How are you feeling about getting back out on the road for the first time in seven years?
“Oh my God, it’s terrifying (laughs). But it’s also who I am. It’s one of those things, like, you haven’t ridden a bike in so many years, but then you get back on and you still know how to ride it – it’s built into you. But I’m excited, and I think that these shows are going to be very powerful, emotionally, for the audience and myself. I mean, Angels & Airwaves is always like that, and it’s a very emotional experience – and a very futuristic experience (laughs). It’s meant to be wild and fun and uplifting, and I’m really excited about being involved in that again.”
Did you miss being onstage, or have you been too busy to even think about that?
“With the touring, I’m so busy but I want to do it. I’ve been trying for, like, four years to get Angels to go on tour, but I never was able to because I was so involved with my company. I have multiple TV series and feature films and a whole science division, and an entire aerospace division; there’s a lot of sensitive contracts with the government and these really important things that I have to focus on and get them all up and running and be present for. I can’t just go off and start touring, and have no care in the world. When you’re in a band it monopolises your time, and you spend all year recording and then you’re touring after that, so it’s totally impossible for me to make it the only thing I do in life.
“My idea, now that the company is up and running, is to do what I originally said I was going to do 12 years ago. If you look up any of the Angels & Airwaves stuff from 12 years ago and all the press, I said, ‘I’m going to do art projects about the human race. It’s going to be multimedia, and there’s going to be movies and albums coming together to tell a story in different ways – but it’s all the same story, and it all centres around who we are, where we’re going and our belief systems about ourselves and each other.’ I said all this and everyone thought I was nuts (laughs) – and I don’t blame them. And then I was like, ‘I have 15 books coming out!’ and everyone goes, ‘Oh my God, he’s lost his mind!’ But I have a lot going on and I’m doing exactly what I said I would do. It’s very hard to do it, but it’s rewarding, and if you look back to 12 years ago, I’m doing exactly what I said I would. Here I am.”
You already had a lot on your plate before you released Rebel Girl and announced the U.S. tour. Do you not get completely overwhelmed by how busy you are?
“Oh, I completely do! A lot of times I question what it means to be happy – I go, ‘Be careful what you wish for – is it really making you happy that you have all these projects?’ I don’t want this much work, and I’m not trying to ask for it, but it’s kind of what’s needed to accomplish some of the things I’m doing. I mean, where I’m going to end up is doing one major motion picture and album a year, and then I would work the next year – that kind of thing.
“I’m supposed to be writing so many books and so many classified government contracts (laughs). I’m the chairman of the board at my company, so I’m involved in those things, but I’m kind of involved in a really cool way, where I go, ‘What’s going on?’ and I get to have those conversations and meet with our partners in the Department of Defense or wherever they’re at, and we get to deal with these subjects and what I’m passionate about, so I’m in the game – the biggest game on Earth! I get to do that, but I still get to be myself, and the company will be financing its own movies and all that stuff. So I get to spearhead an entire massive art piece, and that’s something no rock’n’roll band on Earth has ever been able to do. I mean, Pink Floyd did The Wall, which is the best thing ever, but it was kind of avant-garde and it was a one-off – they didn’t do it again. I’m trying to go, ‘Well, how do we get teams of artists working together on each one of these projects, and we do it over and over again in different ways?’”
Will Angels & Airwaves be taking all this to the UK at some point?
“Oh, absolutely. You’re gonna get plenty of us and me, and you’ll be doing another interview with me and going, ‘When will you stop?!’ (Laughs) Angels & Airwaves will be conquering the world for the next year straight!”