Bad Religion in Stockholm, 2004
|Origin||Woodland Hills, California, United States|
|Labels||Epitaph (1980 - 1994, 2001 - present)|
Atlantic (1994 - 2001)
Bad Religion is an American band that plays punk rock music. They were created in Southern California in 1979 by Jay Bentley (bass), Greg Graffin (vocals), Brett Gurewitz (guitars) and Jay Ziskrout (drums). People think that they brought back punk rock and helped pop-punk bands during the late 1980s. Since they were created 30 years ago, Bad Religion has had a lot of members come and go. Greg Graffin is the only person that's been in the band the whole time but today there are three of the four members that were in the group when it started.
Today, Bad Religion has fourteen studio albums, two EPs, three compilation albums, one live recording, and two DVDs. Some critics think that their 1988 album Suffer is one of the most important punk rock albums of all time,. People began to notice Bad Religion after their 1993 album Recipe for Hate, which was number 14 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. Their next album, Stranger Than Fiction, had the band's well-known hits "21st Century (Digital Boy)" and "Infected", did well and was the only Bad Religion album to get gold status in the US. Brett Gurewitz left in 1994. Bad Religion was not as well known after that and did not sell many albums until The Process of Belief in 2002. Brett Gurewitz came back in 2001, and worked with them on their four most recent albums. The band is planning to make another album in 2012.
They are known for their smart use of style, comparisons, word choice, imagery, and voice harmonies (which they call "oozin aahs.) Lyrics sometimes have to do with their emotions or their opinion of society.
Lyrics and ideology[change | change source]
Most of Bad Religion's lyrics are written by Greg Graffin or Brett Gurewitz. Sometimes, but often, they will co-write a song. Other band members, such as Jay Bentley, also write songs, but very rarely.
Brett Gurewitz says he tried to copy The Germs singer Darby Crash early on in Bad Religion's career. "He wrote some intelligent stuff, and didn't shy away from the vocabulary, which I thought was cool." Bad Religion also uses voice harmonies. The Adolescents influenced them with their three-part voice harmonies. Bassist Jay Bentley says, "Seeing The Adolescents live, it was so brilliant. So, in a way, the Adolescents influenced us into saying we can do it too, because look, they're doing it."
Social and political issues[change | change source]
Many of Bad Religion's songs are about what they think are social problems, but they do not blame causes of these problems to any single person or group. Greg Graffin thinks that the politics in the United States can make it hard to talk about the problems.
The band is sometimes direct about the things they want to say. Brett Gurewitz said he was angry at former U.S. president George W. Bush and that The Empire Strikes First is about him. "Our whole album is dedicated to getting Bush out of office. I'm not a presidential scholar but I don't think you'll find a worse president in the history of the United States. He's probably one of the worst leaders in the history of world leaders. I just hate the guy."
Religion[change | change source]
Despite the name of the band, the members say they are not anti-religious. Greg Graffin says that more often than not, the band likes to use religion to represent anything that does not let a person be free. Their songs are more about being against everyone being the same than against religion or God. But Greg Graffin is an atheist. He helped write the book 'Is Belief in God Good, Bad or Irrelevant?' The band's bassist Jay Bentley has stated that he has spiritual beliefs. Brett Gurewitz is a "provisional deist."
Band members[change | change source]
Current members[change | change source]
- Greg Graffin – lead vocals, piano, synthesizer, acoustic guitar, songwriter (1979 – 1984, 1986 – present)
- Brett Gurewitz – lead guitar, rhythm guitar, backing vocals, songwriter (1979 – 1983, 1986 – 1994, 2001 – present)
- Jay Bentley – bass guitar, backing vocals (1979 – 1982, 1986 – present)
- Greg Hetson – lead guitar, rhythm guitar (1984, 1986 – present)
- Brian Baker – lead guitar, rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1994 – present)
- Brooks Wackerman – drums, percussion (2001 – present)
Discography[change | change source]
|Year||Album||US Chart position||Vocals||Guitars||Bass||Drums|
|1982||How Could Hell Be Any Worse?||Never charted||Greg Graffin||Mr. Brett||Jay Bentley||Pete Finestone / Jay Ziskrout|
|1983||Into the Unknown||Paul Dedona||Davy Goldman|
|1988||Suffer||Greg Hetson||Jay Bentley||Pete Finestone|
|1990||Against the Grain|
|1993||Recipe for Hate||#14 (Heatseekers)|
|1994||Stranger Than Fiction||#87|
|1996||The Gray Race||#56||Brian Baker|
|2000||The New America||#88|
|2002||The Process of Belief||#49||Mr. Brett||Brooks Wackerman|
|2004||The Empire Strikes First||#40|
|2007||New Maps of Hell||#35|
|2010||The Dissent of Man||#35|
Other websites[change | change source]
- Official Website
- The Bad Religion Page Fan website, established 1995.
- Bad Religion Videos Live videos and Bootlegs
References[change | change source]
- "Bad Religion: New Maps of Hell - Music - Citysearch".
- "How did the band Bad Religion contribute to music?". eNotes.
- Heller, Jason (11 April 2002). "Bad Religion". Westword.
- "Suffer CD". Bad Religion Store.
- "Prindle Record Reviews - Bad Religion".
- "Bad Religion - "Suffer" :: RevHQ.com".
- Taylor, Matt; Rojas, Mateo (September 27, 1996). "A Conversation with Mr. Brett".
- Greene, Jo-Anne (May 23, 1997). "Addicted to the Opiate of the Masses".
- McMartin, Trent (November 3, 2005). "Acting Their Rage".
- Lyxzén, Dennis (June 29, 2004). "Brett Gurewitz Interview".
- E., Kelly; D., Cathy (October 15, 1993). "Graffin Interview".
- "Bentley Interview".
- Albums widely considered to be among Bad Religion's most important works.