The FADER Interview is a podcast series in which the world’s most exciting musicians talk with the staff of The FADER about their latest projects. We’ll hear from emerging pop artists on the verge of mainstream breakthroughs, underground rappers pushing boundaries, and icons from across the world who laid the foundations for today’s thriving scenes. Listen to this week’s episode of the podcast below, read a full transcript of this week’s episode after the jump, and subscribe to The FADER Interview wherever you listen to podcasts.
When Blink-182 released their breakthrough album Enema of the State in 1999, few of the band's fans would've expected its co-lead singer and songwriter, Tom DeLonge, to become one of the world's foremost authorities on UFOs. "Aliens Exist," a song buried in the middle of that album, hardly seemed like a manifesto, even if DeLonge did insist in interviews at the time that he wasn't joking with that title.
It took two decades for DeLonge to be taken seriously. He left Blink in 2015 and founded To the Stars, which has since grown into a vast and tough to pin down venture, publishing DeLonge's sci-fi novels and children's books, producing films and TV shows, and even releasing some music by Angels & Airwaves, the altogether spacier band that DeLonge founded and has fronted since the mid-aughts. It's also a hub of research into the unknown, and the staff that DeLonge employed to get the project off the ground, which included a number of high ranking former government officials, still seems remarkable years later.
Just months after it was founded, To the Stars released three videos captured by Navy pilots in 2004 and 2015 of unidentified flying objects. For anyone who still doubted DeLonge's intent, the Navy confirmed that the videos hadn't been fabricated and the Department of Defense declassified them last year. It took two decades, but Tom DeLonge had finally been vindicated. And as far as he's concerned, that was just the start of a global change of consciousness that he and To the Stars will help bring about.
A few weeks ago, I called DeLonge at his home in San Diego to talk about Angels & Airwaves' new album, Lifeforms. But the conversation quickly turned to the unknown, the likelihood that the north star in the New Testament was a UFO, and the ways in which consciousness can manipulate matter.
The FADER: Congratulations on Lifeforms. It must be kind of weird to have this album you've been working on for three years now, right? It's coming out into the world?
Tom DeLonge: Yeah. It's been a long time. I don't have much time because I have a company and I'm making films and all this different stuff. So I knew when I started the record, I was going to have to start a long a time ago, and I work on it a little bit each week, versus only having a band and then being in the studio for like 12 hours a day, which is how we used to do it. Now I'm like, "Okay, I got like three hours on Wednesday and four hours on Monday."
So it ended up taking a really long time. And then the pandemic hit and I was like, "Well, shit. Let's just hunker down and make it even better." But I'm stoked. There got to a point where it's like, "I'm fucking done. I cannot do any more on this." I am just like, "It's time to let the kid grow up and go to school." You know?
Was there a moment that you knew that it was done, it was ready to be released?
Yeah, there was a very specific day where I was supposed to go back in the studio and keep working on this other new song. And I was like, "I'm done." I was like, "I can't go back in there and do this anymore. I'm fucking done." Because what happens is is you spend so long on it that you get to a point to where you start getting bored with everything, and then you just want to start changing everything. And then you you're like, well, you never even put it out in the first place. You're bored of it, but nobody else is yet. So it's never really done. Art is never, ever done. You just got to let it go at some point.
Is it strange to listen back to this record that's this sort of amalgamation of old and new? I mean, you've obviously changed a lot as a person in three years. The world has changed a lot. Is it strange to listen to now and hear that combination of old and new?
The strange thing for me is that I think I did it pretty well in my own view. Like, I don't know if people are going to like it or not or whatever, but I'm really proud of these songs and this record because it's very challenging for a punk rock kid that grew up in a garage, that got kicked out of high school, never took a lesson on guitar, that kind of figured out these instruments on my own, to be able to create a record where all the songs are celebrating something I grew up on, like Depeche Mode or New Order or The Who or The Descendants.
I feel like I did a really good job at exploring my roots and what I loved about music, and I think it really shows on the record with the diversity. And I'm really proud of how well we were able to make each song unique in its own thing, because that's not normally ever what you associate with punk bands, you know? And obviously we're not like a typical punk band by any means, but I've always flown that flag pretty hard. But it doesn't mean you can't grow and diversify and challenge yourself artistically, because the sound of the music has little to do with the ethos and the spirit of punk rock music. It used to be everything, but I think people really realized over time that even rappers are more punk than punkers are sometimes. They come out and they're talking about shooting cops and killing people and you're like, "Okay, well that's a step above how pissed I was."
On that note, the album's called Lifeforms, and there are obviously explicit references to the unknown. But in a lot of ways, this is your most terrestrial Angels & Airwaves album. Like, you have "No More Guns" as a song and it obviously has a pretty clear message, and even musically goes way closer to some of your pre AVA work, than anything you've done before. I mean, what convinced you to be so much more direct at points on this album than you had been on previous Angels & Airwaves albums?
Well, a band that's been playing for over a decade, and we're going on 15 years or something. I mean, it's like, there's only a few ways you can grow. At least bands like mine, like a punk kind of band is like, you can either ... If you start out really fast and raw, then you can get slower and more intricate. If you start out slower and more intricate, then you can kind of go faster and get more raw.
So with this record, I thought the most unpredictable thing would be to come out leaning harder on guitars, leaning harder on kind of grounded lyrics, and more self-aware or more aware of what's happening around you, and a lot of angst from what's been going on in our country over the past couple years in the world. So it starts seeping through because I didn't want to have a quiet voice. I wanted to say what I felt.
And so politics start seeping in. I have a lot of strong views on politics and government. Because I work with the government. I work with the government people, so I have insight to things that people don't, and I felt kind of like, I don't know, a hypocrite or something. I don't know what the right word ... I felt weird by not standing up and saying. I'm like, "This is how I feel and this is what we need to tell the world. But when it comes to politics, I won't say anything," you know? So it just didn't seem true. But I didn't want to focus on it the whole time, either. Enough bands do that. Enough musicians do that, and doesn't always help. But saying a couple things pointedly, I think, does.
One song was obviously written probably a little later, I'm assuming, is "Losing my Mind." I'm assuming that was written in the sort of 2020, like towards the end.
It was. Yeah.
Because that seems like a pretty direct response to like the paranoia and isolation of the last 18-odd months.
Yeah. Yeah. That's exactly what it is. I kind of felt that if anything summed up last year for a lot of people, this song would probably come close to something a lot of us could relate to. I just remember sitting here just going, "What the fuck is going on?" Like, have people lost the plot here? Like, they really don't remember anything about humanity and empathy and tolerance and love?
And then during that, it's like, we're bringing out all this UFO information, working with people inside the government. It's all coming out, and no one really is recognizing the enormity of that, what that means, because we're all arguing about getting vaccinated or not, or we're all arguing about if the election was stolen. It's like, what about the things that are coming here that are really scary and advanced and they're kind of fucking with our planet? Like, no one cares about that? They care about voting? For me, it all lives in that song, a little bit of what was going through my mind.
You have that moment where you break away from your voice jumping around a lot and you say, "Stop. What is this bullshit? I said we're not alone and the government knows it." Just like, interjects.
Just let me just throw this out there. The first verse is like, it's all these lyrics about just being a crazy dude, going out and tearing the place down and smoking Napalm and being high at work and all this shit. Then it's like, "Stop. Are you guys realizing what's going on right now outside of your bullshit?" Like, this is a big, big, big world-changing thing that I've been able to pry out of the government for the whole world to start changing. And I'm crazy proud of that because I know a lot about it and I know what's coming and I know the enormity of it.
And so it made me extra frustrated. I'm like, people are arguing about the stupidest shit. It's like someone broke into your house and he is got a shotgun, and you're like, "Hold on. I want to argue with my wife that she burnt the dinner." And you're like, wait, what? Like, really? That's what you want to argue about, is dinner? You know? So that's kind of where I'm coming from with it all.
Obviously it's so much of your work and you've dedicated so much of your life to it. Does it really sort of supersede something like ... You brought up voting, for example. Obviously it must color everything, but does it really supersede that stuff? Does everything else including say getting vaccinated or voting, do all of those things sort of start to pale into insignificance for you?
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. All that stuff is like you got to do things to live here. We have to make choices and strategies and sacrifices and compromises. So I'm not marginalizing what it takes just to get by, but I do think that the missing ingredient for all of this to make sense is the UFO subject. Once you plug that subject in, you start to realize things about consciousness, religion, world events, climate change, technology, all that shit. It all plays into it, and so getting it out is the beginning of acknowledging how long these things have been here, what they may or may not have been doing, who they may or may not be, what the technology is, and how we can apply those sciences to our world and stop using contaminating disruptive things that create entropy in mankind and do something that's more harmonious with the physics of our world and the universe.
And it also is going to be the great equalizer of all the religions and all the belief systems, and we're all going to realize, oh my god, we've been duped. We think we're separate from each other, and we think we're different from each other. We are not. We all are connected to the exact same consciousness, and that consciousness seems to be of grave importance to whoever's coming here in these machines. And that's a hard thing for people to digest, and there's probably a thousand questions people would have when I say something like that. But that's why I'm working on all the things I'm working on because it'll start to make sense to people as I start laying it out there.
A while back, you described your research into this as, I quote, "Something that I truly think can change the world and have a positive impact and make it a better place." For all of the research and the unexplained, what is it that convinces you of what you just said, about the fact that it could be the equalizer between religions and help us to realize that we're not that different? What is it that convinces you of a benevolence of extraterrestrial life?
Oh, I never said that. It's not benevolent at all in my opinion. It's indifferent. It's in self-interest. It's sometimes good and sometimes bad, depending on how it affects whatever their strategy may or may not be. There's some really bad elements to it by design, and there's some bad elements to it just probably on accident. And there's some good elements to it because it worked in our favor maybe every once in a while. But I do not subscribe to UFO's being benevolent, not even remotely.
It's almost sense that regardless of the potential self-interest or just sort of a morality not a morality of any sort of other life. It's the way that it could bind humans together that's much more important.
Well, it's kind of like the missing ingredient to understand what the ancient texts were talking about. Right? The star of Bethlehem... A star? You're saying something as big as the sun was floating over some hills and landed over a manger, a little place where babies... That's a sun. So you're telling me something millions of sizes bigger than the earth was hovering over a little barn. It doesn't make any sense, right? And why was it moving laterally, and why was it glowing light? Why did it look like a star? Well, it sounds like a UFO to me. And I think that once we start applying this stuff... you look at the ancient texts, and the Gnostics talk about the Archons, or in Islam they talk about the Jinn. In Christianity, they talk about demons.
But all of those are deceptive, come in your room at night, can paralyze you, make you feel lots of fear. They can take you. They can give you messages. Fallen angels... It's all the same shit. And so I think that it's going to bring about a discussion and some discovery that, holy shit, all these god-like adventures that are written down on texts in the archives of the Vatican might be UFO events. And once we figure that out, then we're like, oh shit, why did they land and have this guy create a religion? And then the same interesting ones landed on this continent and had this guy created a religion, but said different shit. And then now we hate each other over time. What's the point? Well, maybe so we don't come together, maybe so then we don't realize what we really have, which is consciousness, souls, the ability to meditate and get information.
That's what's interesting to me. It's funny. My mom's a hardcore Christian woman, crazy, deep God-fearing woman. And if you were to ask her why do you believe in Christianity? Why do you believe in God? And she would say, "Well, I know in my heart. It's very clear to me that this is the way. And I've felt things. I've seen things." We've all heard and seen where they're praying over a few days, and they heal somebody who's blind, and they get their vision back. True story. I mean, these are true events that happened. But then I would say, well, that's happening in the Middle East too in Islam. They're praying, and they're healing the blind. So why is it working for them if their religion is wrong? And that really makes people stop.
I go, well, it's also happening in New Age belief systems where people are meditating and doing energy healing. Why is it happening there too? So if your God is the only way, and their God is the only way, and then this third group, they don't even believe in God, they believe in consciousness. Why is it working? Well, it's physics. It's not religion. It's the way we're built. It's that idea of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit or God, source, man, and the soul. It doesn't matter. It's all the same. You can call it whatever you want, and you can create stories around it that this is the only way to connect to God. But it works in any kind of way you want. You can call yourself a fucking California religion, and our way is the only way. And you'll heal the blind if you shut your brain down and meditate hard enough with a group of people, and your consciousness will affect matter like telekinesis. The shit is real.
In the UFO program in the US government, they're doing that, telekinesis, telepathy, all that stuff. I spent an entire day up with a Nobel nominee geneticist, one of the world-leading geneticists that was working on the UFO program, and everything he was doing was about telepathy and amplifying telepathy. Not discovering it, amplifying it. We all have it. So I think we're going to learn all this stuff, and we're going to come together. And then we're going to look together at what these things are, what they're doing and go, holy shit. I'm so sorry I've hated you for so long. I didn't know any better. And that's what I'm working on.
Do you think that your upbringing... I mean, would you say you were brought up in the church?
Oh yeah, yeah. It's where I learned to sing. It's where I learned to have compassion. It's where I learned to be really pissed that I have to go to fucking church all the time. It's also where I learned how to view those things as, I mean, dare I say, they all seem like cults to me. When you shut yourself off to everything else because you think yours is the only way because you're not educated enough to understand that you're not the only ones doing what you're doing. I've really learned a lot by traveling the world, by working with people in the government, by learning things that have been in the shadows for a long period of time. And everything just started really reinforcing each other over the past handful of years to where the epiphanies that I had, I just couldn't keep them contained, I guess. I really wanted to express them and get people to chew on some different data.
Yeah. There's obviously a data element to it. And then I was reading your description of lifeforms, which I'm going to quote back to you if that's all right. You say, "This album is about relationships and our interactions between each other, that we tend to think that life the way we see it is all that there is, but there are many more things to the universe than we're able to comprehend at the moment. Our interaction with other types of life forms will actually be what we evolve into caring about more in the near future." What is it that convinces you that this is in the near future that we'll have this pivot into focusing on this as the primary concern for humankind?
Because I'm privy to things that other people aren't. I've been exposed to data and evidence and studies that other people aren't. I've been exposed to sensitive things that really makes sense out of a lot of this stuff that you just said from my quote, that other people just don't have the ability of being exposed to. So I've also had my own experiences. I've had 20 years of research on this, diving, deep, deep, deep in there. And knowing, finding out when I'm wrong and when I'm right and seeing how it all connects. And I don't know everything. I just know enough to talk about what I'm talking about.
I literally for six months would fall asleep listening to the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gnostic texts as I fall asleep. I fall asleep, and I put in one of these AirPods, and I'm just like listening to like these texts. I'm like, 'oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. This means that. That's over there. That's this.' It's really, really fascinating stuff. It's kind of like, if you look at the Gnostics, they describe as duality theory. The Aztecs did too. The Maya did. A lot of ancient religions did. It's light and dark, good and evil.
But really what it's talking about is particles on the smallest level all have a balance between a positive and a negative energy, matter and anti-matter. And it all kind of exists in the same point in the same spot, the balance of the force. It's the same kind of concept. So you're reading the Gnostic texts, and they're talking about this stuff. But then all of a sudden last year, the scientists in Antarctica that worked for NASA discovered these particles that were just flying through the air that had an opposite spin, had an opposite charge, and it blew their mind. They're like, wait, what are these things? What's going on? And so they said, "The only thing that we can come down to is that there's a parallel dimension that's completely opposite of ours, opposite timeline, opposite physics and all that, which is that duality concept. It's where time goes in different directions. Then I'll call up my partner, co-founder, Dr. Hal Puthoff, that's the lead physicist on the UFO program over at the Pentagon. And he'll say, "Well, what's interesting is all of our physics equations work backwards in time, as well as forward." It was just weird when they started landing on the physics theories and the equations of general relativity, they could work in multiple directions. Which then I would also be talking to other people that are working on the big UFO programs. And they would be talking about frequency and displacement craft and popping in and out of timelines.
And so, what you're left with is really one giant thought of frequencies, one manifestation of one giant thing of consciousness. And it's manifesting all at the exact same moment into physical reality. So what we're at right now, this conversation is on the event horizon of consciousness, taking shape into physical matter. And you have people that are really connected to consciousness, like Jesus or Gandhi, and whatever. And then you have other people that are not connected at all. They're like serial killers or like sociopaths, or like on the opposite end, maybe a futuristic android that's popping in and out of our timeline, because they want to understand our connection to God, because they don't have a soul or something. And we didn't totally understand it. So we wrote down texts about the fallen angels being jealous of God's love for mankind, our connection, our immorality, our soul, our ability to meditate and get information. They discovered this in the government. I mean, that's where remote viewing is.
Dr. Puthoff, my same partner, created the psychic spy program at the CIA, which was like discovering how consciousness can be. You can tap into it, and you have access to all information, past, present, future in real time. They did these studies that were just insane, knowing things before they even happened. It really changes the way you view the world, once you start knowing these, seeing these things, talking to the people that have been on the front lines of all this stuff. It just makes it like, whoa, this makes so much fucking sense. It's ridiculous, and it's exciting to be honest.
Since you've started doing this work, the last six or seven years is when you've really been doing it, have you noticed more openness from the public generally, to people being more receptive to these ideas?
Oh, man. Massively. Yeah. I mean, I was talking to the head of the UFO Task Force of the Pentagon, and I said, "What's the biggest thing that's changed since my company To The Stars and we all brought all the stuff out?" He goes, "For the first time we can talk about UFOs in the halls of the Pentagon." That's never been the case. It's always in the basement, super, super, highly, highly classified. But now everyone like, whoa, like they can talk about it freely. That's a big deal.
And now people come up to me on the street, blown away and want to ask questions and talk about it. So I think we're doing a good job at getting that stigma to be dropped off and people taking a good hard look at this.
To go back to that quote about the album, obviously the way that you're explaining this now, the research that you've done and the way that you conceive of this now, impacts everything that you think. And surely it impacts everything you write. So while I described this as the more terrestrial Angels & Airwaves album. I mean, I was thinking about a song like "She's Automatic." In what way is a song like that colored by this understanding of consciousness and connectedness when you're writing this song? This song's about your daughter, right?
Yeah. Yeah. It's about her going to college and setting her sights on something bigger and nothing's going to stop, searching for things that aren't so easily attainable and trying to figure out what sparks her heart, what starts sparks her fire. What I'm doing are ...
Angels and Airwaves was always like an art project. There's a community of artists that are doing movies and writing books and making music or whatever. So it's like, how do we put them all together where we're all working on the same project? We'll handle the music, we'll handle the movie, you handle the book or whatever. So when you put it all together and they all come out, they all swirl around. And they infect everything they touch. You can just hear a song and think it's a great song. Maybe you catch the movie and go, "Wow. I love that movie. It really spoke to me."
But then you go to the show, and it all kind of comes together or something. But the companion piece, like when you look at the movie and you look at the album, it's starting with relationships between individuals, which is kind of every song, right? It's kind of anything. That's a really easy way of describing anything. But the path from that sentiment to the movie where it's like taking a step further, that the way we interact with each other has already been socially engineered by outside influences. And once we have an understanding of that, and once we have enough wonder and curiosity, which is where the movie goes is getting these like punk rock skateboard are kids interested in all this weird paranormal shit. Once you have that curiosity awakened, then you start to look around at the relationships you have with everybody.
Some things become way less important. Some things become more important. But generally, you'll look around and say, "Anything's possible." The potential is magnificent once you act out of love versus the absence of love. Once you know that consciousness is what creates matter. Once you know that consciousness can manipulate matter, then you can manifest things. Then you can create any kind of future you want, that if it's done for the right reasons, it becomes really exciting, because then you can kind of get to the core of why you feel jealous, or selfish or greedy, or why you're about not making up money, or you hate your job. Or you start to take a deep breath and go, "Oh, I've been looking at all this wrong." And that's where the beginning of all the films and everything I'm doing is where it is really setting the stage of let's look at ourselves, let's get curious. And then let's look at ourselves again and build a better world. And I'm passionate about that.
The movie you're talking about Monsters of California, right? I heard you talking to Mark Hoppus about it on his radio show the other day. And that it's a combination of the things you were just talking about, about a higher consciousness and these skate kids having this experience. And also a lot of dick jokes. There are moments even on Lifeforms where there is a little bit of a wink at the camera. There is a little bit of humor there. How important is it?
I mean, obviously it was a huge part of who you were for the first stretch of your career, comedy and humor as a way of communicating, sometimes some pretty difficult ideas. How important is comedy to you now, as a communication tool in your music and beyond that? Obviously, you've written children's books as well, where humor is deeply important. How much do you feel you have to deploy that now?
Well, it's just who I am. I mean, I haven't changed at all since the Blink days. If you look at my text messages all day to my friends, you would think I'm in fifth fucking grade. It's ridiculous. You wouldn't believe the shit that I was saying on a microphone, when we were rehearsing for the last Angels festival, we just did a couple weeks ago, at Lollapalooza. I was every day, screaming in the microphone, just the most obscene shit.
I'm exactly the same guy as I've ever been. Angels to me was a deep dive into some serious things that I was exploring. And so, people thought that I changed. It wasn't that I changed, because backstage is dick jokes and all that crazy stuff. And on our last tour, I mean, Ilan has a microphone that goes into my ears. And as I'm singing and playing, he's yelling shit in the background, into my ear. He's Hitler.
I mean, he's Jewish and his grandmother's a Holocaust survivor. And here he is yelling into my ear, like a pissed-off Hitler, about the way I'm or something. And I'm trying not to laugh, because I'm trying to be serious. So it's funny. And we're starting to have a lot of that finally come out because it's different now, to have that humor show itself in Angels & Airwaves. And that's why I like it. I didn't want it to be like ... If we did it earlier, it's like, oh, it's just like that's our Blink shit or something. You know?
So I was very much trying to set up something different. And now it's kind of a much greater representation of who I am completely these days than even way earlier, it's because the humor's in there. So I've always been that way. And it's honestly kind of like my superpower and my Achilles heel. It can ruin shit really quick, or it can make it a little bit better, just because it's stupid.
That was one thing I wondered while listening to this. I suppose it's sort of inevitable when you're so far into a career where you've produced such a vast amount of work. Jack and I were just talking before this about, it's like how vast your catalog is, not just musically, just generally. A lot of the songs on Lifeforms, you seem to be sort of revisiting topics that you've picked up with Blink with other projects and looking at them from a different perspective and with two more decades of experience.
So "Aliens Exist" is a really obvious example, where you were dealing with that in one way at the time. And you're obviously dealing with that in a very different way now. But like the first two songs on this record, "Time Bomb" and "Euphoria," both deal with broken homes, like you did on "Stay Together for the Kids." "Restless Souls" is like an inversion of "Letters to God" from Box Car Racer. Do you feel like you are taking these ideas that you've expressed in one way 25, 20, 15 years ago, and now you're able to approach them with a little bit, maybe, more clarity, maybe even more complexity?
Yeah. I think you've answered for me because if I had to think about it, it's with more clarity, more life experience, but I'm still the same guy. So I'm still thinking the same things. I'm still wondering the same things. I come at it with a different point of view where I have a little bit more life experience to, say it, talk about it more confidently, and I think that's showing itself. I think it's coming through, because I think that conviction has matured along with my song writing. And there's going to be people that don't like what I do ever, because it just doesn't speak to them. And I get that, but for what I'm trying to achieve as an artist, I can see my growth. I can see the challenges that I lay at my feet. And when I do overcome them and I land in a good place, then I feel like I'm true to myself and true to what I'm out to do and whatever.
And then I let it go and go, "Hopefully this does something good for somebody somewhere." And that's all you can hope for as an artist. You can't go out there doing it just to be big, just to make money. You're not going to get shit. The universe doesn't work that way. People got to get out of their heads that they're here to make money or be successful. They are not. You're here to learn lessons. So if you're going to be an overnight success, you're going to make a billion dollars next week. Cool. But then you're going to fall hard, be a drug addict, lose people around you, and go to prison. So it's kind of like be careful what you ask for like. You're supposed to basically cruise through life and keep your mind on love and making it a better place.
And I say love not like hippie. It's more like connection, bringing people together, bringing ideas together, loving, accepting people, being tolerant and not judging. It's a frequency thing. It's a physics thing. It has to do with science. It has nothing to do really with just emotion. Because some people do it out of ego, like, "I help people, and I'm really good at helping people." It's like even that's ego-driven. I think that life is all about lessons by design to evolve a unified mind consciousness that will devolve if we don't evolve. So we need to learn more about that and apply that or apply our lives in that way. And I kind of feel like I'm getting close to doing that better each day. You know?
There's three songs that close the record, which you could sort of read as a trilogy, "Rebel Girl," "Fire in a Nameless Town," "Kiss and Tell," which I think may be reach into territory discussing relationships, as you were just saying now, that you hadn't before. I mean, in Blink, you're able to hide behind bravado and comedy, like "Please Take Me Home" or "What Went Wrong." And on earlier Angels & Airwaves records, the whole thing sounded so vast that you could almost fall into the reverb and echo, right? But now here, "Kiss and Tell," deals very straightforwardly with a very difficult subject, and you just turn the guitars all the way up. I mean, did that feel different or scary as you were writing it? Do you think it will be tough to even perform live because of the sort of nakedness of it?
I feel like that's what's needed in rock and roll is to be true and to be real and make it to where people can understand your point of view. When I was starting Angels, I was really searching for this next version of who I am. It's like, you have something you want to say so bad, but you don't really know how to say it. And with Blink, it was a lot of bravado and comedy, and just like fuck off, and like, eh... You know? But the emotion was all kind of colored in this revolt against the broken homes we grew up in. You want to write songs that are really fast or really funny and really catching, takes the piss out of everybody, because you're like, "Fuck. I fucking hate this place, so I'm going to be super happy."
But then you get older, and you're like, okay, well that's kind of more on the surface. What's a deeper core of how I feel and who I am? And that's the search Angels & Airwaves started on. But when I come to this part of my career, it's like, I love humor. I love taking the piss out of people. I love deep conversations on consciousness and who we are as people. And that's really what's in the spirit of the song you discussed. Going through pain while falling in love or making decisions that create a new pathway in your life that you didn't even see a year before. Getting up and stepping outside of the relationship that you're in to go experience the world, and you may or may not come back.
And "A Fire in a Nameless Town" is about that. It's like we grew up together, we're in love, and then the girl is like, "I need to go experience the world." And he's like, "I hope you remember me, and I hope you come back to me, but there's a good chance you might not," And being okay with that, being okay with each soul bouncing around and trying to experience and learn, and getting rid of expectations and getting rid of trying to control the unraveling of consciousness, which is what physical realm is all about. You can't control it.
You mentioned earlier that there are things that you've been privy to and had access to that the general public hasn't, that's only convinced you further of extra terrestrial life and of visitors. To put it bluntly, am I going to see it in my lifetime? Is there a timeline for this stuff? And is one of To The Stars' many jobs to try and uncover that as quickly as possible?
Yeah. To The Stars is set up to educate the people within government what's been going on, and to get the world kind of caught up that that's what they're doing, and then get both of them talking and create formal mechanisms to report this stuff, to analyze this stuff, to have proper oversight with elected leadership on this stuff. And then for us to communicate it back in forms that people can actually emotionally feel and digest, feature films, books, documentaries, all that kind of stuff. And then over time create the conditions for the research and innovation to start taking shape. And it's a process, but it is in your lifetime. It's happening right now, and I think over the next decade, it's going to be a massive, massive shift, and it's going to be a really big deal. And it's going to affect how we power our cars and planes, going to affect all the religions and how they look at each other and what they know about themselves, affect how we work together with other countries on a much bigger issue.
I just think that it's going to change this place and I'm going to feel like I started that change. I don't need the credit for it. I don't think people are going to be in history books going, "Here's this guy with tattoos," but I'm going to go to my grave knowing what I did and what I set up for all that to happen. And so much of it, I'm trying to get permission to tell that story, but I don't have it yet. But there's a whole journey that happened that nobody knows before all this that I'm hoping I can tell one day.
Okay. I have one more question for you, Tom. I think I probably know the answer to it, but how optimistic are you for the future, just generally?
Generally, I'm super optimistic because I know if this UFO subject didn't exist, I would be like, "Well, what's going to get these religions to talk? What's going to get these countries to be more associated with democracy versus authoritarianism? What are we going to build that's going to get us off of oil and gas that's polluting our environment? How are we going to grow into a harmony with nature if we can't get along and we can't build anything that doesn't destroy?" Well, boom, now we have this subject that fixes all of that, but it comes with a lot of unnerving things that we got to deal with and discuss, but we totally can. That's what we're doing. That's what we're starting.
Well, Tom, thank you so much for making time. That was a really interesting conversation. I really appreciate it.
Yeah. It's probably different than you expected, but I appreciate your time too.
I figured that we would go down the extraterrestrial path quite soon. I was prepared for it.
Don't say extraterrestrial. That implies they're coming from other planets.
Can you expand on that for me in our remaining 90 seconds?
I will say that the evidence does not at all suggest they are coming from other planets. Remember I told you about duality theory, alternate timelines, alternate realities that exist in the exact same place as us. You've got to think about that. All right, my friend, it was good talking to you.
Thanks very much. Enjoy the rest of your Friday, Tom.
I shall. Bye-bye.