Bad Religion

Bad Religion

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Band Info

Founded:   1980
Ended: Active
City: Los Angeles
State: CA
Country: WS



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The musical landscape may have shifted dramatically since bassist Jay Bentley, inspired as a young man by The Germs and Jack Kerouac, helped form Los Angeles punk protagonists Bad Religion in 1980. Yet there remains at his core a sense of teenage malcontent that helped shape the group's early days.

"I might be a little bit more specific about my anger now," chuckles Bentley on the phone. "I think when I was 14 I was pretty much pissed at the world, you know, you're pissed at your parents and you hate your school. And we thought politics was a sham because during the Cold War we were told we could die at any minute.

"But now I understand who I'm mad at and a lot of times I'm mad about the way I react to how that person makes me feel - and that's a big difference. Particularly in the band when we were young we were writing a lot of things with fingers pointing outwards and now we write with fingers pointed inwards."

Describing Bad Religion as the best therapy he's ever had - "I get to go out and scream at the top of my lungs on a nightly basis" - Bentley and band have a fourteen-album history the envy of the punk's fast-growing fraternity. Closer to the end of their career than the beginning, the quintet however holds no sentimentality towards any of its records.

"I don't know if they become more precious or if you're just more willing to let go of them," reasons Bentley. "We just go into the studio and hammer out 16 or 17 songs and we listen back to them and we're all looking at each other saying 'we like it, then f#*k everybody else because it's what we want to do'. That seems to have worked for us for 27 of our 29 years, so why not do that again."

The band's songwriting team of singer Greg Graffin and guitarist Brett Gurewitz remains as potent as ever and Bentleigh expects a follow up to 2007's New Maps of Hell early next year.

"Brett is a romantic prose writer and likes to write in hopeful ways and Greg is the scientist and writes in ways that are very factual," says the bassist. "So having the two of them lyrically writing back and forth, that to me is how the records evolve into what they are. But between the two of them it's healthy competition."

Now elder statesmen of the punk scene, Bad Religion have just come off the annual US Warped tour, the travelling rock caravan that began in the mid-90s as a one-day music event Bored In The South Bay on California's Long Beach.

"When we came out here (on Warped) in 1998 I think we were pretty naïve," says Bentley, "and I think we thought about making some sort of visual impact. But you know, music now is 50% visual which is kind of weird. It's no longer as much about music as it is entertainment and how you look.

"And that's a big change from when I was a kid because it was a very self-exploratory scenario where you just went into a fantasy world while listening to bands play. I remember the first time I ever saw a Clash video I was so astonished - 'oh, they're moving!'."



Mark Knopfler

2013-05-08 - Lodz, Atlas Arena 19:30 165-616 PLN

Roger Waters The Wall

2013-08-20, Warszawa, tickets: 242 zł - 1310 zł

Sonisphere Festival

2013-10-12 - Wroclaw 19:30, tickets: 165-1616 PLN

Iron Maiden

2013-08-20, Warszawa, tickets: 242 zł - 1310 zł

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