Tom DeLonge Thanks Matt Skiba for Keeping Blink-182 Alive During His Absence
Blink-182 in their most popular and successful form are back together, with plans for a major tour, but there's a key part of the band's history that might be getting overlooked with the announcement of Tom DeLonge's return. DeLonge himself wanted to make sure that proper recognition was paid to Matt Skiba, who filled his void in the band after his most recent split from the group.
Tensions arose in 2015 between DeLonge and the other two band members as his outside activities clashed with Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker's desire to play shows and focus on a new album. At that point, Hoppus and Barker reached out to Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba to fill in for DeLonge as several show commitments had already been made. That "fill-in" status then became more permanent as more shows were booked and the trio started to work on new music. Skiba appeared on both the California and Nine albums in the years since, but alluded to his uncertainty over his place with the band earlier this year amid rumors of DeLonge's potential return.
With the announcement earlier this week confirming that the lineup of Hoppus, DeLonge and Barker would be touring together, that left Skiba not part of their upcoming plans. But DeLonge has penned an open letter to Skiba thanking him for his time with the group and telling fans, "I sent this to Matt personally, but it’s important for the world to know that I honor him. Thank you, @matttskiba."
DeLonge's letter to Skiba reads as follows:
Hi Matt –
Tom DeLonge here. I wanted to take a minute and say thank you for all that you have done to keep the band alive and thriving in my absence. I think you are enormously talented (I still love to listen to your band to this day). You have always been so kind to me, not only in the press, but also to others. I really noticed. Emotions between the three of us in blink have always been complicated, but Mark's cancer really put things in perspective. But to be honest, the band would not even be here today if it were not for your ability to jump in and save the day. So from my heart to yours, thank you for being a member of our band.
As stated, the current lineup of Blink-182 will be hitting the road with DeLonge intact for a major 2023-2024 reunion run. The fans have expressed their excitement over the reunion, with tickets set to go on sale Oct. 17 via the band's website.