TELL ME ABOUT YOUR NEW RECORD, "SUFFER"...
GREG: it came out in september.
PETE: while we were on tour.
JAY: we pre-toured the album.
WHAT DID BAD RELIGION DO BETWEEN THIS AND THE LAST RECORD?
GREG: we've been playing straight through from 1980, but the band went through a couple of member changes.. Greg Hetson and i maintained the band through the years of hardship which, looking back at the history of BAD RELIGION, will probably be from 1983 or 1987.
HOW DID GREG HETSON, (also the guitar player for the CIRCLE JERKS) FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH BAD RELIGION?
JAY: he formed BAD RELIGION back in 1968.
GREG: long ago......and then WE formed it without even knowing that, and we talked to each other and said, "YOU HAVE A BAND CALLED BAD RELIGION?" he said, "yeah, but it's broken up..." and WE said, "well, we INDEPENDENTLY thought of the name BAD RELIGION, would you like to join us???" and he said, "ooooh, allright, yeah,yeah..."
JAY: it's NOT true, it's not true. it's because of the song "PART 3" on the "HOW CAN HELL BE ANY WORSE?" album.. cause he came in and did guitar.. then after doing that he just kept learning more songs.. he used to come on stage to play the songs he knew, and, when we played a song he didn't know, he'd leave...then later on he'd come back when we played something he knew..
HETSON: i didn't leave the stage, i'd just turn my guitar down..
JAY: he'd turn down and stay and jump around...he was pretty much a part of the original band just as everyone else here..
PETE: it was LOVE at first sight..
HETSON: not really..
GREG: not really..
JAY: well, as far as TIME goes, it's been SIX years..
GREG: but it was kind of a DOWNER..
BRETT: ya, KIND OF..
JAY: ya, kind of... he brought us all down for a while, it was really the reason why BAD RELIGION broke up in the first place.....because of GREG HETSON..ha,ha,ha...cause we were all so in LOVE with him and we couldn't share..so we all had to go our separate ways.....
HOW'S THE RESPONSE TO THE BAND NOW COMPARED TO YEARS BACK?
ALL: better, MORE INTENSE, ya i'd say better, etc.
BRETT: about 3 years ago, anywhere we played, we'd get boo'd off stage..
PETE: that's right..
BRETT: and now, i'd say only about 90% of the time we get boo'd off stage..
GREG: THOSE places are mostly in the south western united states.. there's a little pocket in new england where people go nuts for us, everywhere around boston.. boston is sort of a negative area in itself though..bangor, main....people go nuts for us there..
HETSON: cause there's a big BASE up there and there's alot of MILITARY that come out to ENJOY us..
GREG: ya, they love us..
JAY: not true
BRETT: what we're saying is, people HATE bad religion..
JAY: no they don't
BRETT: just kiddin'..
GREG: we're just a bunch of "fun lovin' guys" that love to play kickass music..
PETE: we're like a cult..
JAY: the response to BAD RELIGION is better because of the fact, the band was away for long enough period of time.. when i wasn't playing with them, people used to come up to me saying; "WHAT HAPPENED?? YOU GUYS WERE ONE OF MY FAVORITE BANDS.." and stuff like that...AND NOW, for all the original people to get together again, well, people seem really happy..
BRETT: plus NOW we play "in the night"
JAY: ya, now we play "in the night"..ever sInce we got back together there's been ONE guy at every show-
PETE: throughout all the states.
JAY: and i think it's the same guy that stands in front of us while we're playing and yells; "IN THE NIGHT!, IN THE NIGHT!!!" and we never play it..
THERE SEEMS TO BE A TREND OF EARLY 80'S BANDS COMING BACK TOGETHER AGAIN.... WHY IS THAT?
GREG: if you want to know what the scenario is, and this is kind of interesting, and it's just my opinion... i think that when bands start off, and they get mildly popular, they sorta get this idea in their head, like what happened with the lead-
BRETT: don't say it.
GREG: they say; "hey man, like we are popular and it's because of MY input to the band, so THEREFORE, i could do fine on my own.." then they pursue all these other weird ideas on their own , then they realize that they were just struggling the whole time...THEN after the guys haven't seen each other for a long time, they say; "hey we really had something special, why don't we ALL get back together and play again."..
BRETT: the first time i played with BAD RELIGION again was for a show in berkley, cause hetson wasn't available to play.. and the first rehearsal we had after that, with EVERYBODY that is, we said "let's write some songs." and we did..after all those years, it was astounding that they turned out sounding JUST LIKE BAD RELIGION songs.. it just ALL came back just like that "snap"
JAY: it's alot easier for people in a band to get back together when there was something good. i don't know what greg's talking about but basically, usually what it is, the band gets together, the band gets somewhat populaur, AND THEN the singer takes off cause he think he's hot SHIT..and that's MOST of the time..
GREG: ya, and it usually happens that the bass player has some kind of inferiority complex..
JAY: HA!! bullSHIT man! hey listen, i'll tell you exactly, i'll CONFESS right now! i walked out after hearing the first song on "INTO THE UNKNOWN" because i couldn't stand it... i didn't like the music, i didn't want to play it, i REGRET not playing on it now cause i listen to it now and go "GOD, that's a fucking GREAT musical album." , but at the time it wasn't what i wanted to do...and brett was dead set on doing it, and greg was dead set on doing it, and pete had NO idea WHAT the fuck was going on..and i just said, "hey, I would rather do something else than this.. it wasn't anything against the band, it was just the MUSIC in genral...and it WASN'T that i wanted to do something on my own OR do something different because i thought i was the greatest input to the band..i knew that i wasn't....i was just a bass player.....but i knew that THAT wasn't what i wanted to do at the time.....
BRETT: there HAS been ALOT of reunions that have occured recently like, ADOLESCENTS, SOCIAL DISTORTION, ADOLESCENTS etc, etc, etc...what makes OUR situation unique is that when we got together for our reunion thing, we started writing songs that sounded like US...that sounded like what we do best..
HETSON: it's also because it's all the SAME members, unlike with some other bands where only a couple of guys in the band are original, and other guys have just "joined up" for their "SEMI" reunion thing..
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TODAYS PUNK MUSIC, LIKE THE RECENT FLUX OF "POSITIVE" BANDS?
HETSON: it all sounds like speed metal..
JAY: that's againsteverything we started for..these guys are starting something new, which is fine, but the problem that WE see is that they DO preach..they take control of the microphone and tell these kids what to do and how to live, and what NOT to do and how NOT to live, which is FRIGHTENING cause that's what punk was AGAINST in the FIRST place.. NOW you have these people telling you that you're not COOL because you don't have an "X" on your hand, or you're not COOL because you don't have a cap with a gang on it...
BRETT: if you listen to our songs, you'll notice that we've always been EXTREAMLY carefull NOT to preach.. most of our songs pose a QUESTIOn, we leave it for you to decide.. we DO have our own opinion on what is right and what is wrong and will present them in the song but the ultimate is up to the listener..
DO YOU THINK THESE BANDS ARE HAVING A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON PEOPLE?
JAY: no, well-
JAY: they can't because i think that people still have their OWN minds, hopefully..and if someone goes to a show and sees someone telling him not to drink or not to have sex or not to smoke cigarettes or not to be in this gang or not to hang out here or there...if he dosen't like what he's saying he's got the oppourtunity to just walk away or ignore him...or if he likes it he can go with it, or whatever..these people may come see us and say "these guys don't preach enough" or "these guys ask too many fucking questions. fuck them"..
BRETT: the people that like us can think on their own, they can hear the music and read the words and know what we're getting at even thougj we're not RAMMING it down their throat..
BRETT: ya, there was a rumor that BAD RELIGION was against stage diving, we're not..in fact at the anti-club we're gonna have diving boards, three different heights for all you greg louganis' out there...
English transcript added: Band reunites with original guitarist for 'Belief'
Article added: Band reunites with original guitarist for 'Belief'
Interview image(s) added: Destroy L.A. #1
Interview added: Destroy L.A. #1
Article image(s) added: Bad Times issue #9
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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