|Category:||Interview - Magazine||Publish date:||10/1/1993|
|Source:||SLUG Magazine, no. 58, October 1993, p. 22||With:||Greg Graffin|
Intelligent, uncompromising, perpetually challenging the status quo. All of the above help to describe BAD RELIGION, the thinking-man’s hardcore act. Formed in 1980 by highschool classmates Greg Graffin and Jay Bentley, BAD RELIGION finally hit the major leagues this year, culminating in a five-album deal with Atlantic Records. But, before anyone cries “sell-out”, a 20-minute telephone interview with Graffin was more than enough to convince me that the band who wrote “Man With A Mission” is the self-same authors of “Quality Or Quantim” [sic]. Their headlining set October 13 with Greenday, Seaweed and Rancid is one of the year’s most eagerly awaited shows, and anyone who misses it on the grounds of “sell-out” is making a big mistake. Following are excerpts from the candid conversation with Graffin.
Bad Religion Is: Greg Graffin – Vocals; Mr. Brett – Guitars & Backing Vocals; Greg Hetson – Guitars; Jay Bentley – Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals; Bobby Schayer – Drums.
SLUG: I guess what everyone wants to know is, why after 13 years, did you go to the majors?
GREG: Well, actually, it was more like the president of Atlantic came to us, not vice-versa. Actually, year after year, we had a harder time balancing BAD RELIGION and our other careers. With this deal we’ll be able to concentrate part of our time on BAD RELIGION knowing that it’s going to be the most important thing we work on. And also, we’ll now get distribution on our records everywhere.
SLUG: Yeah, maybe if you get a larger audience you can get people into other Epitaph bands.
GREG: That’s Mr. Brett’s thing (“Mr. Brett” Gurewitz operates and owns Epitaph Records), but we’ve always felt that punk never reached its full potential. I’ve always felt that punk could bridge out to a bigger audience, and that our style of punk could have that rare opportunity.
SLUG: I understand you guys always feel like you have to top each album. Does the new record (“Recipe For Hate”) reflects that, and how do the new collaborations fit it (Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Concrete Blonde’s Johnette Napolitano and members of Clawhammer all put in guest performances on the new record)?
GREG: Actually, we’ve always wanted to do collaborations, but we’ve never had the time. Most of our records have taken about a week, but this time it almost took us a month that’s a long time for us, and we’re really pleased by this one.
SLUG: Unlike other BAD RELIGION records, “Recipe For Hate” has slower tempos and more intricate music. Why the Change?
GREG: Well, as we get older, we’re slowing down (laughs). No, really, we’ve made more than 100 songs now and not every one can be out and out raging. We have to have some slow ones. But, “lookin’ in” is as fast as anything we’ve ever done.
SLUG: You certainly don’t sound like you’re getting any less angry about what you see going on in this country.
GREG: No, and I hope if we ever get satisfied with everything that happens, someone will shoot us and put us out of our misery. I think our fans feel that way, too. I’ve always felt that punks, to a large extent, are more intelligent than most music fans. I just hope they’re not going to disappoint me. They’re the future.
SLUG: Well, I know a lot of these fans have been waiting a long time to see you live again. What can you do to re-assure them?
GREG: They’re not going to be disappointed in us, I promise. And, we’re not going to turn our backs on these fans. We wouldn’t be here if not for them.
SLUG: Anyway, Greg, thanks for the time, and if you ever need a full-time P.R. guy, let me know.
GREG: I’ll keep that in mind.
- Jeffty Reptile
Now Could Hell Be Any Worse (Epitaph) 1982
Into The Unknown (Epitaph) 1983
Back To The Known (Epitaph) 1984
Suffer (Epitaph) 1988
1980 to 1985 (Epitaph) 1989
No Control (Epitaph) 1989
Against The Grain (Epitaph) 1990
Generator (Epitaph) 1992
Recipe For Hate (Epitaph/Atlantic) 1993
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
English transcript updated: Bad Religion Reflect on 40 Years Together
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Review added: Age of Unreason
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English transcript updated: Bad Religion: Il Mito Hardcore
Article image(s) added: Metal Hammer February 2002