Even amongst such storied silliness, blink took the don’t-give-a-fuck attitude to new levels. The doors to San Diego’s DML Studios were frequently opened to fans during songwriting sessions. Recording was constantly punctuated by bare-all practical jokes. When Jerry suggested the band veer into more polished pop territory, any concerns over punk ‘credibility’ were quickly shrugged off.
When the album arrived, it was a masterclass in polished bullshit. Lyrical nuggets like ‘I need a girl that I can train’ (Dumpweed) and ‘Your mom’s a whore’ (Dysentery Gary) skewered the teenage male mindset with such a sense of the OTT it was almost impossible to take offence.
“In interviews we’ll try to outdo each other by saying the most outrageous things we can think of,” Mark explained, at the time. “I’ll be like, ‘Yeah, I wanna fuck my mom.’” To which Tom added, “And I’ll be saying, ‘I wanna fuck my mom and stick two fingers up my dad’s butt, poke the shit out and chew on it.’”
It was only when they hit the road – most notably on the Loserkids tour, where arenas were transformed into drive-in theatres, as captured on November 2000’s accompanying live album The Mark, Tom And Travis Show – that they redefined punk as playground of the provocateurs. ‘Shit, piss, fuck, c**t, cocksucker, motherfucker, tit, fart, turd and twat’, rang one gloriously effluent chorus (Family Reunion), capturing immature imaginations everywhere.
“You just know that parents are hauling their kids out of our shows going, ‘You’re never listening to that band again!’” grinned Mark in the afterglow of one particular outing, with equal parts tongue-in-cheek and crooked mischief. “That’ll make kids want to listen to us more. It’s our cunning plan for world domination. Critics don’t get it, but kids do because we talk exactly like they talk to each other. We don’t put ourselves above the kids. We are the kids…”