This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
When something becomes a part of your daily life for a quarter-century, it's perhaps impossible to maintain a constant viewpoint of big-picture wonderment toward it anymore.
With 2017 marking 10 albums and 25 years for the band AFI, though, drummer Adam Carson acknowledged that the indulgence of a long-view perspective does bring a sense of significance to the dual milestones.
"It's simultaneously surreal and also feels perfectly normal," Carson said in a phone interview. "I think we've been working at this and in this band for so long that it's just a normal part of our existence. But every once in awhile, I kinda step outside myself and realize, 'Wow, that was a long time ago that we started.' But it's quite an achievement, I think."
"The Blood Album," which was produced by guitarist Jade Puget, saw public release on Jan. 20. The three early singles from the record illustrate its sonic versatility, with "White Offerings" boasting straightforward intensity, "Snow Cats" featuring an off-kilter, eerie spookiness, and "Pink Eyes" alternating energetic riffs with austere verses.
Perhaps its defining characteristic, based on the early reviews, is how much "more joyful" it apparently sounds to outsiders than its predecessor, 2013's "Burials."
"I've heard that description, and I'm not arguing that it's not accurate, but it's something that didn't even occur to me until I saw it written. I don't know that it's entirely true," Carson said. "I do know that I have a tremendous amount of joy playing music these days. … It's crazy to still be doing this after all this time. It's not like I'm hyper-aware of every album possibly being our last, but there is a point where I'm really starting to appreciate the little things. It's not something that I take for granted. And who knows when our last album will be? If that joy can translate in that fashion, then maybe it is more joyful. I really don't know!"
Regardless, the drummer is pleased with the final 14-track product.
"I'm proud to say that we've never released a record that I haven't been a fan of," he said. "It's a record that I think that I would listen to."
AFI's fans continue to listen, at any rate.
Even if the band no longer plays the arenas and stadiums it could fill back when 2006's "Decemberunderground" shot them to superstardom on the strength of hit songs "Miss Murder" and "Love Like Winter," AFI's 25-year transformation from fervent goth punks to a wizened post-hardcore outfit has hardly left them lacking for loyal aficionados.
"Our band has evolved; we've changed quite a bit. I think the spirit of the band is still the same, though. Regardless of how the music is packaged, I think there's enough of that spirit that stays consistent from album to album to resonate with the fans," Carson said. "… We really enjoy what we do and we really believe in what we do, and hopefully that comes across. But it's hard to say. We feel lucky that people care after all this time. I don't know what it is that draws the people in, but I'm glad they choose to stick around."
Twitter: @esotericwalden AFI
With Chain Gang of 1974 and Souvenirs
When • Friday, 7 p.m.
Where • The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City
Tickets • Sold out