Here's Why Blink-182 Broke Up (And Then Got Back Together)

The history of Blink 182's complicated break-ups is a lengthy drama-filled affair. The band has split up several times, reforming with their original lineup in 2022. Blame for Blink's instability over the past several decades has often fallen squarely on vocalist Tom Delonge, who has repeatedly chaffed against the restraints placed upon him by the band, despite the group's commercial success.

On the other hand, while Delonge's itchy feet have played a large role in the drama, he is not the lone reason the band has struggled to stay together. Illness, addiction, and the pressures of fame have all played their part.

In a surprising twist of fate, several massive crises have also been the driving force behind the group's two reunions. A plane crash and a cancer diagnosis both pushed the band to get back together and rekindled brotherly feelings between the trio. Despite their past differences, Blink 182 has managed to pull out all the stops for a new decade, releasing their new album "One More Time..." in 2023.

Blink 182's first split in 2005

In the early 2000s, Blink 182's frontman Tom DeLonge was ready to explore other creative avenues. You may be familiar with one of his other musical projects — Angels and Airwaves — whose far moodier sound was inspired by 80s New Wave, a far cry from Blink's sunny pop-punk anthems. In 2001, DeLonge and Travis Barker created a side project Box Car Racer as an additional musical outlet. However, all it did was cause tension within the band when Blink's Mark Hoppus was left out.

Trouble was on the horizon, and creative differences weren't the only problems. At the height of their fame, Barker had become so addicted to painkillers that he told Billboard his bones became brittle and he felt suicidal. In 2004, the band was forced to cancel the first gig of their Australia tour so that he could go home and recover. DeLonge, who was saddled with crippling back pain from an injury, also wound up addicted to painkillers at the same time.

Finally, like many rockstars, the pressure of fame simply took its toll. Blink 182 were massive at the time and the public could scarcely get enough of them, and Barker even had his own TV show, "Meet the Barkers." Inevitably, the media circus that surrounded them became overwhelming. In an interview with BBC Radio 1, DeLonge explained "The band got so big that the machine running the band took over. We were burnt out, we needed a break, but the machine won't let you do that." The band called it quits, announcing a hiatus to legions of heartbroken fans.

The first reunion in 2009

In 2009, Blink 182 announced their intention to get back together at the Grammy's. The band had been reunited again after Travis Barker was involved in a deadly plane crash that he was extremely lucky to survive. Although at one point a reunion seemed incredibly unlikely, fate intervened in the most brutal way possible when Barker was horribly injured in the crash that killed four others. With burns covering 65% of his body, Barker became deeply depressed and grew suicidal in the hospital, according to what he told Billboard.

Recovery was tough but there was an upside — Barker, Tom DeLonge, and Mark Hoppus quickly bonded again in the wake of the catastrophe. Barker told Digital Spy, "... after my crash when Tom and Mark finally came to my house, about 30 seconds went by and Tom and Mark are telling d**k jokes ... It's like, 'Look, you d**kheads didn't talk to each other for six years and now everything's completely fine'. You realize how petty some of the s**t was we were all fighting over."

According to Rolling Stone at their very first reunion gig in 2009, Mark Hoppus addressed the band's breakup rather directly telling the crowd "And this is our very, very first show after hating each other's guts for many, many years." The reunited trio released their sixth album, "Neighborhoods" in 2011.

Split number 2 and the Matt Skiba years

Despite the heartwarming nature of Blink 182's reunion in 2009, the band would fall out again in 2015, thanks to some new drama from Tom DeLonge.This time the band only technically split up — the group was able to replace DeLonge with Matt Skiba from Alkaline Trio.

The second split occurred when DeLonge very unexpectedly declared that he did not want to be in the band anymore shortly after finalizing an extensive search for a new label. According to Rolling Stone, the other band members received a series of emails about the split, less than a week before they were due to start recording again. A blunt message sent by DeLonge's manager simply read "Tom.Is.Out." The fallout from their second break-up proved to be messy; although Blink 182 released a press statement announcing his departure, DeLonge later claimed on Instagram that he hadn't officially left the band. Regardless the group set out to replace DeLonge and hit upon Skiba.

On the plus side, Skiba's time with the band proved to be pretty productive, despite the fact that the newcomer was juggling his new gig with his work for Alkaline Trio. During their Skiba-era, the group produced two albums "California" and "Nine."

Together again in 2022

Blink 182's second reunion, just like the first, was born out of a life-threatening scenario. In an open letter on Instagram in 2022, Tom DeLonge thanked Matt Skiba for temporarily taking his place in the band and explained that Mark Hoppus' cancer diagnosis had sparked a second reunion. He wrote, "Emotions between the three of us in Blink have always been complicated, but Mark's cancer really put things in perspective. But to be honest, the band would not even be here today if it were not for your ability to jump in and save the day. So from my heart to yours, thank you for being a member of our band." Hoppus was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma in 2021 but was declared cancer-free six months later after a grueling round of chemotherapy.

In record time, the band released a new single "Edging," followed by the announcement of a 2023 tour. Their new song "One More Time" on the album of the same name makes reference to the strife that has torn the band apart, and the sad events that have forced them back together. "I wish they told us / It shouldn't take a sickness / Or airplanes falling out the sky."