Our 100 Words Or Less Podcast with host Ray Harkins is back with a very special guest today - Davey Havok of AFI. Ray and Davey spoke about theatre, being creative regardless of cximumstances, handling criticism, and much more. This is a great episode to get you into the podcast if you’ve yet to check it out yet.
by Donald Wagenblast, edited by Erik van Rheenen
Let’s face it. Seeing a band that’s been around for twenty years, especially in the turbulent circumstances rock music has faced recently, is almost mythical at this point. For whatever reason, there just haven’t been that many bands that have not only been able to write good, impactful music, but do so consistently for two decades, let alone one. And yet, it’s 2013 and, twenty-two years after their formation (and an astounding fifteen years since the last time they’ve shuffled their lineup), AFI is back with new album Burials. The band has gotten to this point thanks to defining themselves as a band under constant sonic evolution, from their gritty punk beginnings to their post-hardcore leanings, making way to the more straight-up alternative rock approach from their last full-length, 2009’s Crash Love. No matter what stage of their career they’ve been in, the band has always found a way to appeal to the masses, and with Burials, they prove that despite being quiet for a while, they’ve still got it.
The album’s opening one-two punch of “The Sinking Night” and “I Hope You Suffer” is as vintage as AFI’s sound gets, thanks to a re-emergence of vocalist Davey Havoc’s hoarse, yelled vocals, which will remind listeners of “The Leaving Song, Pt. 2” from Sing the Sorrow. “This Sinking Night” begins with a slow, drudging tone from guitarist Jade Puget, while drummer Adam Carson pounds his kit in accordance with Puget’s barren, melancholy tone. Havoc enters the fray with a subdued introduction before the song bursts outward just after the midway point, taking on the appearance of an industrial rock track. “This Sinking Night” flows seamlessly into the album’s clear-cut top track, “I Hope You Suffer,” featuring one of the band’s most arena-ready choruses of their career. The grit and energy in Havoc’s vocals are the main sticking point of the song, but the backbone provided by Carson is what truly sets the track apart from the rest of the album.
After a raucous opening, AFI decide to slow things down slightly for the next few tracks on the album, focusing on more alternative-rock tinged numbers (like the ones Crash Love was laced with). “A Deep Slow Panic” is quite somber, featuring verses that are paced by bassist Hunter Burgan, while the catchy chorus is backed by Puget’s riffs. “No Resurrection” features gang vocals throughout its verses, which add a nice flair before Havoc treks it alone through the chorus. Lead single “17 Crimes,” a song about longing for the regret-free teenage years that (for AFI, at least) have long since passed, is faster-paced than the two tracks before it, but the pacing doesn’t stop the chorus from getting stuck in your head immediately.
Warped Tour is in the rear view and fall is steadily approaching with more great tours than normal. Whether it’s Saves The Day, Bayside and Motion City Soundtrack, The GK Tour, or Title Fight and Balance & Composure, there’s a little something for everyone this upcoming season. We decided to put together a new PropertyOfZack Discussion on all the “must see” tours this fall, so check them out below and feel free to reblog with the tours you can’t wait to see!
Saves The Day, Into It. Over It., Hostage Calm
Despite their everlasting prominence in the alternative scene history, Saves the Day has been a little evasive when it comes to the spotlight over the last few years. After closing out their record trilogy with Daybreak and a co-headlining tour with Bayside in late 2011, the guys dipped below the radar for a beat or two in terms of US touring. But their prolonged absence has only driven up even more excitement for their upcoming US headliner - their first proper headliner since 2004. A series of legendary setlists that have surfaced from a late spring house-show circuit have shown that Saves isn’t just busting out the hits, they’re busting out the REALLY old hits.
And all of that on top of promoting a self-titled record that was crowd-funded with ease. Needless to say, there’s a lot going into this tour, and with support from a full band Into It. Over It. and the always incredible Hostage Calm, this is easily going to be one of those tours you brag about to your younger friends in a decade (or next month, really). - Adrienne Fisher
The Swellers House Tour
Earlier this summer, The Swellers rallied their fans to chart out a map of house shows for the band to play between dates at more legitimate venues (The Fest in Gainesville, Webster Hall Studio in the Big Apple). They apparently delivered.
It’s one thing when a well-loved band plays intimate venues, but it’s a real tip of the cap to fans when a band like the Swellers aren’t above playing basement shows and soundtracking backyard barbecues. With The Light Under Closed Doors a month and some change away, it’s a surefire bet the Michigan natives will tease some new songs on tour, and it’s an even safer bet that they’ll sound absolutely fantastic as always. - Erik van Rheenen
A new project comprised of Chris Carrabba, Suzie Zeldin, Jonathan Clark, and Ben Homola, Twin Forks will embark on their first headlining tour this month. Starting in their home state of Florida on September 17, the first show is coincidentally on the same day as the release of their first EP. Described as Americana folk, Twin Forks’ music fits right in with the casual demeanor of the fall season. - Sydney Gore
Bayside, Motion City Soundtrack
Bayside and Motion City Soundtrack are powerhouses in their respective scenes. Each has put in more than ten years, five albums, and relentless touring, and they’ve just about perfected the art of giving high-energy performances packed front-to-back with non-stop hits. It’s what keeps fans coming back for more.
Now they’ve teamed up to co-headline one of the best (but all-too-brief) tours of the season. With both bands currently at work on their sixth albums, I can’t be the only one hoping to hear some new music come the fall. Oh, and did I mention their opening acts? Bayside and Motion City Soundtrack are bringing along What’s Eating Gilbert, the side project of New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert, as well as New York State pop-punks State Champs. It’s a lineup that boasts both vigor and depth, and it’s definitely not to be missed. - Becky Kovach
Coheed And Cambria, Balance & Composure, I The Mighty
Though the second half of their double album Afterman saga was released in February, Coheed and Cambria appear to be only warming up their touring schedule for the series. After spending the summer catering to a more classic-rock crowd on the Uproar Festival, where they opened for Alice in Chains and Jane’s Addiction, Coheed will be back to their usual headlining slot, and that extended set time will allow for old favorites to be mixed with their new, rejuvenated sound from Afterman: Ascension and Descension, which have already become a little too underrated.
As if seeing the prog-rock powerhouse wasn’t enough, Coheed and Cambria have found a way to possibly reel in new fans, as they’ve enlisted Doylestown darlings Balance & Composure as the direct support of the tour. Balance will be supporting the release of their new album The Things We Think We’re Missing, and their dark, moody tunes will be the perfect appetizer for the face-melting to follow during Coheed’s set. If you’re looking for a tour where the walls of the venue are shaking because of what’s coming through the speakers, you’re going to want to snatch up a ticket for Coheed’s fall headlining tour. - Donald Wagenblast