Angels & Airwaves plans next big step

Angels & Airwaves is taking America by storm, starting with The Bamboozle musical festival. With its unique sound and growing fan base, this band is here to stay.

Love · The band — fronted by Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge — released its third studio album last month. - Photo courtesy of Suretone Records

Angels & Airwaves got its start in 2005 when high school friends Tom DeLonge and David Kennedy teamed up. Although they had been friends for years, each belonged to separate bands. Kennedy had focused on punk music, while DeLonge was a part of arena rock outfit Blink-182.

“We both hit a wall, and we talked about what we wanted together and agreed that music might play a part in our futures,” said Kennedy, guitarist for Angels & Airwaves.

Kennedy joined the group after performing with different bands including Blink-182, the Offspring, Box Car Racer and 30 Seconds to Mars.

The band also includes vocalist and guitarist Delong, drummer Atom Willard and bassist Matt Watcher.

“I joined because of my buddy Tom,” Kennedy said. “We both wanted to branch out, and we worked really well together.”

Angels & Airwaves has always been an original band, beginning with the creation of its name. Kennedy said the band wanted a name that stood out and blended well with its music.

“We wanted a cadence, a flow, something definitive to our band and our sound,” Kennedy said.

DeLonge thought of the name out of the blue, and over time it morphed into the perfect choice because of the band’s musical style.

“Our name sounds like our music — ‘angels’ for the angelic vibe, our music is a spiritual trip, and the airwaves is how we give it to the audience,” Kennedy said.

The band began recording in the studio almost immediately after itsformation. Angels & Airwaves soon locked in on a sound that stands out in the ever-changing music industry.

“It’s very big, it’s very instrumentative, it’s orchestrated on so many different levels,” Kennedy said. “It’s still driving, still rock ‘n’ roll, but with delayed rifts.”

Although it’s the music that keeps the band alive in the hearts of its many fans, the friendship is what keeps the musicians going. Because Angels & Airwaves is made up of four friends, the arrangement allows them to harness one another’s musical talents to make memorable music.

“We are all friends,” Kennedy said. “It’s very unique, the passion and the desire that we have.”

Kennedy said the friendship and creativity is what shaped the band into the ensemble that exists today.

“We are so hands on; we don’t leave things up to other people,” Kennedy said. “We try to do stuff on all different platforms. We are all a part of the band, but we also partner ourselves with other great people in all different facets of creativity.”

These platforms are what have allowed Angels & Airwaves to become a well-rounded band. One of the band’s more exciting recent ventures was its work on a film called Love, a movie both inspired by and featuring music from the latest Angels & Airwaves album of the same name.

Love, expected to come out later this spring, is a science-fiction film that follows an astronaut through a series of emotions. He feels abandonment and resentment until he ultimately discovers that there is more to life than what he previously thought.

“We aren’t in it, but our music is,” Kennedy said. “It’s what pushes him and the movie forward.”

The music in the film is from the group’s most recent album, also entitled Love. Love, the group’s third album, was released on Feb. 14. With its rich orchestration and comparatively more thoughtful lyrics, the record proves Angels & Airwaves has grown as a group and matured as a band.

Kennedy said this album was the next logical step forward, given the band’s discography.

“[Love was] a continuation of being innovative technically, marketing wise, musically and everything else,” he said.

As a band, Angels & Airwaves has set out to change music. The four musicians started with a goal to create music that had a driving force behind it. After creating its first two albums, We Don’t Need To Whisper in 2005 and I–Empire in 2007, the band still wanted more. With the release of Love, the band finally succeeded in accomplishing many of its goals.

“I’ve always wanted to have the chance, that we have, an opportunity for people to look back at something and mention our name,” Kennedy said.

With the hype surrounding the band’s most recent CD release and the upcoming movie release, Angels & Airwaves has a chance to cement its name in the pop-punk catalogue. The music and sound make it an outstanding and memorable band.

“I believe when you hear us it’s our own sound,” Kennedy said. “It lives and breathes on its own.”

Adding to its already successful year, Angels & Airwaves will kick off its 2010 world tour starting March 27 at The Bamboozle music festival in Anaheim, Calif. After this first gig — co-headlined by AFI and Something Corporate — Angels & Airwaves will continue touring until the end of May.