"A band like Pearl Jam, who does everything on their own, is a great role model for bands."

Now that SoCal pop-punk legends Blink-182 have declared their independence from former record label Interscope, the band’s bassist and singer Mark Hoppus says the power trio is genuinely fired up about what comes next.

“We’re really stoked. It’s a great time in our band right now,” Hoppus told CBS Local in an exclusive interview from London, where he’d just attended the premiere of the new James Bond movie, Skyfall. “We’re better amongst ourselves than we’ve been in years. It’s a real positive, excited energy between the three of us. Getting a chance to become independent after being on a label for whatever it’s been, 17 years now – it’s a really cool position to be in. Now we figure out where we want to go, who we want to work with, what works best for us as a band. If that’s with a label, if we partner with a different company, if we partner with whomever, we get to control our destiny.”

As the band weighs their professional options, they’ve already started work on the next Blink-182 album to follow up 2011 release, Neighborhoods.

 “We’re just getting into it right now and starting to write. Tom (DeLonge) sent over an idea earlier this week that’s very cool,” Hoppus said. “I’ve been writing at my house in London, and Travis (Barker) has a bunch of ideas I know, but we haven’t had the chance yet to really start getting into the writing process.

“We’re going to write through the end of this year and the beginning of next year, and start recording for real with quotes around for real in February after we get back from going to Australia for the tour there,” he continued. “Ideally, it would be out by the end of 2013, but you never know when you get into the studio how long things are going to take. Left to our own devices we would take forever to record an album, because we love experimenting and we like changing things around and trying different ideas. In the end, we need somebody that’s going to give us a deadline. If you give us enough time in a studio, we will waste it for sure.”

Although Hoppus said that Blink-182 was simply “following their instincts” when deciding to move on from their label deal with Interscope, he also admitted looking up to a particular Seattle group in terms of making their own rules in the industry.

“A band like Pearl Jam, who does everything on their own, is a great role model for bands,” he enthused. “They’ve always been true to themselves and their fans, and done really cool, great stuff outside of big business. They live so under the radar. You don’t hear a lot about Pearl Jam in mainstream pop press, but they can sell out arenas and amphitheaters in pretty much any city in the world, you know? They’re a great example of what bands can do when they’re driven and true to themselves. “

–Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local

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