Sunday, September 28, 2008

Facing The Music with: Ajay ENUF

Ajay ENUF brings us more memories about one of New Jersey's hardest. Face the music...


We travelled all over to see hardcore bands play. We regularly went to CB's, The Pyramid, The Anthrax, City Gardens, Pizazz, Wally's Place, Oliver J's, all over. How could I forget L'amour's! That huge club that used to be on 13th between Lafayette and 3rd avenue, all of those places rocked the house, I can't even begin to go through the plethora of shows that I saw at all of those places. A high point for me was when we opened for Sick Of It All and Raw Deal at Wally's. That was a great but daunting task.

CB's though was the place where I would go almost every Sunday for the shows. I saw Warzone, Agnostic Front (somehow ended up in their video too), Sick Of It All, Raw Deal, Absolution, Underdog, Token Entry, Gorilla Biscuits, Rest In Pieces, Outburst, Breakdown, Murphy's Law, The Icemen, Youth Of Today, Collapse, Quicksand, Krakdown, Straight Ahead, Slapshot, Side By Side, Maximum Penalty and of course the Cro-Mags. So many other bands too, I don't even remember. That was from 1987-1992.

My favorite shows though by far, were Cro-Mags, Sick Of It All, Raw Deal, Absolution and Breakdown. Those shows were out of control, the energy was insane. I remember that I passed out at a show, I think it was the Cro-Mags at CB's. There were like 8 million people inside, it was hot as hell and I was dancing like a fool, then all of a sudden, I wake up next door at the other place that CB's was trying to make into like a cafe or something. That was a dope day!

The crew I used to chill with was deep. All kinds of people, like skaters, hip hop kids, martial arts kids, drug dealers, krishna conscious people, rudeboys, everything. Guys like Sequoiah, Gilles, Olu, Krishna Kenny, Black Brian, Fern, Bill Spector, Hugh Gran, Chris and Darren Emilio, John Hawkeye, Gavin Van Vlack, Djinji Brown, Rich Taglierri, Jeff, Pete Sanchez, Steve Morovsky, Fred Blitsky, Chip Iaturo, Dale Jiminez, Ari Katz, Mikey Frat, Dan Cav, Steve Mean, Gary Ludwig, Andy White, Rick Perna, Eric Miller, Paulie Pietsch, 2 Hips, Jay Hall, Mark Suarez, Eli Gessner, Rodney Smith, Bruno Musso...too many people to remember. The ones that I am still in touch with now are Gavin, Hugh, Bill, Andy, Paulie and of course Dan.

So how did Enuf start?

Well I put a flier out in 1987 saying that I wanted to start a straight edge band. Andy white was the first to answer. We later picked up Dale, Ari and a guy named Rich Seymour. We had our first real rehearsal, after a couple of times in Andy's basement, at the recording studio above Cheap Thrills Records in New Brunswick. We ended up letting Rich Seymour go, because he ended up just not being a good match for the group. We picked up Pete Sanchez on bass and Chip Iaturo on second guitar. That was short lived as Pete left the band because he couldn't shake the thirst for alcohol. Andy played bass for a little while and Chip played guitar.

We played for a while and then I think around 1989 we just started to grow apart a little. Ari went on tour with Up Front, I was disenchanted with being the front man and wanted to do other things, a lot of stuff just started happening. I moved to Newark. I had moved out of my Dad's house and I was trying to get some semblance of an act together. I still went to shows, but not as often. I started working as a bike messenger, that was it.

The best show that we played by far was Scott Hall at Rutgers University in 1988. We played with Life's Blood, Vision and Bold. The place was just insane. I honestly have to say though, because I was out in the crowd for all of the other bands, that the crowd was bananas when we went on. We ripped it and you could just feel the energy. I was so amped and we just were out for blood that night. We killed everybody! Arrrggghhhh! Don't get mad anybody, it's the truth!

The music we were making was evolving, the songs and the band started to come into their own. Our live shows were a whirlwind of energy, we were unstoppable. We tried to make that come out in our recordings. People always say that they loved our band. I'm glad we were able to touch people. The music started to get harder, especially Andy's guitar riffs, I started to get "my own voice," not some facsimile of another band's lead singer. We started touring, having more productive practices, we could have been the original "killswitch!" Hahaha!

It's too bad things went the way they did, maybe it just wasn't meant to be. We had a great time while it lasted and I wouldn't trade that time period for anything.

Ajay being restrained by Charles from Rorschach, Photo: Ken Salerno


Anonymous said...


Damaged said...

The first segment of this piece features a lengthy and unnecessary 'name-drop' list. Why? Also, the featured lyrics were profoundly unoriginal. Sorry for the negativity, I usually have a better opinion of the posts appearing on this site.


I don't think it was meant to be a "Name Drop" list, it's not like it was a list of well known scenesters with intentions to impress anyone. Being from New Jersey, we were just curious to hear who Ajay hung out with back then. I guess if you aren't from New Jersey, you might not find that interesting. Sorry.

As for the lyrics, I think they're simple but great. What's also great is the song it's self.

No need to apologize for voicing your opinion, you're welcome to it and I'd rather see negative comments than no comments at all.

Thanks, Tim DCXX

xSkinhead Jaix said...

thanks for those scans from the demo insert. hard, simple lyrics. love it.

any chance you guys scanned the rest of the insert? i'd love to see that.

Anonymous said...

Finally "damaged" points out the elephant in the room. Hardcore is 95% namedropping. Always has been. Straight Edge Hardcore is higher than 95% namedropping. Haven't we all known this for the past 2 decades?

--Name Witheld intentionally so as not to be a Namedropper

Damaged said...

And I thought I was jaded...

Dreth said...

Since when is naming some people you've met and shared moments with in this life a bad thing? There's no finger pointing or negative things being said about anyone. What's the big deal?

Hardcore is a community of people. People with names. I don't know how it would be possible to even talk about this scene and share the endless amount of stories that could be told without mentioning one another.


Los Jacklos said...

The posts about bands that really only released demos are cool. But most people will only find these obscure bands marginally interesting without hearing them. These posts would be 1000 times better if you could link download.

xSkinhead Jaix said...

Los Jacklos,
I posted the demo on my blog about a week after the first part of this interview was posted on DCXX.

you can get it here:

Los Jacklos said...

Thanx Jai!

benj said...

I love listening to that Enuff demo, thanks so much for the interview and (jai) upload of the demo! Never saw them but I do remember seeing Ajay at Middlesex and City Gardens shows from time-to-time. I am looking for some old demos from some late-80's NJ bands that I don't have anymore...Anyone have anything digitally by any of these bands?

Out Loud (Manahawkin)
No Future (Freehold?)
Intensity (Princeton)
Secure (Trenton?)

John said...

My friend Brad and I set up the show at Wally's place that you refered to earlier in the post, it was a really good time. Thanks for the blog, my memory sucks and it's nice to revisit these years.