|Category:||Interview - Newspaper||Publish date:||9/26/2007|
|Source:||What's Up, vol. 0, no. 1, September 26 - October 2, 2007||With:||Jay Bentley|
Bad Religion to anoint Club 101
by Marina Monsisvais
What's Up, vol. 0, no. 1, September 26 - October 2, 2007
"Pick up Cadillac in El Paso."
That's the next item on the to-do list of Bad Religion bassist Jay Bentley, as the band approaches its first stop in Texas – Club 101 on Sunday.
"I don't know why we do this, but every time we tour Texas, we rent a Cadillac – that's just the way to tour Texas," says Bentley, as he went on to recall tours through our great state that involved speeding down wide open roads at 140 m.p.h. in a piece of upscale American machinery.
Even punk rock veterans acknowledge that everything's bigger in Texas.
Cadillac rides through Texas weren't always the norm. With 27 years together and 14 albums under their belts, the members of Bad Religion have paid dues to get to where they stand.
Their formula to longevity is simple: Do what makes you happy.
"Some people say, 'Well yeah, it's easy for you to say that because you're in a band,' but that wasn't always the case. Our band wasn't always popular," Bentley says. "We worked to earn the cash so that we could do what we wanted. If that meant working a miserable shift at 7-Eleven today to make some cash so that I could drive out to play a show with Social Distortion in Orange County that night – that's rad." Eyes on the prize, people.
Bad Religion members may not have to work at 7-Eleven anymore, but they still do what makes them happy. Collectively, these activities include making meaningful music, being parents, teaching class at UCLA, writing books on science, taking in some golf games and running the successful punk rock record label, Epitaph.
It's no secret that some of Bad Religion's music takes a critical look at politics; in that regard, not much has changed. What has changed is their approach.
The band comes to El Paso in support of their 14th album, "New Maps of Hell," where – instead of taking a direct hit at our current administration like they did in their "Empire Strikes Back" album – they provide inspiration for our political times to come.
"Now is the time for a positive outlook. There's no point in coming out saying anything negative," said Bentley, in hopes that the next president is the kind of person who can ease the world down.
"What I would like to see happen is the next person in charge traveling the planet apologizing for what we've done," he said emphatically. "Being in this band has allowed me to travel the world and see how America is viewed firsthand. A lot of people who live in America have no perception of how America is perceived, so before people get all angry and protective about terrorism, take a look at what we're doing. We're the ones in uniform; everyone else is just trying to protect themselves."
These aren't the idealistic views of a 16-year-old; Bentley's life experiences have allowed him a special advantage, a true global outlook, no longer to be discounted on the basis that it's just some punk's utopian ideas. Good thing there's room for all of us in this world. Now go to the show … in a Cadillac.
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