MTV Radio Network: "Enema of the State" is easily your most successful release to date, both commercially and critically. Was there anything different in the way you approached making this record as opposed to the last one? Mark Hoppus: Well, we spent a lot more time in the studio this time around, which allowed us to do a lot of different things. We used different ideas for parts of songs and for sounds, and that made a huge difference in the way the final record turned out.
Tom DeLonge: Since the last record, Mark and I have learned a few things or two about what we did wrong. And adding Travis to the band has brought a new element to the group as well, so we came to the table with different views.
After six years, we've kinda learned from what we've done right and tried to distance ourselves from what we did wrong. Have we totally rewritten everything and changed our style and our image? Not really, no. The music's actually the same thing we've always done, except it's a better version of it.
MTV: How'd you come to hook up with a new drummer?
Mark: Why don't you explain how, Travis?
Travis Barker: You guys can tell the story.
Tom: OK, how long have you been in the band? Almost a year now, I guess. Right at the end of touring behind our last album, "Dude Ranch," it just came time that we needed a new drummer. We kick people out when they get too old. It's just like Menudo.
Mark: Travis used to be in a band called the Aquabats, and we used to tour with them. Our old drummer [Scott Raynor] had to go home for some crazy emergency, and Travis filled in for him. He was a friend of ours anyway, and he knew most of the songs. So when we needed a new drummer, it was very natural for us to call on Travis.
MTV: Travis, did you contribute to the writing of "Enema?"
Travis: Well, I wrote the album with them, but I don't write lyrics or anything like that.
Tom: Yeah he was in the mix, 'cause we're all involved with putting the songs together. We generally look into each other's opinions when the music comes together, because I've learned from the past that if I think something is super, super rad, chances are it's not.
At least that's what my mom said. I used to walk around the house naked, saying "I think I look great," and my mom would say, "No, you really don't. Put your clothes back on."
MTV: The band had a cameo appearance in "American Pie," and now you're gonna appear in an upcoming TV mini-series, "Shake, Rattle & Roll." Are movies something that you want to do more of?
Tom: I just want to make a UFO movie. That's all I want to do. I don't care about anything else. I know it'll never happen though, but it's a cool thing to think about.
MTV: Why do you say that?
Tom: You want to give me a 150 million dollars? That's what I'll need for special effects. Or 200...
Mark: I just want to make a movie called "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Sex."
Tom: That would be a good one. You'll need a more than 150 million dollars to do that for special effects. Jock cams. But for real, I want to do a UFO movie. For the longest time I was talking to this guy, Al Reinert, who co-wrote Apollo 13 and is a big science fiction movie writer.
So we would go out, have a drink and talk and stuff, and he would hear my ideas, and maybe in the future he will actually answer my phone calls again.
Mark: There's not a lot of time to pursue movies. Movies take a lot of time and work.
Tom: And we don't like to work, so...
Mark: Difficult combination between lack of time and laziness.
Tom: Generally apathy.
Mark: General anesthetic.
MTV: Much of the success of "Enema of the State" seems to be due to the strong fan base you've developed over the last six years while on the road. Mark: We've been very fortunate. I think our fans are very devoted and cool and friendly.
Tom: We pull in the finest of people. We've been touring around for years and years before we had any good solid exposure. But we pull in positive kids in the first place. We express teenage angst, but just in a different way. We don't promote anger and violence, we promote sex.
MTV: Do you worry that having a platinum record will cause some of your fans to get turned off to the band?
Mark: Well, we've done the same things that we were doing in the beginning, and we never wanted our band to stay small. I mean, we want our band to be as big as it can, and I'm not going to die wondering about some kid who calls us a sellout at a show.
I don't have a problem being on MTV, and I don't have a problem with being on the radio. I actually like it. So there. And anyone that calls me a sellout is just jealous.
Tom: Yeah, f**k you guys.
Mark: Hopefully what will happen is that kids will hear one of our songs on the radio or whatever, buy the record and listen to it. Then kids will come to our show and figure out what the band is about. And like us for more than just one song.
Tom: We enjoy being a doorway to open kids up to other types of music, too.
Mark: That's a huge compliment we've gotten. Like kids will say, "Oh I started listening to you guys, but I never really listened to punk-influenced music before, and then I started listening to Pennywise and NOFX and Bad Religion and all these other bands."
I mean, with punk there's always a band that is like a doorway, and for us it was a band called the Descendents. Somehow, when we were growing up, they just touched us in a certain way.
MTV: You wrapped up the Warped Tour a few weeks back. Do you remember any practical jokes that you played on one another or other bands?
Mark: Well, we don't really play jokes on other bands. We play jokes on our tour manager. Like, we'll be sitting in a hotel, and we'll call up our tour manager and we'll go, "Yes, Mr. Smith? This is the front desk. We have an urgent fax for you. Will you please come and get your fax?"
And while he's walking downstairs, we'll call the front desk and say, "My name is Mark Smith and I'm coming to flirt with you by asking if you have a fax. So I wanna make out with you."
Tom: That's the only joke we've done, and it's not even that funny. We always did joke around on previous tours. On this tour I've been pretty reserved, hiding out. Those kinds of things happen when you have a lot of time on your hands, but we've been pretty busy. These days, if we're not sleeping, we're trying to get food, or we're watching TV.