We Don't Need To Whisper review by TeenSpot

Tom Delonge, from Blink 182, spoke to us recently about his new music project, Angels and Airwaves.

TeenSpot: First of all, could you give us a short background of all your bandmates, since you all come from different bands?

Tom Delonge: Yeah, uh, David Kennedy was in Boxcar Racer with me. He was also in a couple hardcore bands (Built To Last and Hazen Street), Ryan Sinn was in The Distillers, and Adam Willard was Rocket From The Crypt and he was actually playing with The Offspring a little bit before, but I don’t think he is actually a former member of the band or not.

TS: How did you meet one another?

TD: Well, obviously I knew David from Boxcar and he introduced me to Ryan... I really vibed well with him before, I guess, and we needed a bass player, and he was like “Dude, you gotta meet this dude named Ryan. He’s a really good dude, just a good dude, you know?” Ah, met up with him, Adam called me. I knew Adam from some acquaintances and he called me as well. You know, it’s interesting too because I see how a lot of different people, well, not a lot, but a good handful of people, called me from big established bands... some of them have sold millions of records, you know, I was really actually honored that these people wanted to do this with me. At the end of the day, after I talked to everybody and went through all of the motions of doing what I needed to do to figure out who I wanted to do this with, all of these guys ended up being the very first people I talked to, which I think is a testament to how much faith played in this stuff. Everything with Angels and Airwaves has happened so perfectly and beautifully that uh, it’s so funny that we keep saying, “Hey, it’s Angels and Airwaves... it’s going to work out fine,” because it keeps doing that it seems like, so, yeah.

TS: How and why did you make the decision to start a new band?

TD: Oh, well, you know I wasn’t doing the Blink thing and I needed to do something with music and I was at a point in my life where it was really important for me to feel good again. I wanted to do something positive. I wanted to do something different than everything else that was happening in music where music seemed to be being used as a catalyst to show off how angry you were or how depressed you are and it just wasn’t exciting to me to hear that anymore. So what I decided to do was create an autobiographical story about me finding and creating a new life for myself and my family, and a new world and using the band almost is more experimenting to record a series of emotions rather than just trying to record some catchy pop songs. It really became this grand, artistic experiment that ended up being a lot of fun and really enlightening along the way.

TS: Was it awkward adjusting to playing with new people, on and off stage?

TD: You know what, oddly enough it wasn’t. I thought it would be. I thought that because a band is so much of a family and it takes so long to really get to know each other and to mesh musically with other musicians. It is something that takes a long time to where you can really read each other and everyone kind of does... they do what they do and you can kind of predict it at the time or whatever. With Angels it really didn’t take long at all. It really feels like we were playing for a decade. I’ve never really played with other musicians besides who was in Blink with me so I was expecting it to be a lot more difficult, but like I said, everything in the band is so meant to be. There has not been any obstacles, there hasn’t been one. Everything has just happened. It’s also the way we look at things too, we are very much all into this for the same reason where we don’t seem obstacles ever. We always look for every little perfect thing that must have happened to make it what it is. We don’t really see anything negative. It’s been a pretty great way to realize how you see the world as well.

TS: What do you draw on for song writing inspiration in Angles & Airwaves, and how does that differ from previous projects?

TD: Well, usually I write something on guitar and try to fit something lyrically over it and work at it to make it the best song it can be, which is obviously, probably a normal process for a lot of musicians. On this record we would do something where we would dim the lights, close all of the blinds in the studio, I’d put up Stanley Kubrick’s 2010 on the TV, I’d openly past a bunch of black and white photos from World War II of these cities burning and mothers rushing their infants out of a war zone or whatever and then I would write a love song. You end up having a song that represents a really confusing array of emotions where there is this endless hope of space, but the ugliest and darkest side of mankind in the worst war in history, and then writing a love song which represents the best thing that humans can do with one another, you know, and it was that kind of idea... it was that kind of environment and atmosphere that we created this record. We really tried to put ourselves in a landscape and create a music that was very cinematic in its feel.

TS: Any particular bands you're into these days? What's on your iPod?

TD: Ah, I have a lot of different stuff on there. Obviously the cool bands from The Arcade Five to The Cure, I listen to a lot, but you know, I honestly seem to... I keep going back to a bunch of the same stuff from David Bowie to Peter Gabriel to U2 to The Cure, I already said The Cure, I guess. I don’t know, a lot of that kind of stuff. I’m really not into the cool, underground, indie rock stuff anymore. I used to really want to like it a lot more than I really did, but last year I just... I’m just not into it anymore. I really only like timeless, classic music these days.

TS: How do you feel about music, technology, and sites like MySpace?

TD: I think it’s great! I think it’s a great vehicle to be in a real time conversation with your fans. I think that’s why it’s so big. I think that is something that was completely needed for a long time and now bands can talk directly to their fans or can always hear what they’re thinking or saying and I think it’s... I think it’s going to change a lot of how bands discover what their fans are thinking.

TS: Would you call this album your best work yet?

TD: Absolutely! I have been fortunate enough though where every album I’ve done I’ve seen a lot of improvement. I think a lot of artists would judge their improvement with different parameters, but with myself I have always determined things that are more complicated or try to make things more artistic and over people’s heads. It’s just in terms of songwriting and presenting the art itself, this record is so deep and has so many layers and was so emotional in its making that I can’t get sick of it. I just know... you get a feeling. I just know that I’ve done the best work of my life on this record.

TS: Are you guys currently touring or planning on?

TD: Yeah, we leave in like a week, actually. Pretty soon we leave in a week and then we’re going to be gone off and on for the next two or three years probably.

TS: If you could tour with any band, from any period in time (i.e. 1960's band) who would it be?

TD: Ummmmm, I would love to tour with, ah.... anyone with Pink Floyd to U2 to The Police would have been a lot of fun. The Cure, too. I could actually see that happening, haha, you know?

TS: Rolling Stones?

TD: Ah, I like the Stones, but I’m not really a big fan of them that much, you know. I don’t like just normal rock stuff, it doesn’t really appeal to me.

TS: Do you guys have any whacky requests in your ryder?

TD: Ah, you know what? We just started putting it together so I highly doubt there is anything crazy in it yet, but I’m sure it will find its way. Once you get on the road is when you discover what you need to keep yourself entertained. You know, like on the Blink ryder we always had an assortment of architecture and science magazines and lesbian themes, adult magazines as well. And then a movie chosen by the person buying it... they can go to Blockbuster and pick out any movie and sometimes we get the weirdest, stupidest shit and other times we’d just get Gladiator every day, for like a week.

TS: What's the story with Blink 182? Are you guys broken up? Is there ever going to be another Blink 182 album?

TD: There’s never an official anything because I don’t think anything can see what the future holds. I would be honored to play with those guys again... they’re amazing in every which way and I miss them so much, but at this point in my life I’m so happy, and I’m so, so... far along in my art and my process and this is my life. Angels and Airwaves is my band, which is why I’m staying for eternity. What the future holds with doing something with those guys down the road... you know, who knows? This is what I’m going to be forever.

TS: Where are you right now? I hear some stuff in the background...

TD: I’m in a car, driving.

TS: Oh, alright... so, what's this I hear about a Angles & Airwaves film?

TD: Well, the film is basically a... we’re using it as a vehicle to help describe the depth of the record. It is very complex in its emotional reasoning. Just like architecture alone, the way the story unfolds from the beginning to the end, it’s just a hard thing for people to understand and grasp. I don’t think it’s a thing people need to understand and grasp, I think it’s one of those records that you can buy and like anyway. For the people that are interested in having a complete Angels and Airwaves experience, the movie is going to be that vehicle and I think it’s something that rock and roll needs right now. I think bands need to reinvest in their art and do something more exciting and interesting and that’s what we’re doing. I think Angels and Airwaves is the first band to try and use new media in all avenues of technology to enhance and bare art and create a much grander experience.

TS: So .... why should everyone buy this album?

TD: Well, I can’t tell you that everyone should, but I can tell you that if there is anybody out there in the world that put as much emotion and passion and heart into any piece of art to challenge the way I view the world or myself, I would be super excited to be a part of it. I’m at a point in my life too where I don’t give a fuck about the punk scene or what’s cool or uncool. I really respect people that go out of their way to try and do something to make me a better human being or actually make me have a little bit of an escape on a normal, everyday kind of life, and that’s really what I have created. If people want to surrender just a little bit and be a part of it then I truthfully think that they will have a great, great experience. It’s something that is spiritual and something that is deeper than what they’re used to with just normal rock and roll.

TS: Anything else you'd like to say to your fans?

TD: I would like to say, “Hello,” and I will see you in space when they come to the show.

- Aaron Kalsnes (TeenSpot.com)

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