AFI’s Davey Havok: “We Don’t Fit Anywhere.” Check Out Our Interview With The Man Himself!
Post hardcore legends AFI return with new album Burials next month. Tom Doyle grabbed frontman Davey Havok to talk anniversaries, changing skin and leaving scenes behind.
Hi Davey! You guys have obviously evolved a hell of a lot over the years. Will Burials keep AFI relevant to fans from The Art Of Drowning days?
“To be honest, it may or may not be depending on how long those fans have stuck around. If those fans are still here and they came in in ’97 then I think it’s extremely relevant because if you’re still with us at this point it shows that you have a really true understanding of AFI and a band who evolves with every record. If you see and appreciate that with each album there is growth then I think you will understand that, as in the past, what we are delivering with Burials is something new, something fresh and something that doesn’t really sound like Crash Love or Sing The Sorrow or Black Sails…. It is different whilst keeping with the tone of what we do. It’s very honest and very pure, grew very naturally and represents who we are now as musicians and writers.”
What do you think the Davey Havok of 2000 would think of Davey Havok in 2013?
“In a way, things have come full circle since the very early days. In the inception of the band and when I was new to writing I hadn’t really found my voice both figuratively and literally I was writing very direct lyrics. Similarly, Burials is very direct and very candid. In that respect there is a very strong parallel between what was going on stylistically in 1995 and now, although the scenes are starkly different and the mood and tone is starkly different. In that middle period around ’99, 2000 I grew into creating a mood more through symbolic and metaphoric imagery but I am back to being much more lyrically direct.”
Do you feel that the amount of time you have been around and the influence you have make you, in some way, custodians of a scene?
“No, I really don’t and it is hard for me to accept or even recognise. I just don’t see us part of a scene, we don’t really fit anywhere and we never have and I’ve never seen or really heard anything that seems to be influenced by AFI. I sometimes speak to people who are kind enough to say that we have influenced a lot of bands and on occasion someone in a band might say ‘Hey, I’m in a band are you really influenced me’ and it’s very flattering, but I never really see evidence of it so it’s hard for me to truly accept it. I think what I’m more able to understand is when people say AFI have impacted their lives in a way that they make comparisons to artists that I feel very strongly about. That feels more real to me, that someone might think about me in the way that I feel about those particular artists that I love. It’s still surreal, though.”
There have been a lot of bands doing anniversary shows lately. Next year is 15 years since Black Sails In The Sunset, do you see yourself revisiting and touring that album?
“I have no interest in doing something like that. I’m proud of all of what we created, it was all a time and a place and they were great times, but those times are over. It would feel very inappropriate for us to try and go back and re-create them. If I was ever to do something like that, it would mean something was terribly terribly wrong with me.”
You’ve had quite a long break from AFI since you released Crash Love, how excited are you to get a new record out?
“It’s really exciting for us to be releasing Burials and I’m super excited for people to hear it. We spent over a year writing these songs and they came to life in such a complete way as we were working and demoing that I was very anxious for people to hear every one of them. There are songs that didn’t even make the tracking session that I’d love for people to hear some day but equally I’m thrilled for people to hear what we decided to call Burials – I really hope they enjoy it.”
Burials is out October 21