Tom’s manager saying that he has no interest in recording and that he wants to do his other, non-musical stuff and that he’s out indefinitely.”

“There’s a flurry of e-mails going back and forth for clarification about the recording and the show and his manager sends [an e-mail] back saying, ‘Tom. Is. Out.’ Direct quote. This is the exact same e-mail we got back in 2004 when Tom went on indefinite hiatus before,” Hoppus added.

DeLonge released the following statement on Monday night:

“Contrary to reports, Tom DeLonge has not left Blink 182. ‘I never quit the band,’ he says. “Actually, I was on the phone discussing a possible Blink-182 event in New York City when I heard the ‘news.’ The only truth here is that I have commitments that limit my availability this year. I love Blink-182 and I’m not leaving.”

Meanwhile, Hoppus expanded on the recording situation to Rolling Stone, calling DeLonge’s attitude “not excited and not interested.” Barker minced fewer words, calling DeLonge “disrespectful and ungrateful.”

“I think he’s just bummed because Mark and I were finally honest,” Barker continued. “We always covered up for him before. It was always, ‘We’re going to record an album,’ then ‘Tom refuses to get into the studio without a record deal.’ So everyone does hella amounts of work to get a record deal and now Tom isn’t part of Blink-182 … It’s hard to cover for someone who’s disrespectful and ungrateful … Everyone should know what the story is with him and it’s been years with it.”

“Why Blink even got back together in the first place is questionable,” Barker concluded.

Barker and Hoppus are playing the Musink Festival (which Barker is behind) in Orange County, California, in March, with Alkaline Trio guitarist Matt Skiba filling in for DeLonge. “Beyond that, we’ll see what happens,” Hoppus said.

“It feels humiliating to be in a band where you have to be apologizing for one person all the time,” Hoppus added to the music magazine. “That’s how it’s felt for a long time … When Tom finally said, ‘I’m not going to go into the studio or play this show,’ it was kind of a gigantic relief because at least he finally said it. But to then say, ‘I didn’t quit the band,’ it’s just not true. It’s disingenuous.”