frontman Davey Havok
Davey Havok is an American rock singer, songwriter, author and fashion designer best known as the frontman of the California punk rock band AFI (A Fire Inside). Born on November 20, 1975, in Rochester, New York with the given name David Paden Passaro, the openly vegan artist relocated to Ukiah, California in 1981 as a young child. It was here, as the story goes, where his stage name began as close friends referred to him as "Davey Havok" after noticing his innate penchant for dramatic tendencies.
Though his teen years included punk rock music, acting and some minor interest in bike racing, it was in 1991 when his high school friend Mark Stopholese suggested to form AFI (A Fire Inside) with his cousin Adam Carson, guitarist Jade Puget and bassist Hunter Burgan. Havokâ€™s characteristic rasp-esque vocals drove the new band with musical influences from alternative acts and Doom Metal genres. After adding a sample manipulation artist to their line-up, AFI intensely toured along the West Coast of the United States as additional members in and out of the band went unnoticed. 1991 and 1992 produced their early EPs with first time record labels Wingnut Records, Loosegroove Records, Nitro Records and Mongoloid Records. In 1993, Havok succumbed to peer pressure to join college hoops but eventually took a departure from basketball to concentrate on touring extensively and much then he began to take a stronger hold of his artistic career.
The punk rock band self-produced their album Answer That and Stay Fashionable, originally distributed 1991, then rereleased 1995 with songs that relayed Havokâ€™s teenage angst which were reflective of his inclusive view on the racism, sexism and marginalization of young people within higher education. This focus on social justice shined through on all of the careers of every AFI member through writings and activism that exposed different stories of the oppressed and drawn attention to the world issues such as Gay rights, immigration laws and human trafficking.
By 1997, AFI sold over 250,000 CDs as they increasingly grew popularity and played on several festival circuits where some notable performances included Los Angelesâ€™s Warped Tour, Detroit Hot Topic and Japanâ€™s True Japan in Tokyo. Their sound morphed with evolution as they practiced and created a love of pure computer-based sample manipulation to mix guitars, turbines, keyboards and sounds of everything influenced from U2 and Jimmy Eat World to Portishead and Sin. By this time, AFI achieved minor mainstream recognition with songs featured in many television series such as â€œTotal Request Liveâ€ and movies like American Pie 2, Jenniferâ€™s Body and , thus affirming their positive trajectory to become more commercialized.
Around the 21st century, AFIâ€™s make-ups, break-ups, changing musical influences and additions to their line-up resulted in albums with more melodic phrases and deep lyricism that unraveled spiritual themes while talking love, death and destruction. As AFI launched each new project accompanied by music videos and art, fame elevated with tours. The Boys Of Summer Tour and Sing The Sorrow Tour in 2004 included sleep-ins at fansâ€™ houses and alternative visual fashion exhibitions with photos taken by Canadian Director Marc Klasfreid.
Through fashion, music and collaboration works, Havok evolved as a performance artist with accompanying AFI and independent music projects such as Son Of Sam (through PunkTV) and Dreamcar with other No Doubt members Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal and Adrian Young which subsequently broke up in 2018. As of 2020, Havok works on literature writing science fiction novels and short stories while maintaining close companionship to AFI current projects.
Though the pandemicâ€™s cancelation of tours on the bands' 2020 project B2B (Back To Basics) affected their bank accounts from income revenue to the sale of merchandise; AFIâ€™s care and philanthropy toward artists relate to their moral compass for the sustainable and healthier lifestyles who yet another way of engaging with their experiential activism. As some great music artist are defined by their influence to their audiences and impact society, Davey Havok through his work with AFI and independent projects further elevates the standard that does not only relate to fans but to learners and critics. Havokâ€™s personal reflections of hope, faith, love and his affective interpretation of music proves his legacy that is grounded in iconic sentiment currently extending over three decades.