Tom DeLonge Blink-182
Tom DeLonge, pictured here performing with Blink-182 at the Red Rock Casino on October 7, 2011, in Las Vegas, said he left Blink-182 to “challenge” himself more than what he was doing with the band. Getty Images

Blink-182 is gearing up to release a new record, which will be their first one without vocalist/guitarist Tom DeLonge. DeLonge has given several different reasons over the past year for leaving the band and what it would take for him to rejoin. It now sounds like DeLonge wanted to explore other areas as an artist, which he felt he wasn’t getting in the punk band.

In an interview with Esquire, DeLonge said that he still loves Blink-182 and he reflects on leaving the band “all the time.” While he said the band was never meant to not be in his life, he found himself in a tough spot when he didn’t feel like there was a “challenge.”

“With Blink, it was never boring. It never was like we couldn't challenge ourselves artistically. There's just a lot of differences in how to be challenged or how to attack the challenge. There's a lot of downtime. And in that downtime, I was always doing other things. I've always been that way—always will be that way. A lot of people are satisfied with just having that one thing in their life their entire life—and I envy them, by the way,” DeLonge dished.

In January 2015, DeLonge left Blink-182 after refusing to go into studio with Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker to record a new album, according to NME. The band has since pushed forward without DeLonge. The group nabbed Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba to fill in for Tom on 2015 tour dates and he later went on to join the band full time.

Hoppus, Barker and Skiba have been spending time in the studio writing and recording new music. A new album from the trio is expected at some point in 2016. Barker told in March that the album is finished, but that have to decide on which tracks to use before releasing it.

“It’s just a matter of picking what 12 to 14 songs. I think we wrote 26 or 27, so everyone right now is really pushing for their favorites,” Barker revealed.

The Angels and Airwaves frontman told Entertainment Weekly that he has not been in touch with Blink-182 for their album. He said he “wishes the best for them” and hopes they’re “doing great.”

DeLonge has been busy working with his media company, To The Stars, and with his band Angels and Airwaves. The former Blink-182 singer has also been writing novels, like his new book “Sekret Machines Book 1: Chasing Shadows.”