With the release of their latest recording, the EP known as The Missing Man, on October 26th (read our review here), AFI fans everywhere were shocked and delighted to be listening to new material. Fans are still enjoying 2017’s self-titled album, also known as The Blood Album, so new material wasn’t exactly expected… not to say it’s not welcomed. In order to get more insight into this surprise release, we asked guitarist Jade Puget to shares his thoughts about the EP’s creation, plus his dream collaborations and some other fun, random questions.

I understand that the song “Get Dark” was released with no prior promotion behind it and came as a surprise. What was the reason behind this decision to launch it as a surprise?
Jade Puget: I wasn’t aware it had no promotion, someone is gettin’ fired haha.

Where did the inspiration come from when writing “The Missing Man”?
Puget: I had written the music for it, brought it in to Davey [Havok, the band’s lead singer] and my writing session and he came up with that lyric after having heard it. My musical inspiration stemmed from writing that intro riff on an acoustic guitar and feeling like it could be a different vibe than the rest of the EP.

What track has the most meaning to you personally?
Puget: They’re such an eclectic bunch of songs but, for some reason, “Back into the Sun” resonates with me on a weird level, and it’s my wife’s favourite, so there’s that.

Here’s the band’s video for the EP’s title track, “Trash Bat”.

What made you decide to put an EP rather than another full-length album?
Puget: Rather than wait until we had a full-length album written, we felt like it would be nice to put out some new music now, and we just happened to have these five new songs we had written, so voila.

If you had the opportunity to collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?
Puget: I’d love to write with Robert Smith, Martin Gore, Morrissey, there’s so many. Those three represent bands that I’ve loved most of my life and that I feel I could collaborate with very naturally.

From all of your albums, do you have a personal favourite?
Puget: It’s difficult to pick because they’re so different from each other, but if I had to, I’d say Sing the Sorrow.

When touring do you have a favourite city/country to visit and play?
Puget: California and Los Angeles in particular have been the unofficial home of the band for a long time but there are so many cities around the world that we get an amazing welcome in.

What has been the most memorable experience from touring?
Puget: There are countless, but the first one that came to mind was playing Earth Day at Giants Stadium and knowing that it was being broadcast to two billion people worldwide.

What do you prefer, playing your own headlining show, or a part of a larger bill at a festival?
Puget: They’re very different animals, but you can’t beat playing a headlining show to your own fans.

What would you say has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Puget: More of a general highlight, which is to be in this band for twenty years and still putting out music, still touring, still doing the things we started out doing for the same reasons, and to have an incredible fan base that supports us.

I have heard rumours that MTV is going to bring back Celebrity Death Match, if you were to be made of plasticine on the show who would you most like to face?
Puget: Maybe Bob Dylan because I think I’m taller than him, so I might stand a chance.

Finally, would you prefer to win or lose? If you lost, how would you like to meet your demise on Celebrity Death Match?
Puget: I would probably lose when he crushed me with his patented “Rolling Stone” move, or maybe strangled me with a tambourine.

This time of year it’s easy to “Get Dark”.