By Nicki Escudero
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By Brian Palmer
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Though he has kept rocking out into middle age, Stern isn't above discussing the state of "kids these days."
"Maybe kids aren't as pissed off as they used to be, although there are certainly a lot of reasons to be pissed off in the society we live in these days," says Stern.
Bradenburg sees it as cultural atrophy. "I see it in politics. I see it in music. I see it in everything. A lot of people worrying about how great things were but not how great things can be," he says. The solution for both musicians is to keep touring and continue sharing their music, which is still relevant 30 years later.
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"That's why I think punk rock has really continued on. The problems haven't changed; they're worse now . . . There's really no other music that talks about it . . . I am not somebody that you can try and control by saying, hey, go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, have your 2.5 kids, get your house, be a conforming consumer so we can market to you and sell to you. Punk rock says, 'It's fucked up; it's bullshit, and you don't have to do that.' That doesn't make the world a good place for people. That actually makes things worse."
And even if Jello Biafra's three-decade-old proclamation casts the state of punk in doubt, the sound of Youth Brigade and The Adolescents has proved its staying power. "If we didn't get new fans coming out, we probably would have quit a while back," Stern says. "Because it would get really boring playing just for people our age, because they're not always as fun."