Bad Religion have signed to the evil corporate label . Atlantic, and there's question overwhether that was a very "punk" thing to do . It hasn't changed their music, obviously—in fact,"Stranger Than Fiction" is a better album than "Recipe For Hate." So call 'em sell-outs orwhatever. ..here's an interview with bassist Jay Bentley, conducted by Eric Bradford fromThicker 'zinc . Brian Baker has replaced guitarist Brett Gurewitz in the band . ..
SV: I thought the new album was a lot better than the last one] was just wondering if youappr' ached the recording or the pre-production differently than the last one'?
Jay : We had no pre-production on "Recipe" at all . We actually went into the studio and learnedthe songs . When we felt we had the songs well-enough, all the way through, we actuallyrecorded it for the basic tracks . That was pretty much it . There wasn't a whole lot ofinterpretation between the guitars and bass and drums and it was pretty stagnant.
SV: Was there more time spent in the writing of the songs for this one?
Jay : I don't think there was more time spent in the writing, but I do think that there was a lottime spent to get it, before we went in to record . Brett and I and Bobby and Greg Hetson andI and Bobby . we all were together, working on songs, maybe because we realized that "Recipe" was about as far-out as we wanted to go in terms of being really fucking lazy.(laughs)
SV: Was there a lot of pressure from Atlantic when you went in to do this?
Jay : No, not at all . They've seen us doing this the last fifteen years . They know that we knowwhat we're doing.
SV: So was there internal pressure between you when you were writing the songs? Did you have this communal feeling that this record was going to get better distribution than anyothers, therefore, maybe we should really concentrate or whatever...
Jay: No . I would say that the biggest thought that probably came from Greg and Brett was thatthe feedback from "Recipe" was everyone thought it was light for Bad Religion, the guitarsweren't as heavy . But I would attribute that more to the production than how we actuallyrecorded it and I think, on this record, it was just a sense of where we are and we havesomething that we do very well, together. Maybe it was acouple of steps backwards to go moretowards the "No Control," "Against The Grain" attitude.
SV: Do you think that was a result of reading the reviews from the last album?
Jay : No, I think that was kind of how we felt . When the record came out, we listened to it andjust kind of said, 'boy, it just didn't really translate, did it?' It's so hard ...that's why we hiredAndy Wallace . Even though we've been producing our own records, there's people withmultitudes more experience than we have, so they come in and they see things differently thanyou do and I think what we were trying to do was ...somewhere along the line, we forgot howto do this and this guy knows how to do it better than we do.
SV: Why did you re-record "21st Century Digital Boy " ?
Jay: A couple of years ago, I think it was during "Genera- tor," Brett had mentioned that he wanted to re-do it,because he was unhappy with the production and how weplayed it on "Against The Grain," so he had been mention-ing it and mentioning it, so we said, 'let's think about it'and, because it was mentioned, people started talkingabout and I think we did 19 songs on the record and thatwas one of them and when it came time to edit the recorddown to make what we think was a great Bad Religionrecord and not a lot of bullshit, that was one of the songs.
SV: Do you think it came out sounding substantiallydifferent? by: Yeah, production-wise . Obviously, I going to have biased memories of what it was like when we originallyrecorded it and how the song made me feel, originally, butlistening to it now, with different production and thedifferent kick pattern and the things we did differently, werecorded it like we play it live, now.
SV: You're not working at Epitaph, anymore, but did youget any sense of how the people there, the workers, feltabout you leaving and going to Atlantic'?
Jay : Did I get sense of how they felt'?
SV: Yeah . And how was that'?
Jay : (laughs) I don't have any comment.
SV: OK . . .I asked that because I called them up last yearand the guy found out that I write for MRR occasionallyand I got like a half an hour spiel about it . He was sayingsomething about how MRR condemns Epitaph, now,because they think they had something to do with yourgoing to Atlantic and obviously they hate that . So he was saying. 'it has nothing to do with us, we're completelyindependent of that whole thing, we don't like it any morethan anybody else .'
Jay: Yeah, whatever . It seems to me that, instead ofeverybody being forthright and honest about it,everybody's just trying to cover their butts and maintaintheir political correctness, which is bullshit all the wayaround, anyway . If people were honest and they didn'tneed to be judged and valued ...that's kind of howl see thewhole thing.
SV: So, the hand, obviously, at this point is all that youdo . ..
Jay : Yeah, this is a scary moment in the life of Jay.
SV: Oh, yeah . Why's that? You stand at the edge of thecliff, looking out into the abyss.
Jay : I am, too. ..
SV: Is this something you see yourself doing until you're65 and able to collect Social Security'?
Jay : No . I didn't see myself doing this past a year that westarted doing this and I still don't see myself doing this fora year past now . (laughs) . I'm trying not to make too manyheavy bets on anything.
SV: What do you think you'd end up doing, if you weren't doing this?
Jay: I don't know . I'm thinking lawnmower repair man.It's kind of looking enticing to me. It seems pretty easy.
SV: Now wait, I remember from that video I saw about ayear ago, you said you repaired motorcycles or some-thing, on movie sets.
Jay: I did do that. But now I would go down to the two-stroke (?) motor, sharpen that blade, I'm set.
SV: Do you think that would be as rewarding as playingbig punk rock?
Jay: If you do it good, people have respect for you!
Interview image(s) added: Destroy L.A. #1
Interview added: Destroy L.A. #1
Article image(s) added: Bad Times issue #9
English transcript added: Interview mit Bad Religion: Jede Platte ist das Selbe in Anders
Interview added: Interview mit Bad Religion: Jede Platte ist das Selbe in Anders
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Review added: New Maps Of Hell
German transcript added: New Maps Of Hell
Review added: New Maps Of Hell
English transcript updated: Interview: Jay Bentley of Bad Religion
English transcript added: Do What You Want: An Interview With Bad Religion Frontman and Evolutionist Greg Graffin Ph.D. '03
Interview added: Do What You Want An Interview With Bad Religion Frontman and Evolutionist Greg Graffin Ph.D. 03