Tom DeLonge wants you to know that his new band, Angels & Airwaves, will probably change the way you listen to rock and roll, will more than likely alter your life and will most definitely be the most famous band in the world. You’ve just got to give him some time.
“Right now, I’m a song and a half from finishing the greatest album of my career, and I swear it’s going to be something that will compete with the greatest rock records of all time,” he enthused. “Within two years, we’ll be the biggest rock act in the world. There’s never been a rock band from America that sounds like us. And I hope that what I just said raises more than a few eyebrows.”
This isn’t the first time he’s said all this. Just last month, he released a statement expressing those exact same sentiments, a move that sent Blink fan sites abuzz with excitement — and a bit of resentment, too (see “Blink’s Tom DeLonge Promises ’The Greatest Rock And Roll Revolution’ “ ). But despite the fair share of naysayers that his statement stirred up, DeLonge isn’t backing down from his earlier assessments. In fact, he says he’d like to take them all one step further.
“Like I said, there’s never been a band from America that sounded like this. Pink Floyd, the Cure, the Police, U2, Coldplay — they all come from Europe — and this band, it has the conceptual depth of Pink Floyd, it has the anthemic architecture of U2 but it has the energy and youthful vibrancy of Blink. I’m freaking out,” he laughed. “And I’m not saying this lightly. Every single person who’s heard the music understands. If I ever had the chance in my life to do something on a whole different level from anything I’ve ever done before, this is it.”
DeLonge has been hard at work on the Angels album since March, holed up in his home with friends like former Distillers bassist Ryan Sinn, former Rocket From the Crypt drummer Atom Willard and guitarist David Kennedy, who played with DeLonge in his Blink side project, Box Car Racer (see “Box Car Racer Talk Sex, Fall In Love With ’Mandy’ “ ). And while he won’t give away the title of the album or the names of any songs, he did say that the Angels album is “autobiographical,” that all of the songs toe the seven-minute mark and that he plans to have it in stores next spring.
“It’s cinematic and massive. All the songs have dramatic crescendos and huge stadium choruses,” he said. “If you slam the Cure, Pink Floyd, U2 and the Police into one band with me singing, that’s kind of what it will sound like. It’s everything you like about those little bands, but also with parts of Blink in there too.”
And right about the time the Angels & Airwaves album hits stores, you can look for the accompanying movie to drop as well (DeLonge wouldn’t answer if the film will play in theatres or will just be released to DVD). And it should come as no surprise that the film shares the album’s rather, um, grand ambitions.
“Since [Pink Floyd’s] The Wall, this has never been done. A third of the movie is CGI, a third of the movie is a documentary and a third of it is a love story. And it basically tells the story of the breakup of one of the biggest bands in the world and the creation of the world’s greatest rock band,” DeLonge said. “It’s a documentary about the past year of my life. But the whole thing is done with metaphors and analogies of World War II. Because World War II was good versus evil, the grand sense of purpose, and seeing as though I started this new part of my life specifically for my family, I felt that it would be an appropriate reference point rather than using modern images.”
According to DeLonge, both the Angels & Airwaves album and film will tell his side of what happened last February when Blink broke millions of hearts by announcing they were going on “indefinite hiatus” (see “Blink-182 Announce ’Indefinite Hiatus’ As Breakup Rumors Swirl” ). While both Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker have since moved on to various other endeavors, DeLonge has somewhat famously remained silent. And he’d like to keep it that way. Kind of.
“I love Mark and Travis to death. They were my best friends in the world, and I miss them tremendously. At the end, our priorities were mad different, and I haven’t spoke to them since [the hiatus],” he continued. “So instead of talking, I just made this album and this film. There’s a story line that runs throughout it, it’s autobiographical, I felt like I lost my two best friends, I lost the band I created, and I did it all for my family. And so I decided to write the album and make the movie about my life. But rather than sit there and whine, I used analogies about love and war, because that’s what this whole thing was like. Playing music in the wake of the Blink thing was like finding love in the middle of a war zone.”