Bad Religion have released 17 albums, recorded more than 350 songs and have had multiple line up changes and have been going for 40 years. Now they’re getting a book about their eventful career.
The upcoming autobiography entitled “Do What You Want: The Story of Bad Religion” co-authored by Jim Ruland, it looks into the band’s early days, from their humble beginning as teenagers, struggling for radio play and having issues with the cops.
Jim Ruland tells Entertainment Weekly “I think the moment when my passion for punk rock and the challenge of writing a biography clicked was when I realized very few people know the whole story of Bad Religion, There are so many moments when I thought, ‘How on earth did this band stay together?”
It includes input from their lead singer Greg Graffin, guitarist Vrett Gurewitz, bassist Jay Bentley and a bunch of other punk rockers from their cohort. It tells the tale of their 40 year career of Bad Religion doing their own thing for 40 years.
Greg Graffin tells EW about how they decided to finally release a book on their story: “We got to give due credit to Jim Ruland, the author of the book. Even though we are listed as the authors, Jim really did the work. [He] had a herculean task. He had to put 40 years of history into a readable and enjoyable narrative. I think he did a fantastic job. But the original nugget of an idea came from the fact that there’ve been a lot of punk histories written and punk documentaries [released]. They all sort of had the following narrative: Punk got started with the Sex Pistols, then it moved to New York. In New York, the punk scene got big. Then by 1982 punk died. Then in 1992, Nirvana was born. OK, there’s like this 10-year history between ’82 and ’92, where very little was written about. Those were the years that Bad Religion was extremely industrious. Our formative years started in 1980… Squarely in the middle of that period, Suffer was recorded [and] has proven to be extremely influential to a lot of those bands that were part of the sort of explosion of punk that happened in the ’90s. That story was interesting to tell.”
He continues: “Well, the most important thing of course is to not give up. I think anything that is worthy of a long history and worthy of a story that should be read is because the people in it felt passionate about what they were doing. I think the drive was there from the beginning. We wanted to open people’s minds and make them aware of the world that they were living in. It was, I think, an honorable journey that we started on — and we’re still on it today. [It’s] absolutely stunning and shocking to me that there’s still people who want to hear our story and hear our music. That’s never far from my mind. But the other thing is that none of it could have been achieved without the people and without our fans and also without the mutual support that we give one another.”
Do What You Want: The Story of Bad Religion is out now