Originally known as simply Blink, the trio band was formed near San Diego by Mark Hoppus (b. 15 March 1972, USA; bass/vocals), who had moved to San Diego to study, and Tom DeLonge (b. 13 December 1975, USA; guitar/vocals). Hoppus and DeLonge were joined by drummer Scott Raynor, and began a non-stop gigging schedule on the local punk circuit. They debuted in 1993 with a self-released EP, Fly Swatter. After releasing the album Buddha in 1994, the trio signed to Grilled Cheese/Cargo and released Cheshire Cat the following year which featured several of the songs from the demo tape. Shortly afterwards the trio were forced to adopt the new moniker Blink-182 following the threat of legal action by an Irish techno outfit already recording as Blink. Despite the enforced name change, the trio's popularity continued to grow owing to support slots with several leading punk bands including No FX and Pennywise, and their ubiquitous presence on the skating and snow boarding scenes. They also developed a reputation for stripping off during live shows. The trio has a penchant for gloriously immature lyrics, crafting great tunes.
The third blink-182 LP, Dude Ranch, was released in 1997. Dude Ranch expanded the group's audience and won the attention of major labels. blink-182 wound up signing with MCA, who released the band's fourth album, Enema of the State, in the summer of 1999. Travis Barker, formerly with the Aquabats, later replaced Raynor. After selling over four million copies of Enema of the State, the trio played on with the limited edition release The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back) in fall 2000. Barker appeared on the band's major label debut, Enema Of The State, which debuted in the US Top 10 in June 1999 and went on to sell over a million copies in barely two months. The album was helped by two highly catchy hits, "What's My Name Again?" and "All The Small Things". Following the release of a stop-gap live set, the band confirmed the commercial appeal of their scatological punk rock when their fifth album, Take Off Your Pants And Jacket, debuted at the top of the US charts in June 2001. DeLonge and Barker concurrently enjoyed success as part of Blink-182 soundalikes, Box Car Racer, while the latter also joined Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong in the Transplants. The band also graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Alternative Press (twice), Teen People, Teen and CosmoGirl, just to name a few.
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