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Tom DeLonge: ‘It’s interesting how stupid and how much ego is involved with boys’

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Tom DeLonge joins Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 to discuss Angels & Airwaves’ forthcoming sixth studio album ‘Lifeforms’, out this Friday. He tells Zane about recommitting his focus to music and Angels & Airwaves, how Blink-182 taught him that anything is possible, not doing things for fame or money, and having aspirations beyond Blink-182. He also discusses completely repairing his relationship with Mark Hoppus and first learning of his cancer diagnosis.

Tom DeLonge Tells Apple Music About Repairing His Relationship with Mark Hoppus and When He First Learned of His Cancer Diagnosis…
The way the universe works is strange because I reached out to Mark because I needed him to sign this piece of paper that had to do with my divorce. Only because of that call did I learn he had cancer. And he told me on the phone. I was like, “Wait, what?” And we weren’t really talking much at all, maybe once every couple of months, a little text here and there. But now, we talk multiple times a day. So it’s like we’ve been able to completely repair that friendship and really cut to the depth of who we are as people and what this is all about. And he’s had a really difficult time, but he’s doing really good right now, in the sense of where the cancer is gone, as far as we know, and the chemo worked really well. So now he’s healing up. I don’t think he’s jumping for joy, but he’s emotionally supercharged from where he was. It’s interesting how stupid and how much ego is involved with boys. We’re just boys and bands. Women are so much better at this stuff than we are. I always tell my wife, I was like, “Boys are weird because unless it’s a big deal, we’re either going to fist fight or we’re just going to brush it under the rug. There’s no grey area.

Tom DeLonge Tells Apple Music About Recommitting His Focus To Music and Angels & Airwaves…
You know, there was a time … not that many years ago, I didn’t know if I was going to play music anymore. I mean, I was recording music with Angels and Airwaves, but since I left blink, I was just building my company to the stars. I got involved with the people from the government and I was doing all that stuff. I was really thinking I wasn’t going to be doing music professionally or as a full-time thing. I went through this crazy divorce that was really sad and tragic and dealing with that with the kids and family and whatever. And I was like, “Okay, I think I need to figure out who I am, deep down in a visceral DNA level.” So I went back out with Angels and it just ignited and I was like, “Oh my God, this band’s been growing.” I was just putting out little EPs on my own every year or something. And then I was like, “It’s time to do this for real,” and so we did. And then the pandemic hit and I was like, “Well, I can keep working on this record and really care and make it better.” And then I did a movie that goes along with it, that’s coming out later. And I just ended up becoming everything Angels and Airwaves was meant to be, this trans media art project about humanity.

Tom Delonge Tells Apple Music About Angels & Airwaves’ Forthcoming Sixth Studio Album ‘Lifeforms’…
So basically when I started Angels and Airwaves, I wanted to take themes that I was passionate about. A lot of things to do with consciousness and so on and I wanted to be able to communicate them in ways where like, “Hey, maybe the album is like a business card.” Like you said, you hear the music and you go, “I like that, what are these guys about?” Oh, they did this book, or they did this film too,” and it all speaks to the same thing in different ways. But each one can live on their own. Now that was really hard to do. We did an art house kind of indie film before, and it took us a few years to pull that off. But this one is basically like, the film called ‘Monsters of California’, it comes out with Lifeforms album. That’s like a way mainstream thing, this like an edgy kind of thing. And it’s funny, and it’s adventurous and whatever, but when you put them together, the whole lifeforms concept really goes along with what a lot of people know of the work that I’ve done with my company, and the people and the government in the sense of where we think our interactions, and who we are, and where we’re going as humanity, we tend to think it’s about our interactions with each other or who we love, and who we work with and whatever. And so, we kind of go, “Okay, that’s what human life’s all about.”

Tom DeLonge Tells Apple Music How Blink-182 Taught Him That Anything Is Possible…
I told everyone, I go, “As soon as I realised that I could achieve anything,” dude, I’m telling you, we did not think Blink was going to be big. I lived in a garage, I got kicked out of high school, we all had broken families, so we started companies on the side because they were our real plan, you know? But blink actually went, and then I realised like, “Oh my God, anything’s possible. It takes a lot of work, and it’s hard, and whatever, but it’s so possible”. And what I’ve also learned with working with my partners and all that stuff at my company To the Stars, I really learned that, as long as you go into things honestly, and admirably, and you have a good intention, and you stick with it, and you really believe in it, it will come.

Tom DeLonge Tells Apple Music About Not Playing It Safe By Staying in Blink-182 and Having Bigger Aspirations…
With Bbink, yeah, I don’t do things for fame or money. The easy way out was just playing Blink-182 and just take it easy and play those same hits and just play really big places. But I just have a lot in me that I feel is important, that I feel like I can do something good for the world. I know for a fact with the stuff I did with my government partners at my company and the UFO stuff starting to roll out and all the briefings, we set up a Congress and all that kind of stuff, I know for a fact this is changing the world. I did something that is going to absolutely change the world. I don’t need the credit for it, but I feel really good about it. And then I can move on. And so now I’m moving on. And as long as the art is challenging to do and films are challenging, that’s what I’m looking for. The easy way out is something different. That’s the sacrifice, I guess, is that I’m more stressed or something, or I’m doing things I don’t know how to do, but that’s also what I get off on, I guess.

Tom DeLonge Tells Apple Music About Misconceptions About Himself…
Blink was out there with like, we had like the F word on fire on stage, and then I came out with Angels and it’s like, “Love.” And everyone’s like, “He’s lost his mind,” you know? And then I come out, I’m like, “I’m working with these people in the government.” “He’s definitely lost his mind now.” But people are now going, “Oh my God, maybe he’s not crazy, he’s kind of clever.”

Tom DeLonge Tells Apple Music His Parenting Philosophy…
Well, I’ll tell you, I have a concept here. Everyone says, you can’t be a friend. You got to be a parent. I completely disagree. I think you got to be a friend first so you can parent. So you got to be a pal with your kids to where your kids want to tell you stuff. But if you’re only a parent and you’re strict, then they’re not going to want to tell you anything so I think it just starts there. And then you kind of make your way in here and there, but at the end of the day, it’s what you said. They’re teenagers.

Tom DeLonge Tells Apple Music About Trusting His Gut…
If anything, I just do what I want, and that’s the most punk rock thing that I have in my DNA is I just do what I want and I know that people don’t get it, but it doesn’t really matter to me because I know what I’m doing for the most part, 90%.

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