Steve Aoki welcomes AFI’s Davey Havok and Jade Puget’s straight-edge hardcore band XTRMST to the Dim Mak family
Warning: The music in this article is not for the weak-eared.
Dim Mak labelhead and music industry mogul Steve Aoki has long been in the practice of adapting unconventional music styles into his business to diversify his brand. The latest, and probably most surprising, signees to join now EDM-centric Dim Mak Records is straight-edge hardcore band XTRMST, the side project of AFI singer Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget. Their self-titled debut album is set for a November 18th release, which builds on their previous four-track EP from early 2014. For those who think this relation is too random to digest; Dim Mak Records was actually founded through, and its early ideals were rooted in punk and hardcore music. Steve explains his involvement and history with the hardcore genre:
“I got into straight-edge hardcore music when I was a teen. It was my community, it was the reason I picked up a guitar, it’s the reason I was in bands, and ultimately it was the reason why I started Dim Mak. Now 18 years later, Dim Mak returns to our hardcore roots with the release of the XTRMST LP, the new sXe hardcore project from Davey Havok and Jade Puget of AFI.”
In a recent interview with PunkNews.org, Jade discloses, “AFI actually played shows at [Steve Aoki’s] house back in the day with straight-edge bands.” To be clear, the term straight-edge was most notably coined by the 80s hardcore pioneers and punk rock immortals of Minor Threat, as a scene subculture of individuals who, very simply put, proudly abstain from drugs, alcohol and for some, promiscuous sexual relations. Davey and Jade have lived by this personal lifestyle since the 80s, and have been writing music to return to and amplify their raw, straight-edge roots since the development of AFI’s late 2013 album Burials. Over recent years, AFI has broken away from their punk and hardcore origins, for a cleaner, more mainstream direction.
Preview “Words For The Unwanted” and “Dirty Nails” from the album and pre-order XTRMST on iTunes below: