Photo by Pooty
From Palm Beach Post:
Beastie Boys Excited to be Heading South for Langerado
By Leslie Gray Streeter, Palm Beach Post Music Writer
"Do you look back at high school and those times, and see that it's different? Are you the same?"
Adam Horowitz probably doesn't mean to sound annoyed at the question, but for just a second, there's an unmistakable edge to his voice as he gears up to explain how two decades after their debut as hip-hop's premier party boys, Langerado Festival headliners the Beastie Boys have emerged as one of music's best-respected groups, activists and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees.
"We were under a magnifying glass," says Horowitz, who with Adam Yauch and Mike Diamond have produced several masterpieces of staggering diversity - from their raucous major-label debut Licensed to Ill, to the sonically adventurous Paul's Boutique and Ill Communication, to the New York love letter To The 5 Boroughs and the recent instrumental The Mix-Up.
"If we were still acting like fools at a party, I don't think we would have lasted, do you?" the artist formerly known as Adrock continues, and the more he talks, the dumber the question seems.
"We are the same band, but we've had enough maturity - we've gone through changes. That's one of the things about the band I'm in. We don't always do the same thing. Each time, it makes me happy to do what we do."
And that's probably the best answer to an admittedly clichéd question - the Beastie Boys do what they do because they've been around long enough to evolve, but not around long enough, unfortunately, to avoid answering the same questions over and over.
Question: Are you guys psyched about Langerado?
Answer: I'm probably more excited about it because I'm in New York and it's snowing and 33 degrees here.
Q: Fair answer. What else did you know about the festival other than that it was in Florida?
A: (laughs) That's it!
Q: Well, I'll tell you. It's got a very long tradition of having the best jam bands in the country, and over the past couple of years they've expanded to a more diverse lineup and bigger stars like you guys and REM this year.
A: Oh, we can jam. We jam out.
I like festivals, because they're a different audience than with playing our shows. And they'll show you who's there just to see you and who's just drunk and doesn't wanna go home. Festivals are more work, actually.
Q: How so?
A: We've done European festivals with so many different kinds of acts on stage. We played one right before (disco glam hybrids) The Scissor Sisters, and that was a different crowd. (Chuckles) They hated us. They are not a hip-hop crowd.
That was not a lot of fun for us. And all the sound went off two times during the show.
Usually, we have fun with things that are different. But it wasn't boring.
Q: There are very few of your contemporaries from the '80s scene still recording hit records still around, particularly in hip-hop. Is your success a signal that rap and hip-hop were so much more of an elastic form that the naysayers thought?
A: That thing is very interesting to me, because it's such an issue with some people - "Is hip-hop going to last?" For 20 years, there's been billions and billions of rap records sold. Everyone at this point is inspired by hip-hop, anyone making popular music, anyway. That gets me going. I think rap is like jazz, an elastic form of music.
Q: Do you hear people on the radio and know immediately that they were influenced by you guys?
A: Sometimes, but not as much as I would think.
I assume that other rappers know about Licensed to Ill. It was one of those records, like Run-D.M.C.'s Raising Hell, that if you like rap, you'd probably know. But I don't hear us so much.
Q: I guess the point is that whoever makes it, rap's never gone anywhere.
A: McDonald's is making rap commercials.
(Laughs) Yeah, I was really into that McDonald's break-dancing ad.
Q: I guess that's when you know something's truly reached the mainstream, because McDonald's and Coke get hold of it.
A: Absolutely. Ronald McDonald was rapping. (Chuckles) He was a poseur.