Angels and Airwaves (a.k.a. "AVA") is an American alternative / Progressive Rock Supergroup formed by blink-182 singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge in 2005. The band has also been described as an "art project," with a multimedia initiative that includes movies, books, art, and other media. For example, the two Love albums are part of what Tom considered a more far-reaching project which also includes the feature length Love movie directed by William Eubank. The film, after several years of delays premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival in February 2011, received a limited one night only release on August 10th, and eventually was released on DVD in November alongside Love Part 2. The film also received a graphic novel adaptation. Capping off the Love cycle is a double EP of remixes from both Love albums and the Love film score supervised by new drummer Ilan Rubin called Stomping the Phantom Break Pedal. The first Love album was released for free by the band, similar to what Radiohead did with In Rainbows or what Nine Inch Nails did with The Slip.
After the release of 'The Dream Walker, Angels and Airwaves continued to release E Ps to coincede with multimedia launches from Tom's company To The Stars but took a long break from live touring. This was in part due to the launch of the To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, described as "an entertainment, science and aerospace consortium that engages with global citizens to investigate the outer edges of science and unconventional thinking in order to push human knowledge and ultimately, our collective capability forward". (More directly: Tom met a lot of interesting people when he got involved with government officials who were later revealed to be part of the Pentagon's UFO program and wants to give UFO disclosure and the creation of theoretical sci-fi style tech a go, using multimedia to help promote the company's ideals. TTSA is directly responsible for the reveal of the existence of said Pentagon UFO program and the Navy revealing that videos from an incident from the USS Nimitz were confirmed unidentified aerial phenomenon. Seriously.)
In 2019, Angels and Airwaves returned in force with the singles "Rebel Girl" and "Kiss and Tell" and a well-received tour. A new full-length is on the way, along with a documentary shot by Peter Mckinnon.
Angels and Airwaves Multimedia Franchises
- Poet Anderson: The release of their album The Dream Walker coincided with the release of the animated sci-fi short film / bigger multimedia brand Poet Anderson, featuring a dream walking vigilante who fights off nightmares in a very nice suit. Said multimedia brand features said short film, a comic book miniseries, clothing, and two novels co-written by Suzanne Young of The Program series and Tom. Plans for a live action film, an animated film, and the release of a previously filmed live action short film featuring Teen Wolf's Tyler Posey have been up in the air for years. On top of "The Dream Walker" album, Poet also received a tie-in EP, "...Of Nightmares", for the release of the second book.
- Sekret Machines: Arguably the breakout series of the lot due to Tom's UFO work with To The Stars Academy getting major press, focusing on a group of people from varying professional backgrounds uncovering the mystery surrounding a secret government UFO program. Features two fiction books co-written by A. J. Hartley and Tom, and two nonfiction books co-written by Peter Levenda and Tom. Recieved a tie-in EP "Chasing Shadows" for the release of the first fiction book.
- Strange Times: The relaunch of the band-run strange news/ufology/conspiracy theory news site Strange Times has disappeared in favor of a cryptozoology/paranormal series focusing on Californian skate rats. Features a novel from Geoff Herbach, writer of Stupid Fast, the De Longe penned graphic novel "The Curse of Superstition Novel", and an upcoming series on TBS. Similar to the Poet live action short film that was completed but never released, there was a short standalone animation for Strange Times that suffered the same fate. Plans for a live action movie, even as far as announcing casting choices and planned filming dates, were in motion but largely fell to the wayside after the announcement of To The Stars Academy, but possibly lead to...
- Monsters Of California: Little is known about this brand besides it being tied into the new Angels and Airwaves album release, the description of the movie is similar to that of Strange Times but without the comedic bent that the series eventually took.
- Tom DeLonge - lead vocals, guitar, songwriter
- David Kennedy - guitar, synthsnote
- Ilan Rubin - drums, synths, piano, bass (studio)
- Matt Rubano - bass
- Ryan Sinn - bass guitar, backing vocals
- Atom Willard (Against Me!) - drums
- Eddie Breckenridge (Thrice) - bass note
- Matt Wachter - bass, synths, keyboards, backing vocalsnote
- 2006 - We Don't Need To Whisper
- 2007 - I-Empire
- 2010 - LOVE
- 2011 - LOVE Part 2
- 2013 - Stomping the Phantom Brake Pedal [EP]
- 2014 - The Dream Walker
- 2015 - ...Of Nightmares [EP]
- 2016 - Chasing Shadows [EP]
- 2017 - We Don't Need To Whisper Acoustic [EP]
- 2006 - The Adventure, Do It For Me Now
- 2007 - Everything's Magic
- 2008 - Secret Crowds, Breathe
- 2010 - Hallucinations
- 2011 - Anxiety
- 2012 - Surrender
- 2013 - Diary, Surrender (Remix)
- 2014 - The Wolf Pack, Tunnelsnote
- 2019 - Rebel Girl, Kiss and Tell
- 2006 - ''Start the Machine'
- 2011 - LOVE
- 2014 - Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker (animated short film)
- ???? - Future Angels and Airwaves documentary
Angels And Airwaves provides examples of:
- blink-182 (Tom De Longe)
- Over My Dead Body (David Kennedy)
- Hazen Street (Kennedy)
- Box Car Racer (Kennedy and De Longe)
- The New Regime (Ilan Rubin)
- Nine Inch Nails (Rubin)
- The Offspring (Atom Willard)
- Paramore (Rubin)
- Rocket From The Crypt (Atom)
- Social Distortion (Atom)
- 30 Seconds to Mars (Matt Wachter)
- The Distillers (Ryan Sinn)
- Thrice (Eddie Breckenridge)
- Taking Back Sunday (Matt Rubano)
- Break-Up Song: "It Hurts"
- Also "Start the Machine", which is about blink-182's breakup.
- Christmas Songs: "Star of Bethlehem". In the album's final release, it was split into two songs: "Star of Bethlehem" and "True Love".
- Concept Album: "Love" Parts I and I, of the thematic kind. More specifically, it's about the many kinds of love in an esoteric sense. Part II ties directly into the Love film, with dialogue from the movie showing up on the album and songs from the album showing up in the film's score in epic instrumental film score format.
- Averted for The Dream Walker, despite being mentioned as a concept album tied into the Poet Anderson project, there's barely anything in the musical content that ties it to the short film, besides perhaps Paralyzednote .
- Darker and Edgier/Lighter and Softer: Compared to blink-182, both labels arguably apply. Darker and Edgier, in that their music frequently deals with more mature subject matter (war, depression, social justice, etc.) than blink is known for, and generally treats subjects with more gravity than blink ever did. Lighter and Softer, in that their music generally has a much more optimistic tone than blink's, and is often about overcoming adversity through The Power of Love and/or The Power of Friendship.
- Double-Meaning Title: The band's abbreviated name, "AVA" counts as one. It was ostensibly chosen because it looks like "AAA" (for Angels And Airwaves) with the second "A" turned upside down, but it's also a tribute to Tom's daughter, Ava DeLonge. And when said aloud, the name also sounds similar to the word "aviation". Considering the band's heavy use of space and aviation motifs in their lyrics and album artwork, this was probably intentional.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: The beginning of "Valkyrie Missile", "Star of Bethlehem" and "Et Ducit Mundum Per Luce".
- Lighter and Softer: I-Empire
- Loudness War: I-Empire
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Sirens" from "I-Empire". It has the same upbeat, uplifting sound of all of their music...but it's about a Stalker with a Crush.
- The Movie: Love (originally titled I-Empire) was scored by the band, and its plot is based on recurring themes in their music.
- Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker is a short film also scored by the band. While The Dream Walker is intended to tie into the Poet franchise as a while, the short film is inspired by the band's full discography. There was a planned live action film, but no new info has been released and there's some inkling of a planned animated feature film.
- Start The Machine was the band's documentary focused on their formation, a new one is focused on them fully returning after Tom got TTSA up and running.
- Precision F-Strike: At least on one song per album (It Hurts on WDNTW, Rite of Spring on I-Empire, Flight of Apollo on LOVE, though it happens on four songs in LOVE: Part II)
- Pretentious Latin Motto: Two of them, the most known one being "Et Ducit Mundum Per Luce" (also a song title, which loosely/inaccurately translates to "He/she leads the world by light".
- Protest Song: "War" is the most obvious one. "Distraction", to a lesser extent note Understandable, since both were written when Tom's brother was pulling active duty in Iraq.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: An entire band example. AvA is very much the blue to blink's red.
- Real Soon Now: The release of the LOVE movie along with various other endeavors by the band, due to the other obligations and projects the members juggle on top of AvA.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Way on the idealist end. They're one of the most shamelessly optimistic bands on the alternative rock scene today.
- Something Completely Different: Would you believe that Tom put out a children's book called "The Lonely Astronaut"? Would you believe that the book approaches the same themes as the LOVE movie but in a simpler, funnier matter? Would you believe that Tom actually wrote something for the purpose of being child-friendly?
- The band qualifies itself as this as well. When Tom wanted to start Angels & Airwaves, he wanted it to be different than what he created with blink-182, he wanted to try something new instead of just doing pop-punk or the dark sound he did with Box Car Racer: The result was a band influenced by Tom's love of space, critiques of war, and the overall concept of love that we know today as Angels & Airwaves.
- Spiritual Successor: to Box Car Racer. Tom has said in live shows in response to people asking if Box Car Racer would ever continue that Angels and Airwaves is Box Car Racer.
- Supergroup: Each of the members and their respective other bands are listed above.
- Trailers Always Lie: They released a trailer for a movie based on their music shortly before We Don't Need To Whisper first came out. The trailer gave the impression that it would be a feature film like Yellow Submarine or The Wall, but it eventually turned out to be a documentary about the band's formation. Granted, they did eventually come out with a feature film called Love in 2011.
- Unperson: Averted with Ryan Sinn, whose likeness has shown up in photobooks and most prominently on the disc for the vinyl release of We Don't Need To Whisper made available to Modlife members.
- Possibly the case for Matt Wachter, as despite his comeback being hyped by Tom prior, when the band came back with new singles and a tour in 2019, he was nowhere to be found with no explaination. YouTube metadata for "Rebel Girl" had him credited, but the producer claimed that it was an error and his credit was later removed...despite all other credits for the single being correct.