Tom DeLonge Interview
Tom DeLonge as a thong-wearing rebellious ’00s rock star who was partially responsible for the theme songs of their teen years. Others know him as an intellectual ufologist who is out to help mankind. Well, it turns out he’s both. Tom sat down with us to talk about the new Angels & Airwaves album and feature film, and of course we dabbled in some extraterrestrial gossip. Listen up and open up your mind. The future, as Tom predicts, may be unworldly.
Did you grow up in the San Diego area or is that where you live now?
I grew up in San Diego. I have lived out near Encinitas for the past 20 years. Growing up, skateboarding was my life. Everything was skateboarding at all times—which meant the music I got into, the music that I played, the shows that I went to, the clothing I bought. Back then there weren’t skateparks everywhere. It was much more of a counter-culture. Skateboarding is cool because there is an element of danger. You can break your leg at any given moment. That coupled with the fact there were a bunch of people who didn’t fit in anywhere else, it created something that lasted as a culture and has only gotten bigger and better. You have a lot of incredible directors, filmmakers, fashion designers, graphic artists and musicians that have come from skateboarding. Blink-182 was the tip of the spear when that was happening. We came out of San Diego; it was very much the headquarters of skateboarding those days. Representing Southern California, anywhere we went in the world there were kids wearing skate shirts and stuff.
How would you compare Blink-182 to Angels & Airwaves?
When I did Blink-182, I was a skateboarder and we would do it to play music certain nights of the week in coffee shops in downtown San Diego. We were just trying to entertain our other friends in our crew. Then it grew from there and it was really about breaking out of a box that confines you and the broken home you grew up in. Blink was always about extreme energy and fun—just kicking the piss out of everything, just not ending up like your parents. Angels & Airwaves is a little bit different. After you’re an adult and you can’t act like a child anymore, how do you see yourself and what kind of person do you want to be? What do you think this is really all about? So Angels & Airwaves is a celebration of forging your own path, bringing more self-awareness and more empathy for others, realizing that consciousness itself is something really insanely amazing. People are going to learn about it in the coming years and it’s going to change life as we know it.
I grew up with Blink-182, and transitioning into adulthood I can see the different approach to life that Angels & Airwaves embodies. Both have always been so relevant, real and relatable.
Thank you for saying that. That’s the goal.
Tell us about your new album Lifeforms. Did you work on that during COVID?
We’ve been working on the record for about three years. We released two songs from it right before the pandemic hit—”Rebel Girl” and “Kiss & Tell.” The pandemic created an opportunity to keep working on the album. We shot a feature film that comes out with it. That gave us another year and a half to get things done. Now that the album is finished, we’ve released the first three songs. It’s been the longest project ever. The film was a concept that we wanted to put together for a pretty long time. We wanted it to go along with the album. The whole package of the film and album is all about the curiosity and wonder of lifeforms. It starts out in a shallow way—how we interact with each other. I think once we have a better understanding of the universe, consciousness and frequency, we’re going to start to realize all the weird stuff that we don’t know if it is real or not is actually totally real. We just didn’t understand what it was—UFOs being one of those things. A lot of different paranormal events and happenings are tied to the setup of the universe that we weren’t even looking at. I wanted to create a project that is comedic and an adventure. It’s kind of Spielberg, but has a lot of F-bombs and dick jokes. It’s very representative of what people know of me as a rebellious skateboarder with Blink-182. The project as a whole, it’s really a fun and adventurous way to discover the wondrous world that is around us. The paranormal is a really cool window into that world. You go, Oh I’ve always been interested in ghosts or reading about ghost events and hauntings. You learn about how hauntings are only at certain locations or certain people can have them. It’s contagious. You see something about orbs and you think, What are orbs? You go and think, What about UFOs? You find out there are UFOs and hauntings at the same place. You start to go down these rabbit holes and start to realize there’s a lot to this. For someone like me, I’ve teamed up with people from the government and the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense. You start to really be able to have conversations about how it all connects. Then you can’t get it out of your mind. Everything you do is about this stuff. That is the world I live in these days.
How would you compare this to other albums you’ve done with Angels & Airwaves?
This is something that is more ambitious. It’s probably the best and most diverse album we’ve done. The project as a whole is probably the most mainstream. When people see the movie and put it next to the record, they will see a really big reflection of who I am at this point. Meaning everything I’ve done from Blink-182 to Angels & Airwaves,
it’s all contained in this project as a whole.
How did your interest with UFOs begin?
I was in the 7th grade. I had some time off in the middle of the day and they made me go to the school library. They told me to go in and read for an hour. I thought, Who the hell wants to read a book? I’m not gonna fuckin’ read. So I went in and found this one book that had a bunch of paranormal stuff. I thought it was fascinating. Ever since that point, I started to pay attention. When Blink began touring when I was 18, we didn’t have iPhones. We read books on these trips in the van. So I thought it was way more interesting to read about all these weird UFO events that are happening to people. I started reading real ones with astronauts and presidents and Air Force pilots and generals and admirals writing memos, CIA stuff getting declassified. I was like, What’s going on? What is this? It’s all very real. And so once you open that Pandora’s Box it’s really hard to get out because it keeps going. You’re going to end up in consciousness-related studies, quantum mechanics, National Security intelligence and then you’re going to end up dealing with people who are dealing with things that are tangentially related to the subject that are just so fascinating. Each piece is a piece to the whole thing; it’s absolutely wild and kind of infinite, you know? You don’t want to read a dumb novel that’s fake because anybody can make stuff up. This stuff is just as fascinating as watching a movie but it’s real. The explosions are there; the lights flashing are there; people are going missing. The real world is the subject.
I don’t want to offend you, but I am not knowledgeable on the subject of UFOs or aliens. I know that UFOs are real but that just opens the door to literally anything. Anything is possible.
I feel like you don’t know that much about me. This makes it more fun. If it’s curious to you, that’s what I’m after—for people to become a little more curious. If you look at the founders and the scientific advisory board in To The Stars Academy, it should give you pause. Why would this rock star guy be talking about UFOs with the Head of Counter Biological Weapons in the CIA?
I imagine Men in Black with the guys in suits and dark glasses, and then there’s you in board shorts and flip-flops. Is it weird working with government agents? Do they take you seriously?
They do. It was a long process. I spent a year socializing with the government to meet certain people. When I started talking to people about certain things, other parts of the government came in and were like, Who the fuck are you? What is going on here? But only through a long period of time and knowing how to build businesses and being an artist, it just really worked out to verbalize what I’m trying to achieve. That’s new. No one has ever really done it before. No one has created a mechanism to talk about the single most classified thing on Earth—the most scary, most classified secret ever. I found myself in this really weird zone that can really change the world. It’s working. If you trace all of the stuff we’ve done, you will see—the first declassified video of UFOs ever, multiple intelligence groups within the senate and congress briefed, helping the task force get off the ground. We got the Department of Defense to admit that UFOs are real. The whole mechanism of reporting, accountability, oversight and budgets is going on now. My job at this point is catching everybody up with the movies and books. I’m really excited. I think it’s going to continue to have an effect that is massive across the globe. Not all because of me, but the part I am playing is super important.
Would you say UFOs are driven by aliens or do you think it’s more like a drone?
I think both. You’re looking at things that are probably remotely controlled and you’re looking at things that probably have occupants. I think the biggest misconception is that they are coming from other planets. Evidence doesn’t really support that. The evidence supports that it’s dimensional and that it’s parallel timelines that exist with frequency. It’s really complicated, different and interesting. But once you understand that, you have no way out reexamining the religious world and wondering what the Star of Bethlehem really was.
I’ve watched Ancient Aliens with my dad, so I’ve gotten the rundown about ancient civilizations. To me, it makes the most sense that we did have contact with aliens at some point in time to be the humans we know ourselves to be today.
We might have. You never know. I wouldn’t be able to say I have evidence for that or not. I think it’s very plausible to wonder if mankind has been genetically modified before or many times or whatever. Ancient Aliens is a great show but everything is because of an alien. Like this taco—alien. Our goal at To The Stars is to create things that are super credible and that we can rely on. We can push the ball down the field with our friends in government. There are very serious national security issues with the subject. It’s got to be done in a very certain way.
So what do you think about the rumor of aliens or UFOs coming from the oceans?
I don’t think they come from there but I think they are there. Where they come from is potentially a different conversation. As far as being seen in the ocean, entering and exiting, absolutely. We have sensors throughout the whole ocean to detect subs and other things. I talked to the guy who created those sensors. I can’t really say much about it, but it was also to track unidentified submerged objects. USOs is what they call them. We were talking to a helicopter pilot. They were testing torpedoes. The pilot sent a Navy SEAL on a wire to go down and retrieve the torpedo and take it back to test or whatever. Right when he touches the water a huge craft comes underneath him, sucks up the torpedo and just takes off at thousands of miles an hour. In the meantime, the guy dangling on the wire is shitting his pants and screaming, “Get me up!” We almost had all those guys ready to go on television but at the last minute they got nervous. We did send them over to the senate and I think some of them might have testified to the committee. Either way, stories like that are happening all the time. It’s crazy.
Have you been invited to Area 51?
No, I wouldn’t be allowed to go there. I think people thought I went there. They aren’t inviting a musician there.
You just wait until the aliens are playing “All the Small Things” and saying, “Take me to your leader.” Should we be worried about these aliens or UFOs? Should we add anything to our emergency preparedness kits?
Some laser guns in your little first-aid kit? No. But I think we should be worried. Yes. Sorry, that’s the answer.
Oh no. Is there anything we can do to save ourselves?
I have opinions, yeah. One of the reasons we are doing what we’re doing is about consciousness. The places that study UFOs, they know that consciousness is a really big deal. It’s not just a big deal to meditate or whatever, it’s bigger than that. It’s the fact that the physical realm is manifested through consciousness, through what we are all collectively thinking and doing. We’re not separate from each other—we’re all tuned into the same radio station, so to speak. Your brain is like a radio receiver. Once you realize that is when you receive the ability for things like telekinesis, these ESP-type things that psychics have. We can all do that. We can all do it really fucking well if we practiced it, knew it and believed it. They know this in a lot of the programs that study UFOs. One of the reasons is, potentially, some of the things that are coming here don’t share that type of consciousness. It could be that they are AI. They could be lacking that spark that we all have. In my mind, exercising those psychic gifts that we all have will be the only way to push back against something that cannot think the way we think. It’s almost like you will never beat a computer at chess. But if you step away from the game and think of the past and future, you can go back to the game and beat it. It looks to be part of the puzzle for us. We need to learn that quickly. We need to respect that our vibrations we all give off to each other and all of mankind is what will materialize on Earth.
I saw that Mark Hoppus is battling cancer at the moment. Is there any advice you can give for being there for a friend in need?
I think with any friend going through a difficult situation, you have to make sure you validate the way that they feel. I think women are better at this. Men are like, Brush your pants off and get back up. You can’t be that way with someone who is going through a long process of healing like Mark is. I’m just trying to acknowledge the way that he feels but also send him things that give him opportunities to see the light in a dark place. You can’t control how someone feels, but if you’re genuine about it, I think they will pick up on that.