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Blink-182's Hoppus, Barker Form Electronic Side Project

Ever since that fateful February day when Blink-182 announced they were going on an indefinite hiatus, fans of the band have been clamoring to know just what the future holds for their beloved Mark, Tom and Travis.

For the most part the guys have remained silent, aside from a few vaguely worded statements from drummer-turned-reality-TV-star Travis Barker. So MTV News sat down with singer/bassist Mark Hoppus, and while he claimed the group’s current hiatus had been planned for some time, he also made it sound like Blink fans shouldn’t hold their breath for a reunion.

“We’ve always planned to have this hiatus. On our last tour we planned on having this hiatus,” he said. “But it is an indefinite hiatus. I don’t know what to expect at this point. I’ll never say never, but we are taking a break. But as for what happens in the future, I don’t know.”

As for his own plans in the near future, “Right now, Travis and I are using the time off to start this project called Plus 44, which kind of started in Travis’ basement,” he said. “It’s very exciting, like a breath of fresh air.

“It’s all very electronic right now. We have a girl singing part of the vocals. She and I are trading off vocals. Travis is going on the Warped Tour with the Transplants, and we’ll record up until he leaves. And if the record’s done at that point, we’ll release the record later this year.”

Hoppus stopped short of revealing any more information about Plus 44 – including the name of the aforementioned female vocalist – but Barker’s assistant was a bit more forthcoming with the info. The female voice is supplied by Carol Heller, formerly of the California all-girl punk quartet Get the Girl, and the band’s name is not a swipe at Blink-182 (as some fan sites have claimed), but rather a reference to the country code needed when placing a phone call to the United Kingdom, because that’s where Hoppus and Barker first discussed the new band.

And speaking of Barker, he’s just as busy. His plate is filled with a new reality show, “Meet the Barkers,” the upcoming Transplants record, a planned album featuring his collaborations with hip-hop artists, and – most importantly to him – Plus 44.

“If Blink was the daytime, Plus 44 is the nighttime. It’s such a departure from Blink, but it’s amazing,” Barker enthused. “I play all the drums, but they’re electronic drums, plus I play piano and keyboard on it. And I’ve been making beats for it…. I am just going to keep working on stuff. Everything’s A-plus.”

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