In the radio.wazee spotlight this
week is new-school punk trio blink-182. Formed near
San Diego, California around guitarist/vocalist Tom
Delonge, bassist Mark
Hoppus and drummer Scott Raynor the band was originally
known as simply Blink. The band debuted in 1993 with
a self-released EP, Fly Swatter. After releasing the
album Buddha in 1994, the trio signed to Grilled Cheese/Cargo
and released Cheshire Cat the following year. The
threat of a lawsuit from a similarly named Irish band
forced them to change their name to blink-182, but
the group earned a higher profile touring the world
with Pennywise and NOFX on the 1996-97 Warped Tour,
plus appearing on innumerable skate/surf/snowboarding
The third Blink-182 LP, Dude
Ranch, was released in 1997. Dude Ranch expanded the
group's audience and won the attention of major labels.
Blink-182 wound up signing with MCA, who released
the band's fourth album, Enema of the State, in the
summer of 1999. Travis Barker, formerly with the Aquabats,
later replaced Raynor. After selling over four million
copies of Enema of the State, the trio played on with
the limited edition release The Mark, Tom, and Travis
Show (The Enema Strikes Back) in fall 2000. The album
featured the band's radio hits on a live setting intertwined
with their quirky sense of humor as well as the new
song "Man Overboard". Take Off Your Pants
& Jacket, issued in spring 2001, saw the band
return to their SoCal punk rock roots.
thanks to John Bush,
All Music Guide [ www.allmusic.com
It's safe to say that blink-182
is now a worldwide phenomenon, with their records
reaping platinum and their concert tours packing ‘em
in all across Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Americas.
And earlier this year, blink-182 ventured back to
the studio with producer Jerry Finn to record their
fourth studio album, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket
(you should say the title out loud to fully appreciate
the subtle, sophisticated humor).
By every indication, Take Off Your
Pants and Jacket is turning out to be an evolutionary
hybrid for blink-182, as hooky as 1999's multi-platinum
Enema of the State, but with all the punk spirit of
their MCA debut album Dude Ranch. "This is the
hardest, fastest record that we've done," says
blink's Tom DeLonge of the upcoming album. "It's
way more punk-rock than our previous records, and
we're excited about it." Take Off Your Pants
and Jacket (release date 6/12/01) follows Enema of
the State and last year's smash live album The Mark,
Tom and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back).
The band's popularity has only increased
since their formation in '93. They began building
momentum with a string of popular 7"s, and in
1994 they released their first full-length album,
Cheshire Cat, on Grilled Cheese (a division of Cargo
Music). In 1996, they signed a joint-venture record
deal with Cargo Music and MCA Records, with their
first MCA release Dude Ranch (1997) setting the stage
for their current success. By the end of 1998, they
had emerged as one of the most popular pop-punk bands
of the year – the album went platinum in the U.S.
and the year-end Billboard Airplay Monitor Report
(BDS) stats indicated that "Dammit (Growing Up)"
from Dude Ranch earned top spins at many key radio
Blink-182 took a break from the
road after Christmas '98 to begin pre-production for
Enema Of The State, recorded in the band's hometown
of San Diego at Signature Sound. Handling production
duties was Jerry Finn, whose previous credits include
Green Day and Rancid. Enema Of The State shattered
the standard set by Dude Ranch. World-wide sales are
now over seven million copies, not to mention the
fact that the CD perched high atop the upper-reaches
of Billboard's Top 200 for over a year. The album's
three singles, "What's My Age Again," "All
The Small Things" and "Adam's Song"
dominated MTV, alternative, rock and Top-40 radio.
Their summer tour, where The Mark,
Tom & Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back) was
recorded, sold a third of a million tickets. The aforementioned
album was a 20-track collection of live versions of
classic blink-182 hits produced by Jerry Finn, and
also contained never-before-released songs, a new
studio track, and all the hilarious potty-mouthed
one liners a fan could want. In its limited release,
The Mark, Tom & Travis Show (The Enema Strikes
Back) sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. In other
Blink-182 news, a massive U.S. summer 2001 tour is
on the drawing boards, and a book about the band's
early days, written by Hoppus' younger sister, Anne,
now carries a title, Tales From Beneath Your Mom.
It's scheduled to hit bookstores in mid-September.
Then there's the ever-expanding
blink-182 mercantile empire, which stretches from
pole to pole, from sea to shining sea. First there's
their own blink182.com website for fans and curious
onlookers. Travis's "Famous Stars and Straps"
is a successful retailer and website for clothes,
belts and accessories. Mark and Tom's "Loserkids.com"
is an equally vibrant website for clothes, skates,
music, movies. But despite these ancillary success
stories, Mark, Tom and Travis never lose sight of
what's most important for blink-182 and their worldwide
legions of fans: music and tasteless comedy at every