Early years (1991–1998)Edit
While still in high school in Ukiah, California, Davey Havok (vocals), Mark Stopholese (guitar) and Vic Chalker (bass) formed an outfit called AFI in 1991. AFI has been said to be abbreviated from the full title A Fire Inside. However, band members have stated that the name was formerly from the titles Asking for It and Anthems for Insubordinates. At the time, the band did not know how to play any instruments. Stopholese suggested his friend Adam Carson, who had a drum kit join the band. Stopholese learned guitar and Chalker learned bass, but Chalker was soon replaced by Geoff Kresge and AFI made its first EP in recording Dork (1991) with the now defunct Loose Change, which included future AFI guitarist Jade Puget.
AFI disbanded when its members attended different colleges, including UC Berkeley where members of the band lived and practiced for a time in the basement of the Delta Chi fraternity house on Channing Way. Kresge moved to New York where he played with Blanks 77. After reuniting to perform a live show, the other members decided to drop out of college to play full-time with AFI. Between 1993 and 1995 the band released several vinyl EPs (Behind the Times; Eddie Picnic's All Wet; This Is Berkeley, Not West Bay; AFI/Heckle; Bombing the Bay; Fly in the Ointment;) independently. Their first full-length, Answer That and Stay Fashionable was released in 1995. In 1996, AFI then released their second album, Very Proud of Ya, on Nitro Records. The songs "Cruise Control" and "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" from Very Proud of Ya were used in the 1996 independent film Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore, which was first screened in 1997 and also featured Havok in a small role.
After several tours in support of the album Very Proud of Ya, Kresge decided to leave the group. His spot was filled by Hunter Burgan for the remaining Very Proud of Ya tour dates. Burgan went on to help AFI record Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes (1997) and was invited to become the full-time bassist. Future AFI guitarist Jade Puget also provided background vocals on Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes, making it the first album to feature all four current members of the band.
Black Sails and Art of Drowning era (1999–2002)Edit
After recording the A Fire Inside EP (1998), Stopholese left the band and was replaced by Jade Puget, his close friend. Following the A Fire Inside EP, the band recorded Black Sails in the Sunset (1999), a musical turning point which introduced AFI fans to a much darker sound. On this album, the band's original hardcore roots were still the base of their sound, but with Dark Romantic influences (a poem by Charles Baudelaire, "De profundis clamavi," is present in the hidden track "Midnight Sun") and emphasize on somber atmosphere and lyrics. The influence of the Deathrock & Goth rock scenes was also apparent. During this period their style was mostly referred to as Horror Punk or described as "Gothic punk".
The All Hallows EP (1999) spawned the single "Totalimmortal," a track later covered by The Offspring for the Me, Myself and Irene soundtrack. It received a fair amount of radio play and exposed AFI to larger audiences. Offspring frontman Dexter Holland was featured as a backing vocalist on a number of Black Sails tracks. The Boy Who Destroyed The World from the All Hallows EP was featured in the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 video game.
In 2000, AFI released The Art of Drowning, which debuted on the Billboard Charts at number 174. "The Days of the Phoenix" was released as a single and video in order to promote the album. "The Days of the Phoenix", like "Totalimmortal", had some moderate mainstream success, garnering the band both TV and radio airplay.
Mainstream success (2003–present)Edit
In 2002, AFI left Nitro Records and released Sing the Sorrow (2003) on DreamWorks Records. The songs "Girl's Not Grey", "The Leaving Song Pt. II", and "Silver and Cold" had some Billboard chart success and exposed the band to even larger audiences. The band was nominated in the MTV Video Music Awards 2003 in the MTV2 award category for the video "Girl's Not Grey", which came to be the first VMA they won.
In June 2006, AFI's newest album, Decemberunderground, was released on Interscope Records. Reviewers have noted an even progression in sound for the band in this album, featuring ColdPop and New Wave elements. The album's first single "Miss Murder" reached #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Charts. The release reflects the continually changing and growing fan base of the band, and the album debuted as No. 1 on the Billboard charts. The album has been certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of over 500,000 copies of the album. Also, the band's second single, "Love Like Winter", enjoyed tremendous success on MTV's Total Request Live and was retired after 40 days on the countdown.
On January 20, 2007, AFI played "Miss Murder" and "Love Like Winter" on Saturday Night Live. Although the band performed "Love Like Winter" according to plan, technical difficulties occurred during their set of "Miss Murder", in which Davey microphone went out during various points of the song.
Though "The Missing Frame" was originally supposed to be the third single off Decemberunderground, Davey Havok has confirmed in the "Ask AFI" section of the Despair Faction message boards that there will not be a video for the song. It is unknown if there will be a video made for another song. Havok also confirmed on the same boards that there will be no summer tour. Puget has begun writing some material for a new album.
AFI released a live album called I Heard A Voice from Long Beach Arena. This was released on iTunes on November 13, 2007. It features all the songs from the 2006 DVD I Heard a Voice, including notable hits from past AFI records such as: "Miss Murder", "Girl's Not Grey" "The Leaving Song, Pt. II", and "The Days of the Phoenix."
Carcinogen Crush was made available as a downloadable song exclusively for the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero III by obtaining a code from purchasing the official soundtrack of the game. The song was later released as a digital single on December 4, 2007.
A new EP was set for a December release, however, Havok announced through the Despair Faction forums, that it would not be available until early 2008. It will contain previously unreleased songs from the Decemberunderground and Sing the Sorrow sessions. Adam later announced more details regarding the EP, saying that some of the songs will be new and never before heard, some fans may have heard (like Carcinogen Crush), and some fans may know about but never have heard before. He also said that a release date will be announced soon.
A partially incorrect track listing of the EP was made public on April 2, 2008 on The Complete AFI Series' Message Board. Soon after, the band would release an official list of the EP's tracks. There's a rumour of a Wake-Up Call (from Very Proud of Ya) re-recording, demo, or reference in one of the songs.
In addition to their upcoming EP, they recently completed a new album. Recording sessions with producer David Bottrill have begun at The Art of Ears, the same studio where the band recorded much of their earlier material. According to Jade's blog, hints were given that the eighth studio album may take launch before the EP, but has not been confirmed.
In December 2008, the band released a video through YouTube revealing a contest for the upcoming album. It invites fans to make videos of themselves, lasting 2 minutes or less, telling the band who they are, what they do, where they live, what their friends are like, what inspires them, etc. The fans who win will meet the band and sing on the new album. The band promises to watch every single video and state that they want to know who is out there and who their fans are. Lead singer Davey Havok posted a video on December 19 thanking the fans for the support so far and said he had watched every video up to that point (which was about 43 videos at the time).
The contest ended on January 5, and fans have been given the ability to score many of the videos themselves. Five winners chosen by AFI and the community winner have been selected so far.
In late February it was confirmed via press release that AFI's eighth studio album would be titled Crash Love and that they would be embarking on a summer tour in support of it.
On the April 30th episode of Loveline, Davey said that Crash Love would not be released until the fall.
In May on AFI's website they replaced the home page with a video. Later on more and more videos were posted. The videos were interpreted to mean the death of "old" AFI and the rebirth of them. A single was then released (I Hope You Suffer) which has become quite popular. They then announced that their new album was to be called Burials.
- 1995: Answer That and Stay Fashionable
- 1996: Very Proud of Ya
- 1997: Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes
- 1999: Black Sails in the Sunset
- 2000: The Art of Drowning
- 2003: Sing the Sorrow
- 2006: Decemberunderground
- 2009: Crash Love
- 2013: Burials
- AFI is most commonly believed to be an abreviation of "A Fire Inside".
- In their "punk days" AFI was known to be "Asking For It" or "Anthems For Insubordinates".
- AFI won the 2006 MTV Music Awards with their hit single, Miss Murder.
Similar Artists Edit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 A.F.I. at Allmusic
- ↑ review at absolutepunk
- ↑ review at Rolling Stone
- ↑ reviews at Metacritic
- ↑ http://media.www.csucauldron.com/media/storage/paper516/news/2003/03/24/ArtsMusic/A.f-i.Kings.Of.Melodic.Hardcore-398124.shtml
- ↑ http://www.inmusicwetrust.com/articles/22p02.html
- ↑ NME Battle of emo bands
- ↑ AFI Brings Emo Punk To Salt Lake City
- ↑ http://www.sputnikmusic.com/album.php?reviewid=5707
- ↑ 
- ↑ 
- ↑ 
- ↑ More Havok : Rolling Stone
- ↑ AFI | Official Site
- ↑ AFI: Decemberunderground : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone
- ↑ AFI's Billboard Album Chart History
- ↑ Allmusic.com Decemberunderground review
- ↑ AFI's Billboard Singles Chart History
- ↑ Hasty, Katy-- (2006-06-14). "AFI burns brightly with #1 debut". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002687993. Retrieved 2006-07-08.
- ↑ RIAA Certifications for Decemberuderground. Retrieved on October 8, 2007.
- ↑ FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!
- ↑ The Official AFI & DF Message Board
- ↑ The Official AFI & DF Message Board
- ↑ http://media.www.californiaaggie.com/media/storage/paper981/news/2007/02/28/ArtsEntertainment/Afi-To.Play.Freeborn.Hall.On.Thursday-2747867-page2.shtml
- ↑ Cohan, Jonathan (2007-09-20). Billboard Bits: 'Guitar Hero III,' Os Mutantes, Isis. Billboard. Retrieved on September 20, 2007.
- ↑ General EP Discussion Thread - The Complete AFI Series Message Board
- ↑ Quick Hits: Sheryl Crow, My Chemical Romance, AFI. FMQB. Retrieved on January 30, 2008.
- ↑ http://board.afispace.com/index.php?showtopic=13984