I can look back with nostalgia to the early aughts – I would arrive home from school and quickly turn the TV on to catch Total Request Live (TRL, for short). From the comfort of my parents' sofa in suburbia, I joined the mob of screaming, sign-waving fans and energetic VJs in Times Square to catch the day's top 10 most requested music videos.
We have a job where we don't have to act like grownups.
Almost always a constant on the show's list? Blink-182. Their pop-punk sound combined with high-energy performances and boundary-pushing music videos led the SoCal band to the top of the music scene, and led me – a 13-year-old bubblegum pop-princess fan – to beg my older brother to take me skateboarding with him. (Skateboarding, as you'll soon find out, is one of the band's favorite pastimes). Needless to say, their impact on the music scene was huge, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Blink-182 poster that I taped on my lavender bedroom wall (ripped from the pages of a teen magazine, of course).
Through the years, Blink-182 has experimented with different sounds and members. They've started families and side projects, went on hiatus, reunited, and eventually re-formed to produce their seventh studio album, California. Currently made up of original members Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker, plus new member Matt Skiba, the band sat down for a Backstage with Citi interview with veteran music journalist Sway. The discussion bounced back and forth between controversial current events and off-color humor, giving a whole new meaning to the 1999 hit What's My Age Again, and reminding me that while Blink-182 has matured over the years, they'll always be young at heart. Here's what I learned about growing up from the experts themselves.
1. Friendships blossom over time.
You never know when you'll need a long-time pal to lend a hand. While Matt Skiba has been friends with Blink-182 for over 10 years, he didn't join the band until 2015, when they were in need of an additional guitarist and vocalist. Now, he told Sway, he "gets to play music with his best friends."
2. Stay current to keep connected.
When asked how they reach their fans, the band agreed that YouTube was an effective channel of communication, dubbing it the "new MTV." Not limiting themselves, the band members connect with their fans across other social channels, too.
3. Do what you love.
"We have a job where we don't have to act like grownups," noted Hoppus, even going as far as saying that California was the most fun they've had recording in a decade. Lesson learned? Choose a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life.
4. Don't neglect your hobbies.
You'll always need a way to pass time, no matter your age. "I'm 40 years old, I love the skate park," Skiba asserted along with Barker, who said he's been skating since his teens and "still doing the same thing." Skateboarding was the topic of conversation throughout the interview, causing some laughs when Hoppus described the last time he got on a skateboard as "sad," and likened his body to a "bag of rocks" after taking a spill. Hey, at least he tried.
5. Take care of your mind and body.
If there's one thing the band has learned, it's the importance of mental and physical health. Hoppus and Skiba formed a "quasi-book club" while recording California. Barker, a vegan, practices the drums and works out to keep busy on tour. Even their backstage riders reflect the band's healthy mantra – Skiba's includes coconut water and a yoga mat!
6. Priorities change.
Both Barker and Hoppus have started families of their own and agree that nowadays, the only late-night party is the one that takes place on stage. Hoppus even admitted to opting for quiet nights at home over VIP show invites from fellow bands. After all, he does drop his son off at school in the morning.