Hardcore punk revivalists AFI (A Fire Inside) originally formed in 1991 when their members — vocalist Davey Havok, guitarist Markus Stopholese, bassist Vick, and drummer Adam Carson — were attending high school in Ukiah, CA. Vick was replaced by Geoff Kresge after several months, and the band played a few local gigs and released a split 7″ titled Dork with fellow Ukiah natives Loose Change (a band that incidentally included future AFI member Jade Puget). An EP titled Behind the Times was released as well. The bandmembers then split up to attend different colleges, with Kresge temporarily moving to New Jersey to join Blanks 77, and all assumed East Bay’s AFI was defunct. However, the band reconvened during a holiday break from school to play a one-off reunion show, and audience response was so positive that the bandmembers decided to quit school and concentrate on music full-time.
A couple of singles preceded a record deal with the Nitro label, which issued the band’s second album, Very Proud of Ya, in 1996. Two LPs followed in 1997 — a re-release of their 1995 debut, Answer That and Stay Fashionable, and Shut Your Mouth & Open Your Eyes — and personnel shifts ensued; Kresge was the first to leave, being replaced by Hunter Burgan, and Stopholese departed in favor of ex-Redemption 87 guitarist Jade Puget, who then shared songwriting duties with Havok. The new lineup recorded an EP titled A Fire Inside in 1998, and issued a noticeably more mature full-length in 1999, Black Sails in the Sunset. 1999 also saw the release of the All Hallow’s EP before The Art of Drowning followed a year later. Though already owning a fiercely loyal core base of fans, the latter album saw the band’s music being received by an even larger audience, due in part to the moderate success of the single “Days of the Phoenix.”
In the new millennium, AFI hooked up with Jerry Finn and Garbage’s Butch Vig for some recording. The end result was the ambitious Sing the Sorrow, released in March 2003, their major-label debut for DreamWorks that showcased the band’s significant growth from their early hardcore days. The record also marked AFI’s crossover into the mainstream as their fan base considerably grew, national news publications praised them, and several singles found airplay on MTV. Working again with producer Jerry Finn (blink-182, Green Day), the band’s next record was their most labor-intensive to date, resulting from two years of detailed songwriting. Decemberunderground, album number seven, surfaced on June 6, 2006, on Interscope. The album was an instant success, debuting at number one on the Billboard charts. AFI kept the momentum going on the road nationwide that summer, followed by a string of overseas dates in October. While on tour, Havok and Puget dedicated their spare time to a side project that would become Blaqk Audio, which they debuted in early 2007. AFI went on to release I Heard a Voice: Live from Long Beach Arena later that same year.
In November 2008 AFI announced that they had finished writing their next album and would be recording it with producer David Bottrill. In January 2009 AFI split with Bottrill in favor of producers Joe McGrath (who had worked with Morrissey, Alkaline Trio, and Blink-182) and Jacknife Lee. However, they continued working on the same songs and did not abandon any of the material that had already been recorded. The album’s title was announced as Crash Love in February 2009, and in July its release date was set as September 29.
In 2013, after signing with Republic Records, AFI began teasing their ninth album, Burials, with a series of videos posted to afireinside.net. In July, the band posted the lead single from the album, “I Hope You Suffer,” with “17 Crimes” also dropping before the album’s release on October 22, 2013. AFI is toured in support of Burials from September 2013 to October 2014.
In 2016, the band began to release various audio and video teasers prior to releasing two singles, “Snow Cats” and “White Offerings”. The album was revealed to be self-titled, with the nickname “The Blood Album” being added on to it after the band noted a recurring theme of blood throughout the record’s lyrics. AFI (The Blood Album) was released on January 20th, 2017.