Fast Facts About Bad Religion
Bad Religion was formed in 1980 in Los Angeles, California. The original members of the band were Greg Graffin, Jay Bentley, Jay Ziskrout, and Brett Gurewitz. Each of the original members was in high school at the time of the band’s initial formation. They played their first official show at Joey Kills Bar in Burbank, California, in November 1980.
Bad Religion is considered a punk rock band. Their music has long been associated with skater culture, and they’ve sat on the same label as other punk-rock mainstays like Green Day, The Offspring, NOFX, and Rancid. Although punk was briefly considered dead in the 1980s, Bad Religion is partially credited with bringing it back during the punk revival movement of the 90s.
Like many of their punk-rock contemporaries, Bad Religion makes music that largely focuses on problems in society. Greed, political dishonesty, issues with organized religion, and more are all focal points in the band’s songs. However, despite the band’s highly controversial name, none of the members consider themselves to be anti-theistic – they’re simply critical of organized religion and blind belief.
Bad Religion has also long employed the use of a provocative logo called “The Crossbuster.” The symbol features a traditional black Latin cross covered by a red prohibition sign. The logo was originally created by founding member and lead guitarist Brett Gurewitz early in their time as a band. Band member Greg Hetson has explained that the symbol is not meant to be strictly anti-Christian. Instead, it’s intended to represent the anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment nature of the band.
Bad Religion: The Members
Since the band’s formation, they’ve undergone significant lineup changes. The current lineup includes founding members Greg Graffin, Brett Gurewitz, and Jay Bentley, but drummer Jay Ziskrout is no longer with the band. Newer members include Mike Dimkich, Brian Baker, and Jamie Miller.
Numerous musicians have come and gone from the band’s lineup, in addition to founding member Jay Ziskrout. Other former members of the band include Pete Finestone, Paul Dedona, Davy Goldman, Greg Hetson, Tim Gallegos, John Albert, Lucky Lehrer, Bobby Schayer, and Brooks Wackerman.
Greg Gaffin, the lead singer of Bad Religion, has a net worth of $6 million. Aside from his work with Bad Religion, Gaffin has also released solo albums, including American Lesion and Cold as the Clay. He’s also the author of several books.
Brett Gurewitz, a founding member of the band and their current lead guitarist, has a net worth of $12 million. His wealth has largely come from the success of his label, Epitaph Records. Gurewitz was just 16 years old when Bad Religion was formed in 1980.
However, around the time that Bad Religion released Stranger Than Fiction, founding member Brett Gurewitz decided to leave the band. He told his fellow members that he needed to focus more on his new label, Epitaph, which had become the home for rising punk rockers The Offspring. That said, Gurewitz ended up rejoining Bad Religion a few years later.
Bad Religion: The Music
The band has released albums with numerous labels, including Epitaph, Atlantic, and Epic. They’ve released a total of seventeen studio albums, along with three EPs. Their albums have cumulatively sold over five million copies.
With Atlantic Records
Bad Religion jumped to Atlantic records in 1983, which led to greater levels of mainstream success. With Atlantic, the band released their seventh album, Recipe for Hate, which featured numerous hits, including “American Jesus” and “Struck a Nerve.” The album wasn’t a critical success, but it did help the band gain a far broader audience. It’s also their highest-charting record, hitting No. 14 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.
After Recipe for Hate, Bad Religion stuck with Atlantic for the release of their eighth LP, 1994’s Stranger Than Fiction. The record is now considered one of their best, receiving widespread critical praise and high levels of commercial success. Stranger Than Fiction features multiple hit songs, including its title track and “Infected,” along with an updated version of the song “21st Century (Digital Boy),” which was originally released on the album Against The Grain.
In 2001, Bad Religion left Atlantic Records to sign to Epitaph, Brett Gurewitz’s label. At this point, Gurewitz returned as an official member of the band. With Epitaph, Bad Religion released Process of Belief in 2002 and The Empire Strikes First in 2004. These albums are both fan favorites, described by many Bad Religion devotees as a return to form for the band.
Bad Religion continued going strong throughout the 2000s. In 2007, they released New Maps of Hell, their fourteenth studio effort. The album hit number 35 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, a milestone for the band. After the release of the album, Bad Religion appeared at Warped Tour, one of the biggest punk and hardcore festivals in the US.
Bad Religion in the 2010s
In the 2010s, the band released multiple highly successful albums, including a live record called 30 Years Live in 2010. The album was released three decades after the band’s initial formation in 1980. After 30 Years Live, the band put out their first studio LP of the 2010s, The Dissent of Man.
In 2013, The band released their sixteenth album, True North. The album broke the record previously held by New Maps of Hell for the highest-charting Bad Religion LP. True North peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It was the band’s first top-20 album in their over three-decade career.
In 2013, the band released a holiday EP titled Christmas Songs. The album, which was released via Epitaph and produced by Joe Barresi, features numerous reworkings of Christmas carols, including “What Child Is This?” “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and several others. The EP also includes a reworking of “American Jesus.”
Bad Religion: A Punk Legend
For decades, Bad Religion has been one of the most powerful forces in the punk-rock genre. Their dozens of albums have offended countless concerned parents and inspired the devotion of legions of fans. Even over 40 years after forming in 1980, the band is still one of the most popular and influential punk outfits of all time.
Bad Religion | Discography | Discogs
40 Years Of Bad Religion: Vocalist Greg Graffin | Forbes
Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin talks about the band’s 40 years of | Daily News