To everybody... first, a lot of you are writing in and asking if BR is playing your area. First off, since all the BR info ever is almost exhausted in conversation here, if any signifigant batch of tour dates comes out, someone on the list is gonna post it, if not Len. so if anyone is looking for BR, go to Pollstar.com, Ticketmaster might have info, or I think the best one is http://www.performancemag.com/toursearch This site has tons of better stuff in a better delivered format. Anyway...enough of that crap. @@@@Anyone going to see Mr. T. Experience, ME First and the Gimme Gimme's, with Groovie Ghoulies and two other bands in Minnesota on Sunday Oct. 12.? *------------------------------------------------------------* From: email@example.com Subject: An interview with Jay This interview was originally published in Life In a Bungalo #6. It can be republished with my permission only. I think it sheds some light on Jay's relationship with Brett, and is one of the best interviews I ever have done. George (LIABungalo): The Gray Race seems a lot lighter then Stranger Than Fiction. Do you feel there were any differences in making this one; any less of a push from the record label? Jay Bentley: Letís get the label out of the way. They donít have anything to do with what we do, and they donít give a shit. We told them flat out, we make records, and thatís what we do for a living, so weíll make the record, and you sell it. They donít care what we put on it. As far as lighter; do you mean the sentiment? The sound? George: It seemed almost fast and cheery. Stranger was pretty dark and brooding. Jay: I donít know, I never thought of it that way. I donít think I care much for Stranger Than Fiction. George: I kinda liked it. Jay: I didnít hate it. I donít think this album is cheerier lyrically. I think itís probably a little more painful personally. George: Should I ask why? Jay: Thereís a lot of things going on in everybodyís lives, and that usually dictates what you write about. You write about what you know. Weíve spend the better part of our career writing about how we perceive things. The last few years weíve also been writing about how it affects us. So itís a combination of how we perceive things and how it affects us. On the Grey Race it was a lot more of how it affects us versus just a question. George: Are you working on a new album yet? Jay: Yeah. George: How far into the project are you? Jay: Weíve got a live album. How far are we? Brian Baker: Weíre about half way. Jay: Weíre mixing songs from live shows. Weíve been recording this whole tour. Thatís just a project though. It doesnít count as a new album. The next studio album will probably be late next year. Weíve got five or six songs for that right now. George: How long have you been on tour for? Where have you been, and how many tours have you done for this album? Jay: Five tours. Weíve basically been out since January. Weíve got Japan, Australia, and South America after this. George: Is the writing any different on this album since Brettís not on it? Jay: Very much so, Brett was a very big factor in the writing. Since heís not writing anything anymore, basically, Brian brought in about four and a half musical writings- some songs and some just parts, and Greg wrote the rest on his own. On one half, it would have been a problem if Greg was lacking in an area to write in, but he felt a lot more open about writing types of songs that he wasnít writing before, because Brett would write them. Brett wrote specific types of songs and Greg wrote specific types of songs. Greg had a good time writing songs that he wouldnít normally deliver to the band, because he just believed that Brett would just write a specific type of song. George: Political stuff? Jay: No, Brettís not a very political writer. Heís more into prose. Gregg was always the political type of writer. So to write the prose kind of stuff... I donít think any of us want to go back to slick black car midnight crying lamp post type of shit. We were like, ďWhat the hell are you saying?Ē Iíve been in this band saying that since day one. What does that mean? But I was always interested in trying to figure out ďWhat are we getting at; what are we trying to say?Ē Brett got to the point where it was, not only do I not know what it means, but nobody knows what it means. A lot of the sentiments in the songs donít mean anything to anybody. It was just blabbering. On the whole, I feel that the Grey Race is a lot more complete. It sounds more like an album instead of a collection of weird songs. George: I liked the last two albums. Jay: I liked Recipe, but we really could have done without Stranger. Itís an OK album, but not one of my favorites. George: Recipe For Hate; Iíve seen it listed as an Atlantic album and as an Epitaph album. What label is it on? Jay: Epitaph released the first 250,000, and then Atlantic bought it from Brett, and they have been releasing it since. Basically, the first pressing of it was Epitaph and everything subsequently has been Atlantic. George: Is Atlantic treating you guys differently or better? Jay: No, they treat us about the same as we treated ourselves. They leave us alone, basically, which is what we asked for. We said, look, weíve been doing this on our own for a long time, and itís come to the point now, where itís either the band or the label. I donít want to sit behind a desk; I want to play music. George: Were you all involved in Epitaph? Jay: I worked there; Brett owned it, and that was his problem. He assumed he could do both, but in reality you could do both if the band you were in wasnít on the label youíre in as well. Believe me, you donít want to have an argument between five band members and one guy stands up and says, ďWell as the record label, I say youíre doing this.Ē George: Were you under contract? Jay: Of course we were. George: How did that work? Jay: Brett gave us a contract. Itís really funny. People assume that we had this strange and free relationship, but we were under contract to a record label, just like any other band. George: I just figured since you created it, you were free to do what you wanted. Jay: You would figure that. So people are like, ďWell how could you leave.Ē Well we walked into Atlantic with our contract, and said, ďThis is what we want you to give us.Ē George: Whatís your favorite album or song by Bad Religion? Does anyone like Into The Unknown? Jay: Yeah, thereís stuff on there that is OK. George: My personal favorite is Chasing The Wild Goose. Jay: I have no problem with anything off that. It could have done without the keyboards, I suppose. George: You were in the band at the time? Jay: I was in the band for half of the first song, and then walked out in the middle of it. I wasnít really interested in pursuing a progressive rock career. Itís a good album by the wrong band. George: What was going on between the years that the band disbanded and Suffer came out? Jay: Into The Unknown came out in Ď84. In Ď86 there was Back To The Known, the EP. Not a whole helluva a lot. Greg was going back to school. I wasnít in the band, and Brett wasnít in the band. It was basically, Greg and Hetson, and whoever would play drums and bass. They would play four or five shows a year. There really wasnít anything happening. But there wasnít really anything happening in LA either. We had gotten to the point where everything went metal, and punk rock was basically shunned from the clubs. Since that was what Bad Religion was, and they all new it, we were werenít going to change our names and become a metal band like a lot of other bands did, or try to change our style, and try to accommodate ourselves into the clubs. We kind of just fell apart like everybody else. George: What do you listen to? Jay: Mostly Celtic. Folk music. I like the new SamIam album, I hope it comes out on some label. Just weird shit. I donít listen to music the same way I used to. I used to listen to it passionately, now my ears just canít take any more music. If that makes any sense. Itís really kind of sad, Ďcause it used to be such a big part of my life- just sitting back and listening to music, and just getting into an idea of whatever this song was... seeing this video in your head. MTV kind of ruined that for everybody, by giving you their idea instead of creating your own. At this point I just listened to so many different styles of music, but nothing really in particular. George: How did you come up with the 21st Century video? I always thought that was neat. Jay: The directorís idea was to somehow get us on a television screen, but to have us appear in a 3 dimensional way. So we filled up a plastic swimming pool, like a 5,000 gallon swimming pool with water, green food dye, formaldehyde, and some toxic emulsifier. We had a friend of ours from Heal The Bay come down and look at he told us that he wouldnít get in that water, but we did anyway. It was just this thick green liquid, and we painted ourselves blue. The idea was we were all going to be static, like the background is. And the reason for us being blue and the water being green, is that when we would feed the picture into the computer it could differentiate between us and the water. So that way we could give ourselves some definition. When the second edit came in with the the static in the back with us blue, we liked it so much we just left us blue. George: Are those apples in the background of the video? Jay: Those are ping-pong balls. I still canít figure that out. We were in the middle of shooting, and like someone yelled, ďOh yeah, throw in the ping-pong balls.Ē They like poured in a thousand orange ping-pong balls. I was like what the fuck is that for. I still donít know the meaning behind that. George: The song Operation Rescue, you donít seem to be playing it much lately... Jay: Weíve been playing it. Brian: Weíve been playing it for the past couple of nights... Jay: We wonít be playing it tonight, but weíve been doing it lately. A lot of that has to do with still teaching Brian... he needs to learn 160 songs. So itís like tonight. What did we teach him tonight? Quality or Quantity. I think there comes a time for a band, I donít know about every band, shit weíve been together for seventeen years. Weíve played those songs thousands of times, and I know a lot of people still want to here them, but I know a lot of people that come and see us every year and all we do is the same songs plus five or six new ones. Greg and I have been talking, and I would like to play a lot of songs that we havenít played before. People are like I want to hear Along The Way, well no, we want to play God Song. George: Last time you played here (Stone Pony) you seemed to be playing only the stuff off of All Ages and the last three albums.. Jay: Well unfortunately the greatest hits album is basically just that. The All Ages album was Brett and Greg picking their favorite songs, that they each wrote, but there is no getting around the fact that those are the songs that we basically play live and those are the songs that everyone wants to hear. George: So you did have a say in All Ages? I thought it was just a squeeze to make money on whatever you guys still had left at Epitaph. Jay: I donít know what was happening at Epitaph at that point, I will say what I was told, and that was that Brett had nothing to do with it, and it was Andie Caulkinís (?) idea to do this whole thing, and I donít know any different then that. I donít know why it came out. I didnít really want it to come out, but itís out. I donít care. Thereís not much I can do about it. It could have come out with or with out our approval. Thatís the being under contract part. George: Back to Operation Rescue, is that pro or anti-abortion? Jay: Itís about neither one. Itís about Terry Randall or Randall Terry. I donít know what the hell. Whatever the fuck his name is. Itís just a song about people who actually believe that they have a say in other peopleís life. George: Do you believe that they should or shouldnít? Jay: I think that they should just shut the fuck up. Everybody should shut up. Those who are pro-abortion should shut up; those people who are anti-abortion should shut up, and just leave the people who have to deal with a real troublesome issue in their lives to the fuck alone. Itís not an easy decision for someone to make, and it really pisses me off when men think that their going to make decisions for women. Thatís really funny. You think men would allow women to make decisions on if men should have vasectomies. Fuck no. Never. Thatís the joke about it. Who has the right to say anything about what someone else does? Thatís the problem. George: Whatís your stand point on all the reunion shows going on? Does it bother you that youíve been working all these years and all these band are just getting back together to cash in on what you helped make. Jay: No, not at all. We donít give a shit. On one side of the coin itís great for kids who have never had a chance to see these guy play, whether itís Kiss or the Sex Pistols or Fear. On the other hand, some of these bands believe that they're just going to get back together again and make a million dollars on a tour... Kiss will. I donít care. George: Have you guys gotten burnt out at all from all the touring, have you reached a point where youíre just tired? Jay: I think the touring, which is the driving and waiting around is tiring. But the playing I never get tired of. Itís like anything else, I like doing it. So sitting around for twenty-three and a half hours a day is tiring. You play for a half an hour, and then cut, youíre into the next day already. George: Are you guys married... have kids? Jay: The majority of us are married. Three out of five are married, and two out of five have kids. There are four kids, so the ratio would is almost one to one, but weíll call it .095. Letís just do that. George: Is there any where you want to go to go to in the future? Jay: Home, I want to go home, and I want to go to the moon. Those are the two places that I want to go.