Mark Hoppus is a musician, producer, and songwriter best known as the bassist and co-lead vocalist for the punk rock band Blink-182. Born on March 15, 1972, in Ridgecrest, California, Mark Hoppus grew up in a military family and moved around quite a bit in his childhood. However, it was in Southern California where he discovered his love for music and began his journey to becoming a well-known musician.
Early Life and Musical Beginnings:
Hoppus’ early exposure to music came from his sister’s love of new wave bands like the Cure and the Smiths. However, it wasn’t until he was in high school that he started to become interested in playing music himself. He began playing bass guitar and started his first band, Pier 69, which played covers of punk rock songs. Hoppus also started to write his own music during this time, which would eventually lead him to form Blink-182.
Personal Life and Challenges:
Despite his success in music, Hoppus has faced his fair share of personal challenges. In 2021, he was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy, which he has since said was one of the most difficult things he has ever had to go through. He has also struggled with depression and anxiety throughout his life and has been open about his mental health struggles.
Continued Success in Music:
After relocating to San Diego in the summer of 1992, Hoppus reconnected with his sister Anne Hoppus, to whom he expressed his desire to form a band. Anne attended Rancho Bernardo High School, where she befriended Tom DeLonge over the summer. Anne introduced the two in August 1992, and Hoppus and DeLonge promptly began playing music in DeLonge’s garage. Hoppus climbed to the top of a streetlight outside of DeLonge’s residence to impress him; however, on the way down, he broke both ankles and was forced to use crutches for the next few weeks. DeLonge recalled the meeting in 2000: “When I first met Mark, we were nude and doing strange things. We skateboarded until the wee hours of the morning, provoking security officers, and we always had a good time.” DeLonge recruited his former Poway bandmate Scott Raynor to become the percussionist for his new band, blink.
At this time, Hoppus and his girlfriend lived in a basement flat, scarcely able to afford the rent. Hoppus used his resources to purchase his first professional equipment: a new amplifier and bass cabinet. When he returned home, his fiancée argued with him because he had spent money on an unnecessary item. “I just kept telling her that this was what mattered to me, that this was my life,” recalled Hoppus. She demanded that he choose between the band and her, prompting Hoppus to leave the band shortly after its formation. Shortly thereafter, DeLonge informed Hoppus that he had borrowed a four track recorder from a friend and was planning to record a demo tape, prompting Hoppus to terminate his relationship and rejoin the band. Flyswatter, a collection of original compositions and punk covers, was recorded in Raynor’s bedroom and led to the band’s first live performances. In 1993, the band recorded three more demos and began performing its irreverent live show at the local all-ages venue SOMA, which drew the attention of the local independent label Cargo Music. Hoppus was the only member of the band to execute the contract, as DeLonge was employed and Raynor was a minor at the time. During this period, Hoppus resided at his mother’s house in San Diego, where the band prepared cassette demos and the whole family folded cassette inserts. In the summer of 1994, Raynor, whose parents had relocated to Reno, Nevada, stayed with Hoppus.
Cheshire Cat (1995), Blink’s debut album, was a successful seller for the independent band and would come to be revered as an icon of the skate punk scene. In 1995, the band embarked on their first nationwide tour, which reached the East Coast. The group embarked on the GoodTimes tour with Unwritten Law, Sprung Monkey, and 7 Seconds after purchasing their own tour vehicle. The band gradually developed a youthful, devoted fan base through independent recordings, a never-ending series of performances, and various clubs and festivals. In 1996, MCA Records contracted the band and would co-distribute their subsequent album, Dude Ranch. The album’s lead single, “Dammit,” was written by Hoppus and became a national rock radio success while the band was on the Vans Warped Tour.
Multi-platinum Achievement and +44
Hoppus became increasingly lonely during these tours, as he did not have a significant other while his bandmates did. The band fired Raynor in the summer of 1998 under enigmatic and unexplained circumstances for which he was ultimately terminated from the group. With new drummer Travis Barker behind the instrument, the band entered the studio with producer Jerry Finn and recorded Enema of the State, which launched their career, catapulting them into the “stratosphere of pop music” and establishing them as the most popular pop punk band of the era. Three singles from the album—”What’s My Age Again?,” “All the Small Things,” and “Adam’s Song”—enjoyed tremendous commercial success and crossed over to the Top 40 radio format. Before the band recorded their highly anticipated follow-up, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001), Hoppus tied the knot in 2000 (see Personal life). Hoppus felt creatively stagnant, whereas DeLonge created the post-hardcore side project Box Car Racer to experiment with concepts he deemed inappropriate for blink.
Hoppus felt betrayed (Barker was also in Box Car Racer), and a fissure between Hoppus and DeLonge developed, which would continue into the band’s future. When the band reunited to record their next album in 2003, all of the members were fathers (or, in the case of Barker, were in the process of becoming fathers), and the trio took a darker, more “mature” direction with their untitled fifth studio album, incorporating experimental elements into their usual pop punk sound, which was partially inspired by Box Car Racer. Late in 2004, when the band began to argue about their future and recording method, unresolved emotions from this endeavour would resurface. The dissolution of blink-182 in February 2005 had a significant impact on Hoppus: “I had no notion what to do. After blink disbanded, I felt a profound loss of identity and purpose. I just felt an immense absence.” Hoppus then began working with Barker in his kitchen on even darker electronic recordings. In 2005, he collaborated with Motion City Soundtrack to record Commit This to Memory as a producer. In October 2005, Hoppus and Barker purchased a studio (named Opra Music) where they assembled a complete band to expand upon those electronic demos, resulting in the 2006 release When Your Heart Stops Beating by +44.
According to all accounts, the record sold inadequately and received mixed reviews from music critics. Hoppus and Barker continued their Honda Civic Tour and began recording their second +44 album. The demise of friend and producer Jerry Finn in August 2008 profoundly affected Hoppus, who described Finn as a lifelong mentor. The following month, Barker and collaborator Adam Goldstein (aka DJ AM) were the only survivors of a plane accident that claimed the lives of four others. Under tragic circumstances, Hoppus immediately boarded a plane to the burn unit, and DeLonge reconnected with the tandem. When the ensemble reunited in the studio for a day, previous animosity vanished almost immediately. Regarding these occurrences, Hoppus wrote, “The events of the past two months have superseded all previous events. “Life is too brief,” The band’s official website was updated in February 2009 with the following statement: “Simply stated, We’re back. We are truly returned. In addition to where we left off, we will resume our activities. In the recording studio, working on a new album. Preparing for yet another world tour. Friendships were restored. We’re 17 years into our legacy.”
Recent Events and Reunion
During the reunion tour, the band reconnected musically and emotionally, but they were “on eggshells” during the recording of their return album. In addition to each member’s busy schedules, the recording was delayed because of the manner the band chose to work – in bits and pieces, alone and together, in two California studios. The band struggled to record while juggling individual responsibilities; in the case of Hoppus, his new television programme Hoppus on Music required a weekly trip to New York. Hoppus and his family migrated to London late in the recording process, further complicating matters. Neighbourhoods (2011), the band’s comeback album, debuted well but undersold label expectations, and Blink-182 severed ways with Interscope Records in 2012, releasing their next EP independently as Dogs Eating Dogs.
The band toured Australia in February 2013 without Barker due to his dread of flying; Bad Religion’s Brooks Wackerman filled in for him. In September 2013, the band toured the United States, where they intended to begin writing compositions for their seventh studio album. Hoppus told Kerrang! that the group hopes to enter the studio next year and release the album in late spring or early summer. In the interim, Hoppus began recording with frequent engineer and producer Chris Holmes compositions that the duo intends to release by the end of the year. “We probably have seven or eight songs in various stages of completion,” commented Hoppus in August 2013. “I have not yet chosen a name [for the initiative]; we still need to determine that. It sounds like a combination of guitar and electronics at this juncture.” Holmes and Hoppus will exchange lead vocals on the tracks. Hoppus announced via Twitter on April 25, 2014 that the band’s moniker is Nothing and Nobody. Their debut album is anticipated to be released “in the near future.”
Hoppus Appearing Live in 2019
In 2015, blink-182 performed in California three times. Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio filled the void left by Tom DeLonge’s resignation from the band. It was the first time Hoppus performed under the “blink-182” moniker without DeLonge. The performances were on the 18, 20, and 22nd of March. Blink-182 recorded two albums with Skiba, California (2016) and Nine (2019), prior to DeLonge’s return in 2022. Hoppus has also performed multiple DJ performances at Emo Nite in Los Angeles between 2015 and 2017. In July 2013, Hoppus launched his own clothing line, titled Hi My Name is Mark (stylized as “HiMyNameIsMark”).
On January 24, 2019, Hoppus announced the formation of Simple Creatures with Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low. In January, a debut single titled “Drug” was released, followed on March 29, 2019 by their debut EP, Strange Love. On October 11, 2019, their second EP, Everything Opposite, was released.
Mark Hoppus has had a long and successful career in music, but it is his unwavering passion for the art form that truly sets him apart. From his early days playing covers in his first band to his success with Blink-182 and beyond, Hoppus has always remained committed to his craft. Despite the challenges he has faced in his personal life, Hoppus continues to create music that inspires and entertains people around the world. As he once said, “music has always been my passion, and it will always be my passion.”