Formed after Blink-182 went on hiatus in 2005, the band has continued to record and tour despite DeLonge reigniting his career with Blink-182 in 2009. The band has established themselves as very prolific musicians having released four studio albums We Don't Need to Whisper (2006), I-Empire (2007), Love (2010) and Love: Part Two (2011) in the space of 5 years. The project also resulted in the documentary film Start the Machine (2008). In 2011, accompanying the two Love albums, the group scored and produced the science fiction drama film Love by director William Eubank in 460 theatres nationwide during their multimedia event, Love Live. The band is recording their next album called POET, slated for release sometime in 2013.
Of the first two albums, the band says that they were mainly influenced by the music of Radiohead and Pink Floyd, combining them with the grandiosity of U2. Of the first album, Delonge said that it would be "the best music in generations", but afterwards admitted that during this time he was addicted to painkillers. Love project shows further blending of the band's musical aspirations of epic and grandiosity and the cultural revolution in the digital era.
Formation and origins: 2004–2005
Tom DeLonge began working on new material during Blink-182's final tour in 2004 and shortly after they began their break in February 2005. For half a year he worked alone in his home studio before gathering musicians to form the band. Upon fiddling randomly for several weeks with the band's logo, DeLonge realized that if he were to invert the middle "A" of the band's acronym into what appeared to be a "V", he would have the name of his daughter, Ava. As rumors were floating around about the band's "break-up", DeLonge chose to abstain for six months from any interviews surrounding the issue and his future plans; instead he concentrated on writing and recording in his home-based studio. In September 2005, he finally spoke publicly in Kerrang! magazine, where he unveiled the name of his new band, Angels & Airwaves. The band included former Hazen Street guitarist and high-school friend David Kennedy, former Rocket from the Crypt drummer Atom Willard and former The Distillers bass guitarist Ryan Sinn. Atom Willard told Shave magazine that the experience of all the members of the band made the band formation very easy. "There’s nobody trying to figure out what is and what isn’t going to work, not just for themselves but for music and for a band, what life’s going to be like on the road and all that kind of stuff. Everybody had enough experience to just buckle down and do the work. It really has made it easier than anything else."
First albums and development: 2005–2009
Soon after forming, the band began recording its first album in DeLonge's studio in California from mid-2005 to early 2006. However, after a fan e-mail hacked DeLonge and stole four demos, Angels & Airwaves had no other choice but to release "The Adventure" as their first single, which was leaked onto radio stations, causing a premature release on May 18, 2006. A few days later, on May 23, they released their first album, We Don't Need to Whisper. The album reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200, and went gold in both the US and Canada. Despite this success, critics gave generally mixed reviews, with one noting that “while well-intentioned [the band] failed to reach the lofty heights to which they aspire”, especially in light of claims made by DeLonge that the album was “the best music made in decades”. Yet, later that year, popularity picked up with the release of singles "The War", "Do It For Me Now" and "It Hurts". The remainder of the year into 2007 was taken up with tours, and in early 2007, the supergroup returned to the studio to work on a follow-up album.
However, problems accumulated and on April 23, 2007, AVA announced that Ryan Sinn would not play at the Free Earth Day concert at the M.I.T. campus due to difficulties within the band. Following this incident, on May 15, Sinn posted on the Army of Angels fan club message board stating that he was "no longer a part of Angels & Airwaves" and had received a call on the evening of April 19 concluding his relationship with the band. Matt Wachter (the former bass guitarist of 30 Seconds to Mars), filled in for the show and was later confirmed as a permanent member.
The new album, titled I-Empire and the first song "Everything's Magic" were leaked to the Internet, and on August 25, 2007, it was the most requested song on California radio station KROQ. Angels & Airwaves began streaming the song on their MySpace profile on August 28, 2007. It also became available on iTunes, and reached number three on the iTunes Rock Chart on September 11, 2007, before the song was even made available for nationwide airplay. The band recorded the video for the single on January 20 and 21, and it was premiered on MTV2 Unleashed on February 25, 2008. The band released a third single, "Breathe", that was released onto the Internet on June 20.
Angels & Airwaves performed at every location on Warped Tour 2008. They also made a fall tour in support of Weezer.
Art projects: 2009–2011
The band took a break from performing in 2009 while Delonge reunited with Blink-182 for a summer tour. During their time off, Atom Willard joined Social Distortion as their touring drummer, while Matt Wachter and David Kennedy began work on the upcoming film. When Delonge and Willard returned in the fall, the band resumed production of its next album. Love is the third studio album by Angels & Airwaves, which was officially released worldwide on February 14, 2010, after being delayed from Christmas 2009. Fuel TV also released it two days earlier for Modlife members, along with Mark Hoppus' remix of "Hallucinations" available to those who donated when downloading the album. The album was released free of charge due to "corporate underwriting". They began producing it in January 2009 but progress was slow due to Blink-182 reuniting and going on tour. The band finished the album in time for its release on Valentine's Day 2010. Love was downloaded nearly 500,000 times during the first 48 hours after its release day making it the most downloaded album in history. The first single from the album, "Hallucinations", was made available for free through the band's Modlife on December 23, 2009. The band also released the video via Modlife on March 7, 2010.
The band toured North America, starting on March 27 in Anaheim, California. The tour ended on May 30 in Ventura, California, and Delonge returned to Blink-182 to prepare for their upcoming album and European tour. Delonge originally revealed that there would be another tour, rumored to have UK dates, after the release of the Love film in the autumn, but plans were changed due to Delonge's commitments with Blink-182. "Epic Holiday" is on the soundtrack to the German film Kokowääh with Til Schweiger.
The second studio album in the Love project, Love II, was released on November 8, 2011. DeLonge described the album as better than the first part of Love and also confirmed that there would be a box set with both albums and a DVD of the movie. The first single to be released was "Anxiety"; it was premiered following Love Live on August 10, 2011. The music video for "Anxiety" was released on YouTube on August 11, 2011. It was made available for purchase on iTunes on September 14, 2011.
Line-up change, current work: 2011–present
Before the release of Love II, Delonge revealed that Angels & Airwaves had already begun working on two new albums and two corresponding films. On October 4, it was announced on their Facebook page that drummer Atom Willard had left the band. The departure seemed to be a mutual understanding and Atom thanked the members of Angels & Airwaves for a great six years of making music together. On October 7, it was announced that Angels & Airwaves would be part of the lineup for the Soundwave Festival in Australia, in February and March 2012. It was announced on October 20, 2011, that Ilan Rubin, famous for his work with Lostprophets and Nine Inch Nails, was the new drummer of the band. According to the band's website, the band will release an album to accompany a film called Poet Anderson. In March 2012, it was confirmed that Angels and Airwaves would perform the 2012 Reading & Leeds Festivals in August 2012. The band also performed at the annual KROQ Weenie Roast concert on May 5, 2012.
On November 9, 2012 a new EP bundle pack titled Stomping the Phantom Brake Pedal was announced as limited pressing. A new album and movie Strange Times was also in the pipeline, and there was a website named after it, however recent posts on Ilan Rubin's Instagram account suggest that they have been concentrating mainly on POET, and also the website Strange Times has been down as of 2012.
The group has been described by Delonge as more than a band but more accurately "an art project [that approaches] larger human themes and tackles them in different mediums", or simply "a multimedia project". This has been seen in the group's films, live events, and novel approach to fan-artist interaction.
Main articles: Start the Machine (film) and Love (2011 film)
Start the Machine is a documentary that focuses on the break-up of Blink-182, the genesis of Angels & Airwaves, and the making of their first album We Don't Need to Whisper. It was released on DVD on June 17, 2008. Start the Machine was filmed over a course of almost 3 years.
Love is a science fiction film directed by William Eubank and starring Gunner Wright that was released in a special event called Love Live on August 10, 2011. "It starts in the Civil War and you travel through time and space. There's a couple of different storylines. The main one is, a guy gets sent up to the International Space Station, and he gets abandoned up there. He doesn't know why. So throughout his years of being stuck up there, he sees the Earth starting to collapse below. He ends up basically becoming the last person alive. And then decades later, he wakes up one day and there's something outside of the ISS, in low Earth orbit with him."
The band is working on a new movie called Poet Anderson
The band's albums have featured space rock images with considerable influences from the work of Storm Thorgerson as band members explicitly state that there are Pink Floyd influences in their work.
In November 2011 the band released a special edition copy of the feature film LOVE in Graphic Novel format with the double album and movie from the band's official website.
Tom DeLonge – lead vocals, guitar (2005–present)
David Kennedy – guitar (2005–present)
Matt Wachter – bass guitar, synthesizers, backing vocals (2007–present)
Ilan Rubin – drums, percussion (2011–present)
Adam "Atom" Willard – drums, percussion, programming (2005–11)
Ryan Sinn – bass guitar, backing vocals (2005–07)
Album: "We Don't Need To Whisper" (2006)
Do It For Me Now
A Little's Enough
Start The Machine
The Machine[UK Bonus Track]
Album: "I-Empire" (2007)
Call To Arms
Love Like Rockets
Star Of Bethlehem
Rite Of Spring
Album: "Love" (2010)
The Flight Of Apollo
The Moon-Atomic (...Fragments And Fictions)
Soul Survivor (...2012)
Letters To God, Part II
Some Origins Of Fire
Album: "Love II" (2011)
My Heroine (It's Not Over)[Crawl]
Moon As My Witness
Dry Your Eyes
One Last Thing
Behold A Pale Horse
All That We Are
Album: "Stomping the Phantom Brake Pedal" (2012)
Disc 1: The Score Evolved EP
"Reel 1 (Diary)"
"Reel 5 (New Blood)"
Disc 2: Love Re-Imagined
"Epic Holiday (Remix)"
"Young London (Remix)"
"Saturday Love (Remix)"
"One Last Thing (Remix)" (iTunes bonus track)