The Bad Brains have been around for a long time. Many of you were too young to see them when they were ripping shit up in ’79, and REALLY ripping shit up in ’82. But if you come to the Nitehawk Theater in Williamsburg tomorrow night, you’ll get to see some of their most intense performances on the big screen. Oh, and BB bassist Darryl Jenifer will be there for a talk afterwards. Come on down and cop some hotsauce. Tickets are starting to fly so go cop ‘em now.
Mass Appeal: New York has changed a lot since the time you and the Brains set up shop on the Lower East Side. How would you describe the LES back in the late ’70s/early ’80s?
Darryl Jenifer: The LES was just as you described— Gritty, fast-paced, smelly, with colorful characters from block to block; knife-wielding Puerto Ricans, pistol-toting pimps, nodding junkies, filthy streets, and hooker-riddled parks. I loved it.
MA: Your green bass is like B.B. King’s Lucille— and like Lucille, she’s seen a lot. Any interesting war stories associated with the instrument.
DJ: The Monster “put in work” for all eras— chunking and Rubba dub, funkin’ for over 30. I once carved notches into the body for every day I had left on a grueling 3-month-long Euro touring, back in the days of the Berlin Wall, imagine a young Brains crushing a song like “Destroy Babylon” in Berlin ’82.
MA: When the summer strikes in New York City, it seems like you’ll see more Bad Brains/lightning-bolt-thru-the-Capitol t-shirts on passers by. What is it about that image and the record behind it that has smashed the test of time to bits?
DJ: Great artwork, with serious musicians mixed with a ‘lil blood sweat and tears.
MA: You’ve got your own brand of hot sauce rockin’ these days. Where did the inspiration for that come from?
DJ: Came from vintage punky reggae inspiration, Hardcore heroism, to battle modern day plager’schizm, complete with cable vision, from one’s self imposed prison prism, ya herd?
MA: Yes, I.