After an iconic run of punk albums on Epitaph, Bad Religion signed to Atlantic Records in the mid-'90s and released Stranger than Fiction, their mainstream breakthrough. As with Into the Unknown before it, some fans were less-than-excited about the change. Here's Bad Religion talking to Alternative Press
Nothing was changed when Bad Religion moved to a major. In fact, the new album, The Gray Race, is easily their best since 1989's No Control. There is pressure to conform, but ironically it's now coming from sectors of the "indie scene," who may have forgiven the Stooges, Ramones, Pistols, and Clash their major-label deals -- but no one since.
"Well, when those records came out, it didn't occur to anybody that the name on the outside of the cardboard album cover had anything to do with the music on the record itself," guitarist Brian Baker steams, albeit grinning. "And nowadays apparently there's some correlation between the two. But they had to be told it wasn' t cool to like that before they knew they weren't supposed to. A message to those people: Kill yourself!" he laughs. "Or better yet -- just go fuck yourself!"
"File Under: 'Wasting Oxygen,'" adds Gaffin. "But if you're a punk band it is easier to sell records today than it was 10 years ago. I don't think that detracts from the intent of the music, though."
Of course, the band underwent a more dramatic change: Guitarist and songwriter (and label president) Brett Gurewitz left the band shortly after the release of their Atlantic debut.
Next: The band returns to Epitaph, and Gurewitz returns to the band.