Release Date – November 6, 2007
Angels and Airwaves' 2005 debut We Don't Need to Whisper signaled the beginning of a concept that not only continues, but flourishes with the release of the band's sophomore full-length, I-Empire. That's because the San Diego-based rock group, fronted by Tom DeLonge, has always considered both We Don't Need to Whisper and I-Empire two halves of its double-album concept.
While the band's debut addressed infinite possibility in the human experience, I-Empire furthers the topic, referencing the idea that the empire that one builds exists within oneself. "It's a way of looking at the world, as the world is yours," DeLonge says.
As for I-Empire's musical foundation, DeLonge notes that it's "a hybrid of everything about alternative music that I grew up listening to, like punk rock music and new wave. I am really excited for people to hear it."
The members of Angels and Airwaves created their own experience earlier this year, spending six months recording their latest release at DeLonge's studio in San Diego, with drummer Atom Willard, guitarist David Kennedy and new bassist Matt Wachter (formerly of 30 Seconds To Mars).
"Matt's a punk rock kid at heart," DeLonge says. "He grew up on the Descendents, Fugazi and Gorilla Biscuits — all the bands that we grew up listening to."
Much like Angels and Airwaves' debut, I-Empire also delivers a diverse collection of songs, from expansive compositions to straight-ahead pop-oriented rockers, of which DeLonge notes, "sounds more like 'old Tom DeLonge,' but with these Angels and Airwaves choruses."
The album's first single, "Everything's Magic," immediately finds the tight-knit rhythm section of Willard and Wachter propelling the upbeat verses with an infectious drive, buttressed by open, melodic guitar riffing, and guided by DeLonge's grasping vocal delivery at the forefront. “Just sit back and hold on tight,” sings Tom DeLonge in the song, offering sound advice for the entire album.
An additional highlight from I-Empire is the straight-shooting "Sirens," of which DeLonge notes was loosely based around the folklore of mermaids calling ships to their destruction with their songs. "It's such a beautiful idea," he says. "So I wrote this song about a murderer, and the murderer is breaking into a house to take out a woman that he's obsessed with. But the idea was more about how the song is beautifully romantic, but it's an upbeat song. It sounds like an old Police song, which I think is the best way to describe it."
And that’s just a sample of the evolution of the Angels and Airwaves sound that now continues with I-Empire. "I think it's going to catch [people] off guard as to what this band can do, as far as the diversity and how we do it," DeLonge says. "I'm just so passionate about it."
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