Bad Religion's Greg Graffin on 'ridiculous' hair metal scene

A photo of Twisted Sister with Greg Graffin's face included
(Image credit: Future)

Bad Religion frontman Greg Graffin liked the music made by 1980s hair metal bands — but not so much the fashion and lyrics.

The vocalist was discussing his upcoming book Punk Paradox: A Memoir on the Chuck Shute podcast when the topic of hair metal came up. In the book, Graffin describes parts of the scene as ridiculous.

He tells the podcast: "Let's make something clear here. I didn't think the music was ridiculous, I thought the fashion was ridiculous. I completely understand why punkers would gravitate toward it because a lot of the music was good.

"It was not as incisive, it wasn't as charged with controversy as punk. The lyrics sometimes were ridiculous, but the music itself was really good and fun."

The book also touches on music fans being attracted to hair metal because they were turned off by the violence that sometimes came with punk rock at the time.

Graffin tells Chuck Shute: "A lot of punk rockers who didn't wanna go have a riot or go beat up each other, which makes a lot of sense, they gravitated toward hair metal concerts.

"And it was totally understandable. I could not find myself doing that. I still thought punk had a lot to offer, but, basically, there was nowhere to play it because the clubs wouldn't allow punk shows because of the violence aspect."

Punk Paradox: A Memoir is released on November 8 via Hachette Books.

Last month it was announced that Bad Religion and Epitaph Records founder Brett Gurewitz is among the financial backers of the world's first punk rock museum.

Located in Las Vegas, the Punk Rock Museum will open its doors on January 13 next year, with the aim of showing the influence the genre has had upon the world.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.