Angels & Airwaves’ Tom DeLonge Says Partnership with Ilan Rubin Is “Meeting of Brains and Gut”

Image Courtesy of Johnny BuzzerioThe new Angels & Airwaves project, The Dream Walker, is much more than just an album. When all's said in done, the album will be accompanied by an animated short film, novels, a comic book series and a feature-length live action film. All aspects of The Dream Walker will combine to tell the story of Poet Anderson, a character created by frontman Tom DeLonge and band mate Ilan Rubin.

"This record is meant to be extraordinarily diverse," DeLonge tells ABC News Radio. "It's meant to show a lot of different elements that have either not existed in the band for a long time or have not existed in the band at all. And the album is supposed to be listened to in coordination with all the other art pieces we're putting out so people have imagery in their head."

Ever since DeLonge created Angels & Airwaves out of the break-up of his previous band, Blink-182, he has wanted to take on a project that had such a large scope. He was able to make a film based the Love and Love: Part Two albums, but it wasn't until The Dream Walker that DeLonge felt like he had the resources to accomplish what he had originally set out to do with AVA.

"I wanted to do something that was really ambitious, I wanted to be in control of my art, I wanted to work with other artists that I felt were more talented than I could ever be," he says. "I wanted to surround myself with young ideas, and I wanted to be challenged."

One of those other artists was Rubin, who had previously worked with Nine Inch Nails and Paramore. DeLonge says that Rubin's more technical expertise helped him expand his more straightforward and instinct-based approach to songwriting.

"It's like the meeting of brains and gut," he explains. "I go off gut and Ilan is a lot of brains, and I think that when you put it together, it's cool. That's not to say that I have no brains and he's got no gut, but I think that it's a good mix when you're heavily lopsided in any one direction. That's what a band needs."

DeLonge recognizes the contradiction between his punk rock roots and the grandiosity of a project like The Dream Walker, and his desire to reconcile those two aspects is part of the reason why he wanted to bring Rubin in to AVA.

"I'm limited, I'm just a punk rock kid," he says. "I still write songs in very simple ways, and that's been the best and worst thing for me. It's been everything that's made my career and brought me crazy success, but it's also been the thing that's been hard to jump out of and grow. So I thought with Ilan, I said, 'I bet if we can figure out how to come together, it's the best of both worlds.'"

Even as The Dream Walker project comes to fruition, DeLonge never wants to stop bringing new and ambitious ideas into his band.

"When an artist feels like they don't have anything to prove is when they stop growing," he says. "That's when they stop challenging themselves and it's when they become predictable. I never want to be those things, I'm scared of that."

The Dream Walker album, as well as the animated short film, Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker, is out now. The other aspects of The Dream Walker project are due in 2015.

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