Other than random local bands, Good Riddance and AFI were the first hardcore punk bands that I ever saw. They were also the first 2 bands that really stuck with me, mostly because I was able to see them play semi-regularly, growing up in Northern California. I was initially drawn into the passion and aggression of their live shows (obviously now I realize that these bands were relatively tame compared to any other hardcore/punk/metal, but compared to what I had seen up to this point, it was intense). As I got further into their material, I was increasingly drawn to the straight edge lifestyle and their animal rights focus. The first show I can remember feeling like “Yup, this is for me, I’ve finally found something that clicks with me” was an AFI / Good Riddance / Fury 66 show at the Zocolo Room in Chico, CA. The singers of all 3 bands just seemed to bring it, in such a different way than any other pop punk or goofy punk that I had seen up to that point. I was hooked on hardcore, and I never looked back.
AFI – “A Fly In The Ointment” 7″I was never able to get the other super-rare early AFI singles like the “Dork EP” or “Eddie’s Picnic” 7″, so the “Fly In The Ointment” 7″ is the earliest AFI material I have. This one is particularly cool because it is on glow in the dark vinyl! I thought that was the coolest fucking thing when I got my hands on this thing way back when. There is also a yellow vinyl and black vinyl version that I did own at some point, but sold them long ago.
AFI – “A Fire Inside EP” 7″AFI generally stands for “A Fire Inside” but there was always funny speculation about other meanings. My favorite was always “Asking For It”, haha. I think all of these EP’s are on orange vinyl, and I’m not sure how many were made.
AFI – “All Hallows EP” 7″These things were a pretty hot commodity for a little while. They were released one year around Halloween by Nitro Records. I believe it was a one-time pressing of only 1,000 copies, all on orange vinyl. The artwork is pretty cool, and it’s printed on semi-transparent vellum paper, giving it a unique feel.
AFI – “Answer That And Stay Fashionable” LPThe first AFI LP was originally released by a smaller independent label called Wingnut Records. The copy on the left is the original red vinyl pressing on Wingnut, out of only 200 copies I believe. These can be pretty hard to come by. Unfortunately, around the year 2000, Nitro Records also repressed this album on red vinyl. I don’t know why they didn’t just pick a different color, so that the “cool” factor of the original Wingnut red vinyl could be retained. I guess it’s not that big of a deal, because it’s very easy to tell the difference, but I just hate it when labels do that – just pick a different color! Anyway, the tan color on the cover is obviously different, as well as the font and size of the text. The labels and back cover are different too.
The back covers are quite a bit different, from the blood splatter to the text size and placement. They obviously did a better job on the Nitro release (right) of ripping off the look of the movie subtitles (Reservoir Dogs).
AFI – “Very Proud Of Ya” LPAFI had just released “Very Proud Of Ya” when I was seeing AFI and Good Riddance playing Chico, CA somewhat regularly. So this album and the next album, “Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes”, is kind of my “era” of AFI.
AFI – “Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes” LPThis is probably my favorite AFI album. Most hardcore kids seem to gravitate more towards “Black Sails”, but I think this was just more my “era”. By the time “Black Sails” came out, I had kind of moved on a little bit.
AFI – “Black Sails In The Sunset” LPLike I said above, most hardcore kids think “Black Sails” is the best AFI album. I think I had just shifted focus to a different type of hardcore punk by this point and just didn’t spend as much time with this one.
AFI – “The Art Of Drowning” LPI found myself listening to this one quite a bit, actually… This was kind of the last LP really released to the “punk audience”. From here on out, it was more of a larger audience type of thing, on bigger labels, etc.
AFI – “Sing The Sorrow” LPThis was basically their “major label debut”. I’m totally happy for them that they’ve been able to be so successful doing something that they love. They put in a ton of hard work! The release looks really awesome, packaged as a double LP on red vinyl with gatefold layout.
AFI – “Decemberunderground” 7″ BoxsetThis was probably their biggest release to date. I’m not sure if they even did an actual LP vinyl release for “Decemberunderground”. Instead, the only vinyl release that I heard about was this 7″ boxset, so I went ahead and ordered it. It was an awesome idea, and it looks fuckin slick!
6 different 7″s on clear vinyl collectively contain all of the songs from the LP. Like I said, this thing looks fuckin slick! The random “5th member” in the bottom right is Hunter’s brother, Smith, their manager/roadie/extraordinaire type. If you put the lettering in order on the 7″ labels, it says “I HEAR DA VOICE”. Who knows… (example: instead of “A/B” and “C/D” on the 1st and 2nd 7″ labels, it says “I/H” and “E/A”).
Son Of Sam – “Songs From The Earth” LPDavey Havok did a side project called “Son Of Sam” with some other hardcore/punk super star types. There were 500 on this blood red vinyl color, along with a bunch of other colors pressed. I also owned the most limited version on clear vinyl, out of 300.
My AFI collection, at its peak…
- AFI – A Fly In The Ointment (glow in the dark vinyl)
- AFI – A Fly In The Ointment (yellow)
- AFI – A Fly In The Ointment (black)
- AFI – A Fire Inside EP (orange)
- AFI – All Hallows (orange, out of 1000)
- AFI – Decemberunderground (6×7″ BOX SET)
- AFI – Answer That And Stay Fashionable (red, OG on wingnut records, out of 200)
- AFI – Answer That And Stay Fashionable (red, crappy Nitro repress, out of 500)
- AFI – Very Proud Of Ya (black)
- AFI – Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes (yellow, out of 500)
- AFI – Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes (green)
- AFI – Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes (black)
- AFI – Black Sails In The Sunset (black)
- AFI – The Art Of Drowning (black)
- AFI – The Art Of Drowning (blue)
- AFI – Sing The Sorrow (2×12″ gatefold, red vinyl)
- Son Of Sam – Songs From The Earth (CLEAR, out of 300)
- Son Of Sam – Songs From The Earth (BLOOD RED, out of 500)