Evolution of a punk-rock professor

Michelle Castillo
Published: Thursday, March 1, 2007

Listen in on one of Greg Graffin's lectures and you'll encounter an eloquent, soft-spoken man. The life science professor might even crack a joke here or there, keeping his audience captivated as he delves into the mysteries of evolution, ecology and the diversity of life.

It's hard to believe that this same man fronts Bad Religion, the band widely known as the "Godfathers of Punk."

"I get a lot less sleep than most people," Graffin said. "Of course, there are a lot of people - researchers on campus, who are living in their labs and accomplishing a great deal, and doctors who are always on call -these are people just as productive as me, except my other half of productivity goes into music and songwriting."

The UCLA graduate decided to return to his alma mater to teach Life Science 1 while recording the as-yet-untitled 14th album with his band.

"I was surprised when they told me that our professor was also the lead singer of Bad Religion," said Sophia Xie, a first-year cognitive science student. "I did some research on him and found out that he had very prominent degrees. It was surprising such an academically accomplished person was also the lead singer of a rock band."

Bad Religion, which Graffin started when he was a student at El Camino High School, has become an integral part of the punk-music community, inspiring many bands in the genre that are around today.

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