“There are songs that somebody writes that can define a certain summer of your life, or a break-up you had, or become something you put on when you feel like you want to go out and conquer the world.”
Mark Hoppus is 2019 Rock Sound Icon in the Rock Sound Awards! Pick up his world exclusive, commemorative Rock Sound Awards magazine and poster print now from AWARDS.ROCKSOUND.TV, featuring a brand new interview, plus a full brand new photoshoot.
Inside Mark's cover feature, he talks about how he was influenced by artists growing up - and what it's been like to end up as someone who influences the next generation of rockstars.
When it comes to being perceived as someone who’s been so influential to alternative music, and alternative culture in general, how do you process that idea? Did it take a while for that to sink in, and become more comfortable?
Says Mark: “In a way it hasn’t at all! I still think of myself as a guy in a band, struggling to write the best songs that he possibly can.”
Looking back on people who played a similarly inspirational role for you growing up, who comes to mind the most?
“Robert Smith and The Cure probably inspired my songwriting the most. When I was growing up and first getting into music, it was The Cure and then Descendents who had the biggest influence on me - on everything from the way that I write lyrics right through to melodies. It all comes back to those artists. I think music really connects people to who they are, and when you find an artist or a band who you feel are speaking to who you are and your own experiences, that connection is always really strong. It’s really incredible, the power that music has to speak to that. There are songs that somebody writes that can define a certain summer of your life, or a break-up you had, or become something you put on when you feel like you want to go out and conquer the world. It’s a pretty incredible thing.”
Was music an escape for you, growing up? For so many people, it’s where they go to in order to step away and get a break from whatever else is going on in their lives...
“Oh absolutely. I grew up in a small, tiny town in the middle of the California desert, hours away from any big city. For us to get a chance to drive to Los Angeles and go to a big record store, and find all these cool alternative artists and punk rock bands, music that we’d never heard before, then come back to our little town and trade tapes around? It was really cool.”
Given all that, how big of a thing has it been to have toured and collaborated with so many of those formative influences - to not only work with them, but give them a new platform through your influence with blink?
“Something like getting Robert Smith on ‘All Of This’ on the untitled album, having him on one of our songs? That was a huge moment in my life. We played an MTV Icon show for The Cure as well, and to play one of The Cure’s songs for him? That was really surreal.”