February 16, 2007
Beastie Boys' animal behaviour
The wacky white boys who still hold the reins in a black-dominated hip-hop scene are heading here
By Sujin Thomas, Music Reporter
THE Beastie Boys are three MCs and one DJ - who are in their late 30s and early 40s.
But speak to Adam Horovitz aka Ad-Rock, one of the MCs, and you'd think they are still a bunch of playful adolescents.
"They're mean people," says the 40-year-old last month, on the line from his home in New York, of his band mates.
Then breaking into a series of guffaws, he continues: "And that's been really trying on me. They push old people around and kick kids. I'm serious."
When you realise just how nonsensical his replies to your questions are, you can't resist egging him on by asking: "And you don't do any of that?"
He promptly replies: "No, of course not. Everybody says I'm the nice one and it's true."
Audiences can check out how true that is when Ad-Rock and the rest of his posse - Michael Diamond aka Mike D, 41, Adam Yauch aka MCA, 42, as well as tour DJ Mix Master Mike, 36 - perform at the Good Vibrations Festival at Fort Canning Park on Monday. The event is organised by home-grown events company Kinemat.
A further sign of the Beastie Boys' cheeky reputation: A spokesman for Kinemat tells Life! that the group had requested something unusual aside from the typical list of band equipment, food and alcohol.
Get this: They asked for a swimming pool, palm trees and sand to be set up for them backstage.
"I was totally shocked and didn't know what to do. I rejected it, of course. It's not conducive to the gig's environment," says Kinemat director Donovan Wong, 30.
Now the group has asked for 'an 8R photograph of a local celebrity' instead - without giving any explanation.
"I don't know which celebrity's photograph to give. If any celebrity is keen to hand them a photograph, let me know," adds Mr Wong.
Such wacky behaviour is par for the course for the group whose career has spanned nearly three decades and is famous for tracks such as Fight For Your Right (1987), Sabotage (1994), Intergalactic (1998) and Triple Trouble (2004).
They have been known to perform alongside women in cages as well as wrestle with a man dressed as a bear in their music videos.
Formed in New York in 1979, they were initially a punk rock band called The Young Aborigines. They adopted the Beastie Boys name after MCA joined two years later.
Following a line-up shuffle, the group changed from a punk band to a three-man rap crew and released their debut album Licensed To Ill in 1986.
"We were always producing all our own records. But the last few records, we had a sound engineer to help us," says Ad-Rock.
In a largely African-American dominated hip-hop scene, the Caucasian group have proven their staying power and released six albums - even bagging two Grammy Awards in 1999 for the album, Hello Nasty.
They won under the categories of Best Alternative Music Album and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
They are currently working on their seventh studio album which will be released later this year.
"I can't tell you anything about it. It's top secret. It's actually hard to describe but it's good and you can dance to it," he says, sounding serious for once.
But when asked what first-time audiences here can expect from their concert, he turns goofball again: "We're going to bring animals. Magicians are coming, too."
Friday, February 16, 2007
From The Straits Times: (Singapore)