Angels and Airwaves: Atom Willard
Angels & Airwaves (AvA) is a cutting-edge band that just released their third studio album, entitled ‘LOVE,’ on February 12 as a free download. The album received several hundred thousand downloads during the weekend of it’s release and is now dropping into radio rotations. AvA consists of Tom DeLonge on guitar/vocals, guitarist David Kennedy, drummer Adam Willard, and bassist Matt Wachter. We spoke with Drummer Adam ‘Atom’ Willard about the new album and the band.
SM: Everyone in your group comes from already popular and established bands (Blink 182, Offspring, 30seconds to mars). Did that make it harder or easier to launch this group?
AW: I think at the end of the day it really made it easier because everybody already knew how to do it. There’s nobody trying to figure out what is and what isn’t going to work, not just for themselves but for music and for a band, what life’s going to be like on the road and all that kind of stuff. Everybody had enough experience to just buckle down and do the work. It really has made it easier than anything else.
SM: How has the band changed and, even more so, how have you changed since the first album “we don’t need to whisper?”
AW: ‘We don’t need to Whisper’ was written in a very unique way. I was still on tour with The Offspring during the writing of that record and was only able to come down in phases – a week here, a week there. I’m still really happy with that record but I-Empire was a much different way; we were constantly around each other and we wrote it all together in the same room. This record was a combination of those two. A lot of times we would spend altogether and then Tom would do a bunch of work and he would be out on tour with Blink and I would be out on tour with Social Distortion and I would do work; we built it like Legos, I guess. We have changed in the way that we work together too. Everybody respects each other’s ideas and opinions - we know more about each other now than we did 5 years ago.
SM: You are now on tour now promoting your latest album ‘Love’. What would you say this album is all about and how is it different than previous albums?
AW: I think that this record is different because it finally did what we were trying to do on the first record. I think there is just as much emotion and true feeling coming through the songs along with the progressive approach and the harder edge that was more prevalent on I-Empire and so this really is our best work yet. It’s about what we are always talking about - which is, really, in your eyes you might be a pile of shit but I swear to god it’s not and if you can look beyond that which is right near you and look for a way to make it clear for yourself, hopefully, you can make it better for someone else. Really, that sentiment is going to stretch beyond you and that one other person and have a ripple effect. If everybody could get behind that mindset of ‘if I could make it a little better for someone else, life would be easier and it is going to come back to me and just spread around.’ That is the goal, really.
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