You discovered him during his tenure with blink-182. And you’re still rocking out to him as the founder of Angels And Airwaves. We’re proud to have alt-rock icon/unidentified aerial phenomena enthusiast Tom DeLonge in front of the APTV camera. Shot at his SoCal home, DeLonge was gracious enough to tell us 10 things about himself that you truly didn’t know.
We also delve into his fascination with UFOs, alien life and his working with the U.S. government on classified subjects. In our video, he suggests that Hollywood’s portrayal of aliens (in films such as Star Wars, The Avengers and Lord Of The Rings) might not be off the mark. But his personal motivations for this area of study are much more philosophical and altruistic. Make all the snark you want about pocket-protector wearing nerds at sci-fi cons. DeLonge’s take is far more geopolitical than people have considered.
One last thing: We added a special 11th thing you didn’t know about DeLonge. He reveals the melodic-hardcore icon he was trying to imitate with his singing. Ever the good sport, he admits how his buddies continue to roast him about it to this day. So if you want to practice warbling “Where are yoooooooou…” into your bathroom mirror, it’s OK by him. You’ve heard him rock; listen to him talk. Check out a snippet of the video interview below.
TOM DELONGE: Hey everybody, I’m Tom DeLonge, and here are 10 things you didn’t know about me.
My favorite meal is spaghetti, by far. It’s the kind of thing that I will always go to. I will always eat [spaghetti] when I’m on tour or on a holiday. It’s kind of my thing. I like spaghetti.
The second thing people don’t know about me [is] that I like to build LEGOs. I like to watch movies and do something with my hands. And I tend to buy these big LEGO sets and I’ll build it as I’m watching. I don’t do it that often, but especially during the pandemic I was trying to do a little bit more of it, and then I’ll just hand this big Star Wars spaceship off to the kiddos and [say] “You guys could do something with it.” I always thought that was a lot of fun. One of my motorcycles is this big kind of off-road Enduro, and they made it in a version of LEGO, so I built that. I put a picture of it out or something. My brother and I were way into LEGO as kids and I kind of rediscovered it over the past few years when all the kids start[ed] building them all the time. I want to jump in on that, I want to build something. It gives you something to do. I think the best one that I built was the Millennium Falcon. I have a rad, sick [Millennium Falcon]. It’s actually sitting in my living room on a bookshelf, so that’s the work of art. You know, you make it in rock ‘n’ roll and you buy a LEGO set to display for your friends.
I have a very good reason to believe that advanced intelligent races are not just going from point A to point B. Not all of them just come from a planet to our planet. There are two opposite universes and this where we are, where they both can exist. And using frequency, you can hop back and forth. But in that other universe, time runs backward and physics is [the] opposite. There’s an Easter egg for you because I think a lot of people tend to think that “alien” means one thing. I always tell people if you’re in the ocean and you’re a fish and you see a jellyfish come by, you’re like, “Well, okay, this place is full of that life form.” And then a dolphin comes by and then a whale, and the next thing you know, [you see] a can of Coke, like pollution. And you have no idea that there’s even land up above the ocean, off there with this all these humans throwing trash in the ocean. So I think when people think about aliens, they think the same thing. It’s like, “OK, so what are they like?” Well, what– the dolphin, the Coke can? It’s teeming with life and there’s so much more to it. I tend to think that what people most commonly think of when they think of aliens, they think of the big-headed, big black eyes that you see on a T-shirt and stuff. I think that if you’re going to compare the legend of those clones, you might want to look at some of the biggest pieces of art that have ever come out and humanity, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, even all The Avengers movies are dealing with free-willed human beings taking on a clone army. And I think that’s something that people need to think about.
[The] fourth thing you didn’t about me [is] that I compare my motorcycles to skateboards. When I was younger, when I first got my skateboard, I felt like I could finally leave a broken family. I was like, I could finally get the fuck out of this house, all the fighting. It was just a difficult place to be for a teenager, like so many teenagers that come from difficult family situations. So, when I got a skateboard, I was like, this is my transportation. And I just left every day. I just left. Well, when I got my motorcycles, it felt the same way. You feel the vibration of the ground. You got this thing that’s built just for you, no other person is supposed to be on it necessarily with you. It’s your own personal machine. So, that feeling in your inner ear, when you’re moving fast on a skateboard or a surfboard or a roller coaster ride, you get that on a bike, too. I remember thinking one day when I was going down the coast, I was like, “Why do I like this so much?” I was like, “Oh, my God, it reminds me of skateboarding.” It’s not so much the tricks or being able to hang with your friends when it’s dark at a skate park or something like that. But it was the ability to get up and go. And it’s your own personal machine to get you somewhere and to get you away and just to go feel the air, feel the movement. And I’ve always valued it because of that. There’s [a] crossover with playing music. Playing music is… the biggest thing I get out of that is [being] present is a really hard thing for me, but on stage is the only time. [Being on] stage and sex are the two times where I can focus and go, “Well, this moment is actually really cool.” But all the other times I’m worried about so much stuff. I have so many responsibilities, my company or my family and whatever. But I enjoy anything that can put me in the present and it’s really hard to get me there. I mean, just ask my family members, they’ll [say], “He’s crazy.”
BONUS FACT: When was the first time you heard someone do the “Tom DeLonge voice”?
Oh, my God, it was my friends. I had a bunch of friends [and] whenever I’d call them, they would answer the phone and they would do Mark’s voice [and say] “Hello there.” And then I would answer the phone and they’re all, “Where are you?” I remember when many songs that came out like “Stay Together For The Kids,” old blink song, “Here’s your holiday…” Oh, my God, my friends would just torture me here, [they’d do] the nasally thing. My friends are relentless. Trust me, I don’t get away with shit. I grew up with a bunch of, you know, dirty skate rats, they’re funny. But I do know, I watch it and I see how people do it on the internet and stuff and I think it’s so funny. I was just trying to sing like Milo from Descendents. That’s all I was ever trying to do. I remember I would sit there in seventh grade in front of the mirror and like, “How do I sound like Milo?” I ended up something like me, unfortunately, but I still listen to Milo. I’m still [like] God, I wish I sounded more like him, you know?
Check out the full Tom DeLonge interview at the top of the page or on YouTube.