AFI Complete Their Glam Transformation, Cover David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’

Two weeks ago, AFI stopped by the MTV Newsroom to talk about their new album Crash Love, their tour and awesome fan club. We didn’t get very deep into their new look, but anybody familiar with the band need only look at frontman Davey Havok to realize that they’ve shed some of the gloomy goth of previous efforts in favor of a more glam look. (In the their new single “Medicate,” Havok looks a little like Scott Weiland.) Crash Love certainly reflects that new direction, as the new songs have a certain pop sheen and a more theatrical quality to them than the arena hardcore of records like Decemberunderground.

But they’ve gone one better on their current tour. The group hit up their own official blog a few days ago to share a free download of a song they recorded during soundcheck: A cover of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust.” Bowie’s classic 1972 tells the story of the main character from his concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and features one of the most recognizable riffs in rock. The AFI version plays it pretty straight: The amps are turned up loud for the big hook, and Havok is clearly having fun wrapping his elastic voice around Bowie’s twisty phrases and vocal lines. (The lyrics weren’t entirely perfect, though: He admits at the end of the track that he sang “the fries tried to break our bones.” The actual word is “fly.”)

Sadly, the group had to cancel their concert tonight in Scranton, Pennsylvania, citing illness. (Hopefully they’ll still be able to attend Friday night’s Ulalume Festival, which MTV News will be attending.) Though “Zigggy Stardust” hasn’t popped up in any AFI live shows on this tour, the Bowie cover would be a great addition to their songbook. The track is currently available for as a free download — just another way the band looks out for the Despair Faction.