AFI has shared “Dulcería” and “Far Too Near,” two tracks from their eagerly-awaited new album Bodies (due June 11, 2021 via Rise Records). The swaggering “Dulcería” -which was co-written by The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan is accompanied by an official music video. “’Dulcería’ suggests, if you spend too much time in the candy store you may end up stuck to the floor,” says vocalist Davey Havok.
“Billy and I have a great creative connection when we’re writing together,” adds guitarist Jade Puget. “It was inspiring to work with such a talented and legendary songwriter and ‘Dulcería’ is a testament to that.“
The band’s new songs have already been met with significant praise. SPIN lauded “Twisted Tongues” and “Escape From Los Angeles,” noting that “The two tracks pick up where the band left off following 2017’s self-titled release… fusing some experimental new steps into the tried and true AFI formula,” and calling their music “one of the most distinct and recognisable sounds today.” Consequence shared similar sentiments about “Looking Tragic,” praising its “crunchy, Pixies-esque riff and thunderous drums,” while observing that “For a band that’s 30 years in, AFI sound quite fresh — in fact, both of these songs are catchy as hell and have a youthful punchiness to them.” Davey Havok also recently appeared on the cover of Kerrang! with an in-depth interview about the new album.
AFI are leaders, not followers. A collective in a perpetual state of creative evolution as fluid as the evocative figures contorting on the cover of Bodies, their newest collection of songs. The record is a snapshot of unrelenting artists in motion, unconcerned with compromise or outside demands.
AFI’s unshakeable connection with their audience is a testament to the band’s knack for reinvention, renewal, and exploration, anchored by an unblemished authenticity. AFI songs are embedded in the spiritual DNA of a legion of supporters and Bodies is further demonstration of AFI’s unwavering commitment to artistic exploration, a dark conjuration of an uncapturable muse. The album was produced by the band’s own Jade Puget, mixed by Tony Hoffer (M83, Phoenix, Silversun Pickups), and mastered by Vlado Meller (Oasis, Pink Floyd).”
The band initially summoned a steady subcultural groundswell in the mid-90s, devoid of careerist ambitions. The band first made music as teenaged misfits in an obscure Northern California town, steadily assembling a dense catalog over the years marked by its diversity and authenticity.
“AFI is such an integral part of who I am. What we do with AFI together is a foundation for me,” explains frontman Davey Havok. “Coming back is a return to a home I’ve always known.”
It’s a sentiment shared by the entire band. “I couldn’t do what I do in AFI in any other place,” observes guitarist Jade Puget. “Davey and I have written songs together for over 20 years now. I couldn’t find the thing he and I have together anywhere else, nor the thing the four of us have when we come together. AFI is home for me and will always be that.”
“At this point, it’s not even a choice. It’s just what I do,” drummer Adam Carson concurs. “I started this band with Davey when I was 16. It’s something that I love so much. It’s just a part of me.”
“Every album is an opportunity to show people a snapshot of our evolution,” adds bassist Hunter Burgan. “And with this band, it’s always something fresh. We’ve been playing together for so long that I have a deep understanding of each of my bandmates‘ musical styles, and yet I am still pleasantly surprised by the new things they bring to each record.”
“Anyone who knows our catalog knows that no two records really sit together,” Puget points out. “Some sit a little closer, maybe. We do certain things, just by virtue of who we are, that are consistent, but those things come about organically. Every time we do something, I have to judge it on its own merits. Some fans are going to judge a new album, or a new song, based on what’s come before. But as artists, we can’t do that, because it would only hinder our creativity.”
AFI never stepped into the mainstream; the masses came to them. The platinum success of Sing the Sorrow blazed a path for a generation of hardcore-punk weaned bands to similarly crossover. 2006’s Decemberunderground upended expectations again and earned AFI a second platinum plaque. Crash Love was a
nother adventurous turn, with expansive and almost optimistic-sounding melodies, glistening with emotion. The haunting Burials arrived four years later, debuting in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200. The self-titled follow-up, commonly referred to as “The Blood Album,” became AFI’s second-highest charting album since their inception, debuting at No. 5 in 2017. After the release of AFI (The Blood Album), the band was hardly content to rest on its laurels. AFI then released yet another highly-praised addition to their discography, 2018’s The Missing Man EP.