Over the last six years, California’s Angels and Airwaves have spawned four albums, a documentary, and more recently a science fiction film called ‘Love,’ which is accompanied by two albums of the same name.
As part of their current UK tour, Already Heard talked to frontman Tom DeLonge. The vocalist and guitarist discussed the concept behind ‘Love,’ their new drummer – Ilan Rubin, To The Stars Records, the forthcoming ‘Poet Anderson’ project, Spotfiy, and the bands other future plans.
Already Heard: First of all how has the European tour been going?
Tom DeLonge: It’s been good. We’ve been out here for a week, the first of a 2 week run. It’s been incredible. The band feels like its on fire, the crowd are so energetic and alive, and they’re often singing louder than the PA system.
What can fans expect from this current tour?
Tom DeLonge: As this is a promotional tour, its a bit of what we normally do. This is the biggest light show we’ve ever brought over to Europe. It’s always very loud, its one continuing arc. There’s no breaks. Its a very intricate lighting show, very passionate performance. Angels and Airwaves always give all we’ve got, this is one of the reasons why our fans like to see it communicated live. The goal is to comeback and bring the movie to life with this show, but that won’t be for a little bit.
AH: How has the bands shows changed over the last 6 years?
Tom DeLonge: It’s changed quite a bit, especially with the new member. We’ve been able to find a road crew that can facilitate what the band is meant to be. As you see the show and see the how it is delivered, especially with the lighting, you get a sense of how was always meant to be. It takes a lot to find those people and fine tune the machine but we’ve finally got right people together.
AH: This tour is supporting the ‘LOVE’ album, which is a concept album. Can you tell us what the concept is about?
Tom DeLonge: Well Angels and Airwaves is always really interested in doing something philosophic and cerebral, and this specific adventure is really about human consciousness and human connection. The movie is trying to communicate the idea that maybe one needs to lose all their connections with people to really value how every connection , and that your connection to other people is a form of love.
The album is more about your specific relationships with other people; falling in love with a girl and growing old with somebody. That was our goal. To try and dig into this word that everyone think they knows what it means but is different to everybody.
AH: How does Part 1 and Part 2 relate to each other?
Tom DeLonge: It all relates to the idea to continuing the definition of love. The way we approached Part 1 and Part 2 are vastly different. Part 1 was very orthodox; going in to studio, writing new songs, coming up with new parts and starting from scratch. Part 2 was different because we took pieces of the movie and score of the film and continued them into full compositions. (Although) there are certain themes that carry through both parts, but both albums come from different places musically.
AH: Part 2 was released on your own label, To The Stars Records. Is this label going to be exclusively for AVA releases or can we expect releases from other acts?
Tom DeLonge: I don’t know. I’ve toyed with the idea of bands on there but I have so many things going on. Angels and Airwaves have two more movies, remix albums, live albums, live DVDs. We have this film score coming out. We’re working on tv shows. We’re working on all this different type of merchandise possibilities, so I have everyone so busy and a documentary in the works, so its kinda so much stuff. I don’t know if we have time.
AH: You mentioned the live album. When can we expect to hear that?
Tom DeLonge: That will be filmed this year, so that will be out next year.
AH: You also mentioned a TV show, any more information on that?
Tom DeLonge: Just tell people to go to StrangeTimes.com.
AH: The album was Atom Willard’s last with the band. How has Llan (Rubin) settled into the band?
Tom DeLonge: Awesome. He’s the perfect fit for us. He’s the most incredible musician I’ve ever met. He’s the best piano player. He’s in the highest calibre of drummer, and he’s ten times better the guitarist I am. So its just like he’s going to kick us all out of our own band, but its great. So now from this point forward, we are literally able to do anything.
AH: For the album you recorded commentary for Spotify. What was the idea behind this?
Tom DeLonge: It may have been my sister, she runs the marketing behind To The Stars.
AH: What are your thoughts on services like Spotify?
Tom DeLonge: Spotify I don’t really support it as an artist, because why would someone buy a record if they can spend the same money and get every record. I don’t really support it, but I do support the evolving nature of technology. It’s going to help push everything forward, so I always support new ideas but as an artist I can’t really support it. But I do know why people like it and I’m happy with that, but I don’t want to put my records on there.
AH: I understand you’re working on material for a film called ‘Poet Anderson.’ What can you tell us about this?
Tom DeLonge: Poet is a really big project. It’s going to take a few years. We’re right in the middle of that.
AH: Can you tell us anymore about that?
Tom DeLonge: It’s about dreams, and the way dreams affect daily life. It’s a bit darker. It’ll be a lot of fun when the whole project comes out.
AH: Is there any timescale for that?
Tom DeLonge: We will be looking for sometime in 2015. It’s going to be a big one. But there will be things starting this year, around Christmas time. We will be releasing things about ‘Poet’ all the way to the main release.
AH: In August you’re back in the UK for the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Are you looking forward to playing the festivals again?
Tom DeLonge: Well for a band it’s always a great thing to let people know you’re around and working. That’s the main thing. For our band, I’d rather play our own show but I like the ability to be part of something. It’s so valuable for a band that’s growing and to gain new fans.
AH: Do you have any standout moments from previous festivals?
Tom DeLonge: Yeah we’ve had a lot of good stuff. I’ve been on a lot of those festivals, and I got to headline it a few years ago, that was pretty crazy. I was so drunk I don’t remember it, that’s the only bum out. But I do know it was an incredible feeling. It was a probably a career highlight.
‘LOVE: Part Two’ by Angels and Airwaves is available now on To The Stars Records.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)