Watch Tom DeLonge discuss how his definition of punk expanded over time, thanks to meetings with Joe Strummer and Liam Gallagher.
For the latest episode of The Pursuit of Tone – a series of feature-length musician documentaries backed by guitar-string manufacturer Ernie Ball – Blink-182 and Angels and Airwaves' Tom DeLonge will explore his life in punk. Prior to the full episode's August 19th premiere on the Audience Network, see a preview of DeLonge's career-spanning conversation.
In a scene where DeLonge is sitting in a studio, the guitarist and singer discusses his history as a part of the punk scene and fans' accusations that he "left" them when he explored other styles. "It's something only you as an adult that went through it can look back and say, 'Your passion is correct, but your definition is wrong,'" he explains. "The punk-rock ethos exists in a form where kids can adopt it, become unique, become individuals and celebrate the fact that they're outcasts. The more of an outcast you become, the better you feel about yourself. You use it in the wrong way when you try to judge other people for not being something."
As he continues, DeLonge recalls a meeting he had with the Clash's Joe Strummer, who advised the Blink-182 frontman to "open his mind" after noting how great the Talking Heads were. A Blink-182 show alongside Oasis followed a few days later, and according to DeLonge, a "compliment" from Liam Gallagher inspired him to broaden his musical tastes.
"The whole punk rock thing has nothing to do with music at all," he concludes. "I think kids missed that point entirely."
"I never imagined I'd be comfortable doing something so focused on me, but the timing of the opportunity seemed right, and those I'm close to both personally and professionally that know me and care about my story were very encouraging," DeLonge tells Rolling Stone of his decision to participate in the Pursuit of Tone series, which has previously featured artists such as Buddy Guy, the Cult's Billy Duffy and Social Distortion's Mike Ness. "I also knew that the team behind the camera had integrity and were looking for genuine authenticity and not sensationalizing. That trust was crucial. I am really humbled and honored with the result."