There’s just something about Davey Havok’s voice that gives me shivers. Whether it’s the haunting inflections of pain and love lost to a more upbeat tone when he’s in his fantasy world, I’ve got to think that he went through a gazillion mic choices to get his chords sounding “just right.” You may recognize Havok as lead vocalist of alt-rock band AFI (see November 2006 “Tour Profile” at mixonline.com/livesound/tours/audio_afi_2/index.html), and he’s teamed up with AFI bandmember guitarist Jade Puget to create side-project Blaqk Audio; in fact, the duo have been working on Blaqk Audio since well before AFI’s breakthrough album, Sing the Sorrow. Fortunately, with all of the commercial success AFI has garnered, Havok and Puget have put that to good use with BA—easily transitioning from electronic beats (a la Duran Duran and Erasure) to their signature AFI tuned-down-guitar-meets-melodic vocals; make sure you check out Jennifer Goodridge on “Again, Again and Again” and Nick 13 and Dan Under on “Where Would You Like Then Left” and “On a Friday”—stellar additions. But don’t think that this is another AFI effort—Blaqk Audio can squarely stand on its own as another fab addition to the industrial/hard-rock/emo umbrella.
Producer: Puget. Mixer: Dave Bascombe at The Room; assisted by Matt Paujl. Engineer: Chad Bamford. Studio: Tranny Alley Studios (Hollywood). Mastering: Emily Lazar at The Lodge, New York City.