Longtime fans of Blink-182 were heartbroken to learn in January 2015 that frontman Tom DeLonge was parting ways with the pop-punk band after more than two decades. While early rumors suggested that his departure was due to a feud within the trio, a new interview suggests that’s not the case at all.

In an interview with Mic, DeLonge revealed the truth about his decision to quit Blink-182. The California native said he put music on the back burner to focus on his true calling: studying extraterrestrials and UFOs. DeLonge, 40, explained that this is something he has been passionate about "forever," adding that this kind of work “has the opportunity to change the world over time.” He suggested that alien life forms could potentially be a “national security issue,” telling Mic he 'd already begun uncovering some major secrets that he claimed he was unable to discuss at the time.

“Well, it’s not so much about Blink,” he said. “It’s about what I’m doing with my life now. When you’re an individual like me, dealing with something that’s a national security issue, and you’re being gifted with the opportunity to communicate something you’ve been passionate about your whole life — something that has the opportunity to change the world over time — being a small part of that is enormously important for my life path.”

DeLonge also told Mic there is a mountain of evidence suggesting that extraterrestrials are real. He admitted that he could probably not offer “the best evidence,” without full support from fans and the people around him, but claimed there was no shortage of UFO and alien sightings. The former Blink-182 singer also suggested that “scientists across the world” were analyzing evidence of other life forms.

Despite DeLonge’s exit, Blink-182 continues to thrive. The band replaced him with former Alkaline Trio guitarist/vocalist Matt Skiba. With their new member, Blink-182 hit the studio to begin recording their forthcoming album “California.” While it will not be available until July 1, they have been teasing the album on social media, releasing snippets as well as cover art. On May 2, the newly formed trio sat down for an interview with Entertainment Tonight, in which they gave fans a feel for their new sound. Mark Hoppus, who sings and plays bass in the band, assured listeners that “California” would bring them back to their roots.

“I feel like this album really takes up back to what Blink is all about,” he said.

During the same interview Skiba revealed that he had a hand in writing their hit single, “Bored to Death.” He told ET his verse on the song was inspired by what he felt after hearing Hoppus’ opening line, which focuses on the challenges people face in relationships and how difficult it can be to face your emotions. He suggested that listeners will be able to relate to his sentiments, telling the publication that sadness is one of the hardest emotions to sit with.

“It’s easier to say you’re bored, or to be angry, than it is to be sad. To me, that’s what that verse and the song represents,” Skiba explained.

Fans can catch Blink-182 on tour with A Day to Remember this summer. Tickets for the 45-city tour went on sale May 6. Their first show is scheduled for July 22 in San Diego. The tour will be running until Oct. 1. Fans unable to attend can purchase “California” on Friday, July 1.

Tom DeLonge Tom DeLonge, photographed during a SirusXM interview in San Diego on July 9, 2015, opens up about his decision to leave Blink-182. Photo: Getty Images