Over the summer, Katie Toupin shared a TikTok covering “Adam’s Song” by blink-182. The band’s co-founder and bassist, Mark Hoppus, shared the video and it got a lot of attention. Katie had so much fun doing it, she decided to start a gofundme and see if she could fund a full album of blink-182 covers. Quickly, she had about a quarter of the project funded.
I spoke to Katie before she came to Birmingham for Secret Stages, but I had to check back in after she began this project. blink-182 was, after all, my favorite band when I was 16. We talked about how it all happened and what her plans are for the project. You can donate to the gofundme here and you can check out a great selection of merch here.
You’ve teased a couple of the songs that will be on the blink18Toupin release – “Adam’s Song” and “Stay Together for the Kids.” How did this become a full blown release that you wanted to create?
I was so into these pop-punk bands when I was growing up; in middle school and high school. I realized that all of these songs still hold up; the melodies, lyrics and song structures, they’re not very dissimilar from the Americana music that is out there. It’s just sort of covered up by whiny voices and drum fills.
So I started covering a few of these songs. I did a Good Charlotte song and I did a blink song. And when I did the blink song, Mark Hoppus reposted one of my little videos on his Instagram story and it got like 110,000 views in a day. I thought, “Maybe there’s something here.” The response was really good. I go back and listen to those songs, and while I love them – especially the nostalgia factor of those songs – I don’t always want to be screamed at by Tom DeLonge [laughs]. I think having a softer version of these songs appeals to people my age.
I started doing this – I started playing “Adam’s Song” on the road and it went really, really well. So I decided, “I’ll just drop a gofundme and see if I can get some support and I’ll record this one and maybe another one or something.”
The support has been overwhelming. We’re a quarter of the way to the goal for a full album. I started to feel a Catholic guilt about it. I decided that it needs to have a purpose and a point other than just a reimagining of these songs and for my own entertainment. So I decided that any profits – the merch store already – will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society because Mark was diagnosed with Lymphoma.
Do you know what the rest of the record would look like? Like, the other tracks you’d record?
Right now, we don’t have the funding to make a full album. I don’t think people realize how expensive it is to make a record. I’ve never made a record for less than $25,000; so I have that set as the budget. Anything leftover, I’ll take care of. I don’t have it mapped out yet; I’m just going to take it one or two songs at a time and see how it goes.
Other than Mark sharing the video, has anyone from the band or have any of their people reached out to you?
Nope. Nobody has so far. I think it’s a matter of people sharing it and people getting excited about it. I’ll put “Adam’s Song” as a single and we can gain some more momentum that way from fans sharing it.
Do you remember what your entry point to blink-182 was? Like, what the first song or record you heard was?
I don’t. Do you?
I do, actually!
It was probably Dude Ranch. “Dammit” had just been released. There was an MTV video and the whole thing.
How old were you?
I was probably 13 or 14 then, I guess?
My discovery was probably a little later, because I’m sure I wasn’t allowed to listen to that when I was 8 or whatever. I was probably 13, maybe? I got Enema of the State and Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. That was kind of it. I don’t know why it hooked me so hard. I had a poster of them in my room [laughs].
I went to a Christmas party once where Travis [Barker] was drumming and his kids were playing music. We all sat around and sang Christmas songs. That was the closest interaction we’ve ever had.
Was that the first punk band you got into?
No, I had a very limited view of music when I was a kid. I just wasn’t exposed to a lot of stuff. I guess the first things I ever heard were on the radio. “All the Small Things” was on the radio. That blows my mind. That wouldn’t get on the radio now. There’s no place for that in radio now.
The tracks that you’ve done so far are some of the later, heavier songs that blink recorded. Do you think you’ll do some of the sillier, early stuff along the way?
It would be the last thing I’d do. I’d try to do the ones that lend themselves to this style the best. These song structures – in the last two or three albums – they’re just pop songs. It’s easy to morph them into this different style. But “Carousel” is a song I was looking at. It has a two minute intro. It’s not a formulaic thing that’s easy for me to manipulate. But it’s possible. There’s still an aspect of – I have parents. And there are some of these lyrics that I just don’t want to sing [laughs]. So that’s a factor, too. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them, but I don’t want to sing them [laughs].
So after all these years, you’re afraid to admit to your folks that you liked the punk songs?
What was the album? The live album? I’m certain that I got that taken away and grounded for it [laughs]. So there’s definitely still a part of me that cares what my parents think.