Brett said he left the band in the 80s to "pursue my drug career even more diligently! I was doing LSD, coke, heroin... I was a garbage disposal unit! I also wanted to be an engineer, so I ended up working with hundreds of cool bands."
When Brett called Greg to tell him he was leaving the band he gave as the main reason an argument he had with Jay (Brett's first song with new band The Daredevils, entitled Hate You, was written for and about Jay).
Brett: "I left the band because of the hypocrisy. Atlantic is a terrible label". However, on an MTV appearance during the Recipe For Hate Tour he had no problems with the Atlantic deal -he was actually praising Atlantic. Brett: "One of the reasons I called it quits when I did was because I thought at the time BR was at the 'top of its game' and therefore I might be able to 'bow out' with a modicum of dignity".
According to the other members of Bad Religion, the reason Brett left was "His interest in selling records and not making them". They called him "A minor 5th".
Brian said the only difference the departure of Brett had made is that Bad Religion doesn't have songs with the word "babies" in their title anymore.
Jay said repeatedly that Brett's departure was the best thing that had happened to BR in the last 15 years. He also said Brett is desperately trying to maintain his punk rock image and that's impossible when you are a multimillionaire.
Hetson commented about the atmosphere before Brett decided to quit that "there were some tense moments. There wasn't a lot of solidarity; the camps were divided. It was a little weird and awkward at times".
The actual press release from Atlantic announcing the departure gave as sole reason Brett's will to concentrate on Epitaph and that is what all magazines published and what most people believe.
Here's Brett telling the truth: "I didn't quit because I didn't have enough time, I quit because it was becoming unbearable for me to stay. We were fighting like cats and dogs. It's all personal shit, we just got on each others nerves (...) A band is a group of guys who are tight, love each other, have camaraderie, and that's why they go traveling around with each other, because they want to, there's a genuine bond, a genuine affinity. For me, I was going through the motions. It's supposed to be artistic, supposed to be about the art, how do you make something genuine and from the heart, when the whole things feels like a charade (...) I believe that I got on their nerves as well. So, I believe it was for the best. I definitely wish them no ill will, but I think we're all happier being apart".
In 2002, with Brett back in the band, he said that "Looking back, the argument with Jay was an excuse to leave the band. I was overwhelmed by how much was going on in my life at the time (...) I couldn't turn on the radio in 1994 without hearing something that I was involved with, I didn't know how to handle it. It led to my relapse. I went seven and a half years where I was clean, extremely clean, so when I relapsed, I relapsed on heroin. The drugs led to the band breakup and subsequent turmoil I experienced. I don't want to make excuses. I'm responsible for my own recovery, but when I'm on drugs, I'm an asshole. So there".
Rumors, perpetuated by Brett himself, claimed that he was coerced into signing with Atlantic. Brett admits that "I acted like that's what happened. No one's perfect. I wanted the band to believe in my little company. I wanted them to turn their backs on the major offers. I did, however, have as much to do with the band going to Atlantic as they did, so it was complex emotionally."
Apparently, The Offspring leaving Epitaph also played into Brett's decision to leave Bad Religion, because "Smash" was so successful and he was really satisfied with Stranger Than Fiction, and felt it was "the optimal time to make a change".
In June 1999 135 people voted on a survey carried out by The Generator. The answers to the question "should Mr. Brett Return?" were as follows:
|09/04||cleaned up - By Stinger66|
|07/31||added one of the actual reasons - By wrong planet|