From Angels & Airwaves
' sci-fi themes to frontman Tom DeLonge
's early promise to MTV that they would be "the greatest rock and roll revolution for this generation," there's no doubt that the frontman has been focusing on the future, not the past, since he launched his post-Blink-182
project three years ago.
[Click on the image to watch Angels & Airwaves' new
video, for "Breathe."
But with "Start the Machine," a new A&A DVD due Tuesday, DeLonge is actually taking a look back – not just at the origins of his current band, but also at the downfall of his prior one.
"From the break-up of Blink-182
, to the genesis of Angels and Airwaves ... a rock and roll documentary about an experiment of hope ... and the movement that followed," goes the longwinded description that appears beneath the title on the cover of the DVD.
So what gives? With Angels & Airwaves having cemented their status as a major rock act in their own right – after all, their music is being played at rallies for Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama, and last year's I-Empire
broke the top 10 on the Billboard
200 – why reflect on Blink-182's demise now?
"Well, I've been talking about it the whole time, just not formally," DeLonge insisted to Buzznet during an interview on Wednesday. "The documentary, we've been filming it for almost three years now, so we just finally finished it, and it might set the story straight. But it ended up being about so much more — it's really kinda good. We spent a lot of money on it [he laughs.
] It's not just your typical handheld documentary just about like, genocide [he laughs
], but the whole thing is shot on film – it's got these epic sequences, CGI and these heroic kind of performances. And it's got a lot of dramatic ... personal stuff in there as well. It started with the making of the album, but it grew into something much larger. I'm really excited for people to see it, because I think it'll really educate them as to how we got where we are."
Indeed, how Angels & Airwaves came into being is still something of a mystery – at the time DeLonge formed the band with fellow Box Car Racer David Kennedy
drummer Atom Willard
and former 30 Seconds to Mars
bassist Matt Wachter
were said to be on an "indefinite hiatus." That left ardent fans hoping that maybe, just maybe, there was a sliver of hope that DeLonge would eventually make peace with Mark Hoppus
and Travis Barker
. But now, given A&A's undeniable success and very few whispers about a Blink reunion, is it safe to assume that the three will never make music together again?
"Yeah, we won't," DeLonge declared. "For a bunch of diplomatic and political reasons, we called it whatever back in the day, but it was a breakup. I've moved on. I believe that now I've found a place in my life where I'm happier than I've ever been and I'm with the best people I've ever been with and I'm making the best music and art I've ever made. So when people ask me if I'm ever going back to Blink, there's just no possible way. I'm in a totally different place, and I'm so happy. In Angels & Airwaves, I truthfully think it has infinite potential to be and do anything it wants to do."
DeLonge is equally candid on the "Start the Machine" DVD, which the guys are distributing through Modlife Films, an extension of their Modlife online community. Expect to see him talk not just about the decline of Blink-182 and the ascent of Angels & Airwaves, but also touch on even more delicate personal matters, like his drug use.
If you're eager to catch an early glimpse of the flick, and you happen to live near Encinitas, California, swing by the city's La Paloma Theater for an advance screening on Saturday. As a bonus, the band will be there in person for the event. So in light of how candid the movie is, could it be safe to assume that DeLonge will be squirming in his seat at the screening?
"No, I'm stoked," he said. "I mean, there's part of it that deals with drug addiction and stuff, and that's putting myself out there a bit, but I'm not worried about it. People know about that. Or people that care know about it, and I think that it's handled in a classy way. I didn't direct this, and I didn't have anything to do with putting it together. Mark Eaton, the director [he also directed A&A's 'Breathe
' and 'Secret Crowds' videos], he's been my best friend since I was a teenager, as well as David's, and we just trusted him. We were under a deadline to get it ready for some of the film festivals, and so he just did it. And we didn't see it or approve anything."
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the A&A universe, there's something else DeLonge hasn't witnessed just yet – the band's song "The Adventure" being played at Obama rallies, as was the case when the senator accepted the Democratic nomination on June 3.
"I've been hearing that from everybody! I haven't heard it myself," he said. "I think it's AWESOME. I've backed Obama since day one, and I've been going around saying, 'Obama for your mama,' and I think that it's awesome to be a part of his campaign in any way, shape or form. I think he's the John F. Kennedy of this generation, and if he doesn't win, then we have a 71-year-old gun-touting Republican back in the office [ed note: Senator John McCain will actually be 72 when the presidential election happens in November
for more from our interview with Tom DeLonge.
For more on the Warped Tour
, which Angels & Airwaves will be playing all summer, don't miss our nonstop coverage:
"Forever the Sickest Kids Want 'A Monkey at Every Show': Warped Tour Warm-Up
"Warped Tour '08: Roll Call - and Dos and Don'ts
"Charlotte Sometimes Wonders if She'll Blow Up This Summer: Warped Tour Warm-Up
"Warped Tour '08: A Guide to Pit Etiquette
"1997 Keyboardist Longs for the Slip-N-Slide: Warped Tour Warm-Up
"Warped Tour '08: The VIP Guide
"Protest the Hero Singer Says 'We Don't Roll Like Carrot Top': Warped Tour Warm-Up
"Set Your Goals Are Packing Extra Boxers: Warped Tour Warm-Up
"Warped Tour '08: Top 10 Must-Haves
"Two More Killer Bands Added to Warped Tour Main Stage
Also, feast your eyes on these pics of Katy Perry
, Beat Union
and more at the Warped Tour kickoff show
on April 11 in West Hollywood, California – click on the image below:
Get psyched for summer with Buzznet's Warped Tour 2008 gallery:
[Click on picture to view the rest.]
Check out these bands that will be playing Warped for the first time:
[Click on picture to view the rest.] Warped Tour dates
6.20: Pomona, CA @ Pomona Fairgrounds
6.21: San Francisco, CA @ Pier 30/32
6.22: Ventura, CA @ Seaside Park
6.25: Phoenix, AZ @ Cricket Pavilion
6.26: Las Cruces, NM @ N.M.S.U. Practice Field
6.28: Salt Lake City, UT @ TBA
6.29: Denver, CO @ Invesco Field
7.1: St. Louis, MO @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
7.2: Kansas City, KS @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
7.3: Dallas, TX @ Superpages.com Center
7.5: San Antonio, TX @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
7.6: Houston, TX @ Sam Houston Race Park
7.9: Atlanta, GA @ Lakewood Amphitheater
7.10 : Orlando, FL @ Central Florida Fairgrounds
7.11: Tampa, FL @ Vinoy Park
7.12: Miami, FL @ Bicentennial Park
7.13: Jacksonville, FL @ St. Johns County Fairgrounds
7.14: Charlotte, NC @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
7.15: Virginia Beach, VA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
7.16: Washington DC @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
7.17: Cleveland, OH @ Time Warner Cable Amphitheater at Tower City
7.18: Detroit, MI @ Comerica Park
7.19: Toronto, ON @ Downsview Park Allen Road
7.20: Montreal, QC @ Parc Jean Drapeau
7.23: Boston, MA @ Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts
7.24: Buffalo, NY @ Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
7.25: Susquehanna Bank Center
7.26: Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum
7.27: Scranton, PA @ Toyota Pavilion
7.28: Englishtown, NJ @ Raceway Park
7.29: Pittsburgh, PA @ Post Gazette Pavilion
7.30: Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
7.31: Indianapolis, IN @ Verizon Wireless Music Center
8.1: Milwaukee, WI @ Marcus Amphitheatre
8.2: Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
8.3: Minneapolis, MN @ Canterbury Park
8.5: Saskatoon, SK @ Credit Union Centre
8.6: Calgary, AB @ Race City Speedway
8.8: Boise, ID @ Idaho Center Amphitheatre
8.9: Seattle, WA @ George Amphitheatre
8.10: Portland, OR @ Columbia Meadows
8.13: Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center
8.14: San Diego, CA @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
8.15: San Francisco, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
8.16: Sacramento, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre Lot
8.17: Los Angeles, CA @ Home Depot Center Win Warped tix on Buzznet right here