Roaring out of the East Bay area AFI (A Fire Inside) released their debut in '95, "Answer That And Stay Fashionable" on Wingnut Records (re-released on Nitro in '97). An extensive tour followed before AFI signed with Nitro Records in '96. The hardcore Punk "Very Proud Of Ya" soon dropped.
Despite the touring, recording and fan devotion, it was a track from AFI's '99 EP "All Hallows" that really helped move the group along. "Totalimmortal" was covered by Offspring (AFI had toured with Offspring, among others) for the soundtrack of the Jim Carey vehicle "Me, Myself & Irene." With all due respect to Offspring, they do a good job, but the original is more intense and driving.
Formed in the early '90s, around the vocalist Davey Havok and drummer Adam Carson, AFI started out as high school skaters making "noise in the garage" but managed, as so rarely happens, to coalescence into something worth listening to. As with any group that wants to succeed, weak links, bad attitudes and those suffering "philosophical differences" must depart. But unlike most groups, AFI handled a large part of this process after they started recording, experiencing personnel changes prior to their third album. Bassist Hunter Burgan entered the picture on "Shut Your Eyes And Open Your Mouth" in '97.
Guitarist Jude Puget arrived for the '99 release, "Black Sails At Sunset." Puget also became the group's primary music writer while Havok handled the lyrics. "Art of Drowning" landed in '00 and further enhanced the group's reputation. As a successful indie band, AFI eventually attracted major label attention, namely Dreamworks Records, who released "Sing The Sorrow" in '03. End result? The group's reach extended beyond Metal rags and they actually got written up in Rolling Stone! Mainstream - mass media.
AFI returned in '06 with their 7th full-length effort, "Decemberundgeround."
"Carcinogen Crush" was available as a download for the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero III. The song was available through a code that was obtained by purchasing the game's soundtrack.
AFI also launched a YouTube contest where fans sent in 2-minute videos of themselves describing who they are and what inspires them. A few dozen videos were submitted and the winners got to meet the band and sing on a track.
After what Havok claimed was two years of writing and recording AFI issued their eighth album. "Crash Love" was recorded at The Art of Ears studios, where the band had worked previously.
Next, Havok, a vegan, appeared in a PETA ad and video and published a young adult novel called Pop Kids, a "story of teenage angst, nihilistic behavior, and longed-for redemption."
The first single from "Crash Love," "Medicate," reached #7 on the Billboard Alternative Songs Chart.
Four years later, "Burials," featuring the single "I Hope You Suffer," dropped. "This record is of silence, of burials, and the burials that result from that silence," said Havok of the '13 release. "It's of betrayal, cruelty, weakness, anxiety, panic - deep and slow - despair, injury and loss. And in this it is shamefully honest and resolutely unforgiving." The album peaked at #9 on the Billboard 200.
Next up was a Havok/Puget creation. "XTRMST," the self-titled debut set from their side-project arrived in '14.
Havok continued his extracurricular adventures when he announced the formation of a group consisting on No Doubt vets Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal and Adrian Young. Coinciding with that announcement was news they had already completed an album.
Back to the business of AFI, the group presented their 10th LP, "AFI (The Blood Album)," on Concord Records. Their first album for the label included "White Offerings" and "Snow Cats."
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
2009 Crash Love
2017 AFI (The Blood Album)
AFI trades on '80s Wave-Rock, Goth, Hardcore and Punk.
Prior to the release of "Burials," Havok stated that he was disappointed that the album focused "solely on his personal pain." This is from a guy who has made a career from pain. "The blackness drips down from both my eyes," a line from set opener "The Sinking Night," would tend to prove his point.