Tom DeLonge Says Blink-182 Was Never A Mainstream Pop Rock Band

Blink-182’s co-founder and former member Tom DeLonge was recently interviewed by, during which he talked about their music style.

The band was formed in 1992 and released their first two records in the mid-’90s. However, they started enjoying increasing fame after the release of ‘Enema Of The State.’ It was the band’s third studio album, released in 1999. It featured more punk and pop sounds compared to the first two records.

In the conversation, Tom responded to the criticism Blink-182 received with ‘Enema’ and how the community reacted to their music. He also discussed why some people characterized them as a boyband. While saying that they weren’t a mainstream pop-punk band, DeLonge also pointed out that they toured with bands such as Guttermouth and the Vandals, which came from a more raw and unfiltered scene.

Furthermore, the guitarist mentioned how absurd it is that people think they were a mainstream pop band dancing around during the MTV shows because they were lighting drumsticks on fire on the stage and using all three instruments to create the best sound possible.

Tom DeLonge talked about Blink-182’s music style:

We weren’t a mainstream pop-punk band. We were touring for seven years with bands like Guttermouth and the Vandals. We were coming from a more raw, unfiltered, unproduced scene. Those attributes are in our DNA, regardless of how big Enema got.

People were putting us up and thinking we were a boyband. We didn’t get it. We were like, ‘What the fuck is going on?’ A week ago we’re lighting drumsticks on fire in our ass on stage and then people think we’re supposed to be on MTV dancing around.”

He continued:

“On that record, I remember specifically the things that appealed to us were, ‘What’s NOFX doing? What’s Fugazi doing? What’s Propagandhi doing, or the Queers?’ Just cool shit that’s raw, where you can hear the guitars. You can hear the angst.

You can hear the ‘Fuck off, what I’ve been doing is cooler than what you’ve been doing.’ You don’t hear that now in pop-punk bands. They do vocal acrobatics or they fuckin’ have lots of electronics that disguise everything.

We were trying to be very clever with three instruments, coming from a place that was all angst and breaking the law and growing up in broken families. That’s what you hear.”

Later in the conversation, Tom also talked about Angels & Airwaves and how they write songs by saying that he wanted to go in a direction that was not as saturated, produced, and atmospheric.