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AFI (A Fire Inside) are an American alternative rock band, formed in 1991. Originally formed as a Hardcore Punk
revivalist band, they continued much in the same way for their first three albums: "Answer That and Stay Fashionable", "Very Proud of Ya", and "Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes". Then things started to take a different turn.
On their 1999 release "Black Sails in the Sunset", they supplemented their hardcore sound with Goth Rock
influences. This trend would continue with their next two albums, "The Art of Drowning", which also brought in industrial
elements, and "Sing the Sorrow", the latter album becoming AFI's breakthrough album and reaching #5 on the Billboard charts. Then Decemberunderground came around. While somewhat lighter in tone, it was a major success and produced some of AFI's most popular songs, such as "Prelude 12/21" and "Endlessly She Said".
" was stated to be a "straightforward rock record" by the band, with a focus on catchy, more upbeat songs. However, it caused some alarm
due to percieved abandonment of their hardcore roots. Their most album "Burials" continues that merger of styles, featuring a dark, operatic feel to most of the songs.
Not to be confused with the American Film Institute, best known for their stuck-in-the-past "100 Years, 100 Movies" lists. Lead singer Davey Havok and lead guitarist Jade Puget also head an electronic
side project, Blaqk Audio.
- Davey Havok – lead vocals (1991–present)
- Adam Carson – drums, backing vocals (1991–present)
- Hunter Burgan – bass guitar, keyboards, programming, backing vocals (1997–present)
- Jade Puget – lead guitar, keyboards, programming, backing vocals (1998–present)
- Vic Chalker – bass, backing vocals (1991–1992)
- Geoff Kresge – bass, backing vocals (1992–1997)
- Mark Stopholese – guitars, backing vocals (1991–1998)
- Answer That and Stay Fashionable (1995)
- Very Proud of Ya (1996)
- Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes (1997)
- Black Sails in the Sunset (1999)
- The Art of Drowning (2000)
- Sing the Sorrow (2003)
- Decemberunderground (2006)
- Crash Love (2009)
- Burials (2013)
Tropes used by this band include:
- Anachronistic Order: Possibly. "The Leaving Song Part II" is placed before "The Leaving Song" on Sing the Sorrow.
- Angry Dance: Davey loves to thrash about in a non-threatening but aggressive and almost acrobatic way when he's on stage.
- Audience Participation Song: "Strength Through Wounding," "Miseria Cantare (the Beginning)"
- Balcony Speech: Davey does one of these in the "Miss Murder" video.
- Careful With That Axe
- Celebrity Is Overrated: From Crash Love, "I Am Trying Very Hard To Be Here" is a vain, sassy song about being recognized everywhere and living as a persona.
- Crash Love as a whole is a look at society's obsession with celebrity.
- Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs: One of their old songs, "Cereal Wars", is about loving extremely sweet breakfast cereals so much that it's impossible to decide which one to pick at the supermarket, and being upset that the supermarket has stopped carrying the sugariest brands. Davey even wishes he could eat the Trope Namer with Calvin and Hobbes.
- Cluster F-Bomb: "Cruise Control"
- Color Motif: Most of their albums' physical packages and discs have distinct color setups that match the mood of the album, such as the burning red of Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes, the amber and gold of Crash Love, and the brownish grey of Burials. Their website changes accordingly to suit the new theme.
- Concept Album: Not hard-and-fast examples; Word of God states that the major themes of Decemberunderground and Crash Love are isolation and society's obsession with celebrity and instant gratification, respectively. The All Hallow's E.P. could be considered one of these, though arguably only half of it ("Halloween" and "Fall Children")" would really count. Similarly, Sing the Sorrow is about death and rebirth, while Burials is about the emotional fallout of a failed relationship.
- Cover Version: "Halloween" and "Last Caress" by The Misfits, "The Hanging Garden" by The Cure, "Don't Change" by INXS, "Jack the Ripper" by Morrissey, "Head Like a Hole" by Nine Inch Nails, "My Michelle" by Guns N' Roses, "Ziggy Stardust" by David Bowie, "Man in a Suitcase" by The Police, "Today's Lesson" by Filth...
- Dress Rehearsal Video: The video for "Medicate".
- Drugs Are Bad: The use of drugs by companions is mourned in songs like "Clove Smoke Catharsis" and "Veronica Sawyer Smokes".
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: lampshaded in this comic.
- Emo: they're closer to classic/ post-hardcore emo than scene emo. They were also key players in the early 2000's post-hardcore scene along with Thursday, Brand New and My Chemical Romance.
- Everyone Went to School Together: Most of the band members, past and present, went to the same high school. The band was actually formed during lunch in the cafeteria.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Spanish in "The Leaving Song, Part II" and "Love Like Winter"
- Gratuitous Latin: "Miseria Cantare," "Porphyria Cutanea Tarda" (somewhat justified in that it's a medical name for a disease)
- Hidden Track: "Battled," "Midnight Sun," "This Time Imperfect" after the last track, "And Then I'll Be Back Home" after "The Missing Frame"
- Knuckle Tattoos: Davey has 'em. (They say "Ciao Baby.")
- Long Runner Line Up: Type 2
- Love Is A Drug: The song "Medicate" is about this, more or less.
- Love Nostalgia Song: "The Days Of The Phoenix" is not too far into their career but still very nostalgic for their super-early concert days, and a particular lovely girl.
- The Makeover: Davey retooled his personal appearance prior to the release of Crash Love. Sporting a moderate beard and mustache bordered by Perma Stubble, he looks more masculine, and tones down the width of his large jaws.
- His hair has changed distinctly between each album since The Art of Drowning.
- The band's clothing motifs has also changed, from the white of Decemberunderground to the suits of Crash Love to now the leather and black of Burials.
- Master Poisoner: The story in the "Beautiful Thieves" video is murky and bizarre, but the band ends up killing all the happy, obnoxious, pretty people at the banquet by poisoning their drinks with ease.
- Obligatory Bondage Song: Mentions are made of wrist restraints in "Kiss and Control," and "The Interview" refrerences an honest-to-god OBS, "Master and Servant" by Depeche Mode. Then there's "Dream of Waking"...
- Obsession Song: "Carcinogen Crush"
- Precision F-Strike: "Death of Seasons" and "I Hope You Suffer" have one well-placed F-word each for emotion, and "Cereal Wars" has two for comedy.
- Punny Name: "Yurf Rendenmein"
- Refrain from Assuming: "Prelude 12/21" is not called "Kiss My Eyes and Lay Me to Sleep," or any variation thereof.
- Religion Rant Song: "The Prayer Position", "Smile", "Sacrilege", and a few others, are all plain exhausted with the bad things religion allegedly brings, and hopeful for a world without it.
- Shout-Out: to Beetlejuice in "The Despair Factor," Goodfellas in the "He Who Laughs Last" video (the "as far back as I can remember..." line) and Alice in Wonderland in the "Girl's Not Grey" video. Also to Reservoir Dogs on the "Answer That and Stay Fashionable" album cover; the album title itself is a line from the film Bad News Tour. "Veronica Sawyer Smokes" is a big one to Heathers.
- The Something Song: "The Leaving Song", "The Leaving Song, Part II", "Torch Song"
- Spoken Word In Music: again, on "Answer That and Stay Fashionable"
- Stage Names: Davey Havok
- Step Up to the Microphone: Jade in "The Interview"
- Stop and Go: In "The Despair Factor".
- Title by Number: "3 1/2," "6 to 8," "37mm," "Prelude 12/21", "Greater Than 84"
- Underwater Kiss: The end of the video for "Love Like Winter".
- Viral Marketing / Alternate Reality Game: the lead-up to every album so far from Sing the Sorrow onward, relating to the theme of the album and often rewarding fans who crack the clues. Elements of the games have found their way into the albums, such as the touch tones in "Summer Shudder" and the Hidden Track "And Then I'll Be Back Home."
- Vocal Evolution: There's a big difference between Davey's voice on "Answer That..." and his voice today; partially due to a change in singing style and to the fact that people's voices naturally continue to deepen somewhat over time.