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Blink 182 DeLonge scoffed at fame promise

Punk trio struggled to convince label they were any good – before bigwig vowed they'd be superstars

Blink 182’s Tom DeLonge says he'll never forget laughing at a record company executive who told him he was going to be rich and famous.

And he recalls how the experience of making breakthrough record Enema Of The State changed his band’s career for ever.

The album – their third, and the first to feature drummer Travis Barker – was released in 1999 and spawned the hits All The Small Things and What's My Age Again?

DeLonge tells Wondering Sound: “I remember I sat down in the label president’s office. I have a sideways hat, I have nose rings in and shit, and he goes, 'I'm gonna tell you three things. You are going to make more money than you ever thought you could make. You are going to be more famous than you ever thought possible. And you're gonna be playing arenas by fall.'

"And I sat there and I looked at him and I literally laughed out loud. I was like, 'You're fucking nuts. You're fucking high.' If you would've told me a green Santa Claus was marching down the street with a UFO for a hat I would've believed that first.

"And all three of those things happened. That's one of the most amazing moments of my life, looking back at that specific conversation.”

Before that discussion, Blink had grown frustrated at the label's lack of belief in them. DeLonge says Enema took everyone by surprise.

He adds: “I remember that the label, they didn't believe in us. So we come out with this record and out of nowhere, the label goes, 'Holy fuck, there's something here.' It caught them by surprise.

"I just knew it was our best record. I didn't think it was gonna do anything crazy. I remember we went on the Warped Tour, and Eminem and us were on tour. I wouldn't have thought that either of us would have got as far as we did.

"In retrospect, you look back and think, 'Oh, I get it.' But at the time? A white rapper from Detroit and three ugly kids from San Diego that could barely play, it didn't make any sense.”

Blink 182 headlined Reading and Leeds Festivals in August. They are working on what will be their seventh album.

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