Southern California pop-punk legends blink-182 are in the studio, working on the follow-up to 2016’s Grammy-nominated California. The band, fresh off of the second run of their Kings of the Weekend Las Vegas residency at the Palms Casino Resort, has returned to the studio under the watchful eyes of super-producer (and Goldfinger frontman) John Feldmann. Feldmann, known mostly for his work with pop artists like Five Seconds of Summer and Hilary Duff along with heavier artists like The Used and Atreyu, returns as the band’s producer and, according to blink themselves, the fourth member.
Longtime blink-182 bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus posted on Twitter in May of 2018 that the early versions of new songs sounded “like they pick up where Take Off Your Pants and Jacket left off.” Hoppus later clarified in an interview with KROQ that he might have spoken too soon, indicating that the new songs resembled their 2001 hit album only in the fact that they sounded a little bit edgier, and a little bit more experimental than the return-to-form pop-punk that was California.
The news of the band’s continued work on the yet-to-be-titled album, presumably coming out in 2019, is exciting news for blink-182 fans. Not only because they will soon have new music to enjoy, but this news also helps to calm any lingering fears that drummer Travis Barker would not be able to return to drumming after his 2018 bout with blood clots and staph infections that left him unable to play. These ailments were the catalyst for blink-182 to uncharacteristically cancel half of their Las Vegas shows, a short run of Midwest-USA shows, and a headlining spot at the 2018 Riot Fest in Chicago.
Despite the rumors that began swirling after Barker posted a picture of former blink-182 guitarist Tom Delonge, the duties of lead guitar and co-vocals will once again be taken on by Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba. After replacing Delonge following a very confusing, very public split in 2015, Skiba has continued to solidify his spot as a full-time member of the band while simultaneously juggling his position in Alkaline Trio, who also released an album, Is This Thing Cursed?, this year and embarked on a full cross-country tour during blink-182’s downtime.
While blink-182 had been very active on social media during the recording of 2015’s California, often posting short clips of drums or vocals being recorded, they have been a lot more tight-lipped this time around. Could this be their way of keeping more experimental or more mature music closer to the vest, or is it merely a lack of needing to drum up attention? During the lead-up to California, the band was trying to distance themselves away from the public feuding with Delonge and get fans excited for the album with a new incarnation of the group. After a Grammy nomination and multiple successful tours, it’s safe to say blink-182 isn’t worried about building up the hype this time around.