Oct. 2, 2003

AFI To Continue Burning

By Randy J. Klodz

It has been six months since AFI has toured through the Chicago area and put on an impressive showing at the Riviera Theater, but some die-hard fans could contend that has been too long, and new fans are salivating in anticipating at their first live viewing of AFI. The wait will soon end when AFI plays the solo Chicago date on the current tour leg at the Aragon Ballroom on Oct. 5.

AFI, which stands for A Fire Inside, have seen its fortunes turn to gold since the March release of the acclaimed major label debut “Sing the Sorrow. The band, which consists of Davey Havok on vocals, Jade Puget on guitars, Hunter on bass and Adam Carson on drums, had a rabid following even before being signed by a major label. And with a successful theatre tour in the spring and appearance at many dates within this year’s installment of the Vans Warped Tour, AFI has become a phenomenon that has even garnered an award during this year’s MTV’s “Video Music Awards” program. But they band won’t let it get to their heads.

Although the band has been receiving a deluge of positive press well before the March release of “Sing the Sorrow,” Hunter, the band’s blond-haired bassist still has a hard time grasping all of it. “It’s really weird because it still just doesn’t seem real. It seems like when you go to the county fair or Las Vegas or someplace and there’s this little booth where they take your picture and sort of Photoshop it into a magazine cover. That’s what it seems like,” said Hunter.

“It’s just hard to take seriously because I really don’t have much of a perspective on it. But in the back of my mind I think ‘Wow, this one of the coolest times in my life.’ Even if everything just falls apart I’ll be able to look back at this time and just think, ‘Wow, that was just so cool.’”

The band’s clever mix of rock, punk and dark visuals have earned them a mass appeal and the help of MTV pushing the video for “Girl’s Not Grey,” the band’s first single from “Sing the Sorrow.” Fans liked the video so much that AFI won the “MTV 2” award, the only award of which the band was nominated. With the “MTV 2” award being the only award that the actual public could vote free of charge, Hunter saw that as a sincere compliment by some of the band’s biggest fans.

“Of course my mom claims that we won largely because of her voting; she claims to have voted 800 times or something,” Hunter said. “I’ll give her credit, but it had to be all of our fans getting on there and voting 800 times each.”

The Aragon Ballroom is at 1106 W. Lawrence Ave. Tickets for this all-ages show are listed for $21.50 each with Hot Water Music and Bleeding Through set to open. Start time is slated for 7 p.m. For more information on AFI view www.afireinside.net.

AFI Photo: Matthew Welch