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Jay Ziskrout (born September 8, 1962) was the first drummer for Bad Religion, forming the group with schoolmate Brett Gurewitz in 1980 when he was 18 years old. Ziskrout performed on Bad Religion's self-titled EP and eight tracks on their debut full-length album How Could Hell Be Any Worse?. He decided to leave the band with only half of the songs recorded due to a misunderstanding regarding the band's new press photos. Bad Religion replaced him with his drum roadie, Pete Finestone.
After leaving Bad Religion, Jay played drums for psychedelic punk band Electric Peace (Enigma Records) and roots rock band Joe City & The Nightcrawlers while working at A&M Records and Enigma Records.
In 1984, Ziskrout moved from Los Angeles to New York City, where he worked for many years with Clive Davis as Vice President of Album Promotion for Arista Records. Later he returned to his punk roots by joining Epitaph Records in Amsterdam, where he served as Managing Director of Epitaph Europe/International working to break such artists as The Offspring and Rancid.
After Epitaph Records, Jay returned to New York to launch two Latin Alternative music businesses; Grita! Records and LatinoVision.com, where he signed or released such artists as:
- Los Mas Turbados (Spain)
- Cerebros Exprimidos (Spain)
- The Pleasure Fuckers (Spain), featuring Kike Turmix
- La Polla Records (Spain)
- Blind Pigs (Brazil) [Jay also produced the band's "São Paulo Chaos" album at BeBop Studios in São Paulo, Brasil]
- Todos Tus Muertos (Argentina)
- The Psychotic Aztecs (USA), featuring Tito Larriva (Tito & Tarantula, Cruzados), Steven Hufstetter (Cruzados), Johnny Vatos (Oingo Boingo), and John Avila (Oingo Boingo)
- Negu Gorriak (Euskara / Basque Country)
- Ninos Con Bombas (Germany); former project of Chilean artist Daniel Puente Encina
- Volumen Cero (USA)
- ¡Viva Malpache! (USA)
- Voodoo Glow Skulls (USA)
He has also been a founder of tech companies such as (voice computing start-up) Vocinate and CharitableCheckout. CharitableCheckout was a cause-marketing service that enabled businesses and celebrities to partner with their fans to raise money for their preferred charities. The service’s clients included Shakira, Switchfoot, Ellen DeGeneres’s Halo Pets, HGTV, and Omaha Steaks.
Working from his adopted home of Vermont, Jay is currently writing a book that focuses on his experiences and lessons learned from his time as a participant of the 80’s SoCal Punk scene.