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:::::: Interview :::::: Mark Hoppus - Blink 182 ::::::

:B: So first and foremost, obviously you guys were bummed to have to postpone your Australian shows, can you set everyone straight on how Travis's injury happened? We've heard everything from slipping in the shower, to skating, wild partying and tripping while getting off a bus.

:MH: Travis tripped on his way to the bus and destroyed his ankle. when he got home he had to have surgery and is wearing a cast for the next three or four months.

:B: The re-schuduled shows are now in September, 6 months away from the original dates, we've had plenty of people asking us why so long? Can you give the fans an insight into just why there is such a big gap?

:MH: That was the next opening in our touring schedule.

:B: Alot of American bands say it is quite a hassle at times to get to Australia to play shows, perhaps it's the distance, exchange rates or maybe the population compared to other countries, have you guys found the same problem when it comes to adding Australia to your tour plans, once here everyone sings the praises saying it's a great place to tour, compared to every other place you've been, where do we rate....honestly.

:MH: We have always loved touring australia. we have been there ten times in nine years. we love it. it is always a great time and the people are amazing.

:B: How do you manage to juggle your time these days, what with band commitments, relatively newly settled family life as well as you & Tom's atticus/macbeth venture, Travis has his Famous Stars & Stripes and now i hear he's just bought into a restaurant, lots of outside interests to keep you busy now and in the future, do you ever get any spare time to just kick into normal mode?

:MH: You just have to try and keep everything in balance. all of the projects that we have are interests that we love, so it's not like work.

:B: The Atticus and Macbeth labels are well associated with alot of big name bands these days, working really closely in a family type atmosphere with the bands, tell us what got you started on the idea and how it's become such a big success and whats to come in the future.

:MH: We started these projects where we can work with our friends and have another creative outlet and a way to work with bands that we love. it has been a lot of fun.

:B: You've always been the type of band who lends a hand to upcoming talent, latest example being showcased in the 'Riding In Vans With Boys' DVD with Kut U Up, in the past you've taken Aussie's Bodyjar on tour in the states and coming up you have The Living End on some shows on your tour with No Doubt, did you get the same kind of treatment from the larger bands when you were trying to get your break?

:MH: Yes definitely. the first time we came to australia was with Pennywise. they brought us on tour there and that was how we got our start in australia. there have been so many cool bands that have helped us. that what i have always loved about our scene is how bands help each other out. there is a real sense of community.

:B: I mentioned the two Australian bands Bodyjar and The Living End you've worked with both in the past, what do you think about the Australian talent that you've seen over your many tours here, do you think they have what it takes to crack it in the states, any favourites that you've come across in the past?

:MH: We have gotten the chance to tour with a lot of great bands from Australia. They have all been rad.

:B: You've probably heard the word 'Matured' just about more than any other in interviews the last 6 months in reference to your latest album, would you say matured is the right word? or just gone for something different?

:MH: I used to shy away from the word matured, but now i embrace it. Yeah, we have matured. We still have the same sense about ourselves and we can surely still act like idiots, but we have also been playing music for twelve years now. We always want to try and grow as a band and push ourselves to experiment with new ideas.

:B: It's pretty obvious that alot of hard work was put into the new album, you've highlighted this by giving detailed information about each track in the cd booklet with the lyrics, just how long did the whole process take?

:MH: It took nearly a year. We started in January, and the album came out in November. It was great. It was the best way to record. Every day was different. The studio was like a musical laboratory. we just took whatever time we needed to try out any ideas that we had. it allowed us to try things we would never have tried before. there was no time pressure. i don't think we could record any other way now.

:B: Where to from now, it's hard to predict the future, but do you think there will be another break in between albums for other projects or will you tour this one around then get to work on the next?

:MH: We are talking about recording an EP of new songs during our summer US tour. Then we have a lot more touring to do.We will probably start recording the new album next year.

:B: Are you a lyrics or music first band when it comes to writing, most of your songs are collaborations, do you tend to write everything while you are all together or do you just bring in each others bits n pieces and work from there?

:MH: Music first always. The music tells you what the song should be about.

Blink 182's self titled album is available now through Geffen/Universal
Includes the singles - "Feeling This", "I Miss You" & the new single "Down"

Blink 182 will be touring Australia in September
(3) Blink 182 + Gyroscope @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre
(7) Blink 182 + Gyroscope @ Hordern Pavillion, Sydney
(8) Blink 182 + Gyroscope @ Hordern Pavillion, Sydney
(9) Blink 182 + Gyroscope @ Hordern Pavillion, Sydney