Davey Havok and Jade Puget, the two most prominent members of hard rock band AFI, have announced the release of the first album for their new hardcore side project known as XTRMST. The rockers revealed in a Thursday that the duo's 14-track self-titled album will drop on November 18.
Havok and Puget have for years been part of the straight edge lifestyle, which advocates avoiding alcohol and drugs. Havok explains in a press release, "Jade and I have been talking about starting a straight edge hardcore band for years. We started writing and recording in early 2012 and chose the name XTRMST because it expresses the messages represented on the record. The straight edge movement is not one of moderation. It's based in undeniable objective truths."
Song titles on XTRMST include “Social Deathplay,” “Swallow Your God,” and “Coward Bow Your Head.” The lead single, “Conformist,” will be available for purchase on October 7, but for now fans can go to the group’s website to hear one of the album’s tracks, “Words for the Unwanted.” The song features screaming vocals with loud guitars, which occasionally drop out to reveal a few moments of silence before the wall of noise returns. “You will never be true to anything / This is who I am,” Havok yells.
Puget says, "I wanted these songs to be chaos, at times difficult to listen to, the wild architecture difficult to understand, but with a taste of the hardcore we grew up on thrown in. The vocals are raw and the main vocal in every song is the first take.”
“Words for the Unwanted” doesn’t sound like a song that will be embraced by radio, which is no coincidence. Puget says that unlike AFI records, the XTRMST project was created without any regard to sales figures: "These songs are the purest expression of emotion, with no thought towards commerce or accessibility. And the album was made with the amount of money you have in your pocket right now - just 2 people expressing their love and hate into microphones in a tiny room."
AFI broke through to the mainstream with 2003’s Sing the Sorrow, which featured the tracks “Girl’s Not Grey,” “Silver and Cold,” and “The Leaving Song Pt. 2” and won the group an MTV Video Music Award. They reached their commercial peak with 2006’s Decemberunderground, which debuted at No. 1 and spawned their most successful single, “Miss Murder.”