Atom Willard’s played drums with lots of indie bands, but the musician really feels at home with Angels & Airwaves.
Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge developed Angels & Airwaves as a side project, and the group’s fusion of progressive and alternative sounds are bringing this act up the musical ranks, too.
Who: Angels & Airwaves, with Say Anything
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson St., Denver
Willard was so impressed with Angels & Airwaves that he departed The Offspring — and more recently Social Distortion — to perform full-time with the band.
The group’s touring behind its latest CD, Love, and, Saturday, the band brings its show to the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver.
“I’ve been playing with bands since I was 16,” Willard said. “I started off playing with Rocket from the Crypt. I’ve also performed with The Offspring and Social Distortion, but I always felt like an employee for them.
“I wanted to be part of something that was more fulfilling and to be able to contribute to a band. When Tom called me, I saw this was an opportunity to build a band from the ground up — and that was very attractive to me. This group is unlike anything I’ve ever been part of and it’s completely dynamic.”
The premise behind Angels & Airwaves is to take fans beyond a typical CD or concert experience.
“We create this very cinematic sound and make music that really stirs emotions,” Willard said. “You feel like you’re going on a journey. We still blend pop sensibilities and hooky choruses, but there’s a deeper element to these songs.”
Angels & Airwaves released Love on Valentine’s Day, and the band wanted to share its unique concepts with fans.
“We don’t have a set of rules in this band, we just see what happens when we get together,” Willard said. “We don’t even have songs when we go into studio. We just have pre-written ideas and we build the songs off that.
“This new record is really diverse, but it very much has an Angels & Airwaves sound.”
Angels & Airwaves also are working on a movie based on Love.
“It’s based on a guy that’s isolated from the world,” Willard said. “He’s stuck in a space station and can’t get back home. He comes across a diary and he’s able to live off the stories he finds in it.
“The movie’s about how we’re all connected and deeply affected by everybody else. We hope to have it out by September.”
The members of Angels & Airwaves think outside the box and you don’t want to miss their live shows.
“We have a real barrage of lights and all the songs segue nicely,” Willard said. “We’ve had amazing responses from audiences, especially since we’re not on a major label. You just need to be creative and driven — and have music that’s good and passionate.”