January 22, 2007
Beastie Boys hope new tracks will inspire good vibrations
By Erin McWhirter, National Entertainment Writer
SYDNEY--American hip-hop trio the Beastie Boys are prepared for a backlash from Australian fans when they test out some new tracks at the Good Vibrations Festival next month.
The New York rappers are recording their seventh album and may sample some new works when they headline the festival. However, co-founder and vocalist Mike Diamond was careful not to reveal too much about the latest project.
"It is actually really different ... (fans) can expect to be disappointed, they can expect to be angry at us," the 41-year-old joked from his home in New York.
"It's always hard to know (how the album will turn out). We still have a little of a way to go. I don't want to describe it too much because whatever I say might change.
"We are in the middle of recording it ... we are pretty excited (about coming to Australia)."
The masterminds behind hit singles Brass Monkey, Fight For Your Right, Intergalactic and No Sleep Til Brooklyn, are returning to Australia after a two-year hiatus.
While other rappers and hip-hop bands have come and gone, the Beastie Boys - Diamond, Adam Yauch and Adam Horovitz - have survived more than 25 years. However, the band's popularity still surprises Diamond.
"We never really thought we would get as far as to making a living from being in a band, period, let alone for any period of time," Diamond said."We have been lucky. We are able to take good breaks from each other, from what we do together (as musicians), which is nice. So when we come together, touring or in the studio, we actually enjoying being around each other."
Controversy has followed the Beastie Boys since they formed in 1981.
Known for putting white rappers on the hip-hop map, the two-time Grammy Award winners experienced their first bout of public hatred while supporting singer Madonna in 1985. The unknown band were booed the entire time they were on stage.
"That was a huge thing for us (supporting Madonna)," Diamond said.
"We never expected a national tour. It was the first time we had done one and nobody knew who we were. We got booed every night, but we had a great time."
Two years later, with a stable following and known for their obnoxious onstage behaviour, the band shocked with their tour of debut album, Licensed to Ill. Their stage show, featuring women dancing in cages and on a giant motorised inflatable penis, similar to the one used by The Rolling Stones in the 1970s, outraged some hip-hop fans.
The tour was troubled by lawsuits and arrests, with the Beasties almost kicked out of the UK for allegedly insulting leukaemia victims. The band maintains the incident was due to an exaggeration of events after they declined to sign an autograph.
Diamond says being part of a group helps make the highs and lows of being a high-profile artist tolerable.
"It might sound corny, but the most thing for us in those early days is you realise you are in a band and there are three of us and that's all you've got," he said.
"We learned we had to be really appreciative of that.
"I have a great deal of sympathy for people that are actors or solo artists, because they don't have that infrastructure of a band to fall back on. To all have that common experience makes it a bit more tolerable."
So after more than two decades in the spotlight have the band settled down?
Diamond says they are still the same teenagers that began the Beastie Boys phenomenon all those years ago.
"There is a part of us that when the three of us get together there is a certain way we are and we act and that's never going to change," he said.
The Good Vibrations Festival begins in Melbourne on February 10, before heading to the Gold Coast, Sydney and ending in Perth on February 18.
Monday, January 22, 2007
From the Australian Associated Press: