ITV interview with Atom

Take a little Blink 182, a dash of Offspring and garnish with a few new faces and what do you get? Angels and Airwaves! They might be new kids on the block, but they’re old hands at writing great music.

Angels and Airwaves is a new project for you guys, is it all going well?

It really is. It’s going as well as you could even hope for it to go. People at the shows have been incredibly receptive and really excited to be there. And people are just singing along with every song before the record’s even out, which is quite freaky.

Have you managed to tap into your fan base from previous bands?

I definitely think that people took notice of what we were doing perhaps more so than a regular ‘baby’ band (or whatever you call a new band) because of our history and our past and everything. That’s definitely given us a little bit of head start. But I like to think that if they didn’t like it they wouldn’t hang around just because of who is in the band.

How did you guys get together?

Do you know, it’s the least exciting story on the planet. It’s really just a matter of a few dudes who just knew each other and grew up together and who are all from the same area. It was really just a matter of being in the right headspace at the right time, and having the right attitude towards life and music. That’s what made us all come together the way we did. We all have the same goals and the same priorities.

So there haven’t been too many teething problems?

It’s been incredibly easy. Again, it’s really boring. There have been no fights, no drama, no fights or screaming matches. It’s just been a piece of cake.

Can’t you sex it up for us a bit?

You know, we usually don’t need to because people are so taken aback that we’re sitting there naked.

Tom DeLonge said that the music is designed to inspire hope in dark times. Would you agree?

There’s a lot of doom and gloom in the music out there, and we’re really of the mindset that it’s ok to feel good about who you want to be and who you can be.
We’re just trying to get rid of that old person that you’ve been stuck within; you know, if you’re stuck in a shell of a person and doing a job that you don’t really like, or if you’re with someone that you’re not truly happy with. You can be whatever you want to be, you’ve just got to make it happen.

What is the art of being a good drummer?

I think that you have to really love what you’re doing. I think there are a lot of drummers out there who think ‘oh gosh, I’m stuck in the back and not getting the attention I want to get’. I play the drums and I play the parts that reflect the person that I am. I’m not trying to be the centre of attention and I’m not trying to make a big splash. I’m trying to support my people and give them a foundation for the song.

So are drummers the most important people in a band?

Well, yeah I guess so. But you could say that about anyone. If anyone stops playing then it’s like ‘oh, something’s missing here’. But yeah, you’ve got to establish a solid foundation before you can build a house.

Your website seems very orientated towards the military. Is that something you’re championing?

Not really. The record is really an entire collection of metaphors based upon the conflict of love and war. War being the most horrific thing that man can do and that humanity has been a part of over the years. Love being the greatest thing that we have to offer each other. It sounds cheesy, but it’s the truth.

We live in a time defined by conflict. Does music have a role to play in waking people up to that?

I don’t want to self-profess our power, but we definitely know that if you’re selling millions of records and touching people on a level that they’re singing along to and getting emotional about, then you do have some kind of power to get inside people’s heads and maybe inspire them to take a more pro-active approach to voting or to being aware of what candidates represent – I’m speaking about American politics. If people could just get a little more aware and a little more pro-active then maybe we can make somewhat of a difference because we’ve inspired a bunch of individuals.
That’s not to say that the whole world will change because of a record, but if you can get a couple of people to feel a certain way and they can get a couple of people to feel a certain way it spreads.
So we love the fact that we could reach a certain amount of people and make a difference because things are pretty f**ked up right now.

Do you think musicians should try and influence people?

I think it’s hard to say that that should be your main focus or your main inspiration because you’re a musician. You haven’t studied politics in most cases, or you haven’t done the research to be able to speak about things up on a soapbox and project your ideals. So I think it needs to be used sparingly and I think that in order to establish any kind of credibility you need to pick your times of speaking out.

Where did the name Atom come from?

When I was in Rocket from the Crypt I was 16 and we all had different names and that was mine. So it’s always been my rock and roll name.

Do you have favourite atom?

All mine. All my atoms are good ones as are my wife’s – she’s got a few good ones in there too.


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