Singer Greg Graffin of the veteran punk rock band BAD RELIGION spoke to Jonathan Clarke of New York’s Q104.3 radio station about how he is dealing with the coronavirus crisis and what the touring circuit might look like post-pandemic.
“BAD RELIGION still has a pretty grueling touring schedule,” Greg said (see video below). “We’d sold a lot of tickets this year. And by March, obviously, it was clear that we were gonna be sidelined. Yet still, we reassured our fans that we were going to honor those tickets, and as soon as we’re through this crisis, we will.
“A band is a lot more than just playing live, so we’ve tried to maintain our sanity and offer something to the fans,” he continued. “We just put out a single called ‘Faith Alone 2020’; you can find it on streaming services. And we’ve got a string of other singles that are gonna be coming out during this time. Because when we’re not on tour, we spend a lot of time in the studio. And now we all have music rooms and we all have Pro Tools studios at our houses. And we’re trying to fill in the time by doing creative, collaborative works like that.”
According to Graffin, he and his BAD RELIGION bandmates are using the coronavirus downtime to work on new material.
“If you’re a creative band, you’re active right now,” he said. “Because regardless of what a lot of bands will tell you, it’s not that easy to write music when you’re on tour. You have to partition your energy. And the idea of a band getting together after a concert, getting in a bus and just writing music, in our experience, that just doesn’t happen. Good writing is really a time of reflection, and it happens at times like these. So I think creative bands can be in a really good mode right now of producing material. As far as getting out there and playing, there’s only a certain number of venues, and everyone’s gonna be wanting to get out into those venues. So it remains to be seen how we’re going to partition the tours in the next year. But bands like BAD RELIGION, certainly, we have committed ourselves — we’ve already sold tickets, and I think those will be honored in the normal way.”
On August 18, 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: Graffin, Brett Gurewitz, Jay Bentley and Brian Baker. It also includes rare photos and never-before-seen material from their archives.