Tom DeLonge breaks down Angels & Airwaves’ new wave-inspired comeback single, “Rebel Girl”

Credit: Caleb MalleryTom DeLonge's Angels & Airwaves returned in April with "Rebel Girl," the group's first new single in three years. AVA has always had an anthemic, '80s-style sound, but DeLonge and company really dived into that aesthetic with "Rebel Girl," which the former Blink-182 guitarist tells ABC Radio was inspired by his childhood love of new wave.

"I grew up on punk rock music, but before I was in punk, it was new wave," DeLonge says. "But the beginnings of new wave were punk bands that kinda discovered synthesizers, so the simplicity and the edge and the kinda youthful wonder was in a lot of those bands, like New Order and early Depeche Mode."

With "Rebel Girl," DeLonge wanted to replicate what his favorite new wave bands did, combining soaring synth riffs with a punk rock attitude.

"I really tried to live within the world I grew up in," he says. "My hope is that people are responding to it because they hear it as not just some electronic dance song -- it still sounds like a band."

In that sense, DeLonge was particularly inspired by New Order.

"They were still playing instruments, and they had an edge," DeLonge says. "They seemed like a garage band that had a lot of angst, even though the song might be about love or something."

"You're never gonna get the angst out of a punk rock kid," he continues. "And I'm hoping that people see that and experience that with the music." 

DeLonge is currently working on a new Angels & Airwaves album, which will accompany an upcoming film he's directing and co-wrote. AVA will launch their first tour in seven years in September.

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