“It’s the most incredible lineup we’ve had yet, we’re super excited. On top of the music we have the best tattoo artists, and there’s a car show, a skate demo. It’s everything that I love all kind of mixed in one.”
“It’s kind of a different situation. We had agreed to do this show [Musink], we had planned this in November, or maybe even the end of October. We had all agreed to do it. It was concrete, Blink was headlining Sunday night and the day before New Year’s Eve we got an email saying ‘Tom indefinitely is taking a leave of absence for he doesn’t know how long, it could be forever. More than likely it’s forever and will not be doing anything Blink-related meaning live shows and recordings.”
“This is exactly how it went down 10 years ago too. No phone call from Tom, it was always his management just says ‘Don’t bug Tom, Tom’s out. Leave him alone,'” explained Barker. “It comes to the point where you can’t make anybody do anything.”
“I’m a more confrontational person. I’d rather talk to the source and work it out, figure it out. I don’t like playing tennis – you say this, I say that. It’s childish. That’s for like Housewives of Atlanta.”
“He’s [DeLonge] absolutely still my friend, it’s just he doesn’t want to play in a band. It’s like a chick. You’re not gonna make a chick that says ‘Hey I don’t want to see you indefinitely and I don’t know how long, I might not want to see you forever.’ You’re not going to be like ‘You get over here. You play with me right now.’ You need to give her her space, you need to let her go live… and it’s the same thing.”
“I juggle a lot of things outside of Blink. I record with tons of different artists, and I always seem to still know how to prioritize Blink. I still love Blink and it’s my #1 priority over everything that I do. But it’s like when you don’t have the same passion to make that your priority as well, it makes it hard to come together as 3 people when one person doesn’t care about it.”
Barker explained that the band’s last reunion, which happened in 2009, may have been for the wrong reasons.
“From the time my plane crash happened and I survived, it was like, ‘Dude you almost died. I have to play music with you again,’” he said. “Then it turned into interviews where he was like, ‘I was on a plane when Travis got in a plane crash and everyone was talking to me and it felt weird and poor me.’ He took it to a weird place.”
But no worries, they’re still friends—or, at least Barker considers them such.
“I don’t hate nobody,” Barker explained. “I don’t have a problem with anyone. He’s absolutely still my friend. He just doesn’t want to play in the band.”
Having to explain to fans and media the constant delays in recording for nearly a decade Barker confessed it’s been a huge weight lifted off his chest to let the public know the current state of the band.
“I’ve always had to cover up for him,” he said. “Finally it’s just out. He doesn’t want to record. He hasn’t wanted to record. We’ve tried recording four or five times. We’ve catered to him. We’ve got label interest. We did everything he wanted to do and then his manager still sends us an email saying Tom’s out.”
Barker also addressed DeLonge’s late-night (and now-deleted) tweet, which claimed, “A year ago Mark and I spent a week on the phone with managers debating parting with Travis. Don’t pretend there isn’t more to this story.”
“That was when they planned an Australian tour,” said Barker. “I told everyone I’m going to try my hardest but at the end of the day I was in a plane crash. I don’t know if I’m ever gonna fly again. But if I was going to fly again, it’s gonna be to Australia with y’all because I want to do this big Soundwave tour…. playing with Metallica. There was no reason I wouldn’t want to go. And I worked on it. I worked with therapists, I did everything. And I just couldn’t fathom the thought of doing it.”
It was when the Australian tour promoter started “mouthing off” over the web, Barker expected DeLonge to have his back. Sadly Barker said he didn’t get the support he expected from his bandmate.
“Tom didn’t like the way I talked to the promoter,” Barker said. “At that point I was already home, bummed, disappointed in myself that I couldn’t get on an airplane. Then this dude comes at me weird and Tom doesn’t have my back… You know you should have some respect and some sympathy.
“You know, I didn’t really know that much about [Tom’s tweet], Mark had to explain it to me, and I was like, cool. If that was his decision, I definitely wouldn’t make the stink that he is now. I would bow out and be like, ‘Much love to you, I wish you nothing but the best.’ I wouldn’t be doing the back and forth and most importantly, I would speak for myself,” he said. “I think it’s questionable you not even having the respect to hit up your band members even if it’s via email or phone. To get a manager to do it, I can’t really say anything positive about that. Right there that’s a red flag.”