This week: Mark Hoppus, bassist-vocalist for pop-punk vets Blink-182, which are currently crossing the country on the Honda Civic Tour and preparing for the September 27 release of Neighborhoods, their sixth studio album and first release in eight years. Hoppus -- a former SPIN.com columnist -- also hosts a TV series on Fuse called Hoppus on Music.
"Currently it's 'Whirring' by the Joy Formidable. It's an amazing song that transforms from mellow and beautiful to huge and cacophonous. I heard it for the first time while walking to the Fuse offices in New York, and I was so struck by what I was hearing that I stopped on the sidewalk and listened to it three times in a row. I ended up late to filming. Even months later, I'm still completely blown away that a three-piece band can make a noise this big."
"My tastes change daily, if not hourly, but I'd say 'The White Album' by the Beatles [their 1968 self-titled LP]. It has so many different sounds, styles, and themes. They hated each other during the recording, but in that tension the band created a double album of great, timeless songs. 'The White Album' is a record I can go back to time and time again, and always find something different that I never noticed or appreciated before. You can almost hear them in the studio saying, 'Fuck it, we're going to do whatever we want.'What they created, on tape, with just a few tracks, surpasses 90 percent of any music made since."
FAVORITE NEW ARTIST:
"Best Coast. In the world of first-to-know, 'What-you-haven't-heard-of-Timmy-and-the-Balsamic-Vinaigrette-Uni-Brow?'hipster coolness, they might not be considered new. But they're new to most of the world. From the first time I heard Best Coast, I was hooked, and their latest album is ridiculous. It's like a modern-day Beach Boys with a female singer, and songs strong and catchy enough to stick in your brain for weeks. Strange, the dichotomy between female- and male-fronted bands;a male band can have a whole album dedicated to heartbreak or a specific breakup, and it will be heralded as a triumph of tragedy. But when I played Crazy for You in my car one day, my friend said, 'Sounds like this lady needs to get laid.'"
FAVORITE RECORD STORE:
"iTunes. I wish there was some cool, independent record store that I could name. I love those stores. I grew up in those stores, and I wish there were more of them. But as much as I enjoy browsing the aisles and digging in bins, I also love the convenience of being able to buy music at 3 A.M., half-drunk, and in my underwear."
"Near our recording studio, there's a restaurant that we order from. Every. Single. Day. Our engineer and I order a chef's wrap (no onions) and a breakfast burrito. Then we split the order. So you get the salsa-y, chicken-y goodness of the chef's wrap, followed up with the scrambled egg/salty tastiness of the breakfast burrito. Wash it all down with a double cappuccino. I've never tasted anything so delicious. We do this five days a week, for weeks on end, and never get sick of it."
"I'm not personally into drugs, but I do enjoy gin. Gin is my friend. Gin is my secret lover. Gin is my spirit animal. One night, I ran out of tonic water, so I mixed gin and Diet Coke, and a new best friend was made. I don't know if this drink has a name already, but I am laying claim to it, and I call it a 'Pants de Leon.'"
FAVORITE VIDEO GAME:
"Words With Friends. It's fun, straightforward, and you can play it from the toilet. Who knew that 'qi' was an actual word? I love that people try and create new words, depending on the letters they possess. Hmmm. Is 'zarq' a word? No? Shit. I would've had a triple-letter triple-word score!!! Guess I'll just have to go with 'za...'"
"Anything involving World War II. I've read dozens of books about it. I know I never will, but I'm always trying to wrap my head around how something so horrific could happen in our world. Maybe my interest stems from having three grandfathers involved in the war. Mom's dad was in the army, stormed the beach at Normandy, fought through the French hedgerows, the Battle of the Ardennes, the Battle of the Bulge, and liberated concentration camps at the end of the war. Dad's dad was a B-29 pilot running missions over Burma and Japan, and was an alternate crew for the Enola Gay. Stepfather's dad was a Marine fighting in the Pacific Islands campaign, Okinawa in particular. How they endured the atrocities and devastation of that war and came home decent, loving, humble men, I will never understand."
FAVORITE WAY TO PASS TIME ON THE ROAD:
"On my computer. During the downtime on tour, I simply walk from room to room, staring into my computer. Snapshot of a typical day: wake up, check email, check Twitter, check Facebook, check Google+, maybe check the news (I never check the news). Eat breakfast. Get back on computer for non sequitur Googling (recent searches: lcd vs. led vs. plasma; target heart rate; mauve Pantone colors). Read Kindle. Sneak to dark corner of venue to secretly read reviews of last night's show. Check Tumblr. Eat lunch. Listen to music, search Spotify, watch Netflix, and aimlessly roam the web. Realize it's nearly show time and get ready to rock. ROCK!!!!! (... or attempt to rock). Shower. Eat dinner. Pick up computer and repeat all of the above. Fall asleep with MacBook Air on chest, wake up with it on floor. On days without internet, I shake and cry until show time."
FAVORITE PLACE TO ESCAPE:
"Antarctica. Best trip of my life. Antarctica is otherworldly, like nothing I've ever seen before. Stark, cold, beautiful desolation. Every day, we'd take excursions from the boat to the land to see thousands of penguins, or cruise the ice fields. Centuries-old glaciers, leopard seals sleeping on icebergs, penguins tending their rock nests on a frozen landscape. Moments of beauty so inspiring you'd almost break down to tears from the overwhelming vastness of it all. Then we'd go back to the ship and complain that there was nothing good to watch on TV."
"'No, go on, I'm listening' while typing something into one's cell phone."
WATCH: Blink-182, "Up All Night"