Music » Music Stories & Interviews

Naked bunch



Touring Australia has been profitable for pop/punk trio Blink 182. Keeping their pants on, however, has been more problematic. The Poway, Calif., band built a substantial following in the land down under with the release of two Australia-only EPs, numerous personal appearances and naked pranks. Stories of fans wrecking a seaside hotel during a Blink performance in Australia, however, were greatly exaggerated.

"There was no riot like some of the newspapers reported," says guitarist Tom Delonge. "At one show in Brisbane things got too rough and the security guards walked off the job because the kids were all over the stage."

Delonge says he ran through a list of "quick-action words" in his mind when the Poway, Ca., trio formed in 1993. He came up with "Blink," and the band -- which currently includes bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Baker -- released a demo tape and a vinyl single, before receiving a threatening notice from an Irish band who claimed ownership of the name. Delonge chose a random number and fused "Blink" with "182."

Their debut album, "Cheshire Cat," sold well enough for San Diego indie label Grilled Cheese/Cargo Records to cut a joint deal with megaconglomerate MCA Records for the follow-up, "Dude Ranch." Two hit singles -- the horny teen-age anthem "Josie" and the breakup song "Dammit" -- were instrumental to the album's success, as well as the band's bizarre performances. "Our shows are more like a comedy hour," says Delonge. "We spend a lot of time horsing around, telling dirty jokes and talking endlessly."

They also have trouble keeping their pants on. "I don't know why we get naked when we drink. It just seems to happen," he says, recalling an incident where the birthday-suited band paraded in downtown Melbourne, Austrailia, after drinking for 12 hours. Manager Rick Devoe jumped up on a giant restaurant window with his pants down and smeared the front of his body against the window. "It should have been totally embarrassing, but when we walked in, everybody in the place started applauding," says Delonge.

Most of Blink 182's songs are about getting dumped by girls. While consorting with members of the opposite sex wouldn't seem like a problem for a punk band on the road, Delonge says that most of the girls that come to their concerts are too young. "That's probably why the biggest thing we write about," he says "is sex."

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