Angels and Airwaves
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Atmospheric alt-rockers blending raw energy with a striking visual aesthetic
California rock supergroup Angels & Airwaves were conceived by blink-182’s co-founder Tom DeLonge shortly before the band’s first break-up in 2005. For his new project, DeLonge enlisted three seasoned pop-punk musicians including his school friend and former Hazen Street guitarist David Kennedy, former bass guitarist of The Distillers Ryan Sinn and then-drummer of The Offspring Adam “Atom” Willard.
Also going by the nickname AVA – a reference to DeLonge’s daughter and an acronym with the “V” representing an upside down “A” for “And” – they began recording material immediately. After a fan hacked DeLonge’s email account and stole four demos, Angels & Airwaves were forced to release their lead single The Adventure prematurely in May 2006, trailed days later by the full debut album We Don’t Need To Whisper. Although reviews were mixed, it peaked at No.4 on the Billboard 200 and No.6 on the UK albums chart.
The following year their profile grew due to touring and the release of three more singles: The War, Do It For Me Now and It Hurts. In 2007, Sinn departed Angels & Airwaves, with the former bass guitarist of Thirty Seconds To Mars Matt Wachter coming on board to fill his shoes. Plus, AVA’s sophomore album I-Empire came out that November, after being leaked on the internet before its intended release.
The band hit the road again in 2008 on The Warped Tour and in support of Weezer, but took a break from performing in 2009 after DeLonge hopped onstage at the Grammys with his former blink-182 mates and announced a reunion.
Although busy with blink-182, the prolific DeLonge still found time to helm the recording and release Angels & Airwave’s third and fourth albums – Love and Love: Part II – in 2010 and 2011. Between those albums, Willard left AVA and former Nine Inch Nails drummer Ilan Rubin replaced him. In line with DeLonge’s vision for the group to create not just music but multimedia experiences, the sci-fi movie Love directed by William Eubank accompanied the albums in 2011.
Angels & Airwaves sixth album The Dream Walker arrived in 2014 and was complemented by a graphic novel, comic books and a short film called Poet Anderson, co-directed by DeLonge himself.
Three EPs followed after that: 2015’s …Of Nightmares, 2016’s Chasing Shadows and 2017’s We Don’t Need To Whisper Acoustic. During the mid to late ’10s, Wachter left the line-up and was replaced by Thrice’s Eddie Breckenridge, while DeLonge parted ways with blink-182 for the second time. Breckenridge would also leave AVA in 2019, with former Taking Back Sunday member Matt Rubano taking over on bass guitar.
From 2019 to 2021, Angels & Airwaves unveiled a string of singles including Rebel Girl, All That’s Left Is Love, Kiss & Tell and Euphoria.