Tom DeLonge in Kerrang article

In his most personal interview ever, Tom DeLonge discusses Blink 182, his troubled childhood, and why he believes he has a "special purpose"..

What do you remember of your childhood?

"My parents would fight all the fucking time. My dad left us when I was 18 and my sister was 12. My older brother was away too - he was in the army fighting wars. Also, my mom lost her job at that point. Right then, at that moment, I moved out. I felt like I had to start my life. My mom and sister were left asking, 'What happened to our family?'."

You have a wife and a daughter now. How much do your childhood experiences affect your attitudes to your own family?

"I always knew that I wanted to have a good family life after my childhood. Sometimes that's a really hard thing to do. My daughter is three years old now, but for the first two years of her life I was recording and on tour with Blink. She really knew her dad wasn't around. My daughter is the most addictive drug - she's absolutely the reason for living and I don't want to miss another two and a half more years of her life. I can't ask my wife and daughter to sleep on a moving tour-bus all night long because that sucks. I have an opportunity to make the best family in the world."

Blink 182 were renowned for their irresponsability. Now you talk about saving the world and the importance of family. Are you trying to force yourself to care more about your surroundings?

"Absolutely. Blink 182 really had no message whatsoever - and we prided ourselves on that - but now I want an absolute message. Every little detail of Angels and Airwaves was painstakingly thought out. You have one life and what what are you going to do when you're 90 years old? Are you going to look back and wish that you'd tried harder, are you going to wish that you were happier, that you should have looked at the world differently, or that you should have quit that job? I'm at that point where I don't want any regrets."

You seem very focused and sure of yourself. Is that a trait of yours?

"Yes and it's a trait I just figured out that I have. A lot of it came from a will to survive and to keep my music career going after Blink split. When you turn 30, you think you know everything about yourself. But I really discovered a lot about myself this year."

Like what?

"I'm very much an optimist, an idealist and a visionary. I am those things. I can see something and I can figure out how to get there. That's very much what happened with Angels And Airwaves."

Do you think that sometimes your focus can make you selfish?

"Absolutely. I think artists always get caught up in themselves."

Are you someone who needs to be in control?

"I work better that way. I set really high standards for myself. If I'm in control of something, I want to do it better than anyone else can do it. If I don't have control of it, I'll become enormously lazy and not take any responsability. In Blink, we all obviously shared the responsability. That was a comfort because when anything went wrong, we could all laugh about it together, we were all to blame."

Does this mean Angels and Airwaves is frightening because it's just down to you?

"It's one of those things where you have to be careful what you wish for, because at the end of the day, I'm the only one putting myself out there. No-one's going to come to the other guys and say, 'You fucked up'. For the most part they're all going to come to Tom"

What happens if you let yourself down? Does it hurt?

"I don't know yet. The closest I came to that was when I let my mouth off at the beggining of this record. I told everyone that this would be the biggest record in 20 years and made all those crazy statements. I did it for a variety of reasons. The first reason was because I knew it was a fucking awesome album. The second was that I wanted to say some pretty big stuff because I wanted to build up the tension so I really had to perform. I knew that if the whole world was going to judge me then it would make me then it would make me have to try my absolute best."

You have said in the past that you had a special purpose. Do you see yourself as some kind of preacher?

"Yes but I don't think I'm better than anybody, I'm just more ambitious than alot of people. I think that I'm more willing to put myself out there than most people. In no way, shape or form do I think that I'm better or that know more than anyone else."

Do you think that you thought that in the past? That you chased your ambitions to the detriment of other people's feelings?

"No. I don't think I ever chased my ambitions really. I think that I was probably held back to a degree because I was scared of putting myself out there, or I was scared of upsetting the status quo."

It seems like you feel a need to prove yourself now. Do you know what's caused that in you?

"I don't know. That's such a good question. Maybe it's because I was the middle child, maybe it's because I was in a family that didn't talk to each other who had their share of problems. Maybe it's because I feel that I could really be here to create something special but I'll never really know if that's the case."

- Kerrang!

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