The First AFI Mystery Blog
by, 09-05-07 at 09:04 PM (9952 Views)
As the mystery discussion starts leaving the OMB topics to become a part of the blog scene on the DF I decided to search for a blog that had a discussion on the mystery from its early days (or theories on its actual beginning) to discussion on the future of the mystery. I found none.
So I figured I'd make a start on it here and encourage everyone to post their summaries, their opinions, their theories, and their ongoing dissection of the mystery as they see it and engage in building on the ideas in here.
This blog will mostly be centered around the responses and not this initial post. But to start off, I'll put down my original summary from the STS-Clandestine era pre-Charlotte. So please add to it to include the new eras of the mystery and discuss away new ideas and avenues of opinion!
PLEASE NOTE: The information in here may be out-dated or proven to be incorrect. However, the majority of it stands in the core of the mystery and not in the opinions based on perspective that came afterwards. Some of the below is taken from responses but I have written every word and not taken responses from others. A lot of this discussion has happened pre-current board.
Clandestine, Sing The Sorrow - Theories using factsThe following is laid out in chronological order
So, below are theories made by me (which i never thought I'd come out and say, but I just had to when i saw people accepting theories as fact). I have also included the solid facts that I used to come to them. The theories may not be correct (theories are just what they mean to yourself), but the facts are. And I encourage people to make theories based on facts, not other theories. The more theories you get that are based on theories, the further from the core of truth you get. And the harder it is to know what the core actually was, especially to new fans that missed the periods leading up to theories.
The mystery wasn't 'long' before STS. The first drops were on the website with "messages" hidden on each page. The answer to this was simply "lyrics from the new album". 336 came along, and 336 was said to be a 'mystery'. However, the official catalogue name of 336 was Now the World Picture Disc. Only the board was calling it 336, and Gavin himself said, Stores will never know it as 336. That was our first major 'clue'. There was an official banner for STS that came out before the hidden messages and 336 which pretty much said the new lyrics to a song were "Nothing from nowhere, I'm no one at all. Radiate, recognize one silent call, as we all form one dark flame". This banner was used on 1 site as far as I know. I still have it somewhere. It was from around late 2002.
Then STS came out, and theories were jumping everywhere, but no one knows if STS is linked to any mystery. Clandestine was the next piece. A tour shirt has 337 hidden on a pentagram, and when Jade was asked what it meant, he said "It's the new mystery" (along those lines). So now we knew 337 was the next piece. Clandestine talk was huge on the board. Not for the content, but for the answer to 336/337. Gavin said, "Think of 337 as 3 and 37". Now, NO ONE knows if this was directly related to the mystery, or whether it was a dropped hint as to what the clandestine scene would be. As a person said, "I finish school at 3:35", and Gavin responded with " you are getting close" (along those lines). Clandestine was released, and we see the classroom scene with 3:33, 3:35 and possibly 3:37 as a time. So I believe Gavin's hint was about what was in Clandestine. Unrelated to the mystery directly.
THEN people went on about "what's in the box?” This is not JUST what Clandestine was about. So people going off in other directions unrelated to the box may in fact be closer to a meaning than those on the trail of what is in the box. As far as I believe, Clandestine is just an expression of art. It follows a similar plot line as Pulp Fiction, and we all know AFI love that movie.
We were then told, 336 means before, 337 means after by Gavin. So the most commonly accepted theory is - 336 was the end of the old AFI, and 337 was the beginning of a new AFI. I don't think STS was 337 as I can't see it involved in 'the mystery'. I think the new album will be the new AFI, and thus, 337 [NOTE: This is now Decemberunderground if you're keeping tabs].
Also, when he board was closed for its new looks a while back, 3 links were posted. Astrology, rabbits and something else. Probably to wet your lips.
336 had engravings on both sides of the disc. We know (now), that they are lyrics from Miseria Cantare. These were the lyrics displayed in hidden messages on each page of afi.net and the board. They were also from the banner.
Then GNG 7" promo came out in the states (red clear) and the engravings read: "How many?" and "Seven". Everyone came to a conclusion that this meant 700 copies were pressed. However, it's clear that more were pressed as they are fairly accessible on eBay and some shops still. So this is the start of "7", "Seven". (Hello... next album is no. 7 - see my previous post for my understanding about STS not being part of the mystery).
Then STS 12" double on red wax. Engravings read: "Seven out with the gypsiness (some debate over that word, i haven't opened mine to put an opinion in). So now we see a link between GNG 7" promo and STS 12". Seven once again. See above and previous post.
Then in the DF magazine "Under The Rose", a Word Association Game had Jade saying Seven (or an interview question... either way, it was an answer). Then posts in Ask AFI had "Seven" as answers. I think this is saying, wait for the new album etc.
There are, of course, other areas AFI have used "Seven" in responses post STS. No once is certain what they mean.
And here's a note: Power of suggestion fueled "The answer is seven" at the end of This Time Imperfect. That's the general 'acceptance'. However, people have clearly noted there aren't enough syllables for that to be the spoken words. And finally, people are starting to listen to it for themselves and come up with unique understandings. This is NOT fact. It's also been revealed that the sample noted as "The answer is seven" is actually reversed. So people listening to the CD will be hearing something backwards. You need to reverse the track in order to hear that part correctly. It is also a sample used in Synesthesia demo which further takes away from its importance as a key element in the mystery when in reality it's just a sample.
And I guess something else needs clearing up.
The Clandestine book was not made or prepared by AFI. It was created by Morningbreath Inc.
It has been noted that a person involved with the book said that the writing in the booklet was simply from scrap paper found lying around the studio when AFI were recording.
The track listing that appears in Clandestine (with the disappointment typo) is most likely a list of order of songs to record [and my theory is that it's Davey's recording list].
A lot of people say "The Leaving Songs" are not present on the list. They are. They are number one. This is shown in the STS booklet. The Leaving Song xxxxxx II. So the theory that x song is just a studio name for The Leaving Song and The Leaving Song Pt. II is incorrect as fact. As these songs DO appear on the list [NOTE: TLSPT. II and TLS are both included on one track in the track list seen in Clandestine and the STS booklet].
AFI also said they had recorded 18 songs in the STS session.
The Leavign Song Pt. II
Silver and Cold
Dancing Through Sunday
Girl's Not Grey
Death Of Season
The Great Disappointment
This Celluloid Dream
The Leaving Song
But Home Is Nowhere
This Time Imperfect
Now The Word (re-recording)
Rabbits are Road Kill
The Spoken Word is not 100 words long. It is hardly a song as well. So why would they count it as a recorded track?
People debate as to how many words are in Miseria Cantare. That comes down to how you decide to count the words. [Gavin has come out and confirmed this theory as being fact - 100 Words and Carcinogen Crush are NOT pre-titles of songs appearing on STS as has been commonly theorised]
when you pick an order for tracks on an album... you don't think "let's make it a mystery story". You think "What will flow best". STS is a story on its own, as are most other albums. They have a general theme as the songs are usually written at the same time. It'd be stupid to make art jarring for the sake of a mystery that means not much to anyone. I'm pretty sure the band would rather have an album that flows well, and sounds great than make it a jarring sloppy flowing album for the sake of giving fans something to do on their message board.
The lines thing was noticed probably around... March 20th 2003 and posted many times on the official boards that have been around in the STS era.
"Wouldn't Miseria be "intro"? They obviously didn't name it until they picked the name for the album, which was long after they started recording. (My theory: it was originally called "The Beginning" and once they named the album they decided to mirror that name in MC for whatever reason, so they put The Beginning in brackets afterwards.)" - Alli
Obviously the information above is out-dated. But a lot stands true and has been confirmed as correct since I posted it. I'll try and make a blog response regarding a summary of the Charlotte mystery phase 1.
In the meantime enjoy this graphic made by Alli (credit to her):