For alternative pop-punk rockers Neck Deep, landing the Blink-182’s tour was anything but expected.
“It came out of nowhere,” says singer Ben Barlow. “It kind of shook things up for us a little, but in the best possible way. If you’re going to have your summer chill plans kind of disrupted for anything, then a Blink-182/Lil Wayne tour is a pretty good disruption.”
The four-piece band hailing from Wrexham, Wales, got its start in 2012, and quickly started playing shows. Barlow says they didn’t have high expectations for the band, noting, “we really like didn’t intend for the band to be anything bigger than, you know, a bedroom project.”
It ultimately turned into a massive career that boasts multiple versions of the song “December,” one of which features Blink-182 bassist and co-vocalist Mark Hoppus. Barlow is open to collaborating on stage with Hoppus.
Barlow didn’t want to reveal too much, but he did say Neck Deep is giving fans a taste of its upcoming album. Expected to drop sometime in 2020, the album has already spawned “She’s A God” to keep fans interested until the release.
With hits like “In Bloom,” “Wish You Were Here” and “Parachute,” from Neck Deep’s 2017 effort, “The Peace and The Panic,” Barlow says the band is free to experiment now. It may lead to political songs, but Barlow is hesitant.
“Whatever end of the spectrum you put yourself on, you can’t please everyone,” he says. “I think these days it’s dangerous water treading into that political realm within music. The more I see the political point of it pop up, the more it pushes me away from writing political songs.”
Plus, he says, “people may not want to put on a record that is just an all-out political record.”
“Music has always had this element of escapism,” he adds. “You put on a record to forgot about your life or whatever is going on for the minute.”
That doesn’t mean politics are out of the question. If a political idea comes along and it feels right, Neck Deep will do it.
“But I’m not going into this record, though, saying I’m going to write something political,” Barlow says.
Instead, Neck Deep is inspired by existentialism.
I’ll generally write about how I’m feeling, what’s going on in my life, but I guess try to make it applicable to anyone’s life,” he says.
Blink-182 with Lil Wayne and Neck Deep, Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 N. 83rd Avenue, Phoenix, 602.254.7200, livenation.com, 7 p.m. Monday, August 5, tickets start at $39.