Growing up took more than (a) Blink


POSTED: Friday, December 12, 2008

Tom DeLonge thinks big.

With his band, the expansive-sounding Angels & Airwaves, the former member of pop-punksters Blink-182 is actively working on business and creative ventures that first found expression in the creation of A&A.






        With opening guest Timmy Curran


In concert: 8 p.m. Friday


Place: Pipeline Cafe, 805 Pohukaina St.


Tickets: $35, $70 VIP upstairs lounge area


Call: (877) 750-4400 or visit







        With local opening bands Black Square, Laces Out and All Heart


In concert: 6 p.m. Saturday


Tickets: $22, $50 VIP lounge upstairs


Call: (877) 750-4400 or visit


  Get ready to mosh for Jah—Rastafari!—when the legendary Bad Brains plays Saturday in Honolulu.


The band distinguished itself on the punk scene of the late '70s in Washington, D.C., not only by being all African-American, but also for its ability to take hardcore to a musically proficient level. That was thanks to the members'—Hudson brothers (drummer Earl and vocalist Paul, better known as H.R.), bassist Darryl Jenifer and guitarist Gary “;Dr. Know”; Miller—jazz-fusion background.


Add their forays into reggae and H.R.'s eccentric vocalizing on all things Rasta, and the music of Bad Brains can be both incendiary and aggro, and then dubbed-out Jamaican, on the turn of a dime.


The band is touring behind its latest album “;Build a Nation,”; produced by fan Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys.



While the group makes its island debut at Pipeline Cafe this weekend, their ringing, anthemic music would be more appropriate for an arena- or even stadium-sized show. Taking its cue from U2 of the 1980s, songs from the band's first two albums, “;We Don't Need to Whisper”; and the latest “;I-Empire,”; have a beatific and polished sheen about them, with DeLonge singing earnest, hopeful lyrics in songs such as “;The Adventure”; and “;Everything's Magic.”;

It's a far cry from the lovably goofy stuff that DeLonge made his reputation on with Blink. Still, his name still carries some cachet, as Angels & Airwaves did the popular Vans Warped Tour during the summer and filled an opening slot for Weezer on their fall tour.

But DeLonge is grown up now and in his 30s, and he's looking for a life that moves beyond rock 'n' roll.

Proof of that was back in June, when DeLonge launched Modlife, a social networking Web site and online operating system for musicians, bloggers and businesses that he hopes will help get the music industry on the right business track. (The band's opener at the Pipeline gig, retired pro surfer Timmy Curran, is a Modlife client.)

“;My company was building Modlife for the past three-something years,”; DeLonge said via phone. “;The user site is amazing. It gives bands, celebrities and athletes multiple ways of making money and gives fans their own site to interact with their faves. It's blown my expectations.

“;I hope it starts a network to make music exciting again. It's still such a new concept to understand. The Web site creates a new revenue stream; with pay-per-view subscription and music sales, it connects users to real time. The system self-markets and self-distributes to anything that has a fan base.”;

He said an upcoming feature film along the lines of Pink Floyd's “;The Wall”; “;just finished up this month. It's an independent art piece that is way more serious in intent than anything I ever did with Blink.”;

“;The genius of Blink was that it was three different (personalities) in one band,”; he said. “;With Angels & Airwaves, all four of us have a very like-minded vision that includes ambitious movies and documentaries. We all push for one idea. It starts out as music, and from this landscape of ideas, we create this new world out of a creatively conducive environment.”;







Even some of their songs have evolved in performance. “;For instance, with 'Start the Machine,' the centerpiece song from our first record: On the last tour with Weezer, we were playing it with tympani drums and classical piano movements.”;

Considering his punkish beginnings, DeLonge admits that “;where I am now, I've took myself by surprise. But it's been a natural evolution for me. ... Having some success early on with Blink, it's certainly empowered me, and I'm making the most of it as an adult now.”;