Davey Havok

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Whatever people think of me is fine, however they want to envision me. I find it curious. I’m always intrigued by who people think I am and the persona they have created for me, what they think I’m into, what they think I’m not into. But I certainly understand that consideration, that I would be a bleak and miserable person, because a lot of my lyrics are very despondent. Luckily, I have the music to use as catharsis.

Davey Havok (born 20 November 1975) is an American singer, actor and fashion designer, best known as the vocalist of the bands AFI and Blaqk Audio. Havok is an outspoken advocate of the straight edge lifestyle, veganism, and atheism.

Quotes[edit]

  • Look at who people are elevating and deifying in the public eye, and ask yourself what those people have done to receive such lauding and what it is they haven’t. When you look at that you say, okay, are these people being revered for something of merit, or are they completely hallow? Or even worse, are they being revered for something that is actually destructive?
    • Skinnie magazine, March 2010, p. 29
  • I really think for the good of this world that, if I could have it my way, the whole world would be vegan and straightedge. So that’s why I feel it’s important to create an awareness of this lifestyle, create an awareness of the choices people make. To bring awareness about those lifestyles can bring a positive change, if only on the level of an individual.
    • Fly magazine, November 2009
  • It’d be great if the record industry wasn’t completely falling apart and people’s interest in music wasn’t totally disappearing. It’s sad on a cultural level. Not even from the perspective of being in a band, just as a fan. It’s heartbreaking to see how little music means to people in modern times. And people say, “No, no, no — music means more than ever before! People are consuming music at a greater rate!” Well, that doesn’t mean anything, that’s just a statistic. 
All that’s saying is that people are downloading music more than before. That doesn’t mean that they’re listening to it, that they know anything about it, or that they’re going to see it.
  • As far as vocal preparation goes, it’s really an interesting thing for such a fragile instrument and using it properly is like walking a tightrope. I have learned not to do extensive warm-ups. It’s really more of a cerebral mind-body connection Zen hippy thing, just knowing your body and figuring out if I do that then I will be able to speak tomorrow.
  • It's not that everything needs to have substance, but when nothing does then you know we’re living in a bankrupt society, an artistically bankrupt society, and that’s not okay. I think there’s room for forms of entertainment that are very light and frivolous and fun, but when those forms of entertainment, forms of "art" if you will, become presented as something more than that, and are believed to be something more than that, then we’ve got a lot of problems.
    • Skinnie magazine, March 2010, p. 29
  • One thing I will say is the education was good — even religion classes. I appreciate the knowledge I have — the imagery still appeals to me. But otherwise, it's pretty fucked up. I remember in the eighth grade, during a parent/teacher conference, a nun came down and spoke to my parents. It's funny because I had great grades, did very well on tests, and got along well with others but she told my parents she was "very concerned". My parents were like "what for?" She told them "I think your son might worship the devil..."
  • Usually, old ladies tell me to find Jesus. Look, I'm just trying to find some chai and a good vegan muffin.
  • I’ve heard we’re Christian, and that always tickles me. I’ve heard that I’m a junkie. I’ve heard that I’m a vampire. I’m a junkie vampire. That can be your pull-quote.
    • On favorite rumors. Fly magazine, November 2009
  • Someone gave me a pig heart in a mason jar. It was in the context of art, I believe. It was chained to a gourd and spattered with the expected colors of paint. And it was indeed, really and truly, a pig’s heart. I’m vegan and so it was kind of upsetting and pretty ironic, really, because it was the type of person I would want to guess was infatuated or obsessed.
  • I've found that at times that question and the dubiousness that I seem to exude has given people something — not simply gossip or whether God is going to smite them for liking our band, but actually they've found strength and become more comfortable with who they are as a person. It's pansexual, that sort of reach. It's a wonderful side effect of what we're doing, to give someone the strength to come out of the closet to their family, or simply present themselves aesthetically in a way they feel happy with, whether or not their friends are going to be allowed to like them anymore. So it's actually a really cool side effect to all the rumors.
  • It’s not a matter of imaging, despite what a lot of people would feel that it is. I’ve never presented myself in a way that I don’t feel comfortable with; I’ve never presented myself in a way to appeal to anybody. For the most part the way I’ve always looked to not appeal to most people. Really, my aesthetic was really more of a terrorism or violence than it was something to attract; more of a representation of my detachment than anything else — though it’s not always a very conscious thing.
    • Skinnie magazine, March 2010, p. 29
  • Well I think that my main concern is that there is a market lack of desire for quote-unquote art that people are creating and appreciating. I think because there’s a lack of desire for that, which translates to the creation and elevation of art that then thereby lack substance because there’s no desire for it, there’s no appreciation for it. It self-perpetuates a world in which the hollow, the vapid and the greedy are elevated and revered. That bothers me because art is so important whether it’s design, fine art, film, fashion, things that are important to the world. It’s what makes me want to wake up in the morning, it drives me.
    • Asked what concerns him the most about the society today. The Aquarian, November 2009
  • More often than not, even the people and even the moments and even the circumstances that you feel you can go to for stability, for that piece of happiness, can all of a sudden shift, and can all of a sudden become tainted. And everything that you believe, or even that small moment of connection that you can feel can sometimes be destroyed. And I’m not a negative person — shockingly. I’m somewhat of a realist. And I’m a very passionate person, so I don’t like to expect that shift, I don’t like to expect for things that I love to become malignant or to become a great disappointment. But it happens. And it’s devastating. Every time.
  • One of my many favorite tattoos I’ve seen of myself is from a photo shoot I did for the cover of a compilation called Punk Fiction that came out in the 90s. And my friend who was putting it together asked me to re-create the movie poster for Pulp Fiction with me in place of Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace on the bed smoking a cigarette with the wig on and everything. So I went in and did that and it was the cover of the record and posters were made. Since then I’ve seen a portrait tattoo of me as Mia Wallace. That’s my favorite. And that was years before I was publicly dressing as a woman, which I’ve been doing for years now onstage and off. I think Mia Wallace was just one of my earlier excuses to strut around in women’s clothing.
  • I miss having to wonder about any aspect of an artist’s life. [This] was a luxury we don’t have anymore. Whether it’s the people surrounding them revealing things about their process or their personal lives, or the artists themselves going on Twitter and telling you what they’re doing in the middle of the night with their girlfriend — it’s like, ‘Wow, um... I really liked you better before you told me that. I really would like to go back to imagining the person that I was imagining.’
    • Alternative Press magazine, December 2009
  • Q: Especially starting off in punk and hardcore like you did, you’re taking a huge risk by constantly expanding your sound, and it’s something you’ve gotten a lot of flack for. Have you reconciled yourselves to that?
    A: Absolutely. It’s something that we accepted very early on. It really comes from the ethos of being a punk and hardcore band. It was really because we just didn’t give a fuck. In the same way that we were playing punk and hardcore and didn’t give a fuck that anybody liked it, we continued to write and play what we liked and didn’t give a fuck if anybody liked it. Our hope is that people do like it, but if they have an issue with it, it doesn’t matter because we’re doing what makes us happy.
    • Fly magazine, November 2009
  • Q: You seem relatively upbeat and sociable. It’s funny, because I’ve always had this idea of you, like, always crying in the dark.
    A: Most people do.
    Q: Do you care about that?
    A: Oh, no. It doesn’t bother me. Whatever people think of me is fine, however they want to envision me. I find it curious. I’m always intrigued by who people think I am and the persona they have created for me, what they think I’m into, what they think I’m not into. But I certainly understand that consideration, that I would be a bleak and miserable person, because a lot of my lyrics are very despondent. Luckily, I have the music to use as catharsis. If I didn’t, I might spend more time sitting and crying in a corner than I need to. Also, I think manners are very important. To be a sullen rain cloud when conversing with someone, be they your friends or a journalist, I think is inappropriate.
    • Fly magazine, November 2009
  • Q: You never heard about it again?
    A: No. There was no Face-Space or Twitter at the time, so they would have had to put it in a ’zine. Now it’s just folklore. Except it’s not folklore because I’ve just confirmed it.
    • About an embarrassing incident. Thrasher magazine, May 2010
  • I’ve gotten kicked in the face, got my nose broken, I’m constantly chipping teeth and there’s been a lot of very close calls with Hunter [the band’s bassist]. In a recent show, if our movement had’ve been inches different, I might be dead. I almost caught his bass to my head at full velocity. You laugh but it’s really scary.
  • I just heard a story from someone the other day where somebody was beaten up by Christians for wearing one of our shirts. Of course, that's a very Christian thing to do.

Quotes about Havok[edit]

  • /—/ This attitude embodies a pursuit of clarity and integrity while demanding a certain readiness to make sacrifices (cf. “Sacrifice Theory”). Many of his works show that Havok sees no other way to achieve peace of mind than by living a life coined by fight and sacrifice.
    • Sebastian Heinrichs, Poetic Features of Punk Rock Lyrics: An Analysis of Punk Rock Lyrics with Regard to the Punk Movement (2007)
  • No stranger to adopting changes in sound or appearance, singer Davey Havok threw fans for a loop (and caused them to question his sexuality) when he began rocking not only eyeliner but metallic eyeshadow, blonde highlights and false eyelashes, and pursuing a sideline in fashion. In the band’s latest incarnation, Havok has ditched some of the makeup, thus provoking a slew of “Is he straight again?” questions. Is it that simple? Who knows; because like all good gender benders, Havok keeps mum on his personal life — and as a result, the rumors keep swirling.
    • "Rock 'N' Roll's Top Gender Benders". ShockHound, February 2010
  • The front man, Davey Havok, comes straight out of the Velvet Goldmine school of glam rock. Wearing more make-up than Carol Channing at the Tony Awards, Havok emerged with his band, all wearing white, a shocking change of pace for a group known for an approach to fashion blacker than Saddam's mustache.
    Havok brought the Civic crowd to a frenzy with his brash and messianic front-man antics. At one point, he stepped out into the undulating, adrenaline-mad masses, literally walking on the shoulders of fans like You Know Who walking on water.
    • Wallace Blain, Rhymes with Vain (2010)
  • He’s a man of both immovable conviction and incorruptible beliefs; who unabashedly holds true to the virtues of his heart. /—/ Though always outspoken, opinionated, outrageous, and passionate, Havok has never been one to willfully impart the mystery surrounding him.
    • Skinnie magazine, March 2010, p. 29