Go Back   Beastie Boys Message Board > Beastie Boys > Beastie Boys in the Press

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-29-2004, 11:17 AM
cwdoom cwdoom is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 137
Default Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

I'm not sure who collects vinyl on this site(probably not many), but the B-Boys are in the new Wax Poetics mag. Here is the link to their website.

http://www.waxpoetics.com/html/home.php
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-29-2004, 05:51 PM
cwdoom cwdoom is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 137
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

This magazines primary focus is on collecting vinyl. They have hip hop, funk, rock, and soul artists in there who love to collect vinyl. I posted this article because it is one of the rare interviews that have the Beasties talking about dope records and how they applied it to their music. Alot of the interviews with them are always asking the same questions. Since this website seems to have people who use ipods,mp3's, and mtv for their musical outlets people might not check for a mag like this. Yet I think it is the best interview I have read so far dealing everything they have been up to musically since LTI. LATER!

click here for table of contents

http://www.waxpoetics.com/html/current_issue.php
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-03-2004, 01:30 AM
cwdoom cwdoom is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 137
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

go buy the mag
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-10-2004, 10:11 PM
SwimFinFan's Avatar
SwimFinFan SwimFinFan is offline
bite my rhymes
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 134
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

Here is the first part of the article. I'll post the second part in a few days. There are no photos with the article; just some graffiti-style caricatures of them, circa LTI. (Sorry, I don't have a scanner.)


IT STARTED WAY BACK IN HISTORY
THE CLOUT OF THE BROTHERS BEASTIE
By Cameron Macdonald

The Beastie Boy’s albums are like National Geographic issues left on a coffee table. No matter how much they age or how many coffee cup rings they gather, they still hold something new with each encounter. Each album is so dense with samples and lyrical references that it can take years to learn their significance, years to unlock the secret histories of funk, punk, jazz, and hip-hop buried inside. Don’t front.

PART ONE
June 11, 2004. At the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. It is one hour before the Beastie Boys play their set for the Live 105’s “BFD” Festival.

Adam Horovitz (King Adrock) and Michael Diamond (Mike D) sit down for the interview in their backstage portable. The former lacks his caffeinated energy, while the latter focuses on me only after making several cell phone calls and studying a free digital camera from his gift basket. Onstage, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs blare several hundred decibels into a freeway underpass of a drone, bleeding through the room’s closed door. Adam Yauch (MCA) is outside nursing a sore throat with tea, declining to speak in order to save his voice for the show. Adrock and Mike browse through three back issues of WAX POETICS. Mike D immediately has something to say.

MIKE D: I just want to say that I’m a big record buyer and vinyl enthusiast. But I don’t like [the term] “collector.” It implies that you collect records but you don’t listen to them, you’re not trying to get something that inspires you. I mean, I’m not into getting records that just sit on a shelf.
ADROCK: And how many records do you have sitting on a shelf?
MIKE D: I have thousands of records that just sit on the shelf. Which is ridiculous, but that’s a whole other story!
[MCA walks in and sits down]
What was the seed, germ, or main idea that led to your new album? Any key records that inspired its creation?
MIKE D: With any of our records, it’s not one event necessarily. Or one [inspiring] record.
ADROCK: It’s not one thing, it was just time to get it started. We knew at some point we had to do another record. We knew that at some point we had to do another record. So it just happened. We did a benefit show after September 11; it was fun to play again, and that set it off. Yauch also got a really, really nice studio. If we stayed in our old studio, which was in a basement of a basement…
MCA: A sub-basement.
ADROCK: Yeah, there wouldn’t have been this big push to get back into the studio. But Yauch got this really nice studio.
What were some of the main benefits of Yauch’s studio?
ADROCK: Windows.
MIKE D: I’d have to say that having daylight in the studio is huge. The whole thing of being able to make a record as a human being, and seeing the light cycle going on before you, as opposed to being some dungeon and having no idea of what time of day or night it is. But if you want to go to Las Vegas or something, that’s cool. For the way we work, it’s much better to be in our own studio, as it allows us to make records the way we want to make them. That is, playing a beat for a while and just sitting there and creating as opposed to having to come in with a plan or having songs written.
I noticed that your new record has a back-to-basics feel with its drum machine beats. Was it a real Roland 808?
ADROCK: We had samples of 808s. [asking Mike D] Did we actually ever break out an 808?
MIKE D: We never used a physical 808.
It was all sampled?
MIKE D: Yeah, we imported 808 sounds into sound banks.
ADROCK: We had 808 samples for years and years.
MCA: We hooked up [an 808] once, but we didn’t use the stuff we recorded.
MIKE D: Yeah, we did have an 808 in the studio.
I noticed that the album mostly sounds minimal and old school.
ADROCK: We thought it was futuristic. [In our studio], we got computers and laptops and G4s that has flat-screens. So, we felt that it was really futuristic. Maybe we weren’t so ahead of the game, but we were like Kraftwerk in doing this shit.
MIKE D: I’d say that we patted ourselves in the backs for having the hooked-up technology.
ADROCK: Yeah, I learned how to do emails. Crazy high tech shit like that.
MIKE D: I guess that some of our beats sound futuristic. But, I guess that there’s a catalog of hip-hop that we grew up on and we can’t get out of our brains.
What were some of the hip-hop influences that you can’t get out of your brains?
ADROCK: I’d say number one, if you really focused on it, would be EPMD.
MIKE D: And then there’s Larry Love, Roxanne Shante and UTFO. The whole weird, middle school hip-hop.
ADROCK: But with more headspace than EPMD.
MCA: And “Crawlspace,” “Brouhaha.” A lot of things.
Also your song “Triple Attack” riffs a break from “Rapper’s Delight.”
ADROCK: Well this guy [points to MCA] looped up the intro to “Rapper’s Delight.” A lot of people have rapped over the regular groove on “Rapper’s Delight,” the whole Chic thing. But he actually looped the intro instead, which nobody has rapped over yet. I thought that was interesting.
MCA: A different bass line too.
You guys were obviously a product of New York’s vibrant underground of the early ‘80’s, where there was a cross-pollination of musical ideas. Many hardcore punks would attend hip-hop shows and vice versa. What were some key records that pulled you guys into hip-hop during that time?
ADROCK: I gotta say that one record that came from my friend Eric Duncan was a live Afrika Bambaataa record.
The “Death Mix”?
ADROCK: Yeah, I never had it. So he hooked me up last year with that classic. I also heard the Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Computer Games.” I got that 45 a couple of years ago. And that record got me psyched on computery-type things. Then I heard Bambaataa play that [on the “Death Mix”] with all kinds of crazy shit. So, that was something that got me hyped.
MIKE D: I remember seeing Bambaataa DJ at the Rosy, as I’m really dating myself. I think that was the first time I went to the Roxy, when that was the hip-hop scene. I was totally blown away when he mixed in Toni Basil. I think he did a two-copy mix of Toni Basil’s “Oh, Mickey! You’re so fine!” for like twenty minutes. It was actually too long, in my humble opinion. I mean, Bam is a master-don’t get me wrong. It was just so crazy as a pinnacle in the b-boy/hardrock sense, where he played records that weren’t b-boy at all, but he took their beats and made them work. Toni Basil is a prime example of that.
What caused your transition into performing disco and hip-hop with the “Cooky Puss” single?
ADROCK: With “Cooky Puss,” we first went into the studio to record some hardcore songs. [There], Yauch’s parents’ friends recorded commercials, and he let us come in the middle of the night to record. So we went in a couple of nights to record hardcore songs. We ended up with extra time. This was when [Malcom McLauren’s] “Buffalo Gals” was really big, so we fucked around and made fun of “Buffalo Gals” with the “Cooky Puss” song.
And did you guys also parody Musical Youth with “Beastie Revolution”?
ADROCK: I guess so. Yes and no. I loved [“Pass the Dutchie”] when it came out on 12-inches. At any rate. MCA: Sometimes making fun of shit is our way of trying it out. You know what I mean?
ADROCK: And also become what you made fun of.
Is that what happened with Licensed to Ill?
ADROCK: That’s exactly what happened. You made fun of something then you are it. So, the “Cooky Puss” thing was making fun of “Buffalo Gals.” And we then didn’t use any of the hardcore stuff we recorded-we u thought that “Cooky Puss” was funny, so we just put that out.
What drew you guys more into hip-hop afterwards?
ADROCK: We only played “Cooky Puss” once [live] and it sucked. So we decided that wasn’t going to work.
MCA: No, we actually played it a few times.
ADROCK: We only played it at Studio 54 just once.
MIKE D: No, we played at a few art [gallery] gigs.
MCA: [Art gallery/performance space] White Columns.
ADROCK: No!
MIKE D: Yeah! Definitely at White Columns, one of the art gigs. And we tried it in Detroit.
MCA: Also the Dancetaria. And that one gig inside the UPS building, along with the Kitchen.
[Adrock and MCA argue back and forth]
MIKE D: [talking to me] We were actually on the art circuit for a brief minute after “Cooky Puss” came out.
ADROCK: [to MCA] …but I’m talking about performing the actual song “Cooky Puss”!
MIKE D: We did gigs at places like the Kitchen that had people like [avant-rock composer] Glenn Branca. That whole theoretical scene. And art gigs paid better, so that was fun.
ADROCK: [to MCA] …but I’m saying it’s the music of “Cooky Puss” that we rapped over! [turns to me] I just want to get this straight. We only did the song, “Cooky Puss” once.
MIKE D: [to Adrock] Wait, wait! How come it only goes down to only once.
ADROCK: We only did it once with the phone call [part]. But there were plenty of times when you [pointing to MCA] played bass and Kate [Schellenbach] played drums and we rapped.
MCA: It was the other way around. Kate played bass, and Mike played drums. [smiles and high-fives Mike D]
ADROCK: Whatever dude. We only played the song once, and then we rapped. I’m right!
So, you guys were briefly part of the New York art circuit?
ADROCK: We are still!
MIKE D: I’d say the being “part of the art circuit” is an overstatement. But we played those [gallery] gigs for one year.
Your band opened for Glenn Branca?
MIKE D: It wasn’t like we opened. It would be like these bills with a multi-day festival at an art space, where one night would be Glenn Branka, and the other night would be us, Max Roach, and Fab 5 Freddy; those weird combinations. Sonic Youth also played those things.
What were some of the audience reactions at the art shows?
MIKE D: At art shows, people would just sit anyway. There wasn’t much you could get, in terms of a reaction. Your audience would be, like, all professors with patches on their jackets.
ADROCK: We gotta get back into that scene!
MIKE D: The next step [after the “Cooky Puss” 12-inch] was to MC more and to get a DJ. So our DJ, a friend of ours and our manager at the time, Nick Cooper, introduced us to Rick Rubin, “DJ Double R.”
As for Licensed to Ill…
MIKE D: [hearing a ringing guitar tone that begins the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Maps”] This is the last song; I gotta go and listen. [he leaves to briefly watch the band from backstage]
Adam, you mentioned that Licensed to Ill began as a parody. What were you guys poking fun at?
ADROCK: Good question. It was like these guys wrote the song “Fight for Your Right to Party,” [turns to MCA] you and [Tom] Cushman, right?
MCA: It was just an idea.”
ADROCK: Right. Mike and Adam had an apartment together before Licensed to Ill, and they made “Fight for Your Right to Party”…
MCA: It wasn’t a song, it was like, “Ha, Ha! Wouldn’t it be funny to do this?”
ADROCK: Right. It started off with “Wouldn’t it be funny if we did this?” and we riffed off of that. I don’t know. It was like making fun of Ratt-type stuff.
MCA: It was like one of those songs like “Smoking in the Boys’ Room” or “School’s Out for Summer.”
ADROCK: Yauch and me bought those beer helmets.
With a beer can on each side with the straws?
ADROCK: Yeah, we wore beer helmets, and we walked down a street, and we were talking to these secretaries outside a margarita bar. We then got tickets from the cops and that’s kinda what happened. Does that make sense?
MCA: [chuckles]
ADROCK: We were like, “Hey, wouldn’t that be stupid if we put the helmets on?” But then we were really out there drinking beers, being idiots, and then we got tickets for it.
And so you guys decided to put that mockery of the whole lifestyle into song?
ADROCK: It sorta became that. It was become what you made fun of.
As for Licensed to Ill’s music, did that parody any hip-hop acts?
ADROCK: We were pretty into ourselves back then, just feeling ourselves.
MCA: It’s hard to explain. We were really into hip-hop-we loved Run-DMC, so part of it was making hip-hop in our own spastic, goofy way.
ADROCK: We were really into [Run-DMC’s] “Rock Box,” and we definitely wanted to make music in that way.
MCA: We just happened to make it in a goofier style.
How did the whole crate-digging process work for that album?
ADROCK: We’ve always been into records. Me and my brother bought lots of 45s.
Many of the samples already existed in your record collections before you produced the album?
ADROCK: Definitely. The “Mr. Ed” shit was off a TV record, and we had the Led Zeppelin shit.
And those were the free days when hip-hop groups could sample from artists without fear of any copyright infringement lawsuits?
ADROCK: We had the first lawsuit that used the word “sample.” It was over the Jimmy Castor Bunch’s “Hey Leroy” [“The return of Leroy”]. And rightfully so-we used a whole shitload of that record.
In transitioning to Paul’s Boutique, with its layers and layers of samples, did you guys want to escape the Licensed to Ill sound?
ADROCK: For that, we just hooked up with the Dust Brothers, so it was a combination of their approach in making really good music and Yauch’s engineering mind putting all kinds of things on top of each other and doing weird shit sonically.
MCA: I remember hearing “Shake Your Rump,” the instrumental they created, and “Car Thief.” They actually made them to be instrumentals to be played in a club. I asked, “Can we rhyme over this track?” And they were like, “Oh, we made these to be instrumentals like it is, but I guess we can take the music off and you can just rhyme over the beats.” We were like, “No, we want to rhyme over the whole music! That will be cool and interesting.” But I think that wasn’t being done very much at the time, where most of the [hip-hop] records coming out just had people rhyming over beats. Even from that point, we wanted to do something different then what was out there.
There are a lot of samples from ‘70’s funk and rock records on that album, which was awfully ahead of its time, before ‘70’s nostalgia entered mainstream culture.
ADROCK: And then came fucking Prince Paul. That bastard. De La Soul’s first album came out right before ours came out. We felt that we had the thing, but De La Soul’s first album was fucking amazing, and it got some weird shit out there.
[Mike D enters the room]
MIKE D: I think that album sounds musically a lot different. I remember at the time thinking that [De La Soul] was hitting on the ideas and the territory of what we wanted to do.
Did the Dust Brothers do most of the crate digging, or did you guys also play a part in it?
ADROCK: They had tracks already.
MCA: Their tracks were pre-made, but we made some of the stuff on our own.
MIKE D: I think that in the chronology of it-not giving it too much weight- we started working with them because of the tracks we heard from them, which were “Shake Your Rump” and “Car Thief.” We were just totally blown away by that. And “Shake Your Rump” was dense, and they wanted to keep it as an instrumental, but we were like, “No, let’s keep it like it is.”
MCA: We already told that story.
MIKE D: Oh, I’m sorry.
ADROCK: Yeah, while you were in the mosh pit.
MIKE D: I was watching the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but the tall kid from the Strokes stood in front of me and I couldn’t watch them.
[Publicist Steve Martin walks in to cut the interview, as it came time for their radio interview with the concert’s sponsor.]
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-11-2004, 12:10 AM
jjjjjj's Avatar
jjjjjj jjjjjj is offline
oooh my my
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: los angeles
Posts: 369
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

Quote:
Originally Posted by wints
Thanks for posting this Swimfinfan!
yeah thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-11-2004, 12:58 AM
saml's Avatar
saml saml is offline
skillstopaythebills.com
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: sweden
Posts: 578
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

yeah great, but what's the deal with "Triple Attack"? Your fault or the magazine's?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-11-2004, 07:52 AM
Saffy Saffy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 39
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

That was a great interview! Is it just me, or did Adrock sound genuinely pissed over the whole "Cookie Puss" dispute?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-11-2004, 11:42 AM
katie337 katie337 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 20
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

thanks for posting this!



*Insert random Beastie Boys lyric so everyone on the board knows that I am their biggest fan here*

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-11-2004, 01:40 PM
Lindsey_1535's Avatar
Lindsey_1535 Lindsey_1535 is offline
pen15
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: CANADIANA
Posts: 4,791
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saffy
That was a great interview! Is it just me, or did Adrock sound genuinely pissed over the whole "Cookie Puss" dispute?
ya he did but it was some funny shit



Hook

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-11-2004, 04:59 PM
SwimFinFan's Avatar
SwimFinFan SwimFinFan is offline
bite my rhymes
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 134
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

Quote:
Originally Posted by saml
yeah great, but what's the deal with "Triple Attack"? Your fault or the magazine's?
Not my typo - I was wondering this too. I think the interview takes place before the album was released, so maybe it was a working title for 'Triple Trouble'?? Or maybe the zine got it wrong. It is mentioned that way multiple times.


stay tuned for part 2......
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-13-2004, 09:11 PM
SwimFinFan's Avatar
SwimFinFan SwimFinFan is offline
bite my rhymes
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 134
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

OK - here is the last part of the article. Enjoy!

PART 2
THE PHONE INTERVIEWS

Why are there no instrumentals in the new album?
MIKE D: When we first played each other’s stuff that we were working on individually, it was pretty much all programmed beats that we’d each been doing on computers. Some [beats] were on the 1200s and others were on the MPC, but it was mostly on computer. It was mostly hip-hop and we pretty much stayed with that. The only times when we picked up instruments at all was when there was a specific sound that we wanted on a song, [like] it was just easier to plug in a bass. But even then, we generally would chop it up and re-sequence it through computers.
You cited hip-hop’s middle school period as an influence on your new record…
ADROCK: I don’t know that it necessarily played such a big deal in influencing this specific record, but it’s always a day-to-day influence. Just because it was such an important period of time for the three of us. Rap was [long] around, but it seemed so new and exciting because we were being part of it at that point. Everything seemed so exciting. Just the style and the fashion, and the innovativeness of people branching out and doing different things.
That song, “Roxanne, Roxanne,” is a classic. It’s not like a story song, but it is in a way, and just, like, how many songs came from that song is so ridiculous and hilarious. There’s like twenty different “Roxanne” records after that one. It was like being in high school. I mean, we were in high school, but it really felt like high school as a musical form, where you really didn’t give a shit. It’s not like people weren’t serious about what they were doing, but there weren’t rules that you had to follow, and there wasn’t a dress code that you had to follow. People were just doing crazy shit. It was that not giving a fuck-type of feeling.
MCA: There’s also a lot of other stuff from the old-school period. I mean, the “Triple Attack” sample obviously came from the Sugar Hill Gang. Even its hook is an interpolation of their “Double Trouble” song. There are different influences all over the place. You’ve got the Dead Boys in there, and Ernest Shackleton-he was an explorer from England who tried to be the first man to get to the South Pole. But he did not succeed at that, among other things he did. [laughs] Oren Lees, he was in charge of the stores or supplies [of Shackleton’s ship on the South Pole expedition]. Sorry, we can carry on and on. [laughs]
MIKE D: The most obvious song is “Oh, Word?” That song is reminiscent of Grandmaster Flash and Larry Love. That era of hip-hop that’s firmly in the middle school. Grandmaster Flash is an old-school [artist], but that record with Larry Love was really middle school. We grew up so much on old school and middle school that their influence is in there. It’s more about how we’re a vocal group, and the interaction of our voices more than anything else. Within present-day hip-hop, even in rap groups, one MC gets sixteen bars and another gets sixteen bars; it’s not about vocal interaction in any way. For us, that’s the heart of what we do.
Going back to the studio process for Licensed to Ill: I’ve read that the limitations of studio technology forced you guys to spend many hours into the early morning trying to get the samples and beats sequenced right.
ADROCK: That was mostly Yauch. He was the main technological one. DJs would cut two copies of records, and that made sense. But none of us were that good to keep it on the beat for a whole record. [laughs] So we went to Yauch’s apartment and he took the Led Zeppelin beat and he has a little reel-to-reel. He copied it a bunch of times, spliced them all together and had it running as a loop. That was so high-tech to me; I couldn’t believe that he actually did that! I don’t know what the fuck he did.
MCA: When we looped the beat from the intro of that Zeppelin song, we made a quarter-inch tape loop that ran around the room, and we had to balance it on mic stands to not get tangled up. The tape loop was just spinning on one machine. When you’re making a tape loop, you’re tricking the machine. The tape is going around in a circle and in this case the tape loop was pretty long, so we had to dangle it off of stuff. It was certainly more complicated lining things up than it is now. There is a lot of software around where you get just a bunch a interesting stuff and sync it up. But back in those days, it was much more of a procedure.
MIKE D: Technology dictates to a certain degree what you end up doing on a give record. Maybe at the time [of Licensed to Ill], there was the Fairlight [CMI, Computer Musical Instrument], which was tens of thousands of dollars. We didn’t have tens of thousands of dollars. [laughs] With Paul’s Boutique, we wanted to have stereo samples, and the cool thing is that Matt King from the Dust Brothers had a computer-science background. He’d use his PC to sequence two mono samplers, where we sampled each mono side so we’d simulate the stereo that way.
In the transition from Paul’s Boutique to Check Your Head, what inspired you guys to pick up your instruments again?
ADROCK: We were just in L.A. listening to lot of music. We didn’t tour for the Paul’s Boutique record; we just did some shows. We were basically in L.A. with nothing to do but hang out.
I bought a drum kit from Money Mark’s brother for fifty dollars, and I set that up in my apartment. I already had a guitar, and I guess that either Mike or Yauch came over one say and we started fucking around. And then Yauch brought a bass down and we just started playing. It wasn’t like, “Let’s do this!” It just happened from there and it was really fun. We’d been a hardcore band, and we never really tried to do anything other than that. So we started playing some funky shit that we never thought we could really play.
MCA: A lot of the music we were listening to was instrumental; groove-oriented jazz and James Brown. There’s also Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff. We’d listen to those things and then play our own thing with some of them in mind. Later, when we had our own studio, we’d throw up songs and figure them out. But early on, we weren’t doing that.
MIKED D: We were inspired by the music that we sampled on Paul’s Boutique, like Meters, Jazz Crusaders, or whatever. That inspired us to just try playing shit like that. It was not like we were able to, because those groups had incredible musicians. It was like we felt like we wanted to do something different, and we were inspired by that music. When we started Check Your Head, we didn’t sit down with books and write some rhymes, it was more about picking up some instruments to see what happens. [In L.A.] we had nothing to do except playing instruments, buy records, and get stoned. [laughs] It was a cool time because Paul’s Boutique didn’t commercially live up to what Capitol’s expectations were, and it was pretty much when everyone who was at Capitol when Paul’s Boutique came out either left or got fired. We had this weird sense of freedom, because there was nobody [at Capitol] that we were in touch with. It wasn’t like there were these people there counting on us to sell millions of records. Nobody was on top of us; we could just go off and do our own shit. Adam had this little apartment in Hollywood, and we just set up in his bedroom a drum kit, one organ, Yauch had his bass and amp, Horovitz had his guitar and effects pedals, and we just started playing. A lot of times we would just record everything, which was really embarrassing because there were a lot of horrible things. We recorded everything and listened back, or we recorded and made pause-tapes of what we thought was good and said, “Let’s make this the verse and let’s make this the chorus.” Or we’d listen to a really cool record and say, “Let’s make something like this.”
What were some key records that prompted you to mess around during this period?
ADROCK: The Crusaders, Eugene McDaniels, and James Brown records were always important. A lot of funk and reggae records and the Slit’s album were a really big deal to us. The punk-disco bands were also a big influence-like Gang of Four and ESG. Just a mixture of different things. And bands like the Clash were always important in how they tried to do different things. We just were into funky music and wanted to play it. At that particular moment in time, we weren’t really listening to rap or punk; all we were doing was finding beats and samples. But we were like, “Fuck, let’s just play it!” Having four dudes stand around a sampler just wasn’t exciting. [laughs]
The Meters was a major inspiration. Like a punk-rock band, they just played very simple stuff, but the way they played it was very intricate and deep. Each one of them played a simple, basic line, but when they put it all together, it sounded really great. We were going with that theme. If we just stuck to our own simple, little thing, then it just might sound good. And then there’s the Substitution’s 45, “In Brussels.” [laughs] There are too many stories. It’s like getting that Boy Scout record and finding crazy samples. During that time was when I realized that you could go outside of what you were [usually] trying to do. I already figured out that rock bands had beats at that point, [and] collecting jazz and funk records was an obvious. But I didn’t realize that anything made between ’70 and ’74 had attempted some funky shit. This was the late ‘80s and I didn’t know that! I’m talking about off-Broadway musicals, TV jingles, and children’s records. It was just very exciting at that point; being in this city and really have nothing to do but go eat, smoke weed, hang out, buy records, and play music. It was very fun. [laughs]
MCA: Definitely the Jimmy Smith stuff, Groove Holmes and Jimmy McGriff. Also, early Funkadelic stuff like “Red Hot Mama,” ‘70s[-era] Miles Davis, and definitely James Brown, the Meters and Crusaders. We were definitely finding records off the radar, but none of them are now coming to mind. [laughs]
MIKE D: For sure, the Meter’s whole catalogue. The Crusaders’ Southern Comfort album, and Ken Lee Jackson and the Politicians. Also jazz shit like early ‘70s CTI records like from Stanley Cherry or George Bensen.
When if came down to cutting a record, how did the studio process work with Mario C producing?
ADROCK: By that particular time, we had hours of music that we’d played. Like hundreds of hours of DAT tapes of just bullshit jamming. I guess that whatever we liked, we worked on some more, edited it together, and played stuff on top of it. But we worked with Mario on Paul’s Boutique; he was the engineer for that whole album, so that was how we knew him. We actually met Mario when we played a show in L.A. He was a friend of our friend Matt Dike- he owns Delicious Vinyl and used to run a club. We played that club and blew the speakers on the first song. And then this guy came from the audience named Mario and went up to Matt Dike and said, “Hey, I do sound, I got my own PA, let me do your sound!” That was how we hooked up. Mario and Money Mark grew up together, so that was how we knew Mark.
MCA: Mario had a lot of ideas about how to mic stuff. He really helped us build [the G-Son studio]. He was just a collaborator on what sounded good.
MIKE D: It kinda evolved with the technology we were doing at the time. On Check Your Head, we started in Adam’s bedroom, and then stopped doing that after a few times, because he had a downstairs neighbor with a gun and a motorcycle, and he wasn’t too psyched about us playing. We then moved into a practice space and Mario came down with a DAT machine, our first big technology that we bought. We’d just set up a couple of mics and just do everything that we were doing, and we then listened back and made pause-tapes. It then came to us actually, building G-Son studios. Mario and Mark were pretty involved in that, and Mark, being the carpenter, helped build it. Mario also helped us select the gear and all that. Once we got into G-Son, we would just start and mess around for a while, and when things sounded halfway decent, we’d tell Mario, or a lot of times he just knew when to roll the tape. We might be just running the DAT the whole time and whenever things sounded like they were coming together, he’d just roll the two-inch multi-track.
Did Money Mark make a major impact?
MCA: Well, Mark was very involved from the beginning of our work on Check Your Head. We first started by getting together and jamming at Adam’s house and invited Mark over. While we were doing press for Paul’s Boutique, we started jamming and invited Mark to join us. It was basically Mike on drums, Adam on guitar, me on bass, and Mark on keyboards. Then we went to a practice space for a little bit after getting kicked out of Adam’s house when the neighbors got mad. [laughs] While we were in a practice, we then found a place to build a studio. [G-Son] used to be a dancehall- the live room was like this huge room with an arched ceiling, and we built the control room in a closet because the live room was so big that we used to play basketball in it. The control room was in a tiny room that we had to squeeze into; it was basically two closets that we broke down the walls [between].
MIKE D: With Mark, that was the essential ingredient needed. It was like if you were trying to make a cake and you didn’t have egg-substitute powder for vegan. Or it was like if you were making chocolate-chip cookies and it just wouldn’t be right without the chocolate-chips.
When the group was experimenting with live instrumentation, did you consider the possible reaction of the hip-hop community at large?
MCA: Yeah, it was interesting. When we finished Check Your Head, we did an interview with The Source magazine. The Source said something about us making a hip-hop record, and we were like, “Well, it’s not just a hip-hop record, there’s other stuff on there too.” I guess they were shocked and disappointed. They were like, “What do you mean?” I remember we were on some big shows at colleges, and it seemed like people were into it. “So What’cha Want?” and “Pass the Mic” were on that record, and people got psyched. Part of the objective of that record was that we were making a mixtape. It was around that time when we started making mixtapes- basically trading pause-tapes with each other. On a lot of those pause-tapes, there would be a hardcore song and right after that a groove song, then a funk song and then a hip-hop song. Sometimes we were putting old things we were listening to and new things we were finding. So we made copies of these pause-tapes and trading with each other. In a lot of ways, Check Your head is a pause-tape of that style- but we played music on it.
MIKE D: Honestly, with the state of heads we had, we weren’t thinking about that at all. At first, we planned Check Your Head to be an all-instrumental album. Somehow, when Biz Markie came to town to do a TV show, he came by the studio just for fun. We played music over his rhyming and that got us back into Mcing. At that point, it was validating. Now you see a lot of hip-hop groups do something with a live band, but at that time, it wasn’t a common thing or something that was explored much. Q-Tip and Africa from the Jungle Brothers came by the studio and heard what we did, and they’d get on the rhyme. We definitely didn’t think, “Oh, MCs are going to think this or that.”
In transitioning from Check Your Head to Ill Communication, the band got more serious about their instrumentals.
MIKE D: [On Ill Communication] our goal was to elaborate a little bit and try what we hadn’t done yet. The way we performed the percussion was a little more thorough. On Check Your Head, dubbing in drums was an afterthought, while they were more integrated in Ill Communication. We spent more time listening to what we were doing and thought, “Oh, let’s spend more time doing this.” Check Your Head was more like rolling the tape and taking the best bits and literally razor-blading them together.
With these instrumentals, do they have narration? Do they tell any specific stories from your lives?
ADROCK: No. [laughs] We’d like it to be a little deeper maybe, but with the final product, not really. It’s not like one person starts the thing, it’s, like, four different people playing together. It’s not like one person saying, “Ok, picture this in your head and take it from there.” It could be four different stories for each song. [laughs]
MIKE D: It wasn’t like, “Oh this is going to be the sunrise!” [laughs] It wasn’t like, I think, Cannonball Adderley, who release this album that had songs about astrological signs and went, “Scorpio, Weee!” [laughs] We didn’t have any shit like that. It was somehow more like watching a film clip without the sound in, playing instrumentals for that record. It works more like soundtrack music, but without telling the story so much.
Any new influences or key records that drove Ill Communication?
MIKE D: I remember getting more into Mile Davis’s On the Corner. That whole era of Miles. I remember listening to Sly & the Family Stone’s early albums. I got into more of the free-jazz world with Albert Ayler. Definitely Herbie Hancock for sure.
I’ve read that you guys have a particular hobby for each record that you record, like basketball, dominoes, and video games.
ADROCK: We had a basketball court and a half-pipe skateboard ramp at our [G-Son] studio. We did a lot of basketball, skating, and eating. It was all part of a team thing. We’d all order food together, mostly from Noni’s, an Italian restaurant from across the street.
MCA: [laughs] Yeah, they distracted us from the records. We played a lot of mahjong in the making of this last record.
MIKE D: Check Your Head was dominoes. Ill Communication was Sega video golf. Hello Nasty was definitely Boggle. On the new record, we actually split off into different games. Mahjong for Yauch, Scrabble for Horovitz, and I was definitely into a game called Critter, which was a version of Mexican train dominoes.
Why did you eventually move back to New York?
MCA: It kind of just happened over a period of time. I moved out of L.A. first. I packed up my house in L.A. when we went on tour for Check Your Head, but Mike and Adam still lived out there. I was kind of going nomad, like I’d put a bunch of stuff in storage and then just went around on tour staying in hotels. Sometimes I stayed in sublets and rented month-to-month in different spots. I was trying to spend as much time in New York, but I always ended up going back to L.A., because that’s where the guys and the studio were. Adam then decided to move back to New York and that shifted the balance. Mike then got an apartment here; he goes back and forth to L.A. Adam and I now live full-time in New York.
As Hello Nasty was pieced together over a two-year period, was there a theme, or was it just something that happened?
ADROCK: It all just sort of happened, branching out into different areas. It definitely was our most idea-based record, where we were like, “Let’s try this.”
MCA: Maybe so. There were some left-field-type of cuts. There was this band…I can picture them on their album cover where they’re on a rooftop. It’s from the ‘60s and it’s all synthesizers. It’s…not coming to me. I’m bad with names.
MIKE D: Hello Nasty was actually about not having a central theme. It was more about feeling free and empowered to try out every different thing we could try and somehow make it all come together on one record. We’d bring in all these different ideas. It felt like there wasn’t anything that we couldn’t try. If we were listening to Os Mutantes and wanted to make crazy shit like that, we did it. We took beats from a crazy, old drum machine and put it through these effects boxes and then looping those and layering it with other beats we tried. We plugged in every piece of gear that we own and every different idea and saw what came out. There was some techno and drum ‘n’ bass stuff that I got exposed to in Europe, so that sort of came in. I also got into the Switched-On records with the electronic composer-type shit like Dick Hyman. With Lee Perry appearing on the record, we were playing some instrumentals that we thought it’d be amazing if somehow Lee played on the record.
Out of curiosity, how were those video game sounds on “And Me” produced?
ADROCK: They are sounds that you can’t really put on a document, because they’re undocumented sounds! [laughs] They’re sounds that are out there in the world. [laughs] [“And Me”] was basically about the telephone and my reaction to computers. You know that when you’re far away, you’re always on the fucking phone, calling home or a girlfriend? It’s like your lifeline feels like fiber optics in your veins and shit.
As for the lawsuits from the Jimmy Castor Bunch and James Newton, how did they affect the band’s outlook on sampling?
ADROCK: The Jimmy Castor thing was interesting because we nearly stole his entire song and put it on ours without paying him. It was like, “Oh yeah, that’s right, if you take a whole bunch of somebody’s song I can see their argument.” We just took a whole lot of his record “Hey Leroy” and put it in our song, “Hold It Now, Hit It.” It’s like, [the vocal clip] “Hey, Leroy!” and then it just plays a whole percussion break of his thing. His lawyers got in touch with Def Jam, and was like, “Hey, you can’t really do that.” And so we paid him. The James Newton thing was a drag. We actually paid for the sample, but the guy felt like it wasn’t enough. And then ten years later he came back to us. I think it was his lawyers who really wanted to get some money, and so they convinced him to do this thing, and it turned into a whole fiasco. It was very weird, because we actually signed contracts and paid for the sample. But I guess that wasn’t good enough.
MCA: It definitely made me more hesitant, especially the Newton one, which was really ridiculous. I remember going into [To the 5 Boroughs], and just felt like, “Let’s make an album with no sampling on it at all,” because it was just a pain in the ass. But, of course, once we started making it, we ended up sampling stuff because it just sounded good, and it’s fun to sample. But [those lawsuits] definitely left a bad taste in my mouth, especially when we got harassed [by Newton’s lawyer], even after we made an effort to clear that sample. We ended up getting screwed. There are two different issues: When you clear samples there’s publishing and master-usage. On that particular one, we cleared the master, but we didn’t clear the publishing, because we didn’t feel that it was a songwriting issue- which the judge ended up agreeing with us in the end, both judges. We won the case, and [Newton’s lawyer] brought it to another judge.
MIKE D: It definitely makes you more cautious. In the James Newton [lawsuit], we did everything we were supposed to do. That’s what the lawsuit [trial] proved; that was a sample we cleared. When we started our new record, we were just so pissed off about that. We cleared that sample the way we were supposed to do with his record label, and we still got sued over it. When we started [on the new record], we left [sampling] alone for a minute, but we ended up going back to the well and loop up a couple of [samples] and say, ”This feels good, we gotta do it!”
Still digging for ideas?
ADROCK: Always. I’m feeling the Muppets right now. The Muppets have beats; you’d be surprised!
MIKE D: For me, it’s about the Sesame Street ‘70s shit. They had incredible music guests on the show, like Stevie Wonder, who did the best TV musical performance ever. They had songs, beats, and had it all. Being a dad got me up on the Sesame Street beats.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-14-2004, 11:07 AM
b-grrrlie's Avatar
b-grrrlie b-grrrlie is offline
rebel in black
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 7,053
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

Thanks SwimFinFan!
I've never seen this mag on my shores and never even heard of it (even I'm a vinyl colector) so it was great to be able to read this while I'm nursing a sore throat with tea.



So This Is What I've Got To Say To You All
Be True To Yourself And You Will Never Fall

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-14-2004, 03:58 PM
betaband betaband is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 168
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

wow, there was a lot of info there, tons. adrock is primarily influenced by epmd??? didn't see that one. cheers mate for posting that!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-14-2004, 07:25 PM
Documad Documad is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 9,452
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

My, it's refreshing to read a magazine article that asks intelligent questions and goes a little more in depth. Many music magazines used to read like this.

I'd love a visual of the dispute regarding the art gallery gigs!

My favorite line was Adrock's re TT5B being futuristic, not old school: "we were like Kraftwerk in doing this shit." Thanks a bunch!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-14-2004, 08:06 PM
jjjjjj's Avatar
jjjjjj jjjjjj is offline
oooh my my
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: los angeles
Posts: 369
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

Thanks again swimfinfan!
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-14-2004, 08:09 PM
SwimFinFan's Avatar
SwimFinFan SwimFinFan is offline
bite my rhymes
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 134
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

I'm not a vinyl collector, but I found the magazine very interesting. There is also an interview with Les McCann, who of course spoke about working with Eddie Harris. And there's an article on Wattstax, with an interview with Chuck D on how he put together "It Takes a Nation of Millions..." (he used samples from that concert). So I give it a !
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-17-2004, 08:15 AM
betaband betaband is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 168
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

this is the best "a brief history of the beasties" i've read. they covered 20 odd years in the span of a couple of pages and really didn't leave anything of great importance out
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-17-2004, 03:48 PM
cwdoom cwdoom is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 137
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwimFinFan
I'm not a vinyl collector, but I found the magazine very interesting. There is also an interview with Les McCann, who of course spoke about working with Eddie Harris. And there's an article on Wattstax, with an interview with Chuck D on how he put together "It Takes a Nation of Millions..." (he used samples from that concert). So I give it a !

Yo Swin I notice you live in Chicago if you have a chance check out http://www.dustygroove.com

I get music from their and they have a lot of beasties stuff they don't put on the website...LATER!!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-17-2004, 09:59 PM
SwimFinFan's Avatar
SwimFinFan SwimFinFan is offline
bite my rhymes
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 134
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwdoom
Yo Swin I notice you live in Chicago if you have a chance check out http://www.dustygroove.com

I get music from their and they have a lot of beasties stuff they don't put on the website...LATER!!
Wow - their website has lots of great stuff! Thanks - I will definitely check it out!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-18-2004, 01:21 AM
Jaun Dice Jaun Dice is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1
Wink Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miramanee
I suspect the magazine has lame people working for it.
Do you know something we don't?
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-18-2004, 11:44 PM
Brooklyn Babe's Avatar
Brooklyn Babe Brooklyn Babe is offline
the bitch is back
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NYC..where we don't play
Posts: 1,428
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

"MIKE D: I was watching the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but the tall kid from the Strokes stood in front of me and I couldn?t watch them."

I don't know why I like that line the best - maybe it's cuz of the funny visual it gave me - just imagining Mike D. standing on his tip toes struggling to see over that dude from the strokes.



"Fling on an ADIDAS hoodie and just boogie woogie with me."
Lady Sovereign is the Queen of UK rap.
Luv ya Sov.


*Get Cheeky*

Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12-20-2004, 01:40 PM
Sir SkratchaLot Sir SkratchaLot is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,345
Arrow Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

Good to see some other people up on this shit. Wax Poetics is by far my favorite mag of all time. Its more of journal than a magazine anyway. They do their shit right.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12-20-2004, 01:42 PM
beastiegirrl101's Avatar
beastiegirrl101 beastiegirrl101 is offline
small star for you
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fantasia
Posts: 5,334
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

really cool store in chicago called Wax Addict on Ashland Ave. they have tons of BBoy music on wax....for those of you heading to Chicago for the "reunion" you should check this place out....

....and then come to my place after for drinks.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12-21-2004, 07:01 AM
Sir SkratchaLot Sir SkratchaLot is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,345
Arrow Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

Quote:
Originally Posted by beastiegirrl101
really cool store in chicago called Wax Addict on Ashland Ave. they have tons of BBoy music on wax....for those of you heading to Chicago for the "reunion" you should check this place out....

....and then come to my place after for drinks.
There's a place in Chicago called Reckless Records (they have a couple stores in London too). I got a ton of shit from them back in 95. I bought a LTI LP in there and then started talking to the guy at the counter about the Beasties. That's when I found out about the MCA & Burzootie record (this was before they had comprehensive internet discographies etc so info like this was hard to get.) The singles and old stuff were extremly hard to come by back then due to the lack of eBay and internet. Anyway, I gave them a want list. Every time something on my list came in they would send it to me. It was all at reasonable prices too. I got a Rock Hard 12" for $20. Pollywog Stew 7" for $25. The Shadrach 12 for $15-$20. Cookie Puss for $15-20. Its not so special now, but back then finding this stuff was on some needle in a haystack shit. Anyway, Reckless Records, dope store.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 08-30-2006, 12:38 PM
Funkyfreshgrape's Avatar
Funkyfreshgrape Funkyfreshgrape is offline
Death Note RULEZ
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: •Manhattan Suburbs•
Posts: 2,293
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

can someone scan it?




my myspace!
ADD ME!!! ;)

ima pokemon master
ash is bringin SEXY BAXK BABY!

Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 08-30-2006, 10:13 PM
pm0ney's Avatar
pm0ney pm0ney is offline
Mad Child
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: long island ny
Posts: 880
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

That was the best Beasties interview I've ever read. Good shit right there. Their knowledge of records is just fuckin mind-boggling.



Thats insane, you're stupid...you should sleep late man, it's just much easier on your constitution.

Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 09-04-2006, 08:34 AM
spacemac9000's Avatar
spacemac9000 spacemac9000 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New York
Posts: 559
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

One of the better articles on the b-boys...some different & new info in there...

good stuff
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 09-04-2006, 11:38 PM
Justin's Avatar
Justin Justin is offline
DANCE SUCKA!!!
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 3,131
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

That was a great interview, thanks for utilizing the good ol copy and paste method!

I think the beasties felt a connection with this interviewer because record collecting always was a big part of their lives.



Good evening, I'm Chevy Chase and you're touching yourself
Exceptional Professional

Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 09-22-2006, 06:09 PM
Libby Libby is offline
Libby
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 24
Default Re: Beastie Boys in Wax Poetics

Nyce

Bootsie and the funkadelic are in there too...thanks for posting



finger lickin good, ya'll..

Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2012 Beastie Boys