Interview: Darryl Jenifer on the newly re-mastered release of Bad Brains’ 1980 debut single

Since the 1970’s Bad Brains has prevailed as a group pioneering and cutting-edge musicians. To any one who is a fan of punk, old or new, the name Bad Brains should be instantly recognisable. Holding an extensive discography that spans over several decades, this collective released their first single, ‘Pay To Cum!’, back in 1980 and from then each record they continued to release only ensured the name Bad Brains was etched into the foundations of the House of Punk.

Now, over 20 years since the original release date of their fist record, the Bad Brains camp has spent well over a year tracking down the original audio sources for each release with help from Org Music and Dave Gardner. February 19th marks the date that you will officially be able to purchase the classic ‘Pay to Cum!’ re-issue – you can pre-order now from Bad Brains Records. This remaster is probably one of the best that I have heard in recent years. Every single element of the song is not only louder but also more crisp and audible. Weighing-in at a crushing 160bpm this song is more flamable and holds more explosivitity than any 1:33 song should be, but that’s what makes it so damn great! My only wish it that I could have been there to witness this chaos first hand at a Bad Brains show.

I did, however, have the honour of interviewing Darryl Jenifer, the long-standing Bassist for Bad Brains:

Bad Brains, being such a multi-genre outfit, essentially paved the way for a lot of the musicians in the scene and helped to make it what it is today. When you guys were first starting out which artists did you draw inspiration from?

I/WE are inspired by the Temptations,Stevie Wonder, Return To Forever, The Ramones, and The Damned, mix up a cup of that with a healthy serving of PMA and boom the Bing Bongs!!

If we could take a look into the artists you’re listening to today, who would we find?

You’d find Main Ingredient, Black Ivory, The Temprees, and Darryl Jenifer’s new dubby yacht rock album “Love Is Just Around The Corner” on BAD BRAINS RECORDS

Was there anything in particular that drew you into the style of music you ended up creating?

Yes, I found Punk Rock an inviting music, where you don’t have to be a virtuoso, all you needed was a purpose. I was really shy as a youth.

As a recording artist myself, I understand that the art you create is a part of you. Could describe how it feels to know you finally own the rights to all your music after so many years?

I never thought about ownership for many years, but once publishing was brought to attention and once I understood more about contractual aspects of publishing, I began to corral the various releases, it’s great to get others out of your business, off of your plate. and shame on industry folks that didn’t and don’t play fair with highly preoccupied musicians and artists for profit.  I call it the Swamp Bucket Jones Syndrome.  Plus JAH owns music, we just make it and listen to it, learn from it.

Are there any plans on the horizon for Bad Brains?

Bad Brains have entered in the quadruple O.G. era, we will always continue to keep the legacy of Bad Brains alive for future generations to experience the zesty positive vibrations of Bad Brains music and message, as far as kicking live shows, we/I don’t intend to, BUT only JAH knows the future.

If you could pass on some words of wisdom to the younger musicians of the world, what would it be?

Seek true inspiration, and have a keen sense of FEARLESS creativity, always try to remain positive, and more importantly,give thanks and praise 🙂

For me, I think this reissue of the ‘Pay to Cum!’ sounds absolutely phenomenal and I am excited to see how the other records sound with their re-masters. I have had a great deal of fun listening to Bad Brains over the years and I am happy to say that isn’t going to change any time soon.

Interview by Kane McEvoy
Cover Photograph by Steven Hanner

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