Punk rock institution BAD RELIGION will begin recording the follow up to 2004’s heralded The Empire Strikes First next month at Grand Master Studios in Los Angeles, California. Slated for a July 10 release through Epitaph, the yet to be named disc will be produced by Grammy-nominated producer Joe Barresi (Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, Weezer).
In support of the forthcoming disc, Bad Religion – Epitaph’s flagship band – will headline the coveted main stage for the entire 2007 Vans Warped Tour this summer. Songwriting principals and co-founders Brett Gurewitz (guitars) and Greg Graffin (vocalist) are currently writing songs together in Los Angeles, taking full advantage of Graffin’s return to California to teach a class at UCLA this semester.
Graffin – who holds a master’s degree in Geology from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Zoology from Cornell University, near his main home in Ithaca, N.Y. – is currently teaching Life Science 1: Evolution and Biodiversity. “When I was an undergrad and a graduate student at UCLA, I used to play and write with Bad Religion at night,” the singer marvels. “Now, I’m back to that schedule as a professor.”
Graffin also recently co-wrote a book with Arkansas history professor Preston Jones. Titled, Is Belief In God Good, Bad or Irrelevant? A Professor and A Punk Rocker Discuss Science, Religion, Naturalism and Christianity (IVP Books), the tome catalogs the email correspondence between the two. Jones, a seminal punk fan, initially contacted Graffin by email, prompting the conversations that spawned the book.
In advance of the studio work, the remaining members of Bad Religion have kept remarkably active lately. As Epitaph’s owner and founder, Gurewitz remains as insanely busy as ever. Drummer Brooks Wackerman is currently on tour in Australia with Tenacious D, while founding bassist Jay Bentley and guitarists Greg Hetson and Brian Baker will participate in the 9th Annual Punk Rock Bowling Tournament in Las Vegas the weekend of January 18th – 21st.
Fresh off a successful tour of Canada with the Dropkick Murphys at the end of 2006, and in advance of its studio plans, the revered punk band – now in its 27th year – will also headline the kickoff event for the upcoming Warped Tour exhibit “Warped: 12 Years of Music, Mayhem and More” at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on January 26th in Cleveland, Ohio.