FANTRA ZINE Publication over the years featured interviews, articles and bios on Jimi Hendrix, Bad Brains, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Skadanks, Merciless, Damian Marley, Tiger, Sleepy Wonder, Harley Flanagan (CroMags), Aggrolites, HR, Gogo Muzik, Reggae Muzik, Punk, Roguish Armament, Scarface, Soul 4 Real, Kool Herc, CDs and live gigs reviews, etc. Have Ghetto Muzik TV episodes with Lucky Dube', Ziggy and Damian Marley, Supercat and a few more we will eventually transcribe. And many thanks to Uptown Shem Herman who contributed contents in the early years. See you around NYC bruh. You kno -- Fantra Zine is about the truth. And the rustic rag hit like a sledge hammer! An' in the meantime -- just to be positive... It is wack to have traitors (Poser #1's) in ur camp. They begged to come aboard and once they get into the circle it's all smiles and even prayers circles in ur face. But behind ur back it's all a toxic endeavor. (Hey YO - D.I.A refuses to pray with the devil. WTF!) It is wack how Poser #1's continuously pull a series of Colin Powells (disloyalty to his party) just to pose next to HR and and other celebs to post shit on Myspace like they knew them for life. Jamekee/D.I.A brought a lot of you into the circle: Blue Meadows, Michael Crevier, Duffy and dudes in El Paso, Texas (names ain't worth mentioning)... Can't look D.I.A in the eyes man. The muzik industry chews up Poser #1's and peeps who bite real peeps creations and ideas. But seriously, what do you think will happen if and when D.I.A tells HR (Bad Brains) to step away (from any situation)? Dude will do so in a "New York" minute!
"HR IN DUBB" (EP) by HR (Human Rights) of Bad Brains.
"HR IN DUB" CD available on ITUNES, AMAZON MP3. EMUSIC, GOOGLE PLAY and SPOTIFY. "HR IN DUBB" will be live on RHOPSODY soon.
The immortal STALAG 20, 21 & 22 -- THE NEXT GENERATION featuring Elephant Man, Mr. Vegas, Junior Demus, Ce'Cele, Merciless, Danny English, Egg 'n' Bread, Hawkeye, Chico and more... (Reggae-Dancehall super artists). Project was mixed by Cordel "Scatta" Burrell.
BAD BRAINS -- PAY TO CUM!
By James “Barry DIA” Long-Keene. Asst: Deloris Peters.
This interview was published basically unedited in Fantra Zine in 1995. It's been tweaked a bit but remains as it were. And it went a lil so'em like this...
Fantra Zine's Bad Brains 1995 Article Rewind: I’ve been trying to track down Gary “Doc” Miller of Bad Brains since Spring of ’94 to get an interview for Fantra Zine. Exactly one year later on March 17, 1995, Ray “China” Smith (lead singer of a band called News Flash and Doc’s longtime brethren), Deloris Peters (assistant) and I hit the New York State Thru-Way north to Woodstock from New York City on a cool and crispy early afternoon to have a chat with Doc Miller. It took 3-plus hours to reach Doc’s resident after riding around in circles for a while in Kingston, NY. “…Bumboclaawt Iyah…,” it was good to pull into Doc’s driveway. Doc was standing outside chatting on the phone. Chinna and I had seen Doc and his wife a few weeks earlier at a playback party for Bad Brains’ “God Of Love” album at Electric Lady Studios in the Village, New York City. While Doc and Chinna walked around the premises and chatted, Deloris and I set up the video equipment while enjoying the clean Upstate, NY air and woodland creatures around and above. Daryl (Jennifer) stopped by and later walked off into the woods to reason with Chinna. This hawk circled above and perched momentarily above us as we commenced with what was more like a chat rather than an interview.
Fantra Zine (FZ): For the new Bad Brains fans out there, just kick a little about the genesis of Bad Brains.
DOC: Well the genesis… the music Iyah, which is gospel you know… It was three brethrens from high school days. We had a mutual friend who had a basement where we could play muzik, ‘cause we all lived in apartments where we couldn’t kick our music because the neighbors would bang on the ceiling with their broomsticks. So we used to get together every Tuesdays and Thursdays and go to our friend’s house and kick muzik (music) you know. At the time we didn’t have a band, we just got together and jam. At that time we use to listen to a lot of jazz-fusion and fusion-rock. Then we started a band playing funk, and try to emulate some of the jazz-fusion type muzik… Then another friend of ours, a very good friend of Darryl – his name is Sid, (who is still working with us today), turned us on to the Damn, The Clash, Sex Pistols and Ramones. And I remembered coming home from work one day and the man dem was like… “yo man, check this out man, we gonna start playing some muzik like this.” So that is how it started and we formulated our own flavaz within that. Coming from DC which is totally black, and listening to black muzik all our lives, and that other type of muzik you know… is how we came up with our flava.
FZ: What category would you place the Bad Brains’ muzik in?
DOC: Back in the dayz we pioneered taking “punk rock” to the next style. So they weren’t really calling the muzik we play punk rock. The name “hardcore” derived from around dem time dey. There were a couple o’ other bands – Black Flag was around then. Circle Jerks were around then playing some punk influenced muzik with a different flava. Our thing was basically -- we wanted to have some positive message you know, as opposed to just complaining about the runnings in society. The social-political issues yuh nuh...
One thing I was always against was labeling. That is what we have to stop as people you know. And I am really glad to see some of the so-called labelings has stopped due to the muzik you know. What I mean is, you have hiphop people listening to hardcore, reggae, and rock. As far as a category is concerned, that is one thing we didn’t try to deal with.
FZ: How long has it been since Bad Brains was started?
DOC: About 15, 16 years.
FZ: What changes have you seen in audiences over these 16 years?
DOC: As I was speaking earlier about the muzik bringing people together… I’ve seen a lot more diversified audiences which is good. In the dayz it was like punk rock kids, hardcore kids. Now it’s home boys and home girls also. And, there was a point when girls would even come. It depends on where we played at. In a multi-cultured city like New York, everybody is in the house, blacks, whites, pop, heavy metal, reggae, whatever. And it is all good. So that is the big difference. It has taken some time. A lot of the diversity has to do with the record companies putting the muzik out. Prior the scene has always been underground. You really had to know where to go to buy the muzik and see the shows. Now it is above ground and mainstream.
FZ: What was your first release?
DOC: “Whistled!!!!....” That was a single. A song called ‘Pay To Cum’. It was our first release back in 1980 (laughing).
FZ: ‘Pay To Cum’ is now a classic, right!?
DOC: That’s what they say (more laughter). I wish I had one. Somebody told me they saw one for $150.00.
FZ: You need a couple of boxes Iyah…
DOC: I’m telling you (hysteria set in). …We produced ‘Pay To Cum’ ourselves. We had a friend who worked at a printing place. He took the picture and printed the jacket. Another friend helped to produce the record. We didn’t have any money. It must have cost us $1000. to do one thousand records. We saved our money from various gigs and got the money to press the records. A thousand of ‘em, that’s all we ever did.
FZ: Who photographed the picture on the sleeve of the ‘Pay To Cum’ forty-five release?
DOC: It was our friend. His name’s Charlie. He was about 12 years old. He lives in Germany now and I hadn’t seen him in mad years. But when I did, the man was married Iyah and doing good. It is nice to see people grow up an’ a live dem life. Anyway, the picture was taken in an old abandoned car in the back of some ally, somewhere. The window was busted out, so we jumped in there and one shot yuh nuh (laughter).
FZ: From ‘Pay To Cum’ to present, how many albums have the Brains done?
DOC: (Vigorously rubbing his palms together). I think we got eight counting two live albums and this current one (God Of Love).
FZ: Which was the first album?
DOC: After we did ‘Pay To Cum’ single, we did a ROIR cassette, which only came out on cassette (pre-CD), and later on CD. “Rock For Light” came out after that, which was actually studio versions of a lot of the RIOR’s songs and some more songs, which Rick Ocasek produced.
FZ: It’s no secret about the continuity faze of the Bad Brains. To date, how many times has Joe (HR) split from Bad Brains?
DOC: It’s been three times when he left. Did a solo. Came back. Do a record and left to do his solo again. So the whole thing about that is, if it was planned a little better it would have been much better to coordinate the comings and leavings.
FZ: Like Genesis.
DOC: Exactly. That’s the perfect example. Each person having his own career then playing together again. It’s a big difference when you have some money and some things structured behind you, where you could plan these things. Everything worked out anyway yuh nuh.
FZ: What type of effect do you think that had on where the band is now?
FZ: I’m talking about Joe (HR) man. As mentioned, Joe has ventured out on his own and did his own thing on several occasions. What effects has that had on the growth of the band?
DOC: Well… different times it affects different ways. In the beginning, it was hard when he first did it in ’82, cause we were on the road at that point, especially since we were moving forward.
FZ: The flipside of that is, do you think Joe’s absence add impetus because his absence has become a part of Brains’ mystique?
DOC: Maybe… maybe! I hear you. ‘Cause we have gone out with other singers (Chuck Mosley and Israel) and some people didn’t even notice that he (HR) was was not even in the band. Some people were like – HR? –this is to Israel you know. And the people that do know the band, they just say HR is not here but we are here to support anyway, you know.
FZ: Real Brainheads man!
DOC: Yah man. Nuff youths I’ve seen and know in the earlier days, now they are 25, 30, 40 years old and have their own families and working their 9-5 jobs you know. Some of them don’t even go to shows anymore. But they usually come out and say hi and give respect whenever we play.
FZ: Your Current project is on Maverick/Warner. How did you get hooked up?
DOC: A jus’ Jah yuh nuh. That one just happened like – puff!!! It came out of the blue. I wonder if we will be classified as a new band. I will just see how that works out. Actually, an A&R person over at Maverick met HR at Lollapalooza last year (’94), and I think HR was just talking to him how he wanted to do a record or something to that effect. I don’t really know all the specifics. The “Guy” told HR who he was and I think HR didn’t really believe him. I know when I first met him I didn’t believe him either. Anyway, we talked. Management talked. HR talked and in a couple of dayz there was a contract. That showed they were serious. And it is great the label is an artist label. It’s Madonna’s label and she is an artist and not just a corporate number. We have always wanted to have a label that has clout and some pull with a machine behind it, but still is personable. And as I said, because Maverick is an artist label, and they know what an artist goes through and need, this we think is in our favor. A lot of labels do not know to market us. They didn’t know if we were a hard rock band, a reggae band, a jazz band, a funk band; we’ve been called everything in the book.
FZ: So what is in store for Bad Brains?
DOC: We’re getting ready to get busy… boyeee. For the beginning of the tour we go up and down the Eastcoast -- down to Florida and up to Boston. May 15th we hook up with the Beastie Boys and tour for three weeks. And for the first part of June, we go to Europe for one month. When we come back, I think we might do Lollapalooza. That’s tentative right now though. And then we go back to Europe. It will be good to get into the saddle again. I like playing for people.
FZ: So basically, it should be Bad Brains forever?
DOC: Yeah man. And it always has been in some form. What we have here is a two-record deal. And we are always playing in some form when and where ever it may be. If all goes well we should be going in the studio to do the next album at the end of the year. You know when you are out there playing is when it happens.
FZ: I don’t want to stress it man. I just want to say thanks…
DOC: I was just thinking, what’s he going to ask me. “Stress” – no stress Iyah (laughter, laughter). It’s all good my brother.
FZ:Yeah! Let’s keep it nice and sweet. Thanks, Doc!
More Bad Brains Press: Information from Answers.com (www.answers.com › Library › Entertainment & Arts › Musicians) - H.R. continued to tour solo with DIA Records Global Rock Showcase through the remainder of 2007, with his instrumental section Dubb Agents. The title of bassist ...
GLOBAL ROCK In EFFECT!!
Once any concept is put into incubation, it is good to see the hatchling strengthens wings and fly. Regarding "Global Rock" -- it is great satisfaction to see the muzik industry, musicians and fans tapping into and adopting the once fledgling genre and vibe. Still ways to go but Global Rock came a long way. Delusions of grandeur -- absolutely not. The Global Rock Revolution is in full effect!!! With respect to foundation genres from beyond Rag Time to Blues, Rock -n- Roll to Rock and sub-genres including Punk, Hardcore, etc.,; mix in Rhythm n Blues, Funk & Hiphop, Pocomania and Mento, Mariachi, Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, Reggaeton and other worldly sounds -- and as the Blue Marble shrinks into one small hood, it is evidently clear a new marquee genre is apparent. Fusion-ed sounds influenced by multiple sound elements and cultures is on the verge of dominating muzik more so than ever... From the totally obscured underground experimental sounds to commercially charged pop, "Global Rock" is a good (if not the greater) portion of today's muzik.
Prior the "Global Rock" tag, new fusion-ed sounds had no identity or true classification. Classification of muzik is very important for identity and ultimately marketing to consumers. There are a few break-through exceptions like Millie Small's 'My Boy Lollipop' (Ska-Rock N Roll), Paul Simon's 'Mother and Child Reunion' (Reggae-Rock), Johnny Nash's 'I Can See Clearly', Run DMC & Aerosmith's ' Walk This Way' (Hiphop-Rock), Shabba Rank's dancehall-hiphop hits, Chuck Brown's GoGo break through 'Bustin Loose' (funk-swing and so on...), Toots & The Maytals' 'Israelites', etc. Oh yea -- can't forget Gong (Bob Marley) who envisioned the ultimate future of muzik and chronicled the vision with 'Punky Reggae Party' in the early '70s. I personally think that is what Gong meant when he mentioned "...last great muzik..." in an interview. How profound is 'Punky Reggae Party' track? But in general, consumers cannot purchase a product if they do not know what they are looking for, or where to find that product. For instance, Bad Brains plays a hardcore sound spawned from funk, jazz, dub reggae and **punk for 25 years. To date some folks do not know where to classify and file Bad Brains' muzik. Another example is the Beastie Boys. If one walks into a surviving Virgin Mega Store for a Beastie Boys' CD, that person would probably beeline to the alternative rock section first. But gees golly boys and girls, Beastie Boys' products are filed under Hiphop. Muzik must have an identity or it will just floats in suspension.
"Global Rock" is the new world genre in several variations. Just look at Myspace's 3-4 million musicians old and young. They are playing a hybrid sound consisting of multiple genres intertwined with cultures and sub-cultures: Ska-Punk-Reggae, Funk-Rock-Alt.-Hiphop, Metal-Trash-Dub-Hardcore, Dancehall-Hiphop, Rocking-Espanol... An Indonesian Punk Rock krew is going to be influenced by the Sex Pistols but they are going to factor in their own culture and lifestyle. Dude, muzik cannot be pushed beyond Global Rock on this 3rd Rock from the sun. Global Rock is the ultimate genre with the internet virtually reducing the Globe to a pebble. From Cali to North Carolina and parts unknown, Global Rock is watz happening. The legendary dee-jay toaster Dennis Alcapone would say "it goes like that." Soooo... forget about all Conspiracy Theories and Global-Rock on peeps. It is universally for everyone. Now hear this... G-G-G-G Global Rock is the extended lifeline for a few flat-lined genres -- (another story).
Now Global Rock Showcase events in any format is the new Punky Reggae Ska Dub Metallic Funky Hiphop party. Hehehehe. Currently Global Rock Showcase-type events are every where from the underground to mainstream. I mean Snoop is touring with Slightly Stoopid. This is a long way from the "isolation periods" when concerts goers used to attend gigs and waited until their bands go on to run up to the stage. Didn't matter who was billed after fans fav band, they would then run away after from the stage after the set. The lines are blurred and today's youths have a smart diverse taste for muzik. They are listening to everything by multi-genre Global Rock bands such as Bad Brains, P.O.D, Slightly Stoopid, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Thievery Corporation and George Clinton... And from a promoters standpoint, why target one audience when they can draw from several. Plus, Global Rock Showcases and similar events bring a diverse audience together under the same roof to co-exists. It is basically the end of the "Iron Curtain" in muzik.
Once a Brooklyn Reggae producer attended a Global Rock Showcase in Lower Manhattan on Ludlow, Gotham City. He saw the DIVERSE INTENSIFIED AUDIO mix of metal, punk, ska, alternative rock and roots/dub reggae in effect. It was a very kool soiree with bobo dreadlocks, skinheads, studded spike-haired kids, sk8boarders and NYU college kids hanging together. My producer friend later called and gave props but obnoxiously conveyed he did not understand the scene. Well now you probably got it dude!! Say GLOBAL ROCK Mr. Producer. Tell your breddrens from Jamaica to Cali to stop isolating reggae muzik and free it from slavery man.
Major PROPS to Bad Brains. BigUPs to Elana Oumano. HR you are alwayz my BROTHER yo. Stand straight and roar like a lion man. Big thanks to Ed Robinson and all who contributed. And nuff respect to trailblazers like the Ramones who basically played Beach Boys style muzik with an edge. And nuff bigUPs and RESPECT to Johnny Cash who was actually the first **Punk artist. LOL! Thanks to Billboard Magazine for acknowledging Global Rock is a "...crossbreed..." in it's 1999 or 2000, year-end issue. Shoutz to Ronkat Spearman (P-Funk Allstar), Dennis Alcapone, Weapons Of Mass Persuasion (WOMP), Tinga Stewart, Lutan Fyah, Angry Mike (the original Hardcore Chef)...