A.F.I. (AFI) Biography
Review The Artist (60)
Davey Havok - vocals
Jade Puget - guitar
Hunter - bass
Adam Carson - drums
When you're playing a style of music that doesn't really fit anywhere, you run a risk. You're challenging people to leave their niche, to leave their predetermined ideas of what they're supposed to like. Luckily, we have a lot of people who just focus on the music and appreciate us for what we are. So we get fans from all different genres of music, the jocks, the spooky kids, skaters, college kids, punk rockers, hardcore kids, metal kids, all that"
- Davey Havok
The origins and history of AFI are as humble as they are passionate, beginning with the meaning and philosophy behind the acronym now known to an ever-growing legion of fans the world over: A Fire Inside.
Over 10 years on and counting, the same inner flame that fueled four teenagers making a primal noise in a Ukiah, Calif., garage has propelled AFI to unforeseen musical and professional levels, as evident on Sing The Sorrow, due out March 11, 2003, on DreamWorks Records. "We've been doing this for a long time, and we love it more than anything," says AFI singer Davey Havok"To play music you're passionate about every night - it's like a dream. Sometimes you get sick; sometimes you get really tired, but I can't imagine doing anything else with my life"
If Sing The Sorrow is any indication, Havok won't have to worry about doing anything else for a long time. Co-produced by Jerry Finn (Rancid, Green Day, Jawbreaker) and Butch Vig (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins), the record retains the Bay Area outfit's signature aggression and pathos - forging ever forward into uncharted territory like the virtuoso guitar intro of "The Leaving Song Pt. 2" or the industrial-leaning break and Dead Can Dance-worthy outro of "Death Of Seasons"
Meanwhile, from its sublime intro through beautifully subdued verses and infectious choruses, first radio track "Girl's Not Grey" is a standout that both recalls AFI coming into its own on 2000's The Art Of Drowning and hints at a myriad of future directions. For the purists, "Dancing Through Sunday" and "Bleed Black" come strapped with generous chant-along opportunities and heavy-as-hell, bolt-tight riffs and rhythms. And as with virtually every track on Sing The Sorrow, these are all imbued with alternately brooding and celebratory lyrical imagery of rebirth, resurrection, apocalypse, all somehow deeply personal - in other words, classic AFI. "We've always been able to do anything we want," says guitarist Jade Puget. "The credit for that goes to both the band and our fans: to us for striving not to sound like anyone else, and to our fans for embracing those changes and looking forward to the new directions each new record will take"
"It also comes from never having any other choice but to do everything ourselves," Havok adds. "We never planned or had any expectation of assistance from anyone else. And thanks to that work ethic, we were able to grow slowly and naturally so that when others gradually took an interest in what we were doing, whether it was Nitro [Records] or DreamWorks or whoever, they realized they couldn't change us even if they wanted to"
Although AFI first surfaced in 1992, on Dork, a split 7" with fellow Ukiah High School students Loose Change (featuring future AFI guitarist Jade), it wouldn't be until the band's third full-length, 1997's Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes, that bassist Hunter (ex-The Force) would enlist. And it would be later still that the present AFI lineup would coalesce, with the addition of Jade (by then ex-Redemption 87) on the defining and now-classic fourth album, Black Sails In The Sunset, and the subsequent All Hallow's EP. The latter would give AFI its first taste of exposure beyond its long-cultivated cult following when the Offspring's cover of the EP's "Totalimmortal" appeared on the Me, Myself & Irene soundtrack and, in turn, on Modern Rock playlists nationwide. A year later, "Days Of The Phoenix," from The Art Of Drowning, would do the same, albeit with the band playing its own composition this time.
"I was completely in awe then - and still am now - to hear any of our songs on the radio," says Hunter. "The fact that radio would pick up on us based solely on the quality of the music is still difficult for me to fathom, as is everything positive that's happened for us. It all seems to have come naturally from our efforts, and honestly, that's really hard for me to comprehend"
In the meantime, AFI's live draw increased exponentially, and with good reason: To witness the AFI live experience is to understand both that unique internal chemistry and the undeniable bond between band and audience that has been honed and strengthened through nearly seven years of non-stop worldwide touring. Favorites from Black Sails, The Art Of Drowning and the All Hallow's and A Fire Inside EPs typically find the band fighting to be heard over the din of the chanting crowd, every song received with a rabid enthusiasm that possesses the players, the songs and the audience alike. It's a primal, almost tribal experience, one that via word of mouth has tickets for the band's already sold-out early 2003 shows eliciting eBay bids of more than $300 a pair.
"Touring has always been the most important thing for us," says drummer Adam Carson, who co-founded the band with Havok in the early '90s. "We basically created our fan base by touring non-stop" "I've been touring since I was 19 years old," Havok continues. "We were always of the mind that if two people showed up the first time we played somewhere, we'd go back until there were 10, then 30, then hundreds or thousands. We would keep coming back until they were forced to take notice"
As regaled as their live show has been, however, the members of AFI make it clear that there was no attempt to replicate it on Sing The Sorrow. "That's a big priority for so many other bands," says Jade, "but it's never been a concern for us. If anything, it's the other way around; at least for me, it's about creating the song in the writing and recording process, then hoping it'll translate live, rather than road-testing the new songs, then hoping we can 'capture the live vibe' in the studio" Instead, the band prioritizes making the best and most adventurous record possible time and again, this time with the more-than-able assistance of the aforementioned Finn and Vig (both of whom Jade recalls as "so cool and affable from the very beginning," explaining, "There was never any kind of 'star producer' vibe"). "I think the progression from The Art Of Drowning to the new record is similar to the leap between Shut Your Mouth and Black Sails," says Havok. "People familiar with our previous records are going to notice a marked growth. The songs are far more complex, the performances are superior, there are some ambient and electronic elements, which we've never done before, and vocally, I pushed myself to extremes I'd never achieved before, both in terms of aggression and melancholy"
"Everybody says, 'This is our best record yet!' every time they come out with something new," Jade concludes. "I know it's a total cliché, but in our case, we're always pleased with our latest record because each one is different from the previous one. The fact is, this time we had more time and put more effort into writing and recording and I believe that really translates"
Thanks to Anna firstname.lastname@example.org for submitting the biography.
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The Fire RISES! | Reviewer: LIDRIN DEE | 1/15/13
i haven't had the chance to hear the band's first material yet i only caught them in 2011 and the first song i heard them play was "love like winter" and i fell in love with the band the more i heard of them the more i craved,the sophistication of their lyrics and sound never seems to fade in their quality and hard to believe four dudes are able to create such an incredible and massive sound. they seem like a band that really put in great effort when they are making a record and i love that about them and i have stuck with them ever since i first heard them,if there is book for gods of rock they surely are on the first page.
AFI | Reviewer: Sil | 12/21/11
I usually say that I am what I am, because of AFI. All my childhood I had a bullied life at school, where I would get verbally assaulted by my classmates because of anything I liked. It was on 6th grade, when I bought Decemberunderground that I felt identified. As I listened to the whole record, I knew this band wasn't just going to be a random one in my memory. I kept listening to Decemberunderground and found myself sinking into 'The Killing Lights', 'The Missing Frame', 'Summer Shudder' and 'Kiss and Control'. At that time, I finally decided I wasn't going to care what my classmates said about me.
Afterwards, I started looking for more of them and after hearing all their songs, I can conclude that this band in one in a million. Anyone can relate, anyone can find words taken out of their mouth when they feel down, or when they just need to forget. When 'Crash Love' came I was shocked of how different their sound was, but I still loved the album; it just showed how versatile they were.
I will never stop listening to them.
AFI | Reviewer: Tim | 11/6/11
AFI is a band that I fell in love with after hearing Shut Your Mouth, and Open Your Eyes back in i think i discovered them in 2002. I saw them change throughout the years, and after Sing the Sorrow I really didnt like the direction that they went. But you can never walk away from them completely, Daveys voice and those amazing lyrics will always draw you back in. I love AFI. I just wish that they would produce another album like The Art of Drowning or Black Sails in the Sunset.
A Fire For Life!!! | Reviewer: Ex Noctem Nacimur | 9/12/11
I heard about AFI by playing guitar hero. I had never heard them on the radio, I have never heard them from friends. All I knew was that Miss Murder was a good song. I proceeded to buy Decemberunderground and the AFI retro, and was amazed at a new genre I had never heard about - Hardcore Punk. Thanks to them, I own 5 of their CDs, and a collection of Hardcore Punk albums. Thank you afi for introducing me to the wonderful world of PUNK.
BTW I still think Black Sails and Shut Your Mouth are the best hardcore punk albums ever.
Afireinside | Reviewer: Kaz | 12/3/09
AFI is a fantastic band. They have changed throughout the ages, but who would ever expect a band to remain the same for always? No one. My review here is almost like a past confession, AFI, when I was younger, was probably one of the integral parts of keeping my hope alive. I had a very hard childhood and a broken family growing up and it led to anger, sadness, and lots of pain. I've since grown and healed, but AFI holds a special spot for me since I used to be depressed, I used to listen to the passion of their eloquent writing, and it would stabilize me when the world was going crazy. AFI understands.
i love afi | Reviewer: hannah | 5/30/09
i love afi, not only becuase they're music is amazing, but i love teir cause. I'm vgitarian, and plan to go vegan after i move out of my "family's" house, becuase they will not let me go vegan now. Afi has also helped me throught tough times. i live with my grandmother, and her boyfriend (long, long story) and he hits her and me, sometimes, and stuff...and none of my "friends" care at all, they tell em they hate me all the time, and that if i died they wouldn't care, but they're all i've got. and lots of times i want to die so bad, but i listen to them and i know i'mnot alone when i think of others like me, and i decide to go on living, even though i know it'll never get better.
so i thank afi, they keep me going each day, they're the rason i get out of bed each morning and do something with my life.
i'm just a future singer who adires afi, and owes them my life.
AFI is the BEST band ever | Reviewer: Dani | 6/1/09
I can usually listen to music and do other things at the same time but I find that difficult when I'm listening to AFI.
Both their music and their lyrics inspired me to keep writing a book I'm working on. 224 pages of story inspired mainly by this band
I think what's great about AFI is they don't try to give you these massive guitar solos and complicated riffs to show off how awesome their guitarist is or hour long drum solos and really tricky work on the drums in every song. You could never really say Jade puget could kick Slash's ass at guitar. I quite frankly don't think he could. I'm getting off topic here. The thing is the sound of the instruments with the vocals comes together so well. I think AFI haters don't know how to appreciate nice cohessive sound without focusing on the sound of one instrument.
AFI has some amazing lyrics. They're powerful and meaningful and just AWESOME. (oh and if you think the word awesome is not a good adjective...give me a break I'm just 13) on the other hand the guys know how to have fun. As showed in the chicken song. Haven't heard it? Well you need to. Or in I Wanna Get A Mohawk, which is not only a fun song but a GOOD song!
Yeah well I love AFI
Just A Little Note... | Reviewer: Anna Christo | 4/26/09
I was at a lyrics workshop the other day, and the guy there - Mark somethingorather - said, 'Lyrics only mean something to people if they're personal. You guys might think that the best way to connect with people is to make it abstract, very ambiguous... well, that's fine, but just make sure when you're doing that that you don't cast your net too wide...'
I think that's why a lot of people love AFI: the lyrics are so specific, so extraordinary that once you're listening, you have to stop what you're doing and just listen.
On a personal note, AFI has helped me deal with a lot of stuff; I've got a very broken family. My father has quite a few disorders and my mother divorced him twice. Now she's with a man who is worse than my father, and she doesn't really seem to care that he's abusive to me. I keep cutting and I'm binge drinking, too (though I am getting help for this).
I still find comfort in AFI, which is any number of times better than happy pills and psychiatrists any day.
To AFI: THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME HOPE IN THE MIDST OF THE DARKNESS. THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME LIGHT IN THE CIRCLE OF DEATH. YOU GIVE ME THE STRENGTH AND THE WILL TO CARRY ON AND TO BELIEVE THAT I AM SOMEONE, NO MATTER WHAT OTHERS SAY.
my inspuration (if thats how you spell it) | Reviewer: Jade Hart | 10/3/08
i love davey havok him and his band have helped me alot. i was once a drug addict and so is my mother, i have stayed clean for a long time but one of the biggest reasons is because i have Davey Havok to look up to . he is my hero and in many ways he's the reason i am sober today!
The best | Reviewer: ArborVitae | 8/11/08
All Afi songs are awesome! I can't wait for the new album to come out. I love how each album has differnt styles/feelings/vibe, whatever. I started listening to AFI after I was out one night with a friend and some guy started asking me questions and I felt like running away but then my friend told me it was Smith. That was my luckiest night ever since I'm now addicted to all their songs which makde me feel better after I got out of hospitals which I was in for a lot of months.
im going vegan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! | Reviewer: some girl | 5/8/08
davey, jade, hunter, and adam are all vegans. and i think that its a good thing to be vegan. i just watched a video about how they prepare meat and kill the animals, and it is the worst thing i have ever seen. its worse than any horror movie i know of. my parents always told me they were nice to the animals, but its all lies i bet they just dont want me going vegan, but i am and they cant stop me!!!!!!!!!!!1
im going vegan!!!!!!!!!!!!!! | Reviewer: somegirl | 5/8/08
davey, jade, hunter, and adam are all vegans. i think its a good thing to be a vegan. i just wached a video about how they prepare the meat and kill the animals, and its the worst thing i have ever seen. its the worse than any horror movie i know of. my parents told me they were nice to the animals, but its all lies i bet they just dont want me going vegan, but i am and they cant stop me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
im jelous | Reviewer: some girl | 4/14/08
When i saw a picture of davey for the first time, i actually thought he was like 23. my sister got to go to one of there shows in 2006. she has a singned poster, im jelous. im not even aloud to go to concerts.
e-mail me if you love afi! | Reviewer: SelenaB0tt | 4/14/08
i think the sing the sarrow days were good. but i like the old hard stuff to.anyway add me on myspace or e-mail me! i wanna know what kindov music you like! my e-mail is email@example.com and my myspace is http://www.myspace.com/your_not_everything
What is there to say | Reviewer: Lisette | 4/11/08
well ive been listening to AFI since i was like 7 yrs old n now im like 15 so yea pretty much ppl jst started listening to them this year n it's annoying they think they kno so much bout them but actually what they didn't kno they were like punk n stuff but ppl wouldnt have liked them then but i loved them then n still do now.
LONG LIVE A.F.I[A. FIRE. INSIDE] :)
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