Dressed to ill

From The New York Times:
Hello, Natty
By Christopher Bollen

Inside the wood-paneled walls of the former executive offices of the Benjamin Moore paint company on Canal Street, three men dressed in circa 1950s suits are getting down to business. Only these guys aren’t looking at paint chips. Adam Yauch, Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz are recording “The Mix-Up,” their new all-instrumental album. Welcome to the Beastie Boys’ Oscilloscope Studios, where for the past year, a strict dress code has been in play.

The new work clothes are not a sign that New York’s favorite delinquent sons have finally grown up or have mellowed with age. “The Mix-Up” finds the Boys away from the rapping and sampling that has defined their hip-hop sound and adopting the old-school approach of just sitting down in a room together and playing their instruments. “We did a total 180 on ourselves,” Diamond says, tugging on his polyester lapels. This is not the first time the Beastie Boys have donned suits for a release — they wore matching jumpsuits while touring for “Hello Nasty” and Adidas track suits for “To the Five Boroughs.” Those looks, however, were assembled specifically for the stage. The vintage suits and ties set the tone for the new album, with MCA, Mike D. and Adrock wearing their retro jazz-cat fineries into the studio every day and requiring everyone else to dress in a similar fashion. “Whenever you look at old pictures of musicians recording,” Yauch explains, “everyone is in suits and ties — formal was normal. So we thought for the music we were making it just didn’t seem right coming in wearing T-shirts and sneakers.”

The three decided that Monday through Thursday were compulsory suit-and-tie, but that Fridays would be casual. “Well, ‘casual,’ ” Horovitz clarifies, “meant, like, old-school sneakers from the ’60s.” All three musicians took instantly to their work threads — even competitively accessorizing with tie clips, cuff links and hats. And they became very savvy hunters on eBay. But of course, when you’re the Beastie Boys, you can also rely on a little help from your fans. “As a band, whatever you’re into, people show up to make it available to you,” Diamond says. “If your band is into drugs, you’ll have seedy drug-type people around you. When we went through our skateboarding phase, people would show up and give us skateboard gear. Now people are showing up with incredible stuff — and I don’t mean drugs, I mean suits.”

The Beastie Boys plan to continue the late-’50s look on tour (they play a bunch of hometown shows next month) and have even produced specially constructed Plexiglas instruments to take on the road. Just don’t expect any onstage pyrotechnics. “Yesterday, I was wearing a shirt that was very flammable,” Diamond says. “There was quite a sheen to it. Most of these clothes are highly petroleum-based. That’s not very environmental.” He opens his jacket to reveal a label that reads, “Lord Douglas expressly tailored for Bonney & Gordon Store for Men, Sacramento, California.” “But on the other hand, we are saving fine clothes from landfills.”
View of a slideshow of photos of the Beastie Boys, taken by Ari Marcopoulos and published with this feature article, here.

3 comments:

11:19 AM Saber said...

nice pics!

1:04 PM Jimmy Sommer said...

Beastie Boys = Fashion Icons

11:26 PM Danielle said...

It's nice to see Ari Marcopoulos shooting the Beastie Boys again.

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