All the small things add up to big drama. The saga between Tom DeLonge and his now-former Blink-182 bandmates Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus is getting messier by the minute, with both sides giving different accounts of what went down over the past several years. After Barker and Hoppus gave an interview to Rolling Stone confirming an earlier statement that DeLonge was no longer part of the group, the guitarist/vocalist took to Facebook with a lengthy letter to fans.
In it, he describes the band's long history of infighting, saying they have a tendency to "self-sabotage" their success. "The big reset was when I tried to put together a band summit in Utah where we'd talk and work things out," he says in the nearly 1,000-word note.
That "band summit" turned into a short three-hour chat in one of their dressing rooms. "What I hoped would be a positive get-together away from everything turned into an awkward meeting," he writes. "But it was there that I told Mark and Travis that as long as we talked, and things were good between us as real friends, that I would be engaged and work passionately."
Unfortunately, the peace was short-lived. "At one point, squabbling and politics forced me to pull [our] EP down at a time when 60,000 fans were trying to purchase it," he claims. "And that blew my mind. I'd been trying so hard but that moment ultimately broke my spirit. I then realized that this band couldn't lose the years of ill will."
The letter goes on to detail DeLonge's many other projects, including a new Angels & Airwaves record and the launch of his media company. He claims his bandmates wanted him to sign a contract that would have forced him to effectively abandon those commitments — something he was not willing to do. "I can't just slam the brakes and drop years of development, partnerships, and commitments at the snap of a finger," he writes.
He told them this, he says, in a letter a year ago. "But it created a massive argument, the biggest one yet actually," he writes. "From their view I was controlling everything. In reality, I was scared to put myself out there again."
According to Barker and Hoppus, the three agreed to record another album — but a week before they were scheduled to go into the studio, they "got an email from [DeLonge's] 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."
DeLonge denies this claim, writing in his Facebook post that he was as surprised by the press release as anyone. "I know them very well," he says, "and their current actions are defensive and divisive."
The letter ends with DeLonge saying that while he still cares "deeply" for his former bandmates, their "relationship got poisoned yesterday."
Barker and Hoppus, for their part, stand by their story, telling Rolling Stone on Jan. 27 that they dealt with similar drama when the group broke up back in 2004.
"I think he's just bummed because Mark and I were finally honest," Barker told the mag. "We always covered up for him before...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. 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."