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  • Brian Fishbach

Hey, Here's To You, Matt Skiba

This week, Blink 182 announced the return of founding guitarist Tom DeLonge to the band after a seven year absence.

In his place in Blink 182 since 2015 was Alkaline Trio frontman and guitarist Matt Skiba. With DeLonge's return, Skiba is no longer in the band.

To put any speculation to rest, both DeLonge and Skiba had possibly the classiest, kindest of messages to both each other, the band and their fans.

On October 13, the day after his official return, DeLonge not only texted a heartfelt message to Skiba, but took a screenshot and posted it to Instagram for his 1 Million fans to read:

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.

-Tom DeLonge of Blink 182

On October 14, Skiba responded with a gratitude gram of his own. He posted a promotional photo of DeLonge with Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus and offered this as his public response in the caption:

CONGRATULATIONS to the homies @markhoppus @tomdelonge and @travisbarker on their triumphant @blink182 return/reunion and the release of their new single today‼️‼️I’m sure there’s a joke in here about releases and happy endings I’m missing but I am truly grateful for my time with blink and I am truly happy you guys are a band and a family again. 💕THANKS TO THE BAND AND ALL THE BLINK FANS FOR HAVING ME. You were delicious! ❤️M. #fromchicagowithlove

—Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio and formerly of Blink 182 from 2015-2022.

This is a complete 180-degree (or should we say a 182-degree) example of bands replacing members compared to the ugly rivalries between Van Halen's David Lee Roth and his replacement Sammy Hagar. There's still some Journey fans who refuse to acknowledge Arnel Piñeda, who so valiantly has replaced the former frontman Steve Perry.

Although Rock Music Life didn't get the chance to see Blink 182 do a full concert live with with Skiba at guitar, we did see them perform "I Miss You" and Linkin Park's "What I've Done" at the Chester Bennington Memorial Concert on October 27, 2017.

In the same vein of gratitude to Matt Skiba, here is a list of Rock Music Life's favorite songs from the Matt Skiba-era of Blink 182:

11. "Bored to Death"

The first single from their album "California" got a lot of airplay on KROQ in Los Angeles when it was released. That same week, KROQ dropped the show"Loveline" from their lineup. In the lead up to the final show, it was a reminder of how the times are changing, life may not be the same as before, but we're left with great memories and a future left to be written.

10. "She's Out of Her Mind"

Travis Barker's triple hit of the crash symbol to emphasize the first line of chorus ("I'm in deep...") is epic.

9. "No Future"

Nobody includes "Na na na na" in their lyrics better than Blink 182. This song bridged the DeLonge era with the Skiba era in ways that even the most stubborn old-school-only fans would appreciate.

8. "Teenage Satellites"

Best bridge on the entire album:

We are a slow descent

Forgotten astronauts

We are an avalanche

We're just an afterthought

7. "San Diego"

All three geographic shout outs on the "California" album are perfect listening for a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway.

6. "Sober"

The song just plain rocks and has great advice that can and should be appropriated by anyone with relationship strife:

I know I messed up and it might be over.

So let me call you, when I'm sober.

5. "Los Angeles"

It's a song about the town where all of the Skiba era of Blink 182 took place (as opposed to the band's founding years 125 miles south in San Diego). Slower verse, loud and fast chorus with all kinds of southern California rock smeared all over. Barker's snare roles rev everything up without stealing the spotlight.

4. "Left Alone"

There is only one other chorus on the "California" album that hits harder than the chorus of "Left Alone." This is a stellar example of the special harmony created by Hoppus and Skiba. This song stands tall on its own.

3. "Run Away"

From their second album, "NINE," the song "Run Away" is a total hit and deserved to be a radio single. Skiba belts the chorus that will have you grateful that these three musicians found each other, even if it was only temporary.

2. "Hungover You"

A heartbreaking ballad that picks that hits hard in all the right places. Our favorite song from the album"NINE."

1. “California"

Rock Music Life declares the song "California" to be our favorite Blink 182 song from the Skiba era —and a top 10 all-time favorite for Blink 182. We can only dream that one day there will be a Blink 182-Alkaline Trio tour. And if there is only one song where Skiba rejoins, we hope that its for "California." In the chorus, they sing hey, here's to you California. So we say, Hey, here's to you, Matt Skiba.


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