Thanks to AFI's distinctive look - especially that of Havok, who is rail-thin, heavily tattooed and sports an asymmetrical haircut and lots of makeup - some have tagged the band as goth. But guitarist Jade Puget rejects that term.
"I think people do that because of the way our singer dresses and looks, more than anything else," he says. "People should base their description on our music and not on our image. But we've given up trying to fight against that. It is what it is."
But what album the albums release date of June 6th, 2006 (6/6/06), only a goth band would release an album on that date right?
"We didn't actually choose that date," Puget says. "The record label did. I guess everyone assumed that that was something we would do. But in reality, that would be so predictable that it would be something that we didn't want to do."
AFI - short for A Fire Inside - has evolved in both music and membership over the years. Lead singer Davey Havok started the band in 1991 and led it through a series of albums and EPs that leaned toward hardcore punk. Puget signed on in the late '90s and since then has shared the songwriting duties with Havok.
The band's new album "Decemberunderground" was three years in the making. Puget says he and Havok wrote 100 songs for the effort. One reason that the album has clicked with the public, he thinks, is the effort put into the melodies and lyrics.
"It's easy to write a song where you're just screaming," he says. "We've done that so much that we're kind of shying away from it. We don't want to repeat ourselves, which just gets boring. This album has more melody and more hooks, and it's able to reach more people."