It’s amazing to fathom, but AFI have been around for nearly 20 years. Frontman Davey Havok and drummer Adam Carson launched the band in 1991, and their new album Crash Love is their eighth full-length (and that’s in addition to nine additional EPs). But one thing that has stayed constant throughout the band’s career is its fan club, an old-school group who call themselves the Despair Faction. It’s sort of an old-school, throwback fan club (not unlike, say, the Kiss Army), and they’ve provided support for the band for years.
“The Despair Faction is something we pay a lot of attention to,” Carson told MTV News. “We try to provide things for the members we think they would like.” But Carson added that the community has gained a mind of its own, growing far beyond even what the band ever anticipated. “They have their own events that are separate from us. It’s this whole community that lives on its own. Even if we stopped being a band, it would probably continue.”
The group is so independent that they even named themselves. “When we first started it, we said, ‘We’re going to have this community and you guys are going to be in it, so you should name it,’” explained Havok. However, “Despair Faction” wasn’t necessarily the first choice of guitarist Jade Puget. “We got this huge list of what the names for me, and my favorite was the ‘AFI Likers Club,’” he said. “Come on, how catchy is that?”
AFI are currently supporting “Crash Love” on a tour with Gallows opening, and they’ll be appearing on stage with Paramore and Kid Cudi at Ulalume Festival. Stay tuned for more AFI. updates, including their thoughts on the new album, their approach to side projects and Havok’s former obsession with a particular arcade game.