Australians have been pining for a return appearance from punk pop icons Blink 182 for over a decade, and given the combination of their ‘indefinite hiatus’ in 2005 and drummer Travis Barker’s tragic plane incident, most had given up hope of ever seeing Blink 182 – particularly with Barker – on Australian shores again.

So when metal Soundwave Touring announced that Blink 182 would be travelling down under for Soundwave 2013 with Barker on the drums it was a major coup for the metal juggernaut.

Their involvement in the festival was first leaked after Barker first posted a photo to Instagram, taken from the band’s performance at UK’s The Eden Project, and an enterprising soul over at Press Record captured an exchange between Barker and an Australian fan.

A commenter wrote, “Hey, there’s this place called Australia that would love to see you too…” to which the Blink drummer replied, “Mark and Tom will be there in Feb of next year but with a fill in drummer cause I don’t fly. Sorry brotha.”

But just a few leaks later the group were officially announced, with Soundwave boss AJ Maddah proudly telling fans that the whole group, including Barker, would be making the trip.

Don’t go start your celebrations just yet though, unfortunately, there’s a slight hitch to what will be the trio’s first visit to Australian soil in nearly a decade. Barker has decided he cannot overcome his phobia and will no longer be joining the rest of the group on tour.

A statement posted on Blink 182’s official Facebook page broke the news to disappointed fans. The band also have revealed that Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion, Tenacious D), has already been tapped on the shoulder to take over drumming duties whilst on the Soundwave tour.

The trip to Australia was planned during our European tour last summer. The band knew the chances of Travis overcoming his fear of flying, which was magnified after the horrible plane crash in 2008, would be a challenge, but we wanted to play for our fans in Australia nonetheless. The three of us tried all measures to get us all there in full form. Travis has been working to overcome his fear of flying. Since we now know we have to make the trip without Travis our friend Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion, Tenacious D) has stepped in. We love our fans in Australia so canceling was not an option so we still plan to come and play some kick ass shows. Mark, Tom, and Travis

Barker has had a severe fear of flying ever since his incredible 2008 escape from a burning plane that claimed the life of everyone on board bar him and DJ Adam Goldstein, a catastrophic event that eventually led to the reformation of the punk group and the release of the pop punks’ sixth studio album, Neighbourhoods in 2011 and their first since their 2005 split.

The heavily-tattooed sticksman has previously admitted that his flying phobia has been an obstacle to the band’s touring schedule. In 2011 he was quoted as saying “I’m working on it though. I’m trying to get hypnotized, trying to talk to a doctor who retrains your brain. Maybe he’ll help me fly again one day.”

UPDATE: The Blink 182 drummer took to social media to release the following press statement to Australian fans:

I’m sorry to announce i won’t be joining Blink 182 on this Australian tour. I still haven’t gotten over the horrific events that took place the last time i flew when my plane crashed and 4 people were killed, two being my best friends. I gave the band my blessing to take another drummer if they still wanted to do the tour without me. I hope to come to Australia again some day perhaps by ship if need be. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a boat that worked with the schedule this time around. Once again I’m sorry to all the fans.”

-Travis

Soundwave 2013 Lineup

METALLICA/ LINKIN PARK/ BLINK 182/A PERFECT CIRCLE / THE OFFSPRING / PARAMORE / SLAYER / GARBAGE / CYPRESS HILL / BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE / TOMAHAWK / STONE SOUR / BRING ME THE HORIZON / KYUSS LIVES / ANTHRAX / KILLSWITCH ENGAGE / SUM 41 / DRAGONFORCE / ALL TIME LOW / FLOGGING MOLLY / GHOST / DUFF McKAGAN’S LOADED / BILLY TALENT / MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK / MINDLESS SELF INDULGENCE / THE AMITY AFFLICTION / THE VANDALS / SICK OF IT ALL / KINGDOM OF SORROW / FOZZY / THE LAWRENCE ARMS / SLEEPING WITH SIRENS / CANCER BATS / THE BLACKOUT / GALLOWS / MADBALL / FUCKED UP / VISION OF DISORDER / PIERCE THE VEIL / PERIPHERY / THE SWORD / SHAI HALUD / OF MICE & MEN / THIS IS HELL / MISS MAY I / DANKO JONES / LUCERO / WOE, IS ME / THE WONDER YEARS / POLAR BEAR CLUB / WHILE SHE SLEEPS / CEREBRAL BALLZY / THE EARLY NOVEMBER / SUCH GOLD / SIX FEET UNDER / THE DEAR HUNTER / CHELSEA GRIN / DEAF HAVANA / RED FANG / VERSUS THE WORLD / THE CHARIOT / CONFESSION / ORANGE GOBLIN / CHUNK! NO, CAPTAIN CHUNK! / SYLOSIS / MEMPHIS MAY FIRE / CROSSFAITH / NORTHLANE / SHARKS / O’BROTHER / MILESTONES / LIVING WITH LIONS

Soundwave Venues & Dates

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

SATURDAY 23 BRISBANE, RNA SHOWGROUNDS

SUNDAY 24 SYDNEY, OLYMPIC PARK

FRIDAY 1 MELBOURNE, FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE

SATURDAY 2 ADELAIDE, BONYTHON PARK

MONDAY 4 PERTH, CLAREMONT SHOWGROUNDS

For more information head to www.soundwavefestival.com