Bad Religion’s 40th anniversary celebration was derailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So the legendary punk band is taking it to the web to honor its four decades with a four-part streaming series called “Decades” that started on December 12. The shows can be accessed through January 2.
“We had friends doing these online concerts,” said guitarist Brian Baker. “We were trying to find a way to do something, other than watching the band in a less-exciting venue with no other people watching them.
“We thought, ‘Why don’t we try to make more of a documentary with mostly live performance?’ We wanted to try to tell a story. We have too many songs to do a livestream, too. So we have four different events. There’s no way to pack all of this information into an hour. Like most things with Bad Religion, it took on a life of its own.”
The online streaming event was captured live at The Roxy Theatre in Hollywood. The celebratory episodes will include live performance footage, exclusive interviews, and a peek at their rehearsals leading up to the taping of “Decades.”
Bad Religion participates in an accompanying live chat during the premiere of each episode. Show-specific merchandise will be available for sale on the “Decades”/NoCap Shows page.
The series is as follows:
• The ’80s: Bad Religion performs songs from “How Could Hell Be Any Worse,” “Suffer” and “No Control.” They discuss what it was like being young punks in a world of Pacman, Reaganomics and Televangelism. Premiered December 12.
• The ’90s: Bad Religion performs songs from “Against The Grain,” “Generator,” “Recipe For Hate,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” “The Gray Race” and “No Substance.” This decade cemented their position as one of the most influential and prolific bands, but it didn’t come easy or without cost; the band discusses the growing pains and lessons learned. Premiered December 19.
• The ’00s: Bad Religion performs songs from “The New America,” “The Process of Belief,” “The Empire Strikes First” and “New Maps of Hell.” Returning home and charging forward into a new millennium, Bad Religion continued to awe with their prowess, releasing some of its most beloved material to date. Premieres December 26.
• The ’10s: Bad Religion performs songs from “The Dissent of Man,” “True North” and “Age of Unreason.” The COVID-19 pandemic cut short their plans to tour in support of “Age of Unreason,” and they are now performing material never seen live. The band discusses the gratitude they live with every day looking back on 40 years of being Bad Religion and the legacy they are still actively creating. Premieres January 2.
Baker said filming this series was the first and only time he’s been out of his house since the pandemic started.
“I had a little trepidation,” he said. “The idea of flying and doing it was a little weird for me. I survived though. It was also so nice to see everybody. This was the first year in 26 years I have not been on tour with Bad Religion.
“It had that high school reunion vibe. One of the millions of bad things about this pandemic is the lack of social contact and engagement. Isolation is part of the way this thing is going to be dealt with.”
He’s hoping the news about playing shows in late 2021 is accurate.
“The end of the year is a realistic assessment on when live music can come back in some sort of standard,” he said.
“I miss it desperately. In the meantime, we’re going to do more of these—if people like this format and it’s exciting to them. If it’s like watching commercial, we won’t do it again.”
“Decades,” a four-episode package, is $40; individual episodes may be purchased for $15. Episodes will remain up for sale and viewing through the conclusion of the series and available until midnight Pacific Time on January 5.