It can be hard to imagine our favorite musicians when they're not working their day job, but a lot of stars have their own hobbies and second jobs.
The guys from Hanson brew their own beer, while the drummer from Blur is a successful lawyer. As for Tom DeLonge, the original guitar player and lead singer for Blink-182, one of his not-so-secret passions gradually became so important that he left the beloved pop-punk band and devoted himself to it full-time.
Blink-182 became a huge success and a constant presence on MTV in the late '90s and early 2000s, both for their hit songs and because they refused to take themselves seriously.
But the band disappointed their fans when they went on "indefinite hiatus" in 2005. They briefly reunited years later, releasing their 2009 album Neighborhoods, but DeLonge left the group and was replaced for good in 2015.
Despite being blasted as "disrespectful and ungrateful" by his former band-mates, DeLonge has poured his energy into his new passion project: investigating aliens.
That's right, the man who wrote "Aliens Exist" actually believes it, and he's been very busy these last few years trying to prove it to the world.
“I can’t tour nine months out of the year with enough time to do the enormity of what I’m setting out to do," DeLonge told Mic about his decision to leave Blink-182. Instead, he's been helping to produce a new multimedia franchise called Sekret Machines, which sets out to expose alien kind's influence on human society.
DeLonge says he's been fascinated with outer space and technology since he was a child, but recalls how a chance encounter with a UFO near Area 51 made him a true believer.
DeLonge says that while camping near Area 51, he may have made contact with an alien lifeform.
Whether or not he's met them personally, DeLonge thinks that aliens and their technology have made a huge contribution to human society, including secretly influencing the media and our religions. He explores his theories in a series of books called Sekret Machines, which are co-written with mystery novelist A.J. Hartley.
While the Sekret Machine books are sci-fi novels, DeLonge insists everything in them is true, and they're meant to illustrate the singer's own theories about alien life (the first book's cover calls it a "work of...fiction?"). Along with the books, DeLonge is creating documentaries inspired by his research, and music by his new band Angels and Airwaves.
In the strangest twist of all, the punk rocker's theories about our universe have been backed up by some pretty authoritative people.
The musician founded the To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science, which is meant to connect artists and scientists to “allow gifted researchers the freedom to explore exotic science and technologies with the infrastructure and resources to rapidly transition them to products that can change the world."
Some big names from America's national security world, including former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Chris Mellon and a number of CIA agents, have signed on to work with the academy.
DeLonge even made headlines last year when his e-mails about investigating aliens with Hilary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta were leaked.
“When you’re an individual like me,” DeLonge says about his new career, “dealing with something that’s a national security issue, and you’re being gifted with the opportunity to communicate something you’ve been passionate about your whole life—something that has the opportunity to change the world over time—being a small part of that is enormously important for my life path.”
The second book in the Sekret Machines series, Gods, came out earlier this year. There's no telling what's next for DeLonge, but he seems confident that he can spread the truth about aliens and UFOs.
"These are things I aspire to tackle. It doesn’t mean I’m going to win on all of them, but God damn, it looks like I’ve got a pretty good shot at it."
Should DeLonge stick to music, or do you think the truth is out there?