H.R. Of Bad Brains On Headaches, Human Rights And Speeding Up Songs

Paul “H.R.” Hudson is the longtime front man for Bad Brains, a group founded in 1979 and often credited with creating the original hardcore sound. Through fast, energetic songs and snarling, high-pitched vocals, Bad Brains raced through shows as their fans moshed all around them. Bad Brains also often played reggae between the punk rock. And after decades in the scene, the band only plays reggae at shows today. This fall, H.R. (short for Human Rights) is releasing a new solo record, Give Thanks, a reggae-inspired album filled with the uplifting music he’s made his signature. I caught up with the front man to talk with him about the origins of Bad Brains, what they talked about as they were creating a new sound and what it was like for H.R. to get brain surgery later in life after enduring a series of terrible headaches.