With all of the hype surrounding the new Blink 182 record "California", it got me thinking about all of the side projects that have come and gone since word of a break up hit the streets. The addition of Matt Skiba makes sense. He's seasoned, he can play and his band hasn't released a new record since 2013.
Of course, Blink will always hold a special place in our hearts, but for a moment let's appreciate the music that came out of the "in-between" periods in Blink's career.
1. Boxcar Racer
This Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker side project was born out of dissatisfaction in 2001 when the recording process for Blink's "Take Off Your Pants and Jacket" proved to be less than stellar. Tom and Travis didn't want to get locked into anything, and Boxcar wasn't meant to be a "real band" but their debut cracked the top 20 on Billboard's top 200.
Essential Tracks: "I Feel So" and "There Is"
My personal favorite Blink side project is Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker's +44. Their record was a direct reaction to the infamous "indefinite hiatus" of 2005. The band went on tour with Fall Out Boy and released, in my opinion, the best Blink side project record: When Your Heart Stops Beating. It's pop-punk perfection with a dark, contemplative edge and updated electronic elements.
Essential Tracks: No It Isn't, When Your Heart Stops Beating, Lycanthrope
3. Angels and Airwaves
Tom DeLonge's reaction to the hiatus was the highly controversial and equally etherial Angels and Airwaves, which he formed with former Thirty Seconds to Mars bassist Matt Watcher. It was considered a "supergroup". Anyway, the band released way more albums than +44, although some of us wish it were the other way around. More commercially successful they had a lot of hits.
Essential Tracks: "Everything's Magic", "Secret Crowds" and "The Adventure"
This hybrid-super group consisted of Tim Armstrong from Rancid, Skinhead Rob (A friend of Tim Armstrong's) and Travis Barker was incredibly versatile and new for each member. There's elements of rap, rock, hip-hop and hardcore. Their songs were edgy, violent and had a tinge of bitterness to them. Easy to say all members were coping with splits from successful bands during this era.
Essential Tracks: "Diamonds and Guns" , "Gangsters and Thugs"
The late DJ AM and Travis Barker became fast friends and released quite a bit of music together. It's hyper intense EDM with live drums. What more could you want?
Essential Track: Phantom/Wonderwall/I Got 5 On It