Day Job: Singer and bassist in Blink-182 and Simple Creatures
Current Happenings: Blink-182 just released a fan-footage-filled quarantine music video for “Happy Days.” | Hoppus has raised $5,000 for Children’s Hospital of L.A. via Twitch streaming Animal Crossing.
Animal Crossing Island: Quarantine (Visited April 7)
Let’s get this out of the way: Yes, Hoppus named his island Quarantine. “I didn’t realize how long it was gonna be,” he said. “When the game first came out, I think we’d been in [quarantine] for like a week at that point. So it was pretty early on. At that point in time people were thinking, ‘Oh it’s gonna be like two weeks in our houses.’ And now a month in [at the time of the visit], the Quarantine name seems a little … too on the nose.”
Emerging from the airport, Quarantine visitors are immediately greeted by two extremely on-brand musical touches courtesy of Hoppus: The island’s town tune is the opening riff to the Blink-182 classic “Dammit,” and the isle’s flag boasts the plastic fangs logo of his side project, Simple Creatures. Musical note aside, the first signature of Quarantine is the lush pasture of flowers that leads tourists from the airport dock to House Hoppus. It’s a veritable floral rainbow — including rare hybrids like black tulips and blue wildflowers — invoking the famed Dutch tulip farms.
In contrast to the botanic oasis outside, Hoppus’s red-roofed abode is comparatively modest. Upon entering the domicile, things remain in bloom with a subtle flower-strewn wallpaper. The entry room is scattered with assorted knickknacks ranging from a magic set to a metronome.
This shouldn’t come a surprise considering Hoppus’s play style. “I just like to grind, really. I just like to fish and build bridges. I really don’t care so much about the furniture,” he said. “My house is kind of just a mess of stuff I think looks cool. I don’t really design anything, just collect stuff.”
To no one’s surprise, Hoppus has a practice space set up in the back room of his home. Boasting multiple drum sets and amps, acoustic and electric guitars, a pedal board and a fully loaded turntable, his digital avatar can rock the night away without disturbing the neighbors (as he’s clumped them all their homes along the beachfront on his isle’s Western shore).
Notably, the room lacks a bass guitar. (Dear Timmy and Tommy: Time to add a bass to the buying list.)
The final of the home’s three rooms is a pastel paradise of crafted Bunny Day furniture. “I started off hating Bunny Day [Animal Crossing’s nondenominational Easter]. And now I ended up actually liking it, and one of the rooms in my house is all the bunny furniture, which I think is cool now,” Hoppus said.
Animal Crossing has become a family affair for the Hoppus clan. In 2002, it was actually Mark’s mom who gifted a GameCube with the original Animal Crossing to Hoppus and his wife, who’d just had their son (who subsequently grew up playing). Right outside of House Hoppus is a gathering spot for his family, including a picnic set and a meaningful torch. “My family and I have been enjoying sitting by the firepit in our backyard at nights during the quarantine, so I put a tiki torch here [to represent that],” Hoppus said.
Hoppus’s island is divided into quadrants. His house, the town square, and shops take up the middle portion of the isle. He’s placed the neighbors’ homes together in a tight little stretch of beachside property on the West end of the landmass. (Hoppus gets along with all his animal pals except Hippeux the hippo: “He just told me I was an influencer … so I’m gonna kick him out of town for that.”)
The rest of the island is wilderness, space Hoppus has dubbed “The Great Frontier.”
Perhaps the isle’s most ingenious feature is the Quarantine Boneyard. Near the airport dock, Hoppus has purposefully strewn the grass with a selection of old bones.
“My friends come over and take and leave dinosaur bones depending on what they need,” he said. “So this is our swap meet for dinosaur bones, fossils, and DIY cards.”
Hoppus fosters that Animal Crossing community spirit — playing with both his family and new friends he’s met via Twitter — but jokes that not everyone is so kind. “On the other side of this quarantine there are going to be lawsuits from people who went to other people’s town and stole their fossils and good fruit," he said.
Even post-quarantine, don’t expect Quarantine to fall into disrepair. Hoppus’s fandom runs strong.
“Animal Crossing is a game that I come back to all the time. I was even playing the [mobile] Pocket Camp version on my phone before this came out,” he said. “It’s calming. It’s kind of meditative. It’s not too overwhelming. It’s not too flashy or violent and whatever (not that I mind those games — I like playing those games sometimes). It’s just a chill thing for me to do.”
Coming next week: WWE superstar Xavier Woods
Seth Sommerfeld is a Seattle-based culture writer and the Resident Representative of Ahch-To. Follow him on Twitter @sethsommerfeld.