2011 was a simpler time. Blink-182 still featured both of its founding members, Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge, and Google was making its latest foray into the world of social media. Following the death of Google Buzz and Google Friend Connect, the tech giant made another stab at connecting people with people, and in June of 2011 Google Plus was born. The platform attempted to gain traction by adding celebrities to its network, giving fans the ability to “hang out” with their heroes.
That September, Blink-182 was set to release its first reunion record, Neighborhoods. The pop-punk band had reunited in 2009 following the plane crash that left drummer Travis Barker on the brink of death and hospitalized for months. The resulting album is one that already highlighted the disconnect between the band members, as DeLonge was never in the same room as his bandmates during the Neighborhoods recording sessions.
In an attempt to promote the record, and show that DeLonge and Hoppus were, like, totally still friends, the pair took to a Google office to be interviewed by an employee who worked with the “early adopters and influencers on Google Plus.” After getting some biographical information out of the band, the Blink members field questions about Google Plus and everything they love about it.
The awkwardness is palpable from the start. Hoppus plays along, struggling to piece together an answer about his favorite Google Plus features and, after a bunch of meandering, hoping “it’s new” will suffice. DeLonge is less effusive, shooting back with “Really? Are you?” when the host describes himself as being “thrilled” by DeLonge’s presence on the social network. DeLonge goes on to mention Apple and note that Google Plus, “Isn’t all there yet,” and then tries to talk up Google as if he hadn’t just fucked the whole thing up.
It’s an interesting time capsule, capturing a moment when Google Plus made a play to dethrone Facebook and Blink-182 was attempting to ignore the growing fracture within the band. It’s an incredibly awkward 40 minutes, with DeLonge staring at the ground and picking at his hands while Hoppus’ attempts to razz him fall flat. It’s also a strange look at a simpler time, one in which DeLonge was content to only mention UFOs once in the course of an interview.