|Category:||Article - Newspaper||Publish date:||3/12/2010|
|Source:||The Orange County Register, p. 4 Entertainment, March 12, 2010 (United States)||With:||-|
While gathering info and interviews for our 30th anniversary Bad Religion piece, as it prepares to kick off a series of celebratory gigs with a St. Patrick’s Day show at House of Blues Anaheim, I asked the band’s publicist at Epitaph if anyone would be interested in offering a quote about how the punk mainstay has been an influence.
Within 24 hours, e-mail came rushing in from artists like Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine, Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio, Geoff Rickly from Thursday, Jordan Brown and Matt Wilson from Set Your Goals and others.
In the world of music journalism, I’m used to waiting — a long time — for these sorts of responses. But these came at lightening speed — which only goes to show how beloved Bad Religion is. Not all of the quotes could be used within the piece in their entirety, so we thought we’d share them here. Share your favorite experiences, albums, songs or shows in the comments below.
• ZACK DE LA ROCHA (One Day as a Lion/Rage Against the Machine): “I remember hearing BR’s How Could Hell Be Any Worse? for the first time in 1985, I was fifteen. The first thing I remember is pulling the insert from the sleeve of the record and seeing those drawings from Dante’s Inferno, and that red wash over the blurry shot of Los Angeles, and I admit I was scared. A little terrified even. I had no idea what to expect.
“When the needle hit the record I have to say it was a defining moment for me. The music was darker than most punk records I had heard. It was almost gothic, and there was a genuine sadness to the melodies. Listening to the words I remember being overwhelmed. It wasn’t some revelation that god didn’t exist … it was more like an injection of the sad truth. That our condition is the product of the mess of our own making … and at fifteen that was as scary as the inferno drawings.
“I wasn’t reading Sartre or Neitzsche, and I’m convinced now that if I was it wouldn’t have had the same effect. Throughout the record there was very little relief from the sad truths except one: ‘there are two things you can do … one is to turn and fight … the other’s to go headlong into the night.’ Truly one of the greatest L.A. bands.”
• MATT SKIBA (Alkaline Trio): “Suffer was one of my first loves. Bad Religion is the band we strive to be.”
• WILLIAM ELLIOTT WHITMORE (Anti- Records): “Bad Religion reached the cornfields of Iowa just in time to change my life forever. I used to have Recipe for Hate on tape and would listen to it in a Walkman while I was on the tractor, cutting grass hay to store for the winter for the horses. Could Greg and Mr. Brett and the boys ever imagine that they would reach a farm kid on that level? I think it proves the universal nature of what they do.”
• GEOFF RICKLY (Thursday): “Bad Religion has been a perfect model to follow for us as a band. They went from indie to major and back to indie without ever sacrificing the quality of their music or the integrity of their message.
“I remember hearing Recipe for Hate at a friend’s house. All the young kids were saying, ‘Whatever — Bad Religion has sold out. Suffer is better.” And I remember thinking, if this is their bad record, what do the good ones sound like?
“Now that I’ve investigated the whole catalogue, I know and love Suffer, Against the Grain and How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, but Recipe is still one of my favorite records ever. Those kids were idiots. I’ve dreamed about being on Epitaph since I was a kid. Turns out, in reality, it’s a lot cooler than I hoped for. Everyone here is super rad.”
• RYAN PHILLIPS (Story of the Year): “I first started listening to Bad Religion in the ’90s, and I remember that I was immediately struck by how intelligent and well-crafted the lyrics were. For a little punk-ass kid from Missouri who’s deepest thoughts involved skateboarding and Taco Bell it was an awakening of sorts.
“My friend Jarrod and I used to write Bad Religion lyrics on our notebooks and on walls at school. In a weird way, Bad Religion kinda made it cool to be smart. We used to bring a boom box with a tape player up to the school at the top of my street where we spent all day and night skateboarding in the parking lot. Jarrod brought up his Against the Grain tape and I thought it ripped!
“That album was my introduction to Bad Religion and is associated with tons of great memories. When we first signed to Epitaph, I called up my buddy Jarrod (yes, every Bad Religion memory involves Jarrod) and told him that I just got off the phone with Brett — and the first thing Jarrod said was “Dude, did you tell him about me?!” Funny. Of course, I tried to play it cool and not let Brett know the extent of his band’s influence on me. But yeah, it’s awesome.”
• EFREM SCHULZ (Death by Stereo): “Bad Religion has meant everything for our band. That was my absolute favorite band always and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen them play — we’ve played with them like 70 times now. How crazy is that?
“Brett Gurewitz is the reason I traveled around the world. He came to the Key Club in 1999 and we were playing with Ignite and Straight Faced and literally 20 people showed up, and he walked up to the stage after we were done and was like, ‘Hey, wanna make a record?’ We were like, ‘Uh, YES!’
“Bad Religion is so important to our band, even stylistically. We get so much (stuff) from them, it’s unbelievable. Their approach to writing is unreal, and stacking those monster harmonies — no one does that in punk rock. It’s like punk-rock Queen or something. I just remember us saying, ‘Dude, we wanna sound like THAT!’”
• CHAD GILBERT (New Found Glory): “(We have) been a band for 13 years so far. We love what we do and want to do it forever. Hearing that Bad Religion has been a band for 30 years is so crazy and inspiring to us. They still are a great live band and they still write great songs. I hope NFG can one day say we have been a band for 30 years.”
• JORDAN BROWN (Set Your Goals): “I remember picking up Stranger Than Fiction (1994) in my first batch of punk CDs back in middle school, and fell in love with each of the songs immediately. The melodies and messages were unlike any I had heard at that point. Bad Religion stood/stands for something real and true, and it’s something they carry to this day.
“Getting picked up by Epitaph, and hearing of Brett’s interest in our band back in 2008, was something we were all pinching ourselves about for months to come. I wanted for SYG to give the label and its fans the best possible record we could create, to pay homage to the music BR (and others associated) had played such an integral part in developing. … There is no place we would have fit like we have fit with them. There is a respect and gratitude forever. Here’s to another decade of one of the most influential bands in punk music, of any era.”
• MIKE McCOLGAN (Street Dogs): “Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz have and continue to question the answers, ridicule inane, so-called governmental and moral authorities, and they also brought to our attention the brilliant philosopher and politicial activist Noam Chomsky. These are two punk-rock icons in my estimation, and they have not forgotten where they came from. They continue to give back to punk rock above and below the radar screen, and for that they have our eternal respect.
“I can remember the first time I heard Bad Religion, for sure. It was in 1988 and a good friend of mine turned me onto their classic album Suffer. When I heard the opening track, ‘You Are the Government,’ I was figuratively knocked on my ass by the fury, the power and the conviction of their message. It seemed to me that they were hellbent on letting their listeners know that they had personal power to question authority, expand their own mental consciousness and to be your own leader.
“They also just tapped into what so many kids were feeling internally but were afraid to discuss or vent about. So when you went to a Bad Religion show it was communal. There were a bunch of kids who felt the same as you and the show was the place to dance and circle pit for awhile. A place where you could forget about a greedy and corrupt world for an hour or two.”
• MATT WILSON (Set Your Goals): “The first time I heard Bad Religion I was in 5th grade and ‘Infected’ came on the radio. That day changed my perception of what the term ‘punk rock’ means and my overall understanding of the genre as a whole. Now that I have my own band, BR are a continuous source of influence and inspiration for me. They have built a legacy with their music and have set the standard for how to be a commercially successful punk rock band while maintaining their credibility.”
- Kelli Skye Fadroski
German transcript updated
English transcript added
English transcript added
Article added: Fracture #19
Interview image(s) added: Diplomatic Defense
Interview added: Diplomatic Defense
English transcript updated: Bad Religion, the ‘McCartney and Lennon of punk,’ to make Spokane debut
Interview added: Bad Religion, the ‘McCartney and Lennon of punk,’ to make Spokane debut
German transcript updated: Gähnend in die Punker-Rente