After releasing short clips, the time has come to indulge in the full exclusive interview KROQ jock Stryker recently conducted with Davey Havok and Jade Puget of AFI electronic offshoot band, Blaqk Audio. Trading the traditional guitar-driven rock sounds of AFI for the sweeping synthesizers and electronically-charged beats of Blaqk Audio, Havok and Jade are quick to point out the striking sonic differences between the two entities.
“Blaqk Audio began out of love for electronica. Jade and I both have a long-standing love for different types of electronic-based music,” Havoc told Stryker during the conversation. “From synth-pop to big room to industrial. Jade programs everything, and I sing everything. That’s what we do.”
“I’m guess I’m kind of like the whole band,” Puget added when asked about his role in Blaqk Audio. “Typically, I write an entire song so it’s completely finished except for the vocals and send it to (Havok) and he writes over it,” he explained. “Whether I’m on my laptop in an airport or whether I’m at home on my desktop, it’s kind of nice being the whole band.”
When asked to explain the lyrical differences between AFI and Blaqk Audio, Havoc is adamant that never shall the twain meet.
“The music that we create with Blaqk Audio inspires me in a completely different way than rock music does,” he elaborated. “I find that electronica is more escapist. I feel it takes you to a more euphoric place, typically, than what we’ve created otherwise. The lyrics compliment that general feeling in Blaqk Audio.”
Given their affinity for electronic music, Stryker asked the inevitable question: Why wasn’t Blaqk Audio their main band, with AFI as the side project? For Puget, it all comes down to technology.
“Back in the ’80s, when we were listening to Ministry, Depeche Mode and Nitzer Ebb, You couldn’t sit down at a computer because they didn’t really exist,” Puget laughed. “At least not sit down with music
software. That whole thing was keyboards, and we certainly couldn’t afford keyboards. In 1999, when I got my first computer, I immediately started (making electronic music).”
While AFI fans continue to wait for the band to reassemble and release their first new album since 2009’s Crash Love, Blaqk Audio’s second full-length, Bright Black Heaven, is scheduled to drop on September 11 (the first Blaqk Audio release, CexCells, came out in 2007). The duo will embark on a quick West Coast tour, which wraps up September 14 at the famous L.A. club Roxy on Sunset Blvd.
–Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local