“The tour is over, I’ve survived,” sung Mark Hoppus all those years ago but today, those words still resonate. “I don’t know what happened but at the end of an amazingly successful album and tour cycle for ‘California’ and the rebirth of blink-182, I came home, and I felt strange. I fell into this weird depression. I felt really empty, and I didn’t know why. I needed to do something to break that.”
Rather than choosing to spend time alone in his room, Mark got out of the house and started creating. In his head, it was going to be a solo project that saw him collaborating with a bunch of friends but after he clicked so well with All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth, the first person on the list, he realised they didn’t need anyone else.
“We wrote a handful of songs that I really loved. The music brought me around to a much better place.”
After a couple of months, it was decided that this musical experiment should become a proper band. Welcome to Simple Creatures.
“From that moment we said, let’s make as much music as we possibly can,” beams Alex. “We locked ourselves in the studio, started tweaking the songs we’d already written and started writing more material.”
They’re still at it. There’s one EP finished, another due to come out in summer and the pair were together a few days ago writing even more.
“We wanted this to be very agile, and it’s built into this thing we want to pursue even further. People see my name and Mark’s name attached to something, and they assume this is going to be some sort of pop-punk supergroup. Obviously, we wanted to go beyond that. That felt a little bit played out and too easy. We wanted to showcase a different side of ourselves.”
“One thing that was important to both of us was that Simple Creatures sounded nothing like our main bands,” adds Mark who doesn’t see the appeal of a side-project that sounds like a watered down version of the day job. “With blink, I can do anything that I want. We’ve proved ourselves beyond anything we ever hoped to prove, and we write the music we love.”
“The first song we wrote won’t see the light of day because it sounds too much like what we both already do,” teases Alex. As soon as they hit familiar ground, they realised they had to do things differently.
“When we write music for blink or All Time Low, we’re always trying to push the envelope, experiment and do something new but there’s also a set of rules we live by,” he continues. “There are certain things you don’t do. This time, there was none of that. We could do whatever we wanted, and that was very freeing.”