Tom caught up with Mark Hoppus from Blink-182 for a quick chat on their new album and how the internet is changing the music industry.
Hi Mark, how’s your day been so far?
Today has been great so far. We had a day off in Florida, so we just sat at the beach and got sunburned and asked people to bring us things to drink and
Blink-182 are on the edge of releasing ‘Neighborhoods’ – which was your favourite song to record on the album, and why?
Probably After Midnight. My favorite changes day by day, but this week, After Midnight is my favorite. I love the beat that Travis wrote for this one. it was the genesis of the entire track, and we built the song around it. The cadence of the song is different from anything we’ve done before. It’s a little downbeat but with a big chorus. I like the fact that Tom and I divided the verses and choruses on this song. this track came together very quickly.
How do you think further experience in producing and creating records since the last Blink-182 album between yourself, Tom and Travis changed the way that you approached writing and recording this time around?
Yes, definitely. I think that all of the projects we’ve done over the years have stretched us as songwriters, and at the same time, helped us see where our different skill sets end. They’ve also illuminated the gifts that each individual person brings to blink-182. I know what i’m good at, and where I lack, and I think Tom and Travis do as well. by doing these various side projects, we’ve learned a great deal, and it all comes back to benefit the songs we write in this band.
What would be the one reason you’d give someone who had (somehow) never heard Blink-182 to listen to ‘Neighborhoods’?
If you don’t like this record, it means you have terrible taste in music, all your friends will laugh at you behind your back, and your girlfriend/boyfriend will leave you from the shame of it all.
You’re a big user of social media, and Blink-182 have been using various methods to promote the new album online; do you feel that the internet has had and/or is having a positive or negative on music overall?
Both at the same time. obviously the impact to album sales has devastated the music industry, but at the same time there are amazing opportunities for bands to communicate directly with their supporters. New bands have the tools to promote, market, and distribute music all on their own. The internet has blown apart the traditional structure of the “music industry”, and created a brave new world. I think everyone is still trying to figure out what it all means in the long run. the good thing is that there’s still great, innovative, creative, and amazing new music being created.
What do you think the big changes in the music industry coming in the next 5 or 10 years will be?
As high-speed bandwidth becomes more and more ubiquitous, I think people’s music collections will largely move to the cloud/streaming. I can already feel it. the sense of personal ownership of one’s music is diminishing. CD sales will continue to slide. Everything will be digital. Subscription services will flourish.
If you could give any advice to a band that was starting out today, what would it be?
Make it happen for yourself. Write music you love. Play for anyone willing to listen. Promote yourself creatively. Never sit back and wait for your “big break”. Far too many bands with incredible talent and great songs have waited for the magic hand of a label, manager, or radio station to swoop in and take their band to the next level, only to wait in vain while the band languishes and dissolves. These things will come only after you’ve built a solid foundation on your own.
Will your TV show ever get a UK airing, and you planning to film any special editions next summer when you’re over here touring?
I certainly hope so. We’ll definitely be filming on the summer tour.
Neighborhoods is out Monday 26th September