Tom DeLonge Reveals His Handy Secret to Playing Great Punk Rock
"If you don't masturbate, you can't play punk rock"
Published Sep 09, 2021Tom DeLonge contains multitudes. He's a musician, an alien hunter, a poet, a self-servicing machine and an ancient oracle with the secret elixir to punk rock, among other things.
In a new interview with Guitar World promoting his forthcoming Angels & Airwaves album Lifeforms, the Blink-182 guitarist had more sage wisdom to share. Namely, his approach to keeping up with the breakneck pace of punk rock shredding... let's just say he recommends implementing quite the practice regime.
"Playing fast is not easy," DeLonge told journalist Amit Sharma. "Especially doing it good and doing it for hours. You want to know the secret? It's all about masturbating. That's the only one way to do it and if you don't masturbate, you can't play punk rock."
The musician had some similar advice when it comes to songwriting. When asked what commonalities exist between his biggest hits, DeLonge said simply: "I guess it boils down to me knowing everyone loves dick jokes; it's a weakness and a burden."
Seriously though, I'd say it all comes down to cadence and simplicity. It's all about the melody for me, whether that's on a guitar or vocal line. It's always about the rhythm. Shakespeare always had that rhythm. You'd read a Shakespeare play – or listen to somebody read it, because I didn't fuckin' read it – but you'd hear that cadence in the writing. 'He doth come over and stab me and he stabs me as he doth come over!' It kinda goes and flows and rhymes, almost like he's rapping. That's the genius of Shakespeare...
A bit of a Shyamalan twist there, huh? DeLonge certainly has range. He could probably talk Shakespeare with Nickelback's Mike Kroeger, who's apparently a huge literature nerd.
Elsewhere in the interview, the musician also discussed the impact of Blink-182 bandmate Mark Hoppus' cancer diagnosis. DeLonge shared the news that his friend had finished his chemo treatments last week, alongside some more of his signature advice for Hoppus to make the most of remission.
Try to spot DeLonge's songwriting techniques in Angels & Airwaves' recent single "Spellbound" below.