After a lapse in posting here on the archive, here is a classic Bad Brains interview from Maximum Rock & Roll Radio conducted by the magazine’s founder, Tim Yohannon.
This interview was captured soon after the Bad Brains migrated to Manhattan from their home base of Washington DC. 1982 also saw the first Bad Brains nationwide tour. The infamous encounter with Randy “Biscuit” Turner of the Big Boys occurred briefly before this interview took place. This incident has been written about extensively in a variety of publications such as American Hardcore. The synopsis of the story is that the Bad Brains stopped in Austin, Texas to play with the Big Boys and the Dicks. Immersed in Rastafarian ideology, the Brains took strong offense to the homosexual lifestyle of the Big Boys vocalist and they sure let him know it by defacing his property and leaving him a note that denounced homosexuality. They continued on their tour with a bag of stolen weed and with a new wing of detractors in Texas. This incident began to follow them as they hit subsequent cities on their ’82 tour.
Considering the then recent Austin skirmish, it’s quite ironic that interviewer Tim Yohannon opens up with a query regarding breaking down boundaries only to be followed up with a response that touches upon diversity by way of Jah. A sense of tension seems to develop between Yohannon and the Bad Brains regarding their ethnic status and where it fits within the burgeoning hardcore scene. Yohannon is somewhat relentless in his questioning regarding this topic. I don’t know what’s more bizarre; MRR presenting a program that’s incessant in pushing the envelop toward uneasiness or giving the platform to a band that are firm believers in religious doctrine. Oh, how the times have changed.
The quality of this short interview is great. The recording comes from a first generation master cassette that was recorded off the radio as the interview happened.