It's official: the Tom DeLonge Strat is back after 19 years, it's $1,299/£1,200 and a limited edition.
The Strat features the Seymour Duncan Invader humbucker, just like the original, for high output and big punk rock riffs. There's four finishes with Surf Green, Daphne Blue, Graffiti Yellow and Black for Fender's most streamlined Strat. All but the last one reflects DeLonge's Californian taste for "California" colours: "I always liked things that had timeless, classic kind of bright colours and remind you of the sun," he says.
"When I had a chance to make my own [I chose] just one knob and one pickup," reflects DeLonge on his first signature guitar's welcome return. "If I need it to sound different I'll have a pedal or something – I don't need to be f*****g around with all these switches, I already have plenty to think about when playing live. So that's where the simple idea came, because when I'm up onstage I don't want to be clicking things, or when you hit it with your hand it shuts off for some reason."
DeLonge originally worked with Fender's Alex Perez on the design and the guitar features the larger '70s-style Strat, which wasn't common at the time of DeLonge's 1999 signature guitar launch. "I thought it made way more sense on the guitar and balanced out the size," says DeLonge.
The choice of the Invader was always about making the most of DeLonge's tone in a power trio.
"It's super overdrive, and I was always such a groggy punk rock player – I wasn't very good, and it kind of hides a lot because it's so distorted," he explains. "It makes it easier to play and it sounds good and big. It's kind of the best guitar for someone who wants to sound good, and you turn it on and play and it works kind of with everything."
The Strat's neck plate features DeLonge's original artwork and a hardtail Stratocaster bridge with six block saddles. The C-shaped neck has a rosewood fretboard with medium jumbo frets.
An accessories 'capsule collection' will also be released with Tom DeLonge signature straps, and a mix of 351 celluloid picks with Tom's To The Stars brand, as well as a Graffiti Yellow signature cable.
More info at Fender