Bad Religion

By bushy

Mark: First off, Greg, congratulations on the new album.
Greg: Thanks.

Mark: Many critics have claimed it’s your strongest album in years. What do you personally think of it?
Greg: I have to agree. I think it’s our strongest album in years!

Mark: Have you got any favorite tracks on the new album?
Greg: It’s very hard to pick a favorite. There’s a good mix, some very fast stuff, which I’m pleased with.

Mark: There are some great guitar solos on the album. How many are you responsible for playing?
Greg: Thanks. Two or three I think.

Mark: You’ve probably been asked a lot about September 11th. All I want to know is if those tragic events affected the album in any way?
Greg: No, because all the songs were written well before then, and we had finished recording the album in August.

Mark: Last year must have been a strange one for the band. On one hand Bobby (Schayer) was forced to hang up his drumsticks. On the other, Brett (Gurewitz) returned and you resigned for Epitaph. How did you react to those events?
Greg: It was really unfortunate about Bobby. We were playing in Brazil and he came to us and said he didn’t think he could play any more because of the pain. It was shocking because none of us thought it was as bad as it turned out to be. I think with Brettt, it was working that way. He had written more and more stuff for us since his track on the last album. Our old record deal was up as well, so it all worked out great.

Mark: Now, of course, you’ve recruited ex-Suicidal Tendencies drummer, Brooks Wackerman. How’s he fitting in?
Greg: He’s great. He’s a great drummer, and he’s a funny guy with a great personality.

Mark: What has the return of Brett brought to the band?
Greg: Mainly the combination of Greg (Graffin) and Brett feeding off each other, and just the presence he brings with him.

Mark: You’re playing your first UK gig in three years tomorrow night. Are you looking forward to it?
Greg: Yeah, our last appearance was about was a while ago at a festival, so we’re really looking forward to playing here. We were really pleased it sold out in advance. We’ve actually had a lot of problems getting over to the UK recently, for a number of reasons.

Mark: There have been rumours flying around for a while about you headlining the Deconstruction tour this year. Is there any truth to those rumours?
Greg: No.

Mark: Will you be playing any more headline dates in the UK this year?
Greg: We’ll be coming back for three of four shows in May.

Mark: When you were growing up, who were your biggest musical influences?
Greg: Great radio music, stuff like the Beatles, and then harder rock: Aerosmith, Judas Priest and the Ramones. I was always looking for harder music and punk rock worked for me: LA bands like Black Flag and The Germs, and then stuff like Sham 69.

Mark: When did you decide you wanted to play the guitar and make music an important part of your life?
Greg: When I listened to music when I was younger, my parents asked me about it and suggested I should learn the guitar. When I was ten or eleven, I played for a year and then quit! I started learning again when I was sixteen.

Mark: When you’re not busy being a rock star, what albums do you enjoy chilling out to?
Greg: All kinds of stuff, mainly instrumental.

Mark: Have you got any tips for what we should be listening to at the minute?
Greg: Death by Stereo, we played with them recently. They’re a very cool band and very original.

Mark: Over the years many people have taken a swipe at Bad Religion. Does it hurt you when you see criticism of the band in the press?
Greg: If it’s accurate then yeah, but on the whole it doesn’t bother us.

Mark: Fun question this: If the band were to split tomorrow and you could play one last gig anywhere in the world, where would it be and what two bands would you have as support?
Greg: I love playing in Brazil, so it would have to be Rio. I think Stiff Little Fingers are great, so they can support, and I would love to resurrect Joey Ramone from the grave and have the original Ramones line up. That would be cool!

Mark: After all you’ve achieved in the last couple of decades are you still glad you decided to attempt the solo for ‘Part III’?
Greg: Yeah, exactly. I made a good choice of friends to hang out with!

Mark: Thanks Greg, it’s been a pleasure talking to you.
Greg: Thank you.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]