Will there be any new songs in these August shows?
(Mark Hoppus, bass/vocals): No new songs played on the shows, unless we come up with something on the road right now.
Is that likely?
Well we’re close to finishing a few new songs – I doubt we’ll play them live because everything is all integrated with the light show and the staging and everything else. Plus, on the road is not necessarily the best place to premiere new music – as a fan of music I don’t like going to a show and having a band say ‘we’re going to play a new song now’.
So no new songs, even for Reading and Leeds Festivals?
Just the hits.
Did you feel that you’d been cheating on Blink-182 so to speak when you formed +44?
I didn’t think I was cheating on Blink-182, but I felt it was different to Blink-182 and even while we were recording I was always in thought of like ‘oh this is a really cool part of the song, I wonder what Tom [DeLonge] would do on guitar in this section’ – that was always in the back of my head because I’ve always written songs with Tom. But it was also a great opportunity to try different ideas and different things outside of Blink-182, and in the end I think that us being in these different bands not only allowed us see what each of us brought on our own to the table but also to appreciate the other people’s talents in the band.
Were you ever a bit jealous that you weren’t asked to be part of Angels and Airwaves?
No, that was totally Tom’s thing that he needed to do and wanted to do. It was obviously something he wanted to do outside of Blink-182 so it never even crossed my mind.
It seems like you’ve pretty much influenced millions and millions of aspiring guitar and bass players. Is this an honour, or almost a burden in some ways?
It’s definitely it an honour. It’s completely humbling I guess when bands come up and say that we’ve inspired them, or when someone comes up and says ‘I’ve started playing bass or guitar because of your music’. It’s a great thing – it totally makes my day every time I hear something like that. Half the time it’s sort of like the most back-handed compliment. People will come up and say ‘I started playing guitar because of your music, and I learnt all you guys’ songs in a week’.
Being in a punk-rock band, did you ever think you’d become so influential?
No, never. Not for a second. We just wanted to play loud punk-rock music and have a good time and I can’t believe we’ve gotten to this point.
So fame and fortune never came into it?
Well, I never even thought that it was a possibility. A punk-rock band playing small clubs in San Diego – our biggest goal in the entire world was to be able to tour in any way, to get in the van and play shows outside of our own city, and the thought of fame and fortune never entered into it once.