Everyone's favourite pop punk pioneers Blink 182 are back with a new lineup, a new album and a new single that is so catchy you will be humming it in your sleep. Mark Hoppus and new boy Matt Skiba raced through the UK recently for a series of acoustic shows and we caught up with them to chat about music, Mark's Twitter trolling and who has the scariest eyebrows in punk?
Pop-Buzz: So, you're back in the UK, the new songs have just come out - "Rabbit Hole" in particular sounds like classic "Enema Of The State"-era Blink. Was it a conscious choice to go back to that style or did it just work out that way when you got in the studio?
Mark Hoppus: It was a conscious choice to not be afraid to go back to that. To not be afraid to be ourselves and to really embrace what Blink does and has always been and I think that song is a quintessential Blink song. It was less of us thinking "we need to write a song like that" and more of us saying "we wrote this song and it's a cool song, don't worry about trying to second-guess it". It's a rad song.
PB: And what's the fave of the new songs to play live?
MH: As short as it is, and being a joke song, I really love playing "Brohemian Rhapsody". It's just a fun, fast punk rock song.
PB: Matt, what's your favourite of the classic Blink numbers that you've been getting to grips with?
Matt Skiba: I really like to play..."Dysentery Gary" is a lot of fun. It's difficult to play but it's one of my favourite older Blink songs. "Enema..." is the record that I really fell in love with Blink to. So anything off of "Enema..." especially, but "Dysentery Gary" is a fun one and the fans seem to really like it when we play it.
PB: When you were coming into the lineup were there any hazing rituals from Mark and Travis?
MS: No, they're very classy, gentlemanly guys so nothing too crazy.
MH: We went out to vegan food - that was the hazing.
MS: Yeah they bought me lunch. That's how "hazerific" it gets.
PB: That's nice though. Mark, you are kind of referred to as the pop punk Dad on Twitter, how do you feel about people constantly calling you Dad?
MS: I was wondering what that was...
MH: Well, people started calling me Dad on Twitter a couple of years ago and I just kind of embraced it and then changed my Twitter handle to different Dad puns. And I just make really awful Dad jokes as well so it's kind of self-earned and I'm cool with it.
PB: You were toying with everyone's emotions when you were changing your name to Josh Dun, then Gerard Way - any great reactions from that or just confusion?
MH: Just confusion. I don't know. Josh and Gerard are both friends of mine so I like to tease them.
PB: When was the last time you guys were "Bored To Death"?
MS: I don't really get bored. I don't really allow myself boredom. Yeah, I can't recall.
MH: Yeah, I don't often feel bored. And when I do feel bored it's kind of a blessing because a lot of life is so busy it's good to take a second to zone out.
MS: Yeah, me and Mark read these things called books...
PB: Aah I've heard of those...
MS:...so if you have a moment to chill it's...like Mark said, usually when there's nothing to do it's filled with reading or watching a film or, ya know, masturbating.
PB: Haha, the big three. You guys are going on tour this summer with A Day To Remember and All Time Low. So, Jeremy Mckinnon or Alex Gaskarth - who has the scariest eyebrows?
MH: Scariest? I'm gonna say Jeremy because he plays in A Day To Remember and they're a much more aggressive band than All Time Low so I'm gonna say his eyebrows are inherently scarier because he has a more dramatic voice. Whereas Alex's is more poppy and beautiful.
PB: It's more of a seductive eyebrow.
MH: Yeah, yeah.
PB: So in your early days, were you ever in a band with a really terrible name?
MS: There was this contraption in the '80s called a Flowbee. It was like this hair cutting device. It was a vacuum and it would suck your hair into it.
MS: It was really weird, it didn't last very long. But I had a band called My Flowbee Nightmare and it had a dude holding a Flowbee and his head cut off and blood flying everywhere. So My Flowbee Nightmare was pretty terrible.
PB: What was the first rock show you guys ever went to?
MS: First rock show I ever went to was Public Image Limited, your countrymen.
MH: They Might Be Giants.
PB: Last but not least, can you sum up the new album in 3 emojis please?
MH: 3 emojis?
PB: You can get your phone out if you want, have a little check.
MS: I think it's a smily face, one of those, uh, what are they? Eggplants that everyone uses...
PB: Everyone says eggplant man, everyone.
MS: Well, yeah, we got to 'cos we're a bunch of d*cks. No, 'cos there's funny, ya know...there's no real d*ck songs but there's some humour in there. And then an emotion...an emo.
PB: There's got to be one right?
MS: There's kind of...not bawling, but ya know, pensive I guess - pensive emoji.
MH: I'm gonna say thumbs up emoji, rock horns emoji and middle finger emoji.
MS: There ya' go, way better.
"California" is out on July 1st.