Beasties' Yauch Talks New Album, Bad Brains
It's been three years since the Beastie Boys released To the 5 Boroughs, which is still only half the time between the release of Boroughs and its immediate predecessor, Hello Nasty. The trio is, however, already hard at work on their next album, as Adam Yauch (aka MCA) revealed to Pitchfork in a recent interview.
Yauch says the Beasties are "focusing on playing instruments [and] not really working with drum machines and samples" on the record, which they are in the process of mixing. The album is currently untitled, but they hope to release it this spring.
If that happens, the group will have an album to promote on their upcoming summer festival tour, the first date of which is at the Sasquatch! Festival alongside their friends and old touring buddies Bad Brains. Yauch says there are no plans for the two groups to play together at the festival but adds that Bad Brains bassist Darryl Jenifer "will probably steal a couple of beers from my dressing room."
Yauch spent a lot of time with Jenifer and the rest of Bad Brains' original lineup recently when he produced their forthcoming album, Build a Nation. Yauch calls Nation "more raw sounding than some of the other stuff that they did. It has a pretty full sound, but it's more like the way they sounded live back in the day seeing them at CBGB's, the amps and the PA at full tilt."
Nation also takes a different approach to the band's reggae influences: "With I Against I and after that, they started bringing the reggae influence into the rock style, and this record goes back to the [self-titled] ROIR cassette style where the dub is very separate from the hardcore tracks. There are tracks that are more straight-up hardcore and then tracks that are straight-up dub."
Considering how fast Bad Brains used to play, it would be understandable if they had mellowed in their old age. But Yauch says, "If anything, they play more accurately than ever. They're pretty incredible musicians. It was pretty amazing hearing those guys play together and lay it down. The way that they move together, the drums and bass and guitar, is almost like one complex instrument. I guess they've just been playing together so long that there's a certain flow to the way the band plays that's pretty unique. They have a lot of jazz influences in the way they go through changes. Like, the chord changes that they choose and the rhythms that they do are pretty amazing."
Build a Nation comes out this spring on Megaforce Records.
Monday, March 12, 2007