A couple of weeks ago, we gently suggested that Blink 182 should just break the fuck up already
, in the face of in-fighting, public bitching and Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba being brought in to sub for Tom DeLonge. At the time, drummer Travis Barker and vocalist/ guitarist Mark Hoppus painted a picture of an indifferent, selfish Tom DeLonge who held the band's progress up and refused to work with his band-mates. DeLonge denied refusing to co-operate with Barker and Hoppus, and we assumed that Blink's issues all came down to a combination of ego and being in the game too long.
What Barker and Hoppus failed to mention at the time, however, was that Tom DeLonge — if this week's interview in Paper
is anything to go by — is actually possibly in the midst of some kind of serious mental breakdown.
We're not suggesting that DeLonge might be mentally ill because of his long-held belief in alien lifeforms, and we're not suggesting he's potentially unstable simply because he has some conspiracy theories (both of those things are pretty rad). We're suggesting he might need some medical assistance because of the rambling, paranoid, confused delivery in which he talks about such things in the Paper interview.
At times, DeLonge talks about his personal investigations in a manner that is reasonably compelling and somewhat sensibly delivered:
I'm reading books on physics, I'm reading books on the secret space program, I'm talking to people that work underground for six months at a time, that are confiding in me about the national security initiatives. I've literally read 200 books on the subject, and I don't spend my time looking at UFO reports or talking to little green men. I'm way past that. If anybody tells you there's no life in universe, you should be turned off. That's just such a dumb thing to say. It's totally, universally accepted amongst the country's elite scientific establishments that there's life everywhere. The question is what kind, where, how'd they get here, what are they doing when they get here, and how do we communicate with them?
At others, he sounds... well... kinda nuts. Of his camping trip to a "secret base... on the flight path to Area 51" DeLonge says:
I kept telling the guys: if anything was going to happen, it would happen at three in morning, because that's the time when things like this happen. Don't ask me why. We put about four logs on the fire, and everything is illuminated by the fire, and we fall asleep around one or two. I woke up right around three a.m. My whole body felt like it had static electricity, and I open my eyes and the fire is still going, and there's a conversation going on outside the tent. It sounded like there were about 20 people there, talking. And instantly my mind goes, OK, they're at our campsite, they're not here to hurt us, they're talking about shit, but I can't make out what they're saying. But they're working on something. Then I close my eyes and wake up, and the fire is out and I have about three hours of lost time.
Most seriously, DeLonge believes also that his life could be in danger because of what he knows:
One time I remember bringing up a very specific craft that I believe we're building, in secret, to emulate the phenomenon that our government has been observing for decades. So I started talking about the craft, and its magnetic slide system and how it displaces over 89% of the mass of the ship, how it ionizes the engine, how it glows — I went through the whole thing, and this engineer looks at me, this guy is 70 years old, and he goes, "You better be real fucking careful about what you're talking about." And I go, "Okay, so I'm close." And he goes, "I'm not fucking kidding with you. You better be really fucking careful." And he calls me up the next day and he goes, "I've had calls about you. If someone comes and asks you to get in their car, don't fucking get in the car." And that's the shit I'm dealing with.
DeLonge has always been open about his belief in UFOs, and his band Angels & Airwaves is a project that has featured themes related to space and time and the universe. But with this interview in Paper, we have to wonder if Tom Delonge needs some help. At the very least, he is displaying symptoms of paranoia and Delusional Disorder
, and is clearly utterly consumed by the topic of government conspiracy related to extra-terrestrials.
When Angels & Airwaves first emerged in 2005, multiple outlets accused DeLonge of having a Messiah complex — something he explained away in 2007, in an interview with MTV
. Blaming a long-standing addiction to painkillers that was initially prompted by a major back injury, Delonge said: "I went out into the press with all these crazy things and all this controversy erupted… ’cause I went out and said [the band] was the second coming of Christ… I was like, “If God came down I really, truly believe it wouldn’t be bigger than this record.” [Laughs.] …It’s all behind me.”
But what if it's not all behind him? What if DeLonge is having another similar episode now? Either way, bandmates, fans and family should be a little concerned about Tom DeLonge's well-being right now.