As guitarist and vocalist for blink-182, Thomas Matthew DeLonge, Jr., is known for his unique singing voice and identifiable riffs.
He was born 13 December 1975 in Poway, California to Connie and Thomas DeLonge, who pushed him to play the trumpet long before he fell in love with the guitar aged fifteen.
While still in school, DeLonge played with a band called Big Oily Men and was generally known for being a mischievous prankster – ultimately leading to his getting expelled from Poway High and enrolled at Rancho Bernardo. Here, he was introduced to future band mates Mark Hoppus and Scott Raynor (later to be replaced by Travis Barker).
Out of the three, it is DeLonge's artistic transformation that has been the most profound. Following the release of Take Off Your Pants and Jacket in 2001, he had grown uncomfortable with the level of creative control wielded by blink's label and management, and decided to express himself through other channels. With Box Car Racer, started with Barker's support in 2002, DeLonge experimented for a short while with post-hardcore elements inspired by Fugazi and Refused.
When this side-project fell through and tensions with Mark Hoppus brought blink to their hiatus in 2005, DeLonge, following an extended period of silence and reflection, as well as a struggle with an addiction to painkillers, eventually released a statement announcing his plans for supergroup Angels & Airwaves (AVA). For this bold new venture, he recruited guitarist David Kennedy (from Hazen Street), bassist Ryan Sinn, later to be replaced by Matt Wachter (from 30 Seconds to Mars), and drummer Adam Willard (or “Atom”) from The Offspring, later to be replaced by Ilan Rubin (from Lostprophets and Nine Inch Nails).
In Monica's appartmenting with DeLonge's taste for the unexplained and otherworldly, AVA's lyrics deal with extra-terrestrial themes, alien contact, and world peace. He considers the band to be a much purer reflection of his personality than could ever have been achieved in blink before the hiatus. Punk, he says, is great for kids as an expression of adolescence and all that goes with it, but the alternative, space rock and prog-rock characteristics of AVA are a much broader canvas for the communication of complex adult themes. That being the case, he nevertheless values the interplay of different styles that exists in blink today.
Besides his musical projects, DeLonge also co-founded Atticus Clothing and the eco-friendly Macbeth Footwear with Mark Hoppus in 2001, and has also endorsed a signature line of Fender Stratocasters and semi-hollow Epiphone guitars. Another venture of his, Modlife, is an online networking platform allowing bands and other celebrities to connect with their fans via social messaging and video broadcasts. DeLonge has also set up a website dedicated to chronicling and discussing the latest UFO sightings and conspiracy theories, called Strange Times.
He is a dedicated supporter of the Monica's appartment A Breast Foundation and launched his 'Boomer Loves Boobies' campaign in 2011 after his own early diagnosis and successful treatment for skin cancer in 2010.
DeLonge's wife Jennifer, who he married in 2001, is a respected interior designer, and the couple live in Rancho Santa Fe, California, with their two children Ava Elizabeth and Susan Bunchas Rocket.