a force to be reckoned with on the underground scene,
San Francisco Bay-area band A.F.I. (A Fire Inside)
is in the Rock Express Spotlight this week with "Bleed
Black." Its the second single from their
Dreamworks album "Sing The Sorrow."
Flanked by legions of devoted fans,
A.F.I. began over 10 years ago in a garage in the
small town of Ukiah, California. Although the first
incarnations of A.F.I. surfaced in 1992 on "Dork,"
it wasnt until the band's third full-length,
1997's "Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes,"
that bassist Hunter (ex-the Force) enlisted. And it
was still later Jade (by then ex-Redemption 87) signed
on, coalescing the present A.F.I. lineup on the defining
and now-classic fourth album "Black Sails In
The Sunset," and the subsequent "All Hallow's"
EP. The latter would give A.F.I. its first taste of
exposure beyond its long-cultivated cult following
when the Offspring's cover of the EP's "Totalimmortal"
appeared on the "Me, Myself & Irene"
soundtrack and, in turn, on Modern Rock playlists
nationwide. A year later, "Days Of The Phoenix,"
from "The Art Of Drowning," would do the
same, but this time with the band playing its own
"I was completely in awe then
- and still am now - to hear any of our songs on the
radio," says Hunter. "The fact that radio
would pick up on us based solely on the quality of
the music is still difficult for me to fathom."
In the meantime, A.F.I.'s live draw
increased exponentially, cultivating rabidly devoted
fans over nearly seven years of non-stop worldwide
touring. "Touring has always been the most important
thing for us," says drummer Adam Carson, who
co-founded the band with singer Davey Havok. "We
basically created our fan base by touring non-stop."
"We've been doing this for
a long time, and we love it more than anything,"
says Havok. "To play music you're passionate
about every night - it's like a dream. Sometimes you
get sick; sometimes you get really tired, but I can't
imagine doing anything else with my life."
Co-produced by Jerry Finn (Rancid,
Green Day, Jawbreaker) and Butch Vig (Nirvana, Smashing
Pumpkins), "Sing The Sorrow" retains A.F.I.s
signature aggression and pathos. "Everybody says,
'This is our best record yet!' every time they come
out with something new," Jade says. "I know
it's a total cliché, but in our case, we're
always pleased with our latest record because each
one is different from the previous one."
This year, A.F.I. will once again
join the Used, Simple Plan, Rancid, the Distillers,
Pennywise, Face to Face and Glassjaw on the annual
punk rock summer camp known as the Warped Tour. Warped
kicks off June 19th in Boise, Idaho, and wraps up
August 10th in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
04/02/2003 Davis, CA Freeborn Hall
04/04/2003 Seattle, WA Northgate Theatre
04/05/2003 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
04/07/2003 Boise, ID Big Easy
04/08/2003 Salt Lake City, UT Bricks
04/09/2003 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
04/11/2003 Minneapolis, MN Quest Club
04/12/2003 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre
04/13/2003 Pontiac, MI Clutch Cargo
04/15/2003 Cleveland, OH Agora Theatre