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Thomas Matthew "Tom" DeLonge, Jr. (born December 13, 1975) is an Americanmarker rock musician. He is the guitarist and one of the two lead vocalists for the punk rock band Blink-182 as well as the guitarist and lead vocalist for the alternative rock band Angels & Airwaves. He founded the band Box Car Racer with his close friends Travis Barker and David Kennedy.

Early years

Tom DeLonge was raised by his mother, Connie and his father, Cleatus, who are of Irish, German and Cherokee descent, in Poway, Californiamarker. He has an older brother, Shon, and a younger sister, Kari. Tom was expelled from Poway High Schoolmarker during junior year after being caught drinking at a school basketball game. He then went to Rancho Bernardo High School. When he returned to Poway High School during his senior year, the students voted him Homecoming King, despite the fact that he wasn't even on the ballot.
Becoming a musician was not his first calling. "I was originally going to be a firefighter. I was in the San Diego Cadet Program,” says DeLonge.
Some of his influences are the Descendents, Screeching Weasel, Dag Nasty, Bad Religion, NOFX, Pink Floyd and The Cure.

Musical career

Blink-182 (1992-2005, 2009-present)

When DeLonge attended Rancho Bernardo High School, he was introduced to Mark Hoppus through Hoppus' sister, Anne Hoppus. Tom had previously met Scott Raynor at a school's battle of the bands and decided to form a band together that would become Blink-182, originally just Blink but the band had to change for legal reasons with supposed plagiarism from an Irish techno band. Raynor was replaced with Travis Barker in 1998 because of drinking problems. Travis was on tour with The Aquabats, another band touring along with Blink-182. After sitting in on two shows Barker formally joined Blink-182. With Travis on board Blink-182 released Enema of the State, which was met with a huge amount of mainstream success, spawning three hit singles. Follow-up Take Off Your Pants and Jacket went straight to No.1 on the Billboard 200. In 2003, Blink-182 released their eponymous album. DeLonge then decided to leave the band, allegedly due to mounting tensions and communication difficulties, creating a rift between him and the other members of the band. Blink-182 announced an 'indefinite hiatus' in February 2005.

Following Travis Barker's Learjet crashmarker, DeLonge's former band mate, Mark Hoppus, posted on his blog (Himynameismark.com) on November 18, 2008, that all three band mates had communicated for the past couple of months after Barker's plane crash, which killed 4 people and left Barker and DJ AM in critical condition. This post fueled rumors among fans that a reunion was imminent . Adding to the speculation was an announcement made by MTV.com on February 5, 2009 that Blink-182 would reunite to present an award at the 51st Grammy Awards. This presentation marked the first time the trio had been together on stage since 2004.. Before presenting the award for Best Rock Album, the band announced that they were reuniting; this announcement was followed shortly by a message posted on the band's website . Tom was quoted as saying "live life as if it was the last record played on the jukebox".

On February 9, 2009, Tom opened up to Extra about the Blink-182 reunion saying:"When you're in a band, you have this unspoken bond. You're kind of family with your boys. We took a break for a little bit. I think when Travis had the event happen to him it was something that pulled us back together... we always knew it was inevitable, we just needed something to break the ice." Blink-182 are currently on tour across the United States along with Weezer, Panic! at the Disco, Chester French, Asher Roth, All American Rejects, Taking Back Sunday, and Fall Out Boy, they're planning to release their newest album around late 2009. It has also been confirmed by Mark Hoppus in an MTV interview that there will be a 2010 European tour.

Box Car Racer (2002-2003)

Box Car Racer was a side-project from two members of the band Blink-182, featuring guitarist Tom DeLonge and drummer Travis Barker. DeLonge formed Box Car Racer to experiment with and record ideas he felt were not "Blink-friendly", along with Travis Barker. David Kennedy from Hazen Street completed the group and an eponymous album was recorded. Although Tom handled bass duties, the band hired Kennedy's friend Anthony Celestino for the corresponding tour. Guests on the album included Mark Hoppus from Blink-182 on the song "Elevator", and Tim Armstrong from Rancid and Jordan Pundik from New Found Glory on "Cat Like Thief".

Angels & Airwaves (2005–present)

Tom DeLonge is the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for Angels and Airwaves. Other members in the band include high school friend and former Hazen Street guitarist and Box Car Racer guitarist David Kennedy, on drums former Rocket from the Crypt and The Offspring drummer Atom Willard, on bass former 30 Seconds to Mars bassist Matt Wachter. AVA is influenced by a number of bands including U2, Pink Floyd and The Cure. They released their debut album We Don't Need to Whisper on 20 May, 2006. On April 23, 2007 it was announced that Ryan Sinn would not be playing at the Free Earth Day concert at the M.I.T. campus due to difficulties within the band. And was later replaced with Former 30 Seconds to Mars bassist Matt Watcher. The band's second full-length album entitled I-Empire debuted on the Billboard 200 Chart at No. 9 and sold 66,000 in its first week.

On June 21, 2008, DeLonge launched Modlife, a social-networking site and online operating system for musicians, bloggers and businesses. DeLonge's purpose is to "fix" the music industry. The band then released a documentary involving their music, titled Start the Machine.

Love is the third studio album by Angels & Airwaves, which will be officially released worldwide on February 14, 2010 after being delayed from Christmas 2009. It will be released free of charge due to "corporate underwriting." They began producing it in January 2009 but progress was slow due to Tom Delonge's original band Blink-182 being on tour. On February 10, Tom DeLonge posted a blog on Modlife stating that, "Angels and Airwaves is never going to go away". This brought an end to any lingering rumors of a possible break-up of the band due to the reunion of Blink-182. In April 2009, Atom Willard joined Social Distortion.

Angels & Airwaves recently uploaded a new video to their website, giving people the first official glimpse of their new album Love. The trailer contained a section of the song "Epic Holiday", which was previously previewed by David Kennedy. Also seen in the trailer was a piece of artwork that contained a new Angels and Airwaves logo, which has similarities to the Masonic Square and Compasses. This new logo also contains the Latin words "et plumbum mundus per lumen" which translates to "and lead the world by light" in English. This video also stated that the release of the album was to be on Valentine's Day of 2010. Along with "Epic Holiday", David Kennedy has previewed two other new songs from the album called "Triumphant" and "Open Water" via Modlife. The previewed clip of "Epic Holiday" was leaked by an Angels and Airwaves fan site and subsequently posted on YouTube.

Musical Equipment

Fender Guitars worked with DeLonge to create the Tom DeLonge Stratocaster (signature guitar) which consisted of a solid alder body fitted with a single Seymour Duncan Invader Bridge pickup. It was controlled by a lone volume knob adding to its simple design. At first, the Stratocasters were fitted with an American 2-Point tremolo system and was later replaced by a hardtail bridge. Its neck was made of solid maple with a rosewood fretboard, although there have been some custom Stratocasters that were fitted with maple fretboards. The necks included a large 1970s "CBS" headstock.

In 2002, whilst touring with Box Car Racer, Tom began collaborating with Gibson to create a new Signature Model. He started off by using a standard Gibson ES-335, with all but the bridge volume knob removed, and the bridge pick-up replaced with a Seymour Duncan Invader bridge pick-up. This guitar was eventually covered with many different stickers including band stickers and clothing line stickers from Atticus Clothing, Macbeth Footwear and Famous Stars and Straps. This guitar can be seen in Boxcar Racer live photos and in the studio videos for the Untitled Album. In one of the videos, a prototype for his signature is seen that included an orange stripe instead of cream with a matching orange headstock and a metal volume knob. In 2003, Gibson released his signature model, the Tom DeLonge Signature ES-333, which has only been available since its release in Brown and Cream, with a Natural neck and headstock. Along with his Gibson signature, Tom also used a Fender Jaguar live, as seen in AOL live sessions with the song "Obvious". The Tom DeLonge Signature starts with Gibson's classic semi-hollow body design and then extends it into punk rock with an overwound 'Dirty Fingers' humbucking pickup. Its thick, distorted tone is the signature sound of DeLonge's band Blink-182. On Angels & Airwaves albums, We Don't Need to Whisper and I-Empire Tom has used his signature Gibson ES-333 for all of his live shows. However, he has a number of touring guitars, which he has had made in a few different color combinations, including matte black with a black racing stripe, natural with a black racing stripe and white with a black racing stripe. Since the Blink-182 reunion, he has been seen using his original brown and cream guitar (which now has a Blink-182 'smiley logo' sprayed painted onto the body), his natural and black guitar (which has now been abused with burns, scrapes and stickers), and a new black and white guitar, which is a custom Baritone version of his standard signature guitar, made for playing the song Obvious, and other down-stepped songs. Epiphone has since come out with a lower cost version of the Tom DeLonge signature guitar, manufactured overseas, but fitted with the same Dirty Fingers humbucker.

From very early on in Blink's career, Tom had used a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifer amp head and a Marshall JCM 900 amp head along with Mesa Boogie and Marshall cabs for live shows. As his career progressed, Tom began using a intricate rack system along with three matching 4x12 and three 2x12 Mesa Boogie cabs. The rack system still made use of the Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier amp head but it also included a Mesa Boogie 2:90 power amp and Triaxis preamp, Marshall EL34 power amp and JMP-1 preamp and a Voodoo Labs GCX Audio Switcher, all controlled via a Custom Audio Electronics midi footswitch (The rack discontinued the use of the Marshall JCM 900 amp head). The rack system also included a Furman power conditioner and Shure wireless unit. For Angels and Airwaves, Tom made use of the same rack system minus the Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifer but also included a TC Electronic G-Force effects unit as well as two Palmer PGA-04 amp simulators (one for the Triaxis preamp and one for the JMP-1 preamp). Since the 2009 Blink 182 reunion, Tom has been using a very different set-up for live shows. He now uses two Fender '65 Twin Amps and two VOX AC30H2 Amps instead of his elaborate rack system.

Personal life

Tom lives with his wife Jennifer, daughter Ava Elizabeth (born July 15 2002) and son Jonas Rocket (born on August 16 2006), German Sheperd Grey, and Labrador Retriever Chloe in Rancho Santa Fe, California. He is the owner of Macbeth Footwear, which he founded with Mark Hoppus (who has now sold his share in the company). He has sold his share in Atticus Clothing, which he founded together with Mark Hoppus and another friend.He has also been politically active during the 2004 and the 2008 presidential races. In 2004, he supported the Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. He also created a vegan footwear line through his company Macbeth Footwear.

Tom DeLonge, 2008


Other accomplishments

Tom directed the music video for Taking Back Sunday's song, This Photograph Is Proof in 2004. Tom made a cameo appearance as the Burger Jungle drive thru clerk in the movie Idle Hands and in the music documentaries: Riding in Vans with Boys, The Urethra Chronicles and The Urethra Chronicles II: Harder Faster Faster Harder. Tom also made a cameo appearance in the blockbuster film American Pie with his fellow band-mates in Blink-182, acting in a scene while one of their songs, "Mutt", played in the background. Tom made a cameo appearance in The Simpsons with fellow band-mates, while "All The Small Things" played in the background.

Tom has created his own website called modlife; the site allows bands and their fans can meet up and interact with each other. The artists can also choose whether to have paid subscriptions for certain items.

Clothing Companies

In 2001, DeLonge started Atticus Clothing and Macbeth Footwear with fellow Blink-182 band member Mark Hoppus. However, after Mark Hoppus sold his shares in both companies after the hiatus of Blink-182, Tom sold his shares in Atticus Clothing and is currently the sole owner of Macbeth Footwear.

Discography

References

  1. http://www.bizsandiego.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=490&Itemid=2
  2. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1604362/20090205/blink_182.jhtml
  3. Official website
  4. Extra Warner Bros
  5. Tom DeLonge Signature
  6. http://www.peta2.com/Outthere/o_tom_delonge.asp
  7. http://www.ivu.org/people/music/delonge.html
  8. Blink-182's Tom DeLonge Directs Video - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News


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