Bad Religion, Brian Baker's Sleazy Rock Past

Bad Religion, Brian Baker's Sleazy Rock Past

Brian Baker has compete stringed instrument in bands for thirty four years—19 of these in dangerous faith. He was a foundation member of reputable punk bands Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, fund and therefore the ill-famed Meatmen once they settled from Michigan. Baker reflects on these bands in bloom, associate degree approaching documentary regarding the Washington, D.C., punk scene—named, incidentally, for Minor Threat’s late 1985 EP. however there square measure many stops on his career path which will surprise you.

Like yard, associate degree unsung—and pretty kickass—sleaze-rock outfit from the ’80s that dwelled aboard Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe and Ratt on the Sunset Strip. It’s not the sort of résumé item you’d expect from associate degree on the face of it dyed-in-the-wool punk. After all, the D.C. punk scene spawned some terribly serious bands with terribly serious political ideologies. and so there’s dangerous faith, that Baker joined in 1994 once guitar player Brett Gurewitz left. Their music is splendidly exciting and stimulating. yard had songs regarding Hollywood, livin’ on the streets and “Blooze.”

“As a matter of truth, I’m still in yard,” Baker says. He even compete with the band at the far-famed liquor A Go-Go whereas dangerous faith was recording its current album, True North (Epitaph). “Whenever I’m out there for a short time, if there’s the simplest way to induce along, we will,” he continues.

The affiliation “can all be explained by the Meatmen,” Baker says. “Listen to War of the Superbikes.” It’s true; the Meatmen square measure a punk band with heavy-metal leanings, and Superbikes is full-on bike metal— each lusty and pelvic-thrusty. “There’s your Junkyard; it’s right there.”

Baker furthers that his musical epiphany was being transfixed at age seven by highschool stoners taking part in “Smoke on the Water” over and over. Plus, there have been the rock group and AC/DC and “Let’s not forget Van Halen I.” Bottom-lining it, Baker says, “Being in a very punk band and being a punk square measure 2 various things. I’m still in a very punk band, however I’m not a punk. I’m 48. I ne'er was troubled regarding carrying the flag for private politics. I hear rock'n'roll, however I hear AC/DC, too.”

So, too, did lots of Baker’s peers within the D.C. scene. “Everyone had associate degree open mind this stuff,” he says. “We’d get on tour, cruising down the road paying attention to Teddy boy Nugent. This was long before we have a tendency to learned he had terribly specific ideas regarding however the country ought to be run,” he says, laughing. “Those were the happy, halcyon days once all he was talking regarding was a fighting. however I’m certain lots of individuals don’t perceive that [Bad faith vocalist] Greg Graffin is completely influenced by affirmative and fuckin’ prog rock. it absolutely was a large factor for him. It still is. and that i don’t consider that as significantly punk. however no matter gets you to the tip result, that’s what you get. perhaps if something speaks to the concept of punk, it’s that punk could be a place wherever totally different ideas square measure inspired.”

So that’s why Baker—along with Minor Threat and Meatmen guitar player Lyle Preslar—was conjointly a foundation member of Samhain with spaceman city. Alas, “I ne'er ought to play with them,” Baker says. “I got pink-slipped.” It conjointly explains why Baker was offered a gig as R.E.M’s traveling guitar player within the mid-1990s. “I was wholly flattered. i might have wanted to play with them; they’re one among the foremost vital rock bands of the twentieth century. however dangerous faith was a far better work.”

Bad Religion is additionally Baker’s longest gig. and therefore the most satisfying “by way.” reflective on having spent nineteen years with the band, he says he “didn’t suppose it might last nineteen months.” however it’s as encouraging associate degree setting as D.C. was back within the day. They’re all best friends. Their families square measure friends. “It’s quite a band; it’s like our own very little society. I’d say it’s a life-style, however that will imply a ‘deathstyle.’ It transcends the concept of a band. I feel extremely lucky on a daily basis. particularly since they didn’t kick American state out once Brett came back.”

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