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Bad Religion

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Bad Religion

Mensaje  Sigfrido el Lun Jun 01, 2009 4:39 pm

*¿Who are Bad Religion?*
Bad Religion is an American punk rock band founded in Southern California in 1980 by Jay Bentley (bass), Greg Graffin (vocals), Brett Gurewitz (guitars) and Jay Ziskrout (drums). They are often credited for leading the revival of punk rock and inspiring pop-punk bands during the late 1980s, as well as influencing a large number of other punk and rock musicians throughout their career. In the 29 years since its inception, Bad Religion has had numerous lineup changes, and Graffin has been the only constant member, although the band currently features three of the original four members.

History

*Formation and early career (1980-1982)*
Bad Religion was formed in Los Angeles, California in 1980 by high school students Greg Graffin (vocals, keyboards), Jay Bentley (bass), Jay Ziskrout (drums), and Brett Gurewitz, also known as "Mr. Brett" (guitar). James O'Hanlon from New York filled in on guitar briefly as well while Brett was in the hospital with a broken leg. The band's major influences stemmed from earlier punk acts such as The Ramones, The Adolescents, Black Flag, The Germs, and The Sex Pistols. Outside of the punk scene, their influences ranged from Elvis Costello, The Jam, and Nick Lowe to authors like Jack Kerouac.[9] Greg Graffin called his influences "pop sounding rock tunes that were not necessarily commercial."

In 1981, the band released their eponymous debut EP on the newly-formed label, Epitaph Records, which was and continues to be managed and owned by Gurewitz. 1982 saw the release of their first full-length album, How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, gaining the band a sizable following. During the recording of How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, Jay Ziskrout left the band and was replaced by Peter Finestone.


*Into the Unknown, Back to the Known and hiatus (1983-1985)*
In 1983, the band released Into the Unknown, a keyboard-driven progressive rock album that was enormously unpopular with the band's core fanbase. It is now officially out of print, after almost all of the 10,000 copies were surreptitiously sold out of the warehouse they were being stored in by Gurewitz's ex-girlfriend, Suzy Shaw (who currently runs Bomp Records).
The record has since become a collectors item, and has also gained acceptance from some fans. It can be seen going for more than 100 dollars on eBay.
Also in 1983, the Mystic Records compilation album "The Sound Of Hollywood, Vol. 2" was released featuring two Bad Religion songs- "Every Day" and "Waiting For The Fire" which continued in the mellow acoustic/keyboard direction of the previous album. These songs are exclusive to this vinyl-only release which has been out of print for many years.
In 1984, Greg Hetson of Circle Jerks fame, who had played the guitar solo for "Part III" on How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, teamed up with Graffin on the song "Running Fast" for the soundtrack of the film Desperate Teenage Lovedolls. Originally credited to Greg Greg on the initial release, the 1997 CD reissue lists the artist as Greg Graffin and Greg Hetson. Soon after, Graffin reassembled Bad Religion with Hetson replacing Gurewitz, who had gone into rehab for his drug problem. Bad Religion returned to a somewhat mellower, rock and roll version of their original sound with the Back to the Known EP, but disbanded temporarily soon after.
In 1985, Brett Gurewitz released a 5-song EP on Epitaph Records under the name The Seeing Eye Gods. This psychedelic influenced record is long out of print and has never been released on CD.

*Reunion and Suffer (1986-1988)*
Bad Religion slowly reformed in 1986 out of the Back to the Known lineup when Greg Graffin called Jay Bentley and asked him to return. Bentley's response was tentative, but after being assured that the setlist consisted mostly of tracks from How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, he agreed to return for one show, and ended up staying on because he had so much fun. A freshly rehabilitated Gurewitz was eventually convinced to come back aboard, and with Pete Finestone returning on drums and Greg Hetson on second guitar, Bad Religion was back.
The reunited band released Suffer in 1988, cementing their comeback in the punk community. Not only is this album often cited as one of their very best by fans, but it is credited with "saving" the Southern California punk rock scene by fans and Bad Religion's contemporaries alike.

*No Control, Against the Grain and Generator (1989-1992)*
During the Suffer tour in 1988, Bad Religion began writing "album's worth of material" and debuted a new song called "21st Century (Digital Boy)". After the Suffer tour ended in early 1989, Bad Religion immediately decided to commence work on their next album and entered the Westbeach Recorders studio in June of that year to record it. The resulting album, No Control, was released in November 1989, and ended up selling more than 50,000 copies. By the time it was released, the band had become one of the most critically-praised hardcore punk bands of the time, in spite of a lack of mainstream success.
Bad Religion's hardcore punk style continued with their next album, Against the Grain, which was released in 1990. While the album still did not break the group into mainstream audiences, it was the first 100,000 seller, and showed how quickly they were growing. The track "21st Century (Digital Boy)" off the album, which was originally intended to appear on No Control, is generally regarded the band's most well-known song, and is often a staple at live shows.
Bad Religion's sixth album, Generator, was released in 1992. Before recording sessions for Generator commenced, drummer Pete Finestone left Bad Religion early in 1991 to focus on his other band, The Fishermen, which had signed with a major label, and Bobby Schayer joined the band as his replacement.
To coincide with the band's success, Bad Religion released a compilation album, 80-85, in 1991. It is a repackaging of their debut album, How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, their two EPs, Bad Religion and Back to the Known and the band's three track contributions to the Public Service EP. This compilation did not include Into the Unknown. 80-85 is now out of print and has been replaced by the 2004 re-issued version of How Could Hell Be Any Worse? with the same track listings.

*Mainstream success (1993-1995)*
With alternative rock and grunge breaking into the mainstream, Bad Religion left Epitaph Records for Atlantic Records and quickly re-released their seventh full-length studio album Recipe for Hate (1993) on the major label. Also in 1993, the band recorded the song "Leaders and Followers" for the soundtrack for the Kevin Smith film, Clerks. Their next album, 1994's Stranger Than Fiction, subsequently became their most successful release, scoring hits with "Infected" and a re-recording of "21st Century (Digital Boy)", which was originally released on Against the Grain. To date, Stranger Than Fiction remains another one of Bad Religion's best known albums, with sales continuing fifteen years after its release. On March 4, 1998, it also became the band's first RIAA certified gold record for sales of over half a million in the United States.
Before the release of Stranger Than Fiction, Gurewitz left the band. He officially cited the reason for his departure as the increasing amount of time he was needed at Epitaph as The Offspring became one of the biggest bands of the mid-1990s, but it was well known that his departure was not on good terms. Gurewitz, along with many fans, accused the band of selling out for leaving Epitaph to seek greater financial success despite the fact that Gurewitz was making millions off of The Offspring alone.
As tensions increased, Graffin would sing alternate lyrics during concerts such as "I want to know where Brett gets his crack" or "I want to know why Gurewitz cracked," on the song "Stranger Than Fiction". These barbs referred to Gurewitz's struggles with crack, heroin and other addictions which plagued him for years. Brett discussed his drug use in an interview on the band's Suffer tour documentary, Along the Way, and is now clean and sober. In response, Gurewitz recorded a song with his new band The Daredevils entitled "Hate You", reportedly directed towards Jay Bentley.
Gurewitz was replaced as a guitarist by Brian Baker, a former member of bands such as Minor Threat and Dag Nasty. Since Greg Graffin and Gurewitz had split songwriting duties, Graffin was now Bad Religion's primary songwriter.

*Post-Gurewitz period (1996-2000)*
Bad Religion continued touring and recording without Brett Gurewitz and released three more albums for Atlantic, starting with The Gray Race (1996), produced by former Cars frontman Ric Ocasek. Despite never garnering the amount of attention that Stranger Than Fiction received, it would score Bad Religion a minor U.S. radio hit with the song "A Walk" as well as the European release of "Punk Rock Song" (sung in both English and German).[citation needed] The band would find its greatest success in Europe, where the album would reach the German music charts at #6 and score the band their first European gold record for sales in Scandinavia alone.
Brian Baker (left) with Bad Religion, live in the Netherlands, 1995.Their next album, No Substance (1998), was not as well received by the critics or fans.[16] For The New America (2000), Todd Rundgren, an early musical inspiration for Graffin, was brought in to produce. "Todd was kind of an underground sensation back in 1974. Here's a guy who was making pop music but in a way that you wouldn't hear on the radio. So much of my early musical identity was wrapped up in the way he conducted himself." In the summer of 1999 they set out on a three month US arena tour opening for Blink 182.Unfortunately, the experience might not have been all that Greg and the rest of the band might have hoped. Interest in recording the record waned, due to Rundgren's poor attitude. Jay Bentley reflects on this by saying, "I didn't feel we were going anywhere and so did Greg. Todd didn't like Greg and that made Greg so mad! He met his idol and he was a jerk! I don't think Todd gave a shit about anything." Meanwhile, Bobby Schayer left the band following a serious shoulder injury and was replaced by Brooks Wackerman (Suicidal Tendencies).
Bad Religion departed from Atlantic Records in 2001 and returned to Epitaph.

*Reunion with Gurewitz (2001-2004)*
In 2001, Brett Gurewitz rejoined the band in time to record The Process Of Belief (2002). Graffin states, "there was a little bit of disappointment on my part when he left the band, but we never had any serious acrimony between the two of us. I can't say the same for the rest of the band. But he and I, being the songwriters from way back, we really wanted to try again."
Their next album, The Empire Strikes First, was released in June 2004. Both albums are widely regarded by fans and critics as a return to form for the band, as opposed to their time on Atlantic.
The band also re-released digitally-remastered versions of several of their early albums on Epitaph Records, including How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, Suffer, No Control, Against the Grain, and Generator. The How Could Hell Be Any Worse? re-issue, though reclaiming the original title of the band's debut LP, contained all of the same material as the previously issued 80-85 compilation, including their first EP, the Public Service EP (with different versions of the songs Bad Religion, Slaves, and Drastic Actions than the self-titled EP) and the "Back To The Known" EP.

*Lyrics and ideology*
The majority of Bad Religion's lyrics are written by either Greg Graffin or Brett Gurewitz. Only on rare occasions will they co-write a song. Other band members, such as Jay Bentley, also contribute songs, but these constitute only a small percentage of the Bad Religion catalog.
Brett Gurewitz acknowledges attempting to emulate The Germs singer Darby Crash early on in Bad Religion's lyrical style. "He wrote some intelligent stuff, and didn't shy away from the vocabulary, which I thought was cool." In addition to their use of unusually sophisticated vocabulary for a punk band, Bad Religion is also known for their frequent use of vocal harmonies. They took their cues from The Adolescents, in the way that they used three-part 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."

*Band members*
For more details on this topic, see List of Bad Religion band members.
Although Greg Graffin is the only constant member of the band's line-up, the band currently features two other original members, Brett Gurewitz and Jay Bentley.

*Discography*
Main article: Bad Religion discography
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 Never charted Greg Graffin Mr. Brett Paul Dedona Davy Goldman
1988 Suffer Never charted Greg Graffin Mr. Brett Greg Hetson Jay Bentley Pete Finestone
1989 No Control Never charted Greg Graffin Mr. Brett Greg Hetson Jay Bentley Pete Finestone
1990 Against the Grain Never charted Greg Graffin Mr. Brett Greg Hetson Jay Bentley Pete Finestone
1992 Generator Never charted Greg Graffin Mr. Brett Greg Hetson Jay Bentley Bobby Schayer
1993 Recipe for Hate #14 (Heatseekers) Greg Graffin Mr. Brett Greg Hetson Jay Bentley Bobby Schayer
1994 Stranger Than Fiction #87 Greg Graffin Mr. Brett Greg Hetson Jay Bentley Bobby Schayer
1996 The Gray Race #56 Greg Graffin Greg Hetson Brian Baker Jay Bentley Bobby Schayer
1998 No Substance #78 Greg Graffin Greg Hetson Brian Baker Jay Bentley Bobby Schayer
2000 The New America #88 Greg Graffin Greg Hetson Brian Baker Jay Bentley Bobby Schayer
2002 The Process of Belief #49 Greg Graffin Mr. Brett Greg Hetson Brian Baker Jay Bentley Brooks Wackerman
2004 The Empire Strikes First #40 Greg Graffin Mr. Brett Greg Hetson Brian Baker Jay Bentley Brooks Wackerman
2007 New Maps of Hell #35 Greg Graffin Mr. Brett Greg Hetson Brian Baker Jay Bentley Brooks Wackerman.

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