Tom Delonge has put a heavy focus on adding new dimension to Angels and Airwaves with added mediums like film and graphic art. What effect has that had on your own creative process? Are there any negatives to an approach like that?
I think the only negative part of an approach like that is that it becomes more difficult to juggle when you have that many balls in the air. Tom has a method to his madness. He’s a very ambitious guy and I think I was able to be an asset to the way he works, but I don’t work like that. If there are going to be added elements like that, they’d have to come naturally, and not as some sort of pre-planned campaign. I treat the music as the nucleus of any project I work on, because if you don’t have the music locked down, then all that other stuff has nothing to rest on.
When you’re part of so many side projects, you’re going to come across some controversy – ie the current one between Tom and Blink 182. As member of his band, how do you offer support in a time like this? What (if any) are the boundaries at a time like this?
I can’t really say I’ve talked to him about what’s going on with Blink much. That’s their world. But if a conversation between us sparks up, I gently ask him how everything’s going and then we get back to business. I try to be a pal and not to delve too deep because honestly, I’ve got nothing to do with that side of things. I know that with Blink, Mark (Hoppus) and Tom were there in the beginning and Travis (Barker) came in a bit later, but overall those three have done it for a long, long time and so there’s just a ton of history for them to work through, no matter what the issues are. I hope their fans take that into consideration, too. Most people have a hard enough time staying in the same job for 20 years. Now add touring and marketing and recording to all of that. It takes a lot of strength to keep something like that together.
As you push the New Regime forward as a frontman, you’ve no doubt taken something away from seeing the frontmen for each of the bands you’ve played with. What did you take away from working with Hayley Williams, Tom DeLonge and Trent Reznor?
Tom has a real knack for simplicity. He’s the best example I’ve seen of knowing how to get your point across in a way everyone can relate to. Him and I come from very different musical perspectives. I think I come from a more classical background than he does, so it was always a push-and-pull relationship that resulted in better material overall. We’re always going to have different approaches to how we do work, but with him I definitely learned how not to over think things.
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