Pop Culture

Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus Is Growing Up

The conversation that day was, for each of them, a salve. “We got into more life stuff. What we’ve learned over the years about ourselves. How we’ve grown, how nothing really matters when it boils down to what we were dealing with in that moment,” said DeLonge. “And so, it wasn’t some big meeting about Blink-182, it was more about brothers meeting and saying, ‘How do we support Mark?’ ”

The morning I met Hoppus at his home happened to be a day removed from some rare good news. “Just saw my oncologist and I’m cancer free!!” he’d written on Instagram 24 hours earlier, this time purposefully. “Thank you God and universe and friends and family and everyone who sent support and kindness and love.”

The chemotherapy cycle had worked—just like it worked for his mother. “She’s been my greatest resource this whole time,” said Hoppus, collecting himself. “Nobody knows what it’s like except somebody who’s gone through chemotherapy. And so being able to talk to my mom and just be like, ‘I feel shitty today. I feel really awful,’ and have her be able to say, ‘I know what you mean. I’ve had those days as well….’ ”

Hoppus still isn’t quite sure what tomorrow holds, exactly. But who is? He hasn’t really thought about what Blink-182 might look like now that he’s cancer-free, but he’s open to any permutation of the band, really, including lineups with Tom back in the fold. “We haven’t really talked about that, but I’m open to anything in the future,” said Hoppus. “I don’t know how that would work if it’s all four of us. Like we’re all going to live in the same house again?”

Hearing Mark, Tom, and Travis all talk about each other, you get a real sense that there’s a deep affection there, annoyances and all, loving one another as only brothers can. (“There is nobody with better dick jokes than us,” added DeLonge.) For Hoppus, the past year not only deepened his appreciation for his family and friends, but it taught him how to handle unexpected horror with humility, grace, humor, and—this is the new one—an open heart that’s still learning how to feel deserving. “I’m totally overwhelmed with the support and love,” he said, pausing. “I don’t know. People online I have never met sending support. Cancer survivors of the same lymphoma that I had even put together a video where they covered a Blink song, and it made me cry.” That song, of course, was “All the Small Things.”

Before I left, Hoppus wanted me to take a close look at the top of his head. He was excited: His hair was showing tiny signs of growth. Of returning to normalcy. “My armpit hair is still totally gone,” he said, “but if you look close, all this white hair is just the shitty cancer hair, and then you can see the actual dark hair growing back in a little bit.”

You got a free bleach job, I joked.

“I know,” he replied, beaming. “I wish I’d had this in the mid-’90s.”

Chris Gayomali is a GQ articles editor.

A version of this story originally appeared in the December/January 2022 issue with the title “Well I Guess This Is Growing Up.”


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