John "Feldy" Feldmann: "Cynical" was probably the second-to-last song we wrote. We were going through everything [n the discography.] We had a really mid-tempo, [2004's] Blink-182 kind of record. There wasn't a lot early Blink-182 [on the album, no] Cheshire Cat, Dude Ranch-era stuff because Travis [Barker] wasn't in the band then. I skipped over that era but I knew we needed a fast song. I gave them an option of a fast song [which became "Cynical"] and like everything song on this album Travis insisted he play it in one take. This was take three, the version that made the record. He thought he messed up in the beginning. You hear him going, "Ahhh!" on the track.
The thing with Travis, one of the many things, is that he plays so consistently. Whether it's a half-time, Zeppelin-y kind of feel or this super fast '90s punk thing, like we have in this song. We hits [with] the same velocity every time.
Mark [Hoppus] had this idea of what people may or may not think about a new version of Blink, with a new member, making a record with a producer—they haven't made a record with a producer in eight or nine years—the idea of thinking the world is in a cynical place in general. He came up with this really cool concept and [Alkaline Trio's Matt] Skiba had the outro, half-time melody in his head and it worked perfectly. We're starting the album out with "This is who we are, this is what we're doing."