Lately I’ve wanted to dive into Despair Faction discussion on a heavier note. I had an urge to discuss it outside of just forum discussion. So, recently I decided to gather all of my Despair Faction shirts from the packages from over the years and go through them one by one. Since not all AFI fans / Despair Faction members have been around since the beginning, I felt it would be a good opportunity to talk about what I know and what I remember from 2000 on.
In this 7 minute video I give some brief history on myself, but I mainly show off the Despair Faction packages, how the Despair Faction was named and some questions as well as some observations I’ve made.
I don’t regularly do these kinds of videos, so forgive me if it’s not as good as it could be. Regardless, I hope you enjoy.
History of the Despair Faction (Packages & Details)
- 2002 - 2006 (three packages)
- Distributed by CinderBlock, a musician merchandising company that would end up going out of business or bought out? They’re now nowhere to be seen online, including a dead Facebook page.
- This would explain why several things have changed including why there was never more than two issues of “Under the Rose”, because this was published & produced by CinderBlock and Fritch.
7 years pass…
2013 - Burials Despair Faction Package
- No exact date and this package was distributed by “groundcntrl”, which would turn into “WonderfulUnion” (I believe), which is a fan / artist services website. Regardless, AFI doesn’t seem to have any services with GroundCNTRL anymore.
- 2017 - Blood Album Despair Faction Package
- The Despair Faction signups were powered by FanBridge.com, a leading “fan audience customer relationships marketing (CRM)” platform. The packages then came from the same place as any of the items that you currently order from the AFI store, which is through Artist Arena, which parent organization is Warner Music Group.
- A few questions and possible concerns I have with this…
- If you go to www.afi.fanbridge.com, you’re allegedly able to submit questions. There’s a link for events and you can “subscribe” to it. However, I’ve personally submitted a question and it doesn’t seem to work. It basically disappears. Because if you click on “Questions”, it says “None yet! Be the first to ask a question!”. So, what I’m getting at is the structure of the Despair Faction… it seems to have broken away a bit.
- No more official DF forums
- We do get emails letting us know about offers and details, which is amazing, because it seems to happen fairly regularly. For example: during the holidays, ticket giveaways, etc.
- Regarding the forums: After reading the Noisy article about the Despair Faction forums, it seems like those forums really died off in 2009. Meaning, the activity just wasn’t there anymore. However, I also heard that they became DF exclusive forums and getting old DF information updated was a nightmare, which makes me wonder… “is that part of why the forums died?”.