DeLonge responded by posting an open letter explaining the fuller story behind his departure (a combination of artistic disagreements and miscommunication) and insisting that he didn't know about the press release announcing his departure until after it made headlines.
He certainly didn't waste any time getting stuck into his solo career though - announcing that he's releasing four albums this year, as well as 15 novels with accompanying EP soundtracks. The first of those four albums comes in the form of To The Stars, a rarities collection subtitled Demos, Odds And Ends.
Listen to Tom DeLonge's To The Stars album in full below
After pursuing solo projects Box Car Racer and Transplants, the band regrouped in 2003 and decided they wanted to pursue a more mature sound with their new record, leaving behind the toilet humour of Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. All three members had also become fathers since their last release which had a marked effect on the writing process. Tom DeLonge later told MTV he wanted people to listen to the record and say "Wait a minute...that's Blink-182?".
The album was recorded in a house in San Diego that the band rented and converted into a studio. The trio worked on three to four songs each day then would quickly move on to the next one. They recorded there until April 2003 when the house's owners allegedly kicked them out.
Bassist Mark Hoppus described the studio as a "musical laboratory", citing that over 70 guitars, 30 amps, between 30 and 40 snare drums, 6 drum kits, and a various selection of turntables, keyboards, and pianos were all used during the album's production.
The band are huge fans of The Cure and sent frontman Robert Smith album track 'All Of This' hoping he would contribute. The trio were worried Smith would refuse due to the humorous and perhaps immature nature of their previous material, however Smith told them "Nobody knows what kind of songs you are going to write in the future and nobody knows the full potential of any band. I really like the music you sent me." He recorded his parts in England.
Guitarist Tom DeLonge and drummer Travis Barker's short-lived side project Box Car Racer inspired the experimental nature of Blink 182, with the post hardcore sound of Box Car Racer prompting the band to play around with different musical arrangements. Mark Hoppus said: "Before, we got one guitar sound that we changed a little bit through the record. This time we want to try a whole different setup for each song."
Blink 182 took from January to August to record. Previous albums had only taken about three months. The band wanted to be so involved in every aspect of the record that the release date kept getting pushed back, leading to their record label boss calling the band demanding to know when they'd be finish. Tom DeLonge recalls the last days of recording as being "crazy stressful", with "literally hours to turn (the album) to have it out on time".
The band created an entirely new logo for the album's artwork, enlisting Travis Barker's clothing brand Famous Stars and Straps to create the smiley face, cross-eyed image that decorates the front of the record. Barker said the image was inspired by previous iconic band logos, saying "It just had to be a cool kind of happy face but I wanted arrows. You know, like The Jam were my favorite band, they always had arrows in their logos and stuff. It was just kind of inspired by pop-art."
'Feeling This', the euphoric lead single, was chosen by the band as the first track to be released as they felt it was representative of the transition they had undergone since Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.
The second single from Blink 182, 'I Miss You', was a sombre, heartfelt catchy track which was the biggest mark in departure of the band to date. Inspired by The Cure's 'The Love Cats', it was arguably the biggest success story of the record, going gold and reaching number eight in the UK.
The album was a critical success, with reviewers hailing the band's new, mature direction. Rolling Stone said Blink 182 was "more experimental and harder-hitting than anything else (the band) has done", whilst Entertainment Weekly described the record as a "classic".