Back in February, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker told MTV News that his band's long-in-the-works album would finally be finished in "June or July," an announcement that was greeted with much joy — and skepticism — from fans who have seemingly been waiting forever to hear new music from the trio.
Because, truth be told, they've heard talk like this before ... in fact, at this point, the project carries with it a timeline that stretches all the way back to February 2009 — when Blink-182 announced that they were not only reuniting, but "in the studio writing and recording a new album" — and has included supposed release dates in 2010 and 2011.
But now, it really, truly seems like the still-untitled album is entering the home stretch. Not only did Mark Hoppus post a brand-new studio clip on his Facebook page late Tuesday, but when MTV News spoke to the bassist last week — back when Blink-182 were still in the hunt for the Musical March Madness championship — he backed up Barker's claims of a summer release. For real.
"The timeline! The Blink-182 timeline! Always an interesting point of discussion!" Hoppus laughed. "We are still planning for an early-to-midsummer release, we're working very hard at it. Right now Travis is back on the road, so I'm back in L.A. working on the record, [guitarist Tom DeLonge's] working on the record, we're sending stuff to Travis; as soon as [he] gets back, hopefully Tom and I will have the album in a shape where Travis can come in and we can spend, you know, a month, month-and-a-half working really hard on pounding out the album and get it done."
Hoppus explained that most of the recording's delay has been due to the way Blink have chosen to work this time around — in bits and pieces, alone and together, in a pair of California studios — which has everything to do with each member's rather, uh, busy schedules.
"It's definitely a very different process ... before, at least we were all in the same room at the same time," he said. "With this, with Travis having his solo record, me being in L.A., and Tom doing his stuff and also being in San Diego, at first it felt like maybe it was a bit piecemeal, but now it feels like we're getting into a good rhythm.
"Between sending songs back and forth to each other, we'll all meet up in the studio every few weeks and go over everything, listen down to everything and I'll say, 'OK, I love what you did with this idea. Let me take this song for a week and try some ideas on it,' " he continued. "And I'll take a song for a week, try a bunch of stuff on it, present it back to everybody else, they'll make their comments and then move on from there."
So, yes, Blink are holding fast to a summer release. And in spite of their packed schedules — and despite everything you may think — they are making progress toward that goal. One song at a time.
"It really depends on the day how finished songs are ... there's songs that I think are finished that we go back and work on some more, there's songs that I think are going to take a long time and they end up progressing pretty quickly," Hoppus explained. "I feel like we've worked on about 16 tracks, of which 12 of those are making the cut. When songs don't seem to be working, we let them fall by the wayside, and I think we're pretty good about putting the better songs forward. So, we're working on 12, five or six of those are in states that are near completion, and the other ones are formed ideas with structures and parts — they just need filling in. The skeletons are all there, we just need to fill in the pieces."