The Pursuit of Tone – Tom Delonge
Recognized as one of alternative rock’s most influential guitarists and songwriters, Tom DeLonge is an award-winning musician, producer and director, best known as the lead vocalist and songwriter for the platinum-selling bands Blink-182, Box Car Racer and Angels & Airwaves. Over more than two decades and 25 million albums, Tom’s guitar tone and riff-driven style has become one of the genre’s most identifiable, combining melodic and intricate riffs and roaring overdrive with ambient soundscapes and soaring delays to craft explosive anthemic soundtracks that are undeniably the sound of California punk and alternative rock.
Thomas Matthew DeLonge Jr. (born December 13, 1975) is an American musician and entrepreneur. He is the lead vocalist and guitarist of the rock band Angels & Airwaves, which he formed in 2005, and was the guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the rock band Blink-182 (which he also co-founded) from 1992 to 2005, and again from 2009 to 2015.
DeLonge grew up in the suburbs of Poway, California, where he embraced skateboarding at an early age. DeLonge received his first guitar shortly thereafter[when?] and began writing original punk rock songs. He formed Blink-182 with bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Scott Raynor during his high school years. The band created a following in the mid-1990s through independent releases and relentless touring, particularly in their home country and in Australia. They signed to MCA Records in 1996 and their second album, Dude Ranch (1997), featured the hit single “Dammit”. The group had bigger success with Enema of the State (1999), which featured three hit singles and went quadruple-platinum in the U.S., selling upwards of 15 million copies worldwide. Blink-182 scored a number one album with 2001’s Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. DeLonge experimented with post-hardcore music on Box Car Racer, which formed into a full-fledged band in 2002, but dissolved the following year. Blink’s eponymous fifth studio album (2003) reflected a change in tone within the group, which broke up in 2005 following internal tension, spearheaded by DeLonge.
In the aftermath of Blink-182’s breakup in 2005, he formed Angels & Airwaves, which has released five studio albums and has evolved into an “art project”, encompassing various forms of media. DeLonge reunited with Blink-182 in 2009, releasing new music and touring frequently, before parting ways with the band again in 2015. In addition to his musical career, DeLonge also manages business ventures that he founded: Macbeth Footwear, and technology and design firm Modlife. He helped score and produce the 2011 science fiction film Love, and has multiple film projects in development. He released a children’s book, The Lonely Astronaut on Christmas Eve, in 2013.