ChannelV article

Let’s get it out of the way first – according to Tom DeLonge, there is a chance Blink 182 might one day reform. In the same way there’s a chance Britney Spears might join Slipknot or 50 Cent might bust out a Christmas album. Anything is possible.

”You never know,” says the former Blink 182 co-frontman sincerely. “I will never say never and I can’t tell the future, but I'd be honoured to share the stage with those guys again. They’re the best musicians in the world and our time together was magical.”

Of course, there’s a few reasons it won’t be happening anytime soon. First, DeLonge and former Blink bandmates Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker aren’t speaking to each other, and second, DeLonge is just a tad busy with Angels and Airwaves, the epic new emo-rock project that's rocking his world. With a debut album, ‘We Don’t Need to Whisper’, just released, he’s quite keen for it to be rocking yours too.

”I think that every single Blink fan is going to like Angels and Airwaves as much as they like Blink, if not more. It’s going to bring in a whole new audience as well."

"It’s definitely one of the most exciting things happening in rock and roll right now.”

While Blink fans might feel this presumptuous (which it is), it’s just another flamboyant statement that's typified the evolution of Angels and Airwaves (or AVA, as it’s become known) so far. Since it was announced to the world last September, everything about AVA has been OTT, with DeLonge declaring it both “the greatest rock and roll revolution” and “the most amazing music I have ever made by a long shot” before we even heard a single note or verse.

Sure, it’s coming from the same guy who claimed Blink’s last album would bring world peace, but you do get the sense DeLonge will never need his own marketing department.

”Who said that?” he laughs. “It wasn’t me was it? It’s so much easier to say shit like that when no one hears the record but the truth of the matter is I really felt that. You have to look at it from my point of view too."

"Starting Blink 13 years ago and selling 20 million records, this isn’t the first Tom DeLonge album, it’s my next.”

”I finally felt that I made a record that should be compared to other good records that people consider great. I don’t think everyone will like it. I do not think that everyone will think it’s the greatest, not at all.”

Excitement is a little bit of an understatement when it comes to DeLonge. Throughout the album and this interview, the 30-year-old Californian radiates an overwhelming energy of positivism and cosmic affirmation, bordering on (emo-) evangelical. Which is probably the attitude you have to adopt when the band you’re started thirteen years ago dissolves and you lose two of your closest friends.

Despite an initial shroud of silence, the reasons for Blink 182’s infamous ‘hiatus’ in February 2005 have slowly bubbled to the surface. Hoppus was put out by DeLonge and Barker working on Box Car Racer, but then started Plus 44, an experimental electronic side-project, with Barker without telling DeLonge. Hoppus and Barker wanted to tour; DeLonge wanted to spend more time with his family. Game over.

”Coming out of the Blink world when that disintegrated, the last thing I wanted to do was to play music,” says DeLonge. “The idea of creating another band and getting back to the level I was at was so enormous and gut-wrenching, I couldn’t even imagine starting all over again.”

”I was at a point where I was really hurt and in a negative place. That break up took years off my life."

"I really needed to find a different road to happiness so I took it. I think the challenge to rebuild my life and to do something was the best thing in the world that could have happened to me.”

Like Green Day, DeLonge found inspiration in an unlikely place – politics. Inspired by Democrat candidate John Kerry on the 2004 election trail and disenfranchised with the policies of George W. Bush, he became heavily involved in rallies and

”I spent a lot of time doing the campaign when we were trying to get George W. Bush out of office,” he says. “And being that close to someone you really, truly believe is going to change the world is electrifying... You really feel for once that anything is possible.”

It’s a life lesson DeLonge has taken literally with Angels and Airwaves, which also comprises Box Car Racer guitarist David Kennedy, bassist Ryan Sinn (ex-Distillers), and Atom Willard (ex-Rocket from the Crypt and The Offspring). Having already released futuristic short films for ‘The Adventure’ and ‘It Hurts’, he’s in pre-production for an accompanying AVA full-length feature film, which will be part love-story, part-doco, part-CGI, due out next year. Like his music, it’s a widescreen vision he wants to share with everyone.

”Between the short films, the movie and every ounce of technology that we’re using, this band is rewriting how rock bands are going to do stuff for the next ten or fifteen years,” he says, modesty chip once again disconnected. “Absolutely. There’s nobody doing what we’re doing, nobody.”

”Dave Grohl just saw our second short film the other day and was like ‘what the f**k are you guys doing over there?’"

"It’s just that bands are rarely as ambitious as this, and I have every reason to be because I had nothing.”

With all his self-promotion and outrageous quotes, isn’t DeLonge worried about building Angels and Airwaves up for a great fall?

“I’d rather set the bar really high than come out and say ‘well I like it, does anyone else?’ or ‘hey I’m really proud of it, what do you think?’ I’m not proud of this record - I’m beyond proud. I feel at the very least I have people’s attention. Whether they like it or not, they’re going to like it based on the music, not my comments. I did know when I said that shit that I would have to live up to it, so I’m trying.”

There’s been no word about what his fellow Blink-mates think of AVA's future sound and sadly, since they’re not on speaking terms he doesn’t know either. While they’re not far from his thoughts, he admits he might leave it a little longer before he reopens the lines of communications to find out.

”I’m going to let it be for a while, but I definitely want to talk to them again obviously,” he says earnestly. “I would love to rebuild my friendship with those guys, they’re amazing people."

"It just wasn’t the right thing for all three of us to be doing [Blink] together forever.”

Right now, new, more immediate adventures beckon. DeLonge is taking his cinematic sci-fi emo-rock to the sweaty reality of the moshpit in tours across Europe and the US. So when will Australia get the pleasure?

”A tour’s not booked yet, but I assume it’s going to happen after the first of the year [that’s next year, folks]. We have a couple of tours in our schedule to the end of the year and we usually hit Australia in our winter, which is your summer.”

”I love, love, love your country,” he professes. “When Blink first started we were bigger in Australia than anywhere in the world besides California. I can’t wait to get down there - I think Australians are going to completely connect to what this is because you’re very close to how I am as a person.”

Start counting the sleeps now.


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