AFI lead vocalist Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget have released the debut self-titled album from XTRMST, their newly formed straight edge hardcore band. Available in digital and vinyl LP formats today via Dim Mak Records, the record is heralded by NOISEY as “…dark, frantic, and moody, tinged with electronics and very slick.” The music video for their first single “Conformist” can be viewed here:
The 14-track XTRMST album was produced and mixed by Puget at his home studio and at The Treehouse in Los Angeles. “Jade and I have been talking about starting a straight edge hardcore band for years,” says Havok. “We started writing and recording in early 2012 and chose the name XTRMST because it expresses the messages represented on the record. The straight edge movement is not one of moderation. It’s based in undeniable objective truths.”
“The straight edge philosophy is something that Davey and I gravitated towards at a young age, drawn by concepts and ideals that seem almost foreign in modern society,” says Puget. “Like much of the other subcultures we were a part of growing up, it put us at odds with 99% of the people around us, which was something we embraced. Being sXe for over 20 years and being musicians, it seemed natural that this crucial ideology would find a musical expression.”
“These songs are the purest expression of emotion, with no thought towards commerce or accessibility,” says Puget. “And the album was made with the amount of money you have in your pocket right now – just 2 people expressing their love and hate into microphones in a tiny room.”
The release comes via Dim Mak Records, the indie label founded by DJ/producer (and former member of hardcore band This Machine Kills) Steve Aoki. Although Aoki and Dim Mak are most often seen as leaders in the electronic dance music space, the release of the XTRMST album marks a return to Aoki and Dim Mak’s hardcore roots. “I met Davey a while back and we bonded over our shared experiences in straight-edge culture. We found a lot of kinship there, and so it made sense for us to release an album that represents the spirit of what originally birthed Dim Mak,” states Aoki.