|Birth Name||Thomas Matthew Delonge Jr.|
|Origin||Poway, California, United States|
|Genre||Punk rock, pop punk, skate punk, alternative rock, space rock, post punk|
|Occupation||Musician, songwriter, record producer|
|Instrument||Guitar, vocals, bass|
|Associated Acts||Blink-182, Angels & Airwaves, Box Car Racer|
Thomas Matthew "Tom" DeLonge, Jr. (born December 13, 1975) is an American rock musician. He is the lead vocalist and guitarist of Angels & Airwaves. He was also one of the two vocalists and guitarist for Blink-182. He was also the lead vocalist and guitarist for the band Box Car Racer.
Raised in Poway, California, DeLonge developed an interest in punk rock during his teens. After being expelled from Poway High School for drinking at a basketball game, he attended Rancho Bernardo High School where he met Anne Hoppus. Anne Hoppus introduced him to her brother, Mark Hoppus, who also shared an interest in music. Tom also introduced Mark to Scott Raynor. The three formed Blink-182, which became one of the most popular rock groups of the 1990s–2000s. Tom and Mark later kicked Scott out and replaced him with Travis Barker. The group underwent an indefinite hiatus in 2005, with DeLonge focusing more on his Angels & Airwaves project. Blink-182 reformed in 2009, and released a new album in September 2011.
DeLonge has also pursued non-musical endeavors; he created a social networking website called Modlife, as well as two clothing companies. In 2001, he started Atticus Clothing and Macbeth Footwear with Mark Hoppus. DeLonge sold his shares in Atticus Clothing, and is currently the sole owner of Macbeth Footwear.
DeLonge left Blink-182 once again in January 2015, and has been replaced with Matt Skiba. He has since released a solo album in April 2015.
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 Box Car 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 Jagmaster baritone with single humbucker 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' spray-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(made by Baratto), 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 Rectifier 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 an 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 Rectifier 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).
For Blink-182, Tom now uses two Fender '65 Twin Reverb Amps for clean and two VOX AC30H2 Amps for distortion.
Tom has started using a synth and oscillator rig for live shows, during the Angels and Airwaves LOVE Tour. His synth rig, along with his guitar effects rig, is now built into a custom tower rack system, which stands by him on stage. Tom also now uses this same system for Blink-182, and plays/samples most of the synths and effects for their songs live.
His vocal setup consists of blue mics – he used the blue kiwi on every album before 'Take Off Your Pants and Jacket'. Now he uses a blue bottle mic running into a Pro Tools set up, where he uses sound toys plugins. His vocals are heavily compressed with a LA-2A compressor, then run through a TC helicon. He runs his sound through Orange amplifiers and records with a snare drum in the room.
Past and present equipment
- Past equipment
- Tom DeLonge Stratocaster
- Gibson Custom ES-335
- Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier
- Marshall JCM900
- Mesa Boogie Simul 2:Ninety
- Mesa Boogie TriAxis Programmable Preamp
- Present equipment
- Tom DeLonge Signature Gibson ES-333
- Fender '65 Twin Reverb Amplifier
- VOX AC30H2
- Tremulator Pedal
- Boss DD-7 Digital Delay
- Fulltone Fulldrive2 MOSFET
- MXR EVH117 Flanger Pedal
- Dunlop Tortex .60 Picks
- Ernie ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom strings
- MXR Distortion + - M 104 Pedal
Tom DeLonge married Jennifer Jenkins on May 26, 2001 at Coronado Island in the San Diego Bay. The band Jimmy Eat World performed at the reception, and DeLonge gave each of the groomsmen, including Mark Hoppus, silver yo-yos from Tiffany & Co. The couple have been friends since high school and began dating in 1996.
He currently lives with his wife Jennifer, daughter Ava Elizabeth (born July 15, 2002) and son Jonas Rocket (born on August 16, 2006), German Shepherd named Grey, Labrador Retriever named Chloe, and he recently got a new puppy as posted on the Angels And Airwaves Facebook page. He currently resides in Rancho Sante Fe, California. In January 2006, his wife launched a line of high-end children's furniture, whose pieces are available at stores such as Barneys New York, Bellini and F.A.O. Schwarz. DeLonge is rumoured to be a freemason and frequently sports the Mason logo on his guitar and amplifier during performances.
Tom DeLonge was raised by his mother, Connie, and his father, Thomas Sr., in Poway, California. He has an older brother, Shon, and a younger sister, Kari. DeLonge was an average student in school, saying that "I knew exactly how hard I had to work in school. As long as I got that C, I wouldn't try one minute extra to get a B. I just cared about skateboarding and music." He played the guitar for the first time at his friend's house one afternoon, while listening to Bad Religion records and got his first guitar during his freshman year of high school as a 15th birthday present. DeLonge spent much time trying to learn songs by Descendents. One of DeLonge's first musical endeavors was Big Oily Men, a band of which he was the only constant member.
Despite his early interest in music, becoming a musician was not his first calling. DeLonge originally planned to become a firefighter, and participated in the San Diego Cadet Program. His parents divorced when he was eighteen, which would later become the inspiration for the Blink-182 song "Stay Together for the Kids". DeLonge was kicked out of Poway High School during his junior year (1991) after being caught drunk at a school basketball game. He then attended Rancho Bernardo High School for the remainder of his high school year. The song "Dick Lips" was based on his expulsion from 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. DeLonge graduated from high school in 1993.