On October 23, Tom DeLonge dropped a surprise on Twitter, announcing, "Freedom!! Blink as of today, is now an independent Artist!!!!!" There was no official explanation or elaboration, but MTV News contacted the band, getting in touch with Mark Hoppus to find out what was going on. Hoppus confirmed that, yes, Blink-182 have parted ways with Interscope, which put out Neighborhoods.
"It's been a long, amazing journey with [Interscope], starting with Cargo records, then MCA, then Geffen, and finally Interscope, but the time has come to move on," he said via email. "The reasons for us not working together are many and varied, but mostly we wish them luck in everything in their future, and thank those there who've worked so hard on Blink-182 throughout the years."
This move represents the end of a 15-year relationship between the punk-pop band and their longtime label, whose name and size (as Hoppus alludes to in his response) has evolved over time. Hoppus makes it sound like this parting has been in the works for a while. "[T]o be honest, we've been holding our breath waiting for final word from the attorneys that our contract with Interscope had ended," he said in his email. "Now the future's a wide-open door."
Hoppus added that, "It's a very exciting time here. I feel like our band is in the best place it's been in a long time. I mean, just look at my hair!" It's typical of his dorky, self-deprecating demeanor to make light of the situation, but it does make one wonder what Blink's future will look like. Plenty of rock acts of late have gone the route of independently releasing their albums, working with a distributor to handle some of the logistics but calling all the shots themselves. Blink-182's lengthy tour definitely suggests there's still an audience out there for them.
As for when to expect the next album, Hoppus indicated that the band may head to the studio after they complete a tour of Australia in February 2013. If that's the case, we could get new Blink by the end of next year. Before then, though, they'll have to figure out how they're going to get that music to their fans.
Photo courtesy Interscope.