Their single, Intergalactic, has gone stellar and they're beaming down to Planet Earth at T in the Park. The BEASTIE BOYS no longer have to fight for their right to party, the atmosphere explodes whenever they walk into the room.
Words: Jonathan Trew and Marcel Anders
IT'S NOT ALWAYS easy to talk sense with the Beastie Boys. All conversation takes place within the parameters of the Beastie universe. a strange place where non sequiturs are king and logic is inverted. Straight- forward questions elicit wildly tangential answers and. while it would be pushing the point to call them wilfully difficult. they don‘t exactly believe in making things easy. For the threesome who are often hailed as the coolest people on the planet. doing interviews seems to be on a par with root canal work: painful. bloody and performed only when strictly necessary.
llere‘s Adam Yauch. aka MFA. deftly fielding a question about the rtnnours surrounding their new album. IIt'l/(i Nasty:
‘lt‘s all true and I started them.’ he deadpans before mischievoust adding: ‘What were the rumours'.”
Well. for starters. there was the one about the album being recorded in a submarine. the one about the album being a homage to (iarth Brooks and the one about it including contributions from Puff Daddy.
‘Yeah. the submarine one was just a lie to hold people off in finding out about the fact that we were actually doing it in a space station.~ Yauch intones. ‘You see. it's top secret.”
Top secret. Of course. It almost becomes clear until Mike Diamond. or Mike I) as he sometimes prefers to be known. takes up the baton for obfuscation. ‘lt‘s a proven method called opposing the opposition technique.‘ he explains unhelpfully. ‘So. like. you tell people you‘re several leagues underneath the sea but then of course you’re actually out in the atmosphere. They‘re gonna be looking completely to the opposite
place to where you are actually are. hence accomplishing the goal..
Later on Adam llot'ovill. or Ad Rock. completely out of the blue. shares with us the fact that he likes scrambled eggs over rice. like Dan Bury. Dan Bury who lives on my street.’
()verdosed on surreality yet‘.’ Nope? Then here is Mike D's theory of potato croquettes and how they could be used to build stages and feed the world and . . . on second thoughts. let’s not. If you want to hear banal. nonsensical ramblings. then drop in on your nearest student flat after they‘ve made serious inroads into their second pack of kingsize Rizlas. Trying to get inside of the Beasties’ stream of consciousness can be like trying to speak to an exclusive gang who have their own language. their own code of behaviour and who seem entirely uninterested in what happens outside of their immediate circle.
And yet. in—jokes and interview fatigue aside. the Beasties have accomplished much more than their goofing around would suggest. Both for themselves and for others. Poised to release their next album. the fifth in a series which has been critically acclaimed and. more importantly. sold millions. they head tip their own business empire comprising a record label. their own line in highly sought- after skate clothing and a beautifully produced and written fan/.ine. Grand Royal. If the Beasties are on the cutting edge of cool. then it is for this reason: they are hugely successful for doing just what they want to do. To use an obsolete term. they are the slackers who made good.
All of which is light years away from the Beasties' first sighting on these shores back in the mists of the
mid—80s. Back then. the Beasties were the scourge of Volkswagon owners everywhere as fans copied the band's penchant for wearing the VW logo and ripped them off of cars. The tabloids loved/hated them and had a field day when the Beasties unveiled their stage show of naked women in cages and a giant inflatable penis. Dumb ass adolescent hedonism were their watchwords. To an extent. this image has stuck with them. Four albums and twelve years later. the beer and bratfrat anthem ‘liight For Your Right (To Party)‘ is probably still the first thing that the man on the street would associate with the words Beastie and Boys. liven now the band are still making headlines. This time around it's because Yauch has become a Buddhist and is putting a lot of time and effort into the Free Tibet cause. He has organised a series of huge fund- raising concerts to heighten awareness of what the Chinese state is doing in Tibet. If the volatile mixture of entertainment and politics brings back Cont over page
'Yeah, the submarine rumour was just a lie to hold people off in finding outaboutthe fact that we were actually recording the album in a space station.’ Adam Yauch
9—23 Jul 1998 THE “ST?