Today [UTG] James spoke on the phone with Jade Puget of AFI about the group’s upcoming album, Crash Love, and the tour that will follow it’s release. Look for the album to hit streets on September 29th.


UTG: Hey Jade, How are you today?

AFI: I am fantastic.

UTG: So let’s dig right into it: Crash Love. The album comes out later this month and your choice for album art is something that has caused quite a stir in the online world. What is the idea behind the artwork for the record?

AFI: It wasn’t so much like an idea that we needed to convey, but more a desire to create an iconic symbol. I like that it’s a heart because people wouldn’t expect something like that from us. I like that it’s from left field and different.

UTG: Now people seem to think the artwork has ties to the music and all, but its a lot different than some of the more dark imagery we’ve scene on the previous releases. Are we lead to believe you’re all in a happier place now or perhaps, musically speaking, the songs are a little more light hearted?

AFI: Not necessarily. To me, the album convey doesn’t convey happiness or lightheartedness. I mean it is gold and the music is golden [laughs]. It is a heart though which I know will make people think its something a lot different as it’s not a “normal” thing for AFI to use, but don’t take the artwork to reflect the thematic elements of the music.

UTG: “Medicate,” the first single from the record, has been out for about three weeks now, how has the fan reaction been as far as what people have said to you, or perhaps you’ve seen in places?

AFI: Everything I’ve heard has been positive, but I strive to not look for trouble as well.

UTG: At this point in your careers, does the initial impressions people give about a single or an album phase you as a band anymore? I mean, it’s obvious you still care about your fans and all, but has being around for so many years given you a different view than perhaps when the older albums and singles came out?

AFI: It’s been like that since before I was in AFI. 12 years ago when the message boards just started and I wasn’t in the band, but people complained about the record and I was mad though I wasn’t even in the band [laughs]. People will always talk shit and other will love it. That’s simply the nature of being a band and putting your music out there for the masses

UTG: Now for this record, I remember you began with a very large amount of songs, or at least song ideas. How did the decision process for the final track listing come together? I noticed that there are quite a few b-sides coming out with the record as well. Why not just do two discs?

AFI: This record was more concise than the last. The last one had 100 demos. This one was easier. Davey and I write the songs and know right away if we want to use them or not. Some of these b-sides are from the last record [December Underground] and some are from this one, but we never had a chance to put them out. I love those songs, but they never fit what we were releasing. So I’m really happy they finally have a home, even if it is scattered through all the versions of the record.

UTG: Davey said in a recent interview that he thought this would be the record you’d be remembered for, that you had finally created your “it” record. Do you feel the same way?

AFI: I would like to be remembered for everything we’ve done, not just an album. I mean, we’re proud of the record and it is everything we are about, but I would hope everything over the last 18 years was what we were remembered by. We don’t do things we don’t have our hearts in and this record is a great example. but it’s been that way for many years.

UTG: It’s become obvious over the years that AFI is a band that has a very dedicated and built-in fan base who seem willing to follow your band any and everywhere you want to go both musically and touring wise. At this point in your career, how important is it to continue to try and reach more and more people? I mean, you always want new people to get into your music, but do you think you maintain the same drive for new listeners as your earlier years on Nitro and heck, even around the time of Sing The Sorrow?

AFI: For me, and I think the band, we’ve never had a drive to reach a certain number or kind of people. We’ve always wanted to put out music we love that challenged us as musicians. Everything else, no matter how many people check it out, has been a reward for us and I think that’s why we succeed. We look at fans and fame or whatever you want to call it as a reward for doing a good job at expanding our abilities as musicians.

UTG: I know you’re quite busy, so I won’t keep you much longer, but I was wondering if you could tell us anything about the upcoming tour outside of the dates and where it’s going. For instance, is there anything special we can look forward to this time around?

AFI: We haven’t toured the US in about two years and it’s exciting to get back out there. We’ve only really played festivals, so getting to a headlining run is really exciting. We’re trying to keep everyone happy with the set list and the Gallows are opening, which is awesome. These are smaller city shows on the first run, so no pyro or anything. Just loud, fast, sweaty shows.

UTG: Alright, well thank you so much Jade and we look forward to hearing the record and I wish you all the luck in the world.

James Shotwell
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