Earlier this week, essentially ousted Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge claimed in a Tweet that he and bassist Mark Hoppus “spent a week on the phone with managers debating parting with Travis” last year—the Tweet has since been removed. However, Hoppus says that the claim isn’t true, and that the issue in question arose from drummer Travis Barker’s reluctance to fly following his involvement in a 2008 plane crash.
“[For the 2013] Australian tour in January, Travis obviously didn’t go on that tour because he didn’t feel comfortable flying, which was a possibility that we had known about from day one,” Hoppus tells Alternative Press. “When we agreed to do the tour of Australia Travis said, ‘I will do everything in my power to get back on an airplane, but if it gets to the day and I’m not ready to go, we need a back-up plan.’ As it [came] closer to the time, Travis called me and Tom and said, ‘I’m not ready yet, I don’t think I’m going to be able to make the flight. We should go with a back-up drummer.’ With Travis’ blessing we enlisted Brooks Wackerman and completed the tour.”
“After the tour, Tom was very upset about being put in that situation on tour, where people were threatening to sue, the promoter was angry and everything else,” Hoppus continues. “But he was really just blowing off steam. We got back from tour and Tom was having these calls where he was talking about ‘can we replace Travis, can we do whatever,’ but it was really just Tom blowing off steam. There were a few days of calls where I listened to Tom, commiserated with Tom and, immediately afterwards, called up my manager and [said], ‘Tom’s upset right now, he’s talking about trying to replace Travis, but I’m not into it. That’s not going to happen.’ And sure enough, Tom, after a month, called back up and was like, ‘Hey you know what? I was just angry about it. It was a bad situation, and of course I don’t want to kick Travis out of the band.’ I don’t think Tom was ever truly serious about it. Even at the time, I felt he was just angry and he just needed to vent.”