Punk rock icons BAD RELIGION have released “What Are We Standing For”, an outtake from the band’s critically acclaimed 2019 album “Age Of Unreason”. The song is one of support and compassion for professional athletes, and others, who have taken a knee to protest police brutality and racism.
BAD RELIGION has always advocated for humanism, reason, and individualism, which in our current political climate is a message that has never been more essential.
“In this time of tribal nationalism, dissent, as a form of political speech, is vital to democracy,” says BAD RELIGION co-songwriter and guitarist Brett Gurewitz.
In August, BAD RELIGION released its autobiography, “Do What You Want: The Story Of Bad Religion”, written with the group’s full cooperation and support. It reveals the ups and downs of the band’s 40-year career, from their beginnings as teenagers experimenting in a San Fernando Valley garage dubbed “The Hell Hole” to headlining major music festivals around the world. The book predominantly features the four principal voices of BAD RELIGION in a hybrid oral history/narrative format: Gurewitz, Greg Graffin, Jay Bentley and Brian Baker. It also includes rare photos and never-before-seen material from their archives.
Last month, Graffin spoke to “The Five Count” radio show about what keeps him inspired to make new music four decades into the veteran punk band’s career.
“That’s the thing that’s unique about BAD RELIGION, is our long catalog, our extensive catalog of songs and albums,” he said. “Even though a lot of bands are 40 years old, most of them are playing songs or hits from 30 years ago, because they don’t put out new music.
“When BAD RELIGION decides to put out new music, it’s not just because the world is in turmoil; I don’t think that’s very inspiring as a songwriter,” he explained.
“We write music that we hope speaks to some kind of a sentiment of optimism, even though our music is rather pessimistic. [Laughs]”
He added: “It’s funny, ’cause a lot of fans say, ‘Your music is about such serious stuff. A lot of it is tragic stuff about the human condition. But it always makes me feel so good.’ [Laughs] And these are not dark people — they’re not negative, nihilistic people.
“There’s something hopeful and uplifting about our music, and that’s something that I do feel a great sense of artistic satisfaction about.”