Blink-182's Tom Delonge took to his Twitter account Tuesday to break the news that the band "as of today, is an independent artist."
It was a rather unceremonious end to Blink's 15-year relationship with the Universal Music Group, which began in 1997 when they signed with MCA, stretched them through their greatest commercial successes and concluded last year, when they released their Neighborhoods album through DGC/Interscope. And given that Delonge accompanied the announcement with a photo of Mel Gibson, in full "Braveheart" makeup and mid "Freedom!" cry ... well, one could logically assume the parting was decidedly less than pleasant.
Since then, both the band and their former label have remained silent on the split (MTV News' emails to a spokesperson for Interscope were not responded to), and fans have been left to wonder what Blink's departure would mean for the follow-up to Neighborhoods, which the band has begun working on in earnest.
So on Wednesday, MTV News emailed Blink's Mark Hoppus to set the record straight. And here's his response:
"Yes indeed, we are no longer with Interscope. It's been a long, amazing journey with them, starting with Cargo records, then MCA, then Geffen, and finally Interscope, but the time has come to move on," he wrote. "The reasons for us not working together are many and varied, but mostly we wish them luck in everything in their future, and thank those there who've worked so hard on Blink-182 throughout the years."
Hoppus also added that Blink are "excited" about the next phase of their career, adding that the band plans to "continue writing through the end of the year ... and begin recording after our tour of Australia in February." And once that album is finished, Blink will weigh their options.
"As far as labels, to be honest, we've been holding our breath waiting for final word from the attorneys that our contract with Interscope had ended. Now the future's a wide-open door," Hoppus wrote. "We're lucky to be in a position where, after 20 years in our band, we can be independent and open to all options. It's a very exciting time here. I feel like our band is in the best place it's been in a long time. I mean, just look at my hair!"