Bad Religion's contributions to modern punk cannot be understated. The Southern California vets founded Epitaph Records, invented the SoCal sound, and helped establish the Warped Tour as a cultural juggernaut. Now in its third decade, the band continues to resonate with disaffected youth.
"I see a new crop of teenagers coming to our shows who know our catalog," says bassist Jay Bentley, calling from his home in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he's been living the last several years. "But I also see 40-year-old guys coming with their kids. That's cool, because I have kids, and I take them to shows."
Unlike most legendary punk acts, Bad Religion's past doesn't overshadow its present. New Maps of Hell, released this summer, ranks among the band's best, featuring new twists on its signature sound, including raw production and down-tempo melodic rock (best exemplified by the single "Honest Goodbye").
"We have a good idea of what we are as a band, and we try to expand on that, not necessarily jump out of the box and become a David Bowie-like figure changing every record," says Bentley. "Everybody says its one of the best records we've done in a while."