Bad Brains’ Bassist Talks Hot Sauce & White Mandingos
Bad Brains hot sauce? The Bad Brains are one of the greatest rock bands of all time and they’ve been doing it longer than you’ve been alive you trust-funded hipster! The catalogue is long and their influence is great. They’ve always had flavor sonically, but now the string players in the band—bassist Darryl Jenifer and Gary “Dr. Know” Miller—are bringing that flavor all day in your mouth. Hence the launch of the duo’s Fire Burn Babylon Hardcore Hot sauce. Open wide, because there’s a bunch of stage diving about to pop off in your mouth.
You’ve been a creative individual for some time now, buddy. Where do you find the inspiration to continue to innovate and inspire others?
I never felt innovative or anything special in terms of creativity, it has always been second nature to me to be creative. Folks used to say I could “draw” when I was a kid. Music has always caused me to tingle; I have cried on stage when performing “I and I Survive”. I guess its my deep-rooted love and respect for the Great Spirit. As far as riffs and punky expressions, I find it fun and exhilarating to create various riffs on bass or guitar . . .I just love this music and art shit man!
The Bad Brains just dropped a new LP, Into The Future. Some folks have criticized the “minimalism” of front man HR’s lyrics, particularly on the song “Fun”. What are your thoughts on this critique?
HR is one of the world’s true artists because he is always looking for new and inventive ways to be HR from Bad Brains. He’s known for rapid-fire lyrics and hyped out delivery, but maybe nowadays he wants to lessen his rapid fire approach. He probably finds it unnecessary to say so much when sometimes, less is more. HR is a bad dude. He can do whatever he wants with his voice and vibes. Most folks want to make sure they protect their paper, but a real artist don’t really care about paper. “Fun” is a fun joint. I think some folks have a 1982 Bad Brains in their hearts and ears, but they gotta remember we are a living and growing band of musicians, not so much “entertainer” or juke box type niggas.
A lot of folks know that you’re nice with the bass, but most heads don’t know that you’re nice in the kitchen, nice with the home skillet. When did your love for the culinary arts form and what is the range of meals that you like to prepare?
My bredren Chinna taught me how to cook Rastaman styles, Ital styles, and through his Afro-Asian roots I was able to “combonate” soul with an Asian finesse in terms of precision and careful preparation–which is key when it comes to a good Ital dish. I ain’t talking ‘bout no hippie stew either. I’m talking about a careful, Kosher approach to food.
Bobby Seale is a legendary Black Panther who flipped the script and came out swingin’ with his very own barbecue sauce. And you are a legendary Black Punker who is coming out swinging with his own Hardcore hot sauce. How did that come about and what is your ultimate goal with this product?
Well I woke up one day and said ‘Bad Brains Fire Burn Babylon Hardcore Hot sauce!’ Then I went to Sunforst [market in Woodstock, New York] and holla’d at [Bad Brains guitarist] Doctor Know about the idea. Doc is a heavyweight in the world of food and food preparation, so it was a no Brainer…We then linked with our bredren Johnny Mc at Heart Breaking Dawns and came up with the perfect blend of heat and sweet. Eventually, we want to expand into Jerk Sauce, Re-Ignition ginger shots . . . Shiiit, we friggin’ Paul Newman over here. I do see some fans are bitching and grumbling about us “selling out” because we have a hot sauce. But I guess some folks want to keep their Brains in check—as in us strictly racing through hardcore joints. No worries, though. We will.
This is the Internet–a place where the fine art of journalism has been lost–so now I’m just gonna get flagrant with the self promotion here. I understand that you’re in a band called The White Mandingos with famed emcee Murs and yours truly. Can you tell us a thing or two about this mysterious project?
The White Mandingos is the most fun I’ve had collaborating in years. We really had a great time creating this project. The storyline is dope, the beats are zany and unpredictable from song to song, and the riffs are pure and performed with no real focus other than getting your rock on, which is the way it should be. The White Mandingos is the new shit for the ages. I can’t wait to get it out. It’s coming out on Fat Beats/Fontana ‘round April 2013.
And on the record, which happens to be titled The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me, you spit a few bars on a song called “King of New York.” You’re pretty nice with the rhymes there, young fella. Finally! Somebody from DC stepping up to the mic with the rap skills. Actually, there’s you, Nonchalant and . . .
I’ve been a rapper since 1982. I love to rap. Nowadays, I spit a verse or two for therapy. Like recently, I went hard on a certain Nazi, half-man half-rodent looking mongrel who tried to mess with the Bad Brains…but it’s all in fun and games. I wish I was 17 again because I’d slay all these whining ass emcees–except KRS, Rakim, Murs, GZA, 2 Chains, Niki,Tricky and Dickie. Y’all ever heard of Dickie?
Nah, I’m not familiar with Dickie. Is he with Maybach Music Group?