The last decade has not been kind to Blink-182 fans. After going on "indefinite hiatus" (which is industry talk for "we can't stand each other any longer please let us go on holiday") in 2005, the trio reunited in 2009 for Neighborboods, only for founding member Tom DeLonge to quit again last year, with a salty Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker describing him as "disrespectful and ungrateful." In a recent plot twist: Tom DeLonge has been replaced by Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba, and a new interview with Mic suggests that DeLonge left the band to expose the truth about aliens.
DeLonge is currently in the process of launching a multimedia franchise called Sekret Machines that will seek to investigate "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" from a serious perspective, tapping alleged sources "within the military and intelligence community" to tell stories about UFO sightings and other paranormal contact.
“When you’re an individual like me,” he tells Mic, “dealing with something that’s a national security issue, and you’re being gifted with the opportunity to communicate something you’ve been passionate about your whole life—something that has the opportunity to change the world over time—being a small part of that is enormously important for my life path.”
“I can’t tour nine months out of the year with enough time to do the enormity of what I’m setting out to do," he adds.
This isn't the first time DeLonge has expressed concerns about aliens. He went deep on the issue in an interview with Paper last year, in which he talks about having possibly experienced extraterrestrial contact around a campfire in Area 51.
“I’ve always had a passion for space and the future," he explains, "But when you dive into this type of material, it’s a lot more than just science and technology. It has to do with religion and cosmology and it has to do with politics and secrecy. So it’s a pretty fantastic ride.”
It's hard not to feel for Tom DeLonge, former member of crude humourist pop-punk band Blink-182, trying to be taken seriously on a legitimate topic he feels strongly about. Imagine expressing your fears of abduction in a track titled "Aliens Exist" in 1999 and, seventeen years later, being rinsed for vocalising the same thing in a different way. That must be frustrating. Then again, if you're trying to legitimise one of the most meme-able areas of thought, it would probably help if you didn't forge your career on a bedrock of dick jokes.
The first part of Sekret Machines is out now if you'd like to read some non-fictional UFO research co-written with mystery and adventure novelist A.J. Hartley, which, if the rise of Scientology has taught us anything, is definitely not a sentence to be skeptical of.