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How Fuse and ‘Girl’s Not Grey’ Sparked A Fire Inside Me

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, May 27, 2021.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Remember Fuse Network? Before the channel was nothing but reruns of Sister, Sister and The Parkers, it was a haven for alternative kids. Dedicated to playing the newest and best in rock music, it was rose above other so-called music networks. It was true 24/7 music programming during a time when MTV and VH1 switched to reality TV. And back in the mid-2000s, I was obsessed with it. I’d watch Fuse every day just to see what bands they played. Programs like Comp’d and Steven’s Untitled Rock Show introduced me to My Chemical Romance, Dir En Grey, The Academy Is…, and Every Time I Die. But only one Fuse memory sticks out vividly in my head: watching AFI’s “Girl’s Not Grey” for the first time.

    I had no idea who or what AFI was. My friends didn’t listen to them. I didn’t hear them on the radio. But when I saw that video, it grabbed me. It was strange, yet mesmerizing. The band performing under a red sky surrounded by cherry blossoms, the uncanny girl guided by a strange bunny creature, Davey Havok screaming while covered in black tar. It was like walking through a surreal dream. Unlike anything I’d seen before. And the song was catchy too. From that moment on AFI was my band.

    I couldn’t get the video out of my head. I waited hours for it to download so I could watch it every day until I knew every scene by heart. But it wasn’t enough. I needed to know everything about AFI. I spent hours online learning about them, listening to their music, memorizing their lyrics, playing Sing the Sorrow daily, and even downloading their catalog from Limewire. (Hey, I was a broke high school student). Soon, printed pictures of Davey filled my locker. My notebooks were covered with poorly drawn versions of their logo. I told anyone who would listen about this amazing new band. I was obsessed.

    That one video started a lifelong relationship with AFI. As I was thrown out of my teens and stumbled into adulthood, they were always there. Decemberunderground soundtracked my senior year of high school. Crash Love was a comfort during college exams. Burials helped me through heartache and loss. The Blood Album played on repeat as I struggled with being an adult. And there’s little doubt that Bodies will be the soundtrack to my summer.

    As I grew and changed over the years, AFI changed as well. They never played by the rules. They may have been a group of punks, but they weren’t afraid of change. They could be Gothic and melancholy on one album and intense and heavy on the next. They did things punk rockers weren’t supposed to do. Even 30 years into their career they remain fearless and ambitious. AFI could play it safe, stick to their winning formula. They could release another Sing the Sorrow knowing a good chunk of the fanbase would be happy. Instead, they challenge both themselves and listeners with new sounds, ideas, and stories. Their sound is not dictated by record sales and streaming numbers. They listen to themselves and do what they want. Even if it doesn’t turn out as expected, they at least took a shot. And it’s this drive I admire so much.

    After being a fan for nearly 20 years, I finally saw AFI live for the first time in 2017. Three songs in and sweat was already dripping down my back. My feet ached. My heart was pounding. But I couldn’t stop smiling. AFI was on stage. There were no television screens between us. They were performing right before my eyes. As if the moment couldn’t get any better, the opening chords to “Girl’s Not Grey” rang out of Jade’s guitar.

    Everything stopped. Here was the song that mesmerized me, that turned me into a fan, live. Hearing the roars of the crowd, it’s clear the song impacted them too. Some have been fans since the beginning, others were new. And some discovered AFI when I did. But the one thing that connected us was that song. As I screamed along with Davey, I was transported back to my bedroom, watching Fuse, and seeing “Girl’s Not Grey” for the first time not knowing I was about to discover a band I would cherish for a lifetime.


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  2. hermanthehermit

    Paris, Texas Climate Accord Supporter

    Great article! And Fuse 2003-2006 was my entire music taste for years.
  3. Chad Grauke


    Back in the Drive-Thru Records heyday this channel was fire. When I was in high school, those evenings were spent bouncing between Fuse and TechTV.
  4. theredline

    Regular Supporter

    Limewire…who didn’t?!?!
    Brent and Anthony Brooks like this.
  5. Matt

    the bones are their money, so are the worms Prestigious

    Circa 2003/2004 I'd stay up all night watching Fuse. Oven Fresh introduced me to so many bands and the channel really shaped my taste in music.
  6. Phil507

    Trusted Supporter

    For those of you living in the NYC-area, you may remember that before Fuse came to fruition the channel was MuchMusic USA which was how I discovered bands that were huge in Canada but were practically unknown in the US (Matthew Good Band, Moist, The Tea Party, I Mother Earth, etc.) as well as catching bands with minor presence in the US but were rock stars in Canada such as Our Lady Peace.

    I actually interned at Fuse in 2004 and everyone who worked there except for one dickhead known as Eric who I remember skipping down the hall proudly proclaiming the station was dropping the Autopilot Off video because they "weren't moving any units".
    ScutFarkus and sawhney[rusted]2 like this.
  7. Sal Mastrocola

    Making Music in Gatto Black & EXNATIONS

    I loved this! AFI resonated in a similar way with me, completely turning my world upside down and reshaping my idea of what punk could be. Thanks for sharing.
  8. DerekIsAGooner

    So assuming that this weekend...

    I too discovered AFI thanks to this video on Fuse. This story is basically my same story for how I got into this kind of music.
  9. Chad Grauke


    lol All the abysmally low bit-rate tracks, mislabeled songs, and radio rips. I luckily had an older cousin who introduced me to Usenet early on and I've been on the right track ever since...
  10. dubey


    This is such a great read.

    I don't normally read the articles on this site but the mentions of Fuse and AFI brought me way back. Fuse wasn't available in Canada but my parents had a satellite dish with US channels and it easily became "my" channel. Seeing all the bands I liked on TV was incredible. I was never a big fan of AFI but have a friend that was so definitely know them well. But I could definitely insert a band like Thursday in there and it would fit me to a T.
  11. deflector

    formerly pizzatime Supporter

    In high school I worked at a snack stand at a southeastern tourist destination (that's all I'll say). The trailer was basically a metal oven. My coworkers and I roasted inside it in the hot summer sun. We had a cd player/boombox in there; one day a coworker put on Very Proud of Ya and I thought "this is kind of cool." That was my introduction to AFI. I didn't actually like them though until I blind purchased The Art of Drowning from a Best Buy a few months later. I couldn't believe I was listening to the same band. I went out and bought Black Sails a week later. Been a fan ever since.
  12. Anthony Brooks

    brook183 Supporter

    I often wonder how many of the MP3s on my hard drive are still from the limewire days
    Crisp X and theredline like this.
  13. xapplexpiex

    the past is a grotesque animal Supporter

    Nice article. This was basically me, but with My Chemical Romance. And wow, I’m surprised to see a Dir En Gray name drop. Legendary band too.
    Crisp X, sawhney[rusted]2 and Brent like this.
  14. popdisaster00

    I'm usually deluded Moderator

    Hell yeah I think this is where I discovered MCS. They were playing the My Favorite Accident video before anyone else.
    SuNDaYSTaR likes this.
  15. JRGComedy

    Trusted Supporter

    My god I used to watch Fuse non-stop. Absolutely shaped my musical tastes. I loved Loaded and Steven's Untitled Rock Show so much
    sawhney[rusted]2 likes this.
  16. theredline

    Regular Supporter

    Oh I’m sure I’ve still got some!
    Anthony Brooks likes this.
  17. heymattrick

    Denver, CO

  18. ScutFarkus


    Love this! Especially the last paragraph. I cannot wait to be back at a show.
  19. SuNDaYSTaR


    This is fascinating; I had no idea that MuchMusic tried to branch out in the US at some point.

    On a side note, and Canadian readers will probably remember this, all of the bands you've mentioned were staples of the Big Shiny Tunes compilation series.
    dubey likes this.
  20. Phil507

    Trusted Supporter

    There was a bangin song by Econoline Crush that I believe was originally exclusive to that series, “You Don’t Know What It’s Like”.
  21. SuNDaYSTaR


    Completely forgot about that band. Home was my jam.