Stockholm Syndrome (Blink-182 song)

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"Stockholm Syndrome"
Song by Blink-182 from the album Blink-182
Recorded January–October 2003
The Rubin's House, Signature Sound, Rolling Thunder
(San Diego, California)
Conway Recording Studios
(Hollywood, California)
Length 2:41
Label Geffen
Producer Jerry Finn

"Stockholm Syndrome" is a song by American rock band Blink-182 from the band's fifth studio album, Blink-182 (2003). The song, primarily written by bassist Mark Hoppus (although all three members are credited), revolves around paranoia and miscommunication, while referencing a psychological phenomenon involving hostages. Actress Joanne Whalley provides the spoken word interlude preceding the song, which consists of recited World War II-era love letters.


"Stockholm Syndrome" originated when the band was recording at a small house they rented in the San Diego luxury community of Rancho Santa Fe, between January and April 2003."[1][2] Barker recorded the drum track for the song rather unusually, piece by piece: first, he recorded the verses in a small room of the home, using a microphone dating to the 1950s.[2] The drum track for the chorus was laid down in the main tracking room, and following this, he recorded drum fills separately, using a sped-up and "super compressed" tape machine.[2] When played back at normal speed, this produced an effect Hoppus described as "deep and gigantic." Likewise, his vocal track was played into a shower to produce unique reverb.[2]

The term "stockholm syndrome" refers to a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.[3][4]


The song is composed in the key of E minor and is set in time signature of common time with a "moderately slow" tempo of 87 beats per minute. DeLonge and Hoppus' vocal range spans from D4 to B5.[5]

"Stockholm Syndrome" has been described as "one of the most obvious examples of Blink-182's experimentation."[6] The song begins with an interlude featuring actress Joanne Whalley reciting love letters that Hoppus' grandfather wrote to his wife while fighting in World War II.[7] "Real sincere, genuine letters from the worst war in history," DeLonge explained.[6] In sequence with the track listing, "Stockholm Syndrome" follows "Violence," but the small interlude is featured on CD editions at the end of the prior song. DeLonge referred to the track as an "aggressive punk rock anthem".[6]

The song's primary composer, Hoppus, penned his lyrics on paranoia: "Being afraid of the outside world, convinced that people can hear your thoughts."[2] The lyrics have been interpreted to refer to isolation in a relationship, and being on two entirely different planes in regards to dreams, leading to disappointment and miscommunication.[8] "Its poignancy is undeniable," wrote journalist Joe Shooman. "There was of course a very contemporary point being made here too as the post-9/11 world of paranoia and warmongering and utterly altered the atmosphere throughout the Western world."[8] Hoppus' fascination with miscommunication—“People more or less just wait to talk. And even then, words get in the way and intent gets lost,” he said—led to the fear and loathing present in "Stockholm Syndrome," with lyrics such as, “I wish I could explain myself but words escape me.”[9]

Hoppus later referred to the song as his favorite from Blink-182.[2]




  • Shooman, Joe (June 24, 2010). Blink-182: The Bands, The Breakdown & The Return. Independent Music Press. ISBN 978-1-906191-10-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  1. Chris Lee (November 16, 2013). "No joke, Blink-182 finds a happy mix between passion and parties". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 16, 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Blink-182 (liner notes). Blink-182. US: Geffen. 2003. 000133612.CS1 maint: others (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. de Fabrique, Nathalie; Romano, Stephen J.; Vecchi, Gregory M.; van Hasselt, Vincent B. (July 2007). "Understanding Stockholm Syndrome". FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. Law Enforcement Communication Unit. 76 (7): 10–15. ISSN 0014-5688. Retrieved November 17, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Namnyak, M.; Tufton, N.; Szekely, R.; Toal, M.; Worboys, S.; Sampson, E. L. (2007). "'Stockholm syndrome': Psychiatric diagnosis or urban myth?". Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. 117 (1): 4–11. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.2007.01112.x. PMID 18028254.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Blink-182 "Stockholm Syndrome" - Guitar Tab". Music Notes. EMI Music Publishing. Retrieved February 24, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Corey Moss (October 14, 2003). "No Album Title, No Preconceptions: The New Blink-182". MTV News. Retrieved September 22, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Jon Blistein (November 15, 2013). "Not Fade Away: Blink-182's Untitled Grows Up". Retrieved November 15, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 Shooman, 2010. p. 122
  9. Ben Wener (November 20, 2003). "Blink takes sonic leap forward". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved September 22, 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links