The Beastie Boys never let any hurdle — not industry executives, not fan expectations, not disapproving preteen girls — stop them on their road to rap glory. Now, as member Adam Yauch continues his fight with cancer, the boys from Brooklyn keep battling with the release of their latest album and short film.In the current climate of the record industry, music is released any number of ways. There is, of course, the popular MP3 format, the dying medium of CDs, and the resurgent vinyl LP. To drum up sales, many artists have been forced to come up with creative ways to get their music out, whether it’s releasing albums on customized USB drives or even on kitschy retro 8-track tapes.
The Beastie Boys, however, are thinking way outside the box.
“One of the ways we’ve been talking about releasing our new album is to have it embedded in food,” says the Beasties’ Mike Diamond, aka Mike D.
“The average person wakes up in the morning to have some cereal. When you chew, say, Cap’n Crunch, it’s loud; it makes a lot of noise in your head. Now imagine you’re chewing Cap’n Crunch, but instead of the usual sounds, you’re hearing a Beastie Boys song. You’d have to chew at a certain bpm and frequency to make that happen, but one of our songs would start playing.
“That,” says Diamond, with a confident air, “could be the future of music.”
It’s a brisk early-spring day in New York as Diamond and fellow Beastie Boy Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz have gathered in the offices of their longtime publicist for an interview with American Way. They’re here, ostensibly, to promote the group’s eighth and latest album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. But in the process, they manage to reflect on their early history, discuss the 25th anniversary of the group’s debut album, Licensed to Ill, and generally talk smack for the better part of the afternoon.
From the outset, Horovitz, 44, and Diamond, 45, are a frenetic double act, immediately grilling their interviewer about the benefits of writing for an airline magazine.
“How do you get paid?” asks Diamond, who’s smartly turned out in an oxford shirt and a sweater. “Do you get compensated in miles?”
“Or do you get free stuff from that catalog, the SkyMall?” wonders the graying Horovitz, arching an eyebrow.
Before there’s time to answer, they’re off and tackling a strange, dizzying array of topics, from bubbly talk show host Rachael Ray (“I think she should have her own TV judge show,” Diamond says) to the hot culinary trend of gourmet pretzels. “I’m a fan of pretzels,” Horovitz says. “I’d like to go on record saying that. I know that will be of tremendous interest to American Airlines passengers.”