|Category:||Interview - Internet||Publish date:||7/14/2007|
|Source:||killyourstereo.com (Australia)||With:||Jay Bentley|
|Synopsis:||Jay Bentley spoke with Killyourstereo.com about Bad Religion's new record (New Maps of Hell) and what it’s like being in a punk band 25 years into the game.|
Bad Religion have been around longer than I’ve been on this planet, so getting a chance to speak to one of their members was an honour and a privilege.
Bass player Jay Bentley spoke with us about their new record and what it’s like being in a punk band 25 years into the game…
Interview w/ Jay Bentley of Bad Religion
By Cameron Chambers
Friday July 6th 2007
Hey Jay, thanks heaps for speaking with us today, we really appreciate it.
All good man! How are you doing today?
Really good thanks man, yourself?
I’m really good. Just getting ready for Warped. It’s a long dirty tour, it’s going to be awesome. Just a great tour to be on!
Where are you calling from at the moment – your publicist said you’re currently moving between time zones?
I’m currently in Calgary getting ready to watch Pennywise. The sun is shining and it looks like it’s going to be an awesome day.
And how has the current tour been going?
Well, we recently did one show in Spain and then started this thing about a week ago, and it’s been awesome so far.
“New Maps Of Hell” has been out for less than a month– are you happy with how the record turned out?
Well, it’s not actually out yet man! Ha ha, it doesn’t come out until July 10th.
Really, ha ha, it’s already floating around down here in Australia!
Shhh, don’t tell anybody, ha ha. But yes, we’re really happy with how it turned out and we’re really excited to play it.
What’s the reaction to the new songs been like at your recent shows?
Well, the way it’s always been is people watch us to see if we like it – which we do – and if we play a new song that we’re not into, then they don’t like it.
I don’t really know though. The record is so new that we haven’t talked to anybody to see what they think about it. We only really know the stuff on the internet at this point in time, which has been all good so far.
This is your 16th studio record – how has the writing process changed over the years?
It’s hard to not get repetitive so we are always looking for new ways to coin an old phrase I guess. The one constant is trying to stay relevant – that’s what we really strive for.
The big changes are bringing in people like Brooks who’s just a massive drummer so we can do some things that we weren’t able to do previously which is great!
Bad Religion have been together for more than 2 decades – have you found the band has become less influenced by other people’s music and more by the world around you – or was that always the case anyway?
Musically our influences are so diverse and so random that it doesn’t fall into one category. I’d say that at this point we are influenced by ourselves because we’ve been together for so long. You know, we write a song and we’re like, “that sounds like a riff from 12 years ago”, so we don’t use it, ha ha.
I think the thing is that we can stay current by understanding what the sound of the music is. As a band, you don’t want to cling to some pre-historic song. At the end of the day, we are Bad Religion and will always continue to be Bad Religion but with new recording techniques and the introduction of the digital ago, we can try things that we hadn’t been able to previously.
How does it feel knowing that 20 years later people still hold Bad Religion in such high regard? There would be fans out there that heard you guys as kids and have grown up and passed your music on to their own children!
Ha ha. Well, I’ve still got friends that I’ve grown up with but I don’t really think about the band. As soon as you start thinking about what you do and try to give it some credibility things can get weird – and I just don’t want to do that.
You guys are about to embark on the Vans Warped Tour – is a 2 month tour in the summer heat as appealing as it used to be?
Ha ha ha ha. The more you do it the easier it gets because your expectations are so low, ha ha ha. We just get out there and know what’s in store for us so it makes it really fun.
It’s just a great tour to be a part of and it’s so much fun.
In the last few years the Warped Tour has expanded from its more traditional punk line-up to include everything from hardcore and metal to hip hop and indie rock – how do you think Bad Religion will go down the crowd this year?
So far we’ve played 4 shows and people have been really excited to have us on the bill. I’ve caught up with and spoken with some of the other bands and the response has been really cool.
Some of the bands on the tour we’ve known for years which is great but there are some other really cool bands who we’ve just met.
At the end of the day, we’re all out here to have a good time and so far so good. We’re not even a tenth of the way through the tour yet though, ha ha.
I spoke with Nick from Tiger Army last week and he was saying how excited he was to see you guys every day.
That’s really cool! We’ve played a lot of shows with the older bands on the tour so we definitely have some old friendships out here. It’s cool because these are the tours we couldn’t do on our own, but with the Warped Tour we can get together with a lot of our friends and just hit the road and spend some time together.
Are there any other bands on the tour that you’re excited to see?
I’ve been watching The Gallows. Sorry, not The Gallows, just Gallows! Ha ha, everyone always makes that mistake!
Yeah man, it seems everyone is pretty siked on Gallows at the moment. They’re touring down here in October.
Make sure you see them!
What touring plans have you guys got once the summer is over?
We have some Fall touring organized in the States. In October we’re hitting the East Coast and then in November we’re hoping to hit Australia.
I was going to ask you about that coz I’ve heard rumours…
There are rumours, ha ha ha ha. We keep trying to come down to Australia so I’m definitely going to be working a lot harder to make it happen!
Given Brett’s commitment to Epitaph Records, Bad Religion hasn’t exactly been a “full time” band in recent years – what do you get up to in your downtime?
Just hanging out with my kids man, ha ha.
Ha ha, cool.
I’m serious man! Ha ha.
I’m a dad, and I look at my kids and just love spending time with them. I’ve got a lot of friends who are just having kids now and they’re like, “oh look at my new kids” but my kids are 16 and they’re just the funniest guys ever, ha ha.
They’re always taking my car though, ha ha, but hanging out with them is the funniest thing in the world.
Are they fans of your music?
Sort of, you’ve got to remember that when you’re 16 you always think your dad is a jerk – even if his band is kind of cool, ha ha.
Ha ha ha, when was the last time you attended a show as a fan?
About 4 months ago I went to see Circle Jerks and Pennywise in Vancouver and it was awesome. I got in the pit and everything! Ha ha.
Ha ha, how’d that work out for you?
It was awesome. The Circle Jerks still put on such a great show.
Who are some bands you’ve heard recently that people should be checking out?
Well, the last Bouncing Souls record was fantastic!
For sure, that’s a great album.
And I’m not really sure how big they are down there in Australia but the new Arctic Monkey’s record was really amazing.
I’m still walking around the campsite at Warped trying to find a new act to check out. My friend told me to check out a band called Family Force Five so I’m trying to suss them out. I’m not even sure if they’re a legit band or if my friend is just pulling my leg but I’m trying to find them!
As I mentioned earlier, it’s heavily rumoured that you guys are touring Australia at the end of the year with Strung Out – any truth to this?
That’s the rumour man, ha ha. I heard it too!
The only chance I’ve had to see Bad Religion was in 99 on the Warped Tour and you unfortunately had to cancel. We got the Suicidals instead which was cool but I’m still hanging out to see you guys!
That was me. That was my fault man.
Yeah, in 1999 I cancelled us off the Australian part of the tour because I had a nervous breakdown.
It was the first year that we’d done the Warped Tour in the States and then we hit Europe as well – so we’d been on the road for 6 months and then we were supposed to go to Australia.
I got home and my wife was like “I’m leaving, I don’t want this shit anymore” and I went crazy and called Kevin and said I can’t tour anymore, I need to stay home and salvage my marriage and I kind of went into a tailspin.
Family first man.
Yeah I guess, ha ha, but in retrospect I wish we’d done that tour, ha ha.
That wraps it up Jay, anything else you’d like to add?
Keep surfing, ha ha.
Ha ha, I’ll spread the word. Take care man.
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