late night flightlate night flight from jfk to lax. in the past two days we taped a lot of great segments for hoppus on music. beady eye (former members of oasis), awolnation, simple plan, the brothers carney from spider man turn off the dark, cults, and a panel discussion on tour riders. we also shot two commercials for the show. question: why is my go-to television voice always just me yelling into the camera?
tomorrow morning early the movers come to my home to pack up everything i’m taking in the move to london. a few of you have asked why london and how am i going to be able to continue working with blink-182 and the tv show. the answer to the second part is: i will never sleep. i’ll be traveling back and forth to new york to tape the show, and flying out to wherever blink-182 has concerts, press, video shoots, etc. or if tom needs a hug. or if travis needs a partner for mixed martial arts tournaments. a lot of you may not know that, while i may APPEAR soft, infirm, and a bit out of shape, i’m actually the pinnacle of virility, strength, and masculinity. ready to GO at the drop of a hat. yeah, i’m kind of a bad ass. but i don’t like to be showy about it. as for why move to london, there’s no one real answer. i just want to check out the uk for a bit. i’ve lived in and loved southern california for most of my life, and want to try a change. i want to know what it’s REALLY like to live the european experience. by completely immersing myself into a foreign culture. jump in feet-first. i want to go to YOUR starbucks, to wear YOUR ed hardy t-shirts, and to ride rides at YOUR disneyland paris. i want to open my mind to a whole new world. i want to be jasmine, and the uk and greater european continent to be alladin, and the eurorail will be our magic carpet and we’ll fly high above the landscape opening up beneath us… “a whole new world (don’t you dare close your eyes…)” got a bit off travk there, sorry. the uk rules, and from there we can check out places in europe and scandinavia, etc. also, i like tea. and crumpets. but i gotta be honest, the sport of cricket completely defies me. any game that takes days to decide is beyond my capacity for caring. it takes all the patience and determination i possess to watch a 90 minute football match that ends in a 0-0 draw, and not launch something blunt and weighty into one of the 60” flatscreen tvs that hang on every wall of my sprawling mansion. interesting side note: aside from clothes, the amount of “stuff” i’m bringing with me overseas and on tour, the NECESSITIES of my very existence, objects with which i would be completely unable to function, all fit into two small boxes. and a pro-tools rig and some guitar cases.
tomorrow morning after the movers leave, we have interviews. mostly about the tour. but inevitably and expectedly also about the album. what does it sound like? how many songs? what direction did you take as a band? why does mark look like he’s slowly metamorphosing into jane lynch from glee? all valid and important questions, to be sure. but also questions for which we don’t have all the answers yet. we’re still in the thick of it. as i sit on this plane somewhere over pennsylvania, travis is in los angeles tracking drums, and tom is in san diego tracking guitars and vocals. i’ll be working on the songs again tomorrow after the interviews, and on and on until the album is due at the end of july. what DOES it sound like? i can’t tell you. personally, i am at the point where i can’t truly see it for what it is anymore. objectivity left a long time ago. i CAN say that some of the best songs for the record have been written in the past month. songs with energy and angst, and hooks and great melodies. the original absence of there songs is the reason why we had to cancel the UK/European dates. and also why, even as GIANT a bum-out as it was and continues to be, it was the right thing to do. the album is much the better for having the extra time, and we have the UK and Europe to thank for it. so thank you, and apologies again.
our single is due to be delivered to the label in two weeks. as of now, i think we have four strong contenders for “first single.” this is one the most exciting and stressful times of any recording process. the part where you commit. no more “we’ll put this in and see how it works…” we are all forced to make the decisions that will ultimately solidify whatever this new album will become, and will always be. good or bad, right or wrong, the die is about to be cast. the deadline is approaching. july 31st will be here sooner then any of us realize, and a few weeks after that it will be on the shelves (or on the websites where you can purchase and hold it in a cloud) and finally everyone can hear it, decide for themselves, and we can all stop talking about when the record will be released or what it sounds like. we can start talking about what we think of the final master. at that point, the album will be what it is and take on its own life. all of our ideas and work and songs will be like little birds, leaving the nest for the first time. some will soar to amazing heights, some may fall short and struggle to take flight, and some may grow bright yellow and grotesquely large and live on a street with a green monster who lives in a trash can. i think i’m going to like our new little record. i hope you do, too.
also tomorrow we’re meeting a production designer to discuss the upcoming US tour. starting to figure out what the tour will look like. what it will feel like when the curtain drops. what lights, what effects, what projections, or not. is there a theme? will there be an enormous animated skeleton named eddie that looms over the audience, or a giant inflatable pig, and what about pete wentz’s hair? these questions will inevitably lead into the discussion of the set list for this tour, which new songs will be added, which songs will stay, will any be cut? and tour rehearsals. and merchandise for the tour. and ad mats for the tour. and crew. and hotels. and buses. and semi trucks. load-in times. soundchecks. meet and greets. radio station visits. late night truck stops where you buy a brown leather vest with turquoise inset stones and tassels because you think it’s funny and you’re still buzzed from the show. (by the way, the half-life on the comedy value of said wardrobe absurdity is exactly 3 minutes from when you walk out of the truck stop door). tour life.
in summary (are you still reading this?! damn, maybe try and get out a little), tonight is june 22. in the next six weeks we have to: 1) finish recording the album, 2) choose a single, 3) mix the album, 4) master the album, 5) design the tour production, 6) figure out the artwork for the record (damn, i’d forgotten about that until right now), 7) decide upon a setlist, 8) learn to play the songs we just recorded in a live setting, 9) start general rehearsals for the tour, 10) shoot a video for the single, 11) do national, international, local, and long-lead press for the record and tour. additionally, for me i am committed to 12) two weeks of taping for hoppus on music, 13) flying to london to find a place to live, 14) moving everything out of my house, into storage or shipped to the tour, or to london, 15) packing for tour. 16) unburdening myself from 2 vehicles, 17) living out of a hotel for a month, 18) learning to dance the watusi, 19) convincing myself that the double-down sandwich is actually a real thing, and not a dare that someone is playing on us. oh yeah, and we as a band need a full week of full production rehearsals. and merch designs. wow.
so that’s the next six weeks. i’ll speak for myself when i say i’m crazy, stressed, high-strung, unable to sleep, anxious, nervous, and loving every minute of it. i love what we get to do. honestly. and the only reason we get the opportunity to do it is the support from all of you. so, thanks again. i hope you love our new record. i hope to see you out on the tour this summer, and if we miss you there, maybe i’ll run into you over in jolly old england, where we can throw anotha shrimp on the barbie, mate!!! oh. wait. dammit.