Hmm…I don’t think AFI has influenced any actual lifestyle choices for me, per se. I had already made the decision to begin cutting meat out of my diet as young as 10, when I found out how ground beef is made. shudders It was before I really knew about AFI, and before I knew they were vegetarian/vegan.
Drugs never appealed to me. I just don’t see the point. They just make stupid people act stupider, and I have zero tolerance for obnoxious behavior. I’m not edge, because I drink sometimes, but I don’t get trashed. I really don’t see the point in that, either. I did it one time in college, I woke up so hung over I honestly thought I was dying lol.
However, I guess you could say they’ve influenced me in certain ways, not that I’ve changed because of them, but ever since I was maybe 14 I started feeling brave enough to try to be who I am, not what other people wanted me to be. My parents were so ultra strict, they always had this preconceived idea in their mind about who I am, and when I turned out to be someone so very different from what they wanted, they didn’t take it well at all, and I was always forced into things I didn’t want to do or be.
Davey was an enormous part of this. I really was in awe of how he portrayed himself so confidently while wearing makeup and with some of his more delicate, graceful mannerisms, not just at shows, but in all the interviews I’d seen of him. I identify as genderqueer, and it was so helpful to me to see someone like him really fuck with binary gender expression, he was very much someone I looked up to in that respect. I really began to discover my own personality at this time as well. I had always just done whatever my parents wanted, I was the good rule-abiding Catholic schoolkid (a cultural background I was actually quite delighted to find I share with Davey; I’m Italian-American as well). I really began to rebel against them and the way they had treated me from a young age. I began dressing how I wanted, cut all my hair off, pierced my nose. My father especially couldn’t stand it.
I don’t think Davey ever influenced my own ideological beliefs. They were already there after my experiences with people. But he did really help me articulate my beliefs. I remember watching interviews with him talking about how disrespectful and selfish people are, and how society has become such a disgusting place, and it was like he’d taken the words from my mouth. I relate to Smile so much. I hate humanity as well. I can’t stand people in general, I really just want to be left alone. The older I get, the more I observe people’s totally self-obsessed narcissistic behaviors, the more that people I thought I could trust turn and betray at the drop of hat and use my trust as a weapon against me, the more I want to dwell in self-imposed isolation.
And also, man this band has gotten me to love music in a way I never had before. I always enjoyed music from a very young age, but after I discovered AFI I began looking up older bands, obscure bands, hundreds of them. I love music so much. I’ve been trying to learn to play guitar, but I have a shoulder injury that has put a stop to that since January, sadly. I really want to play, I find it like a compulsion sometimes, but it hurts my shoulder badly. I’m so afraid I won’t be able to play permanently.
He also totally influenced my style since then. Lots of black, bold accessories, and skin tight pants.
Right on! I think maybe 90% of my clothes are black. The ones that aren’t black are grey/dark blue/crimson. Lots of silver a pewter jewelry too.