|Category:||Interview - Internet||Publish date:||1/23/2015|
|Source:||kilScene (link to youtube) (January 2015) (United States)||With:||Jay Bentley|
|Synopsis:||Jay talks about touring, setlists, and favourite venues.|
How's the tour been thus far?
It's good. I think we're all trying to figure out exactly what it is. The concept of it was to sort of... well, The Offspring already knew that they were going to be celebrating their Smash, 25th anniversary of that record. And they wanted to recreate the Epitaph Summer Nationals that happened in '94, and we were part of that, Pennywise was on, Offspring were on, The Vandals were actually on, NOFX was on, Rancid was on. And it seemed like a pretty good idea and we put it together and threw it to our booking agents and they said, 'Let's kinda go fishing a little bit and see what happens', and promoter said, 'It sounds like a pretty good idea, like it might work'. And we're kinda getting out here, for lack of a better idea, it's sort of a grown up Warped Tour. Me and my friends wouldn't likely go and stand in a parking lot now in the summer. But I'll come here and come and see my favorite bands. I noticed that it's just a different group of people that are coming to these shows: mostly older, and they really, really like everything from, in that Gray Race - Generator era. It seems to be, that's like the big what everyone's here. It's great. It's just weird. It's different.
Any stories from the road?
It's still too new. Fletcher drank beer out of a shoe yesterday. I think we've only played four shows, four, five... Pittsburgh, Baltimore, five shows, four, fuck, my brain doesn't work. So, it's still too new. There hasn't really been enough time for anything to happen yet.
35 years of songs, 1 set list. How?
It's impossible. It's impossible. I'm making the set list and it's fucking impossible. At the end of the day I am accepting that no one is going to be happy, and I'll carry that. It's really hard. I'm trying to do things that are on one hand unique that we haven't really played on our own. I'm trying to do things that people who only like The Offspring might go, 'Oh, I've heard that song'. And I'm trying to play songs that like Pennywise fans will go, 'Fuck yeah, this is why I love this band'. Getting to choose 17 songs out of a catalogue of 300+ is not easy. I write something every day. Usually what I do is I write out 17 or 18 songs that I think, 'Ok, we're gonna try these today'. And then I start trying to put them in some sort of an order that makes sense. Today we're gonna do something different at the end because I was writing out like five little blocks and I realized that the last two blocks we weren't stopping, we were just blowing right through all the songs so I said, 'Well, fuck it, now we'll just have four blocks.' So, we'll see.
What could we look forward to hearing tonight?
Tonight's special songs will include Big Bang, Skyscraper, Supersonic... what else?
Sometimes I Feel Like?
No, that will be tomorrow. Because Big Bang - those two songs are sort of interchangeable to me. When you have 45 minutes and 17 songs... Tonight was like, 'Well, I wanna play Struck A Nerve', so I'll play that. That will be like the slow one, that and Digital Boy and then we're done. That's what we'll do.
With Tommy Erdelyi's passing, could you tell us what the Ramones meant to you?
I think more than anything, to me, I can tell you that to Bad Religion as a band they were incredibly important to Brett Gurewitz and they really drove him to write the majority of his beginning material and probably influenced him more than anyone else. To the band as a whole..., you know, a band like the Ramones, we wouldn't be here without them. So when you say, 'What does that mean to you?', it's just that without them there's no us and that's pretty much all you can really say about it.
Favorite venue to play at?
Being from L.A., playing the Hollywood Palladium where I saw The Clash in '79 was a big one. Playing the Roseland here where I knew a lot of bands played was a big one. CBGB's when we first played here. I don't know if Greg will remember this, because - I don't know why - we had just decided to start celebrating Suffer as an album because we were just like that: 'Hey, we're celebrating our records!' But we were playing CBGB's the day that Suffer was released. Remember they had a record store next door to CBGB's? We were loading in our gear, there was people standing around, and two boxes of Suffer came from Epitaph to the record store. And we took one of them, we opened them up and just giving them to people in the line, 'Dude, check out our new record!'. Nobody'd ever heard of it. We were playing songs off it and no one had ever even heard Suffer. So, the day the record came out, we were playing CBGB's. To me that's sort of a big deal.
Any side projects?
I'm not working on anything, I'm just making kids. I make babies. Why not? Feels good. I got three.
What do you want your fans to take away from Bad Religion's music?
Pretty much that they can question everything. If there were anything that we felt it's that we don't have answers to anything, we just have a shitload of questions, and hopefully someone someday will go, 'Oh, here's the answer to that problem that you're having with whatever it is that we seem to be having every day.' I guess what you're really hoping for is for people to leave and go out and look for answers. And if they don't find answers, just to ask more questions.
Has the writing process begun for a new album?
I think Greg has a couple of songs, and Brett has an idea or two. There was a lot of talk about like 'Oh, this is gonna happen'. And then it's sort of like, well, we just got busy with this tour and other things getting in the way. So, without contractual obligations, we don't ever have to do anything. We're not really ever under the gun to make a record, we just sort of do it when we want. I think we kind of thought, 'well, we'll have a record out next year', but there wasn't any super fire under our asses to do it. That doesn't mean come December we won't be in the studio because all of a sudden we got 20 songs and we're ready to go. It just means that I think that there was a moment earlier this year where we had a plan, 'We're gonna do this', and then that just got a little fuzzy, but what doesn't? That's how we are. We don't make plans.
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