Mike D. and Ad-rock Talk To Rolling Stone About MCA
Since MCA passed away on May 4th, Mike D. and Ad-rock have done very limited speaking on the death of their friend and bandmate in the Beastie Boys. Both Mike and Ad-rock released short statements a few days after MCA’s death, but have not spoken in detail or given any interviews. Today, RollingStone posted a preview of their forthcoming issue, which features MCA on the cover and a feature story celebrating his life and contribution to music. RollingStone also posted interviews with both Mike D. and Ad-rock in which the two surviving Beastie Boys talk about how they are feeling now, the last recording session with MCA, as well as how MCA’s journey towards Buddhism affected the band. Check out snippets from each interview below, and the full interviews on RollingStone.com. The issue hits newsstands on Friday.
Ad-rock on MCA’s role in the Beastie Boys:
He was a really good bass player. He loved Daryl [Jennifer] of the Bad Brains. And he could soundlike that. When we met [producer-musician] Mark Nishita, he and Adam would talk all this musical shit: “You should go up a fifth here.” I’d be like, “Tell me where to put my fingers, and I’ll play that for four minutes. Adam was the Techno Wiz – that’s what me, Mike and Rick [Rubin] called him. I went to his apartment in Brooklyn once. He had a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and he had strung the tape all over the place – through the kitchen, around chairs. He was cutting up this Led Zeppelin beat, playing it over and over. I was like, “How did you figure that out?” He said, “I heard Sly Stone did that.”
Mike D. on MCA’s raspy voice:
“Even when we were doing our first hip-hop records, when we were 19 and 20, he sounded like a gruff 40-year-old. He was the Bobby Womack of rap. Yauch was a gifted MC. It was his flow on things, rather than specific lyrics, that first blew Adam [Horovitz] and I away. Early on, we were in the studio, amazed by how Yauch made it seem so effortless. Horovitz and I were maybe a little jealous. And Rick [Rubin] said to me, “No, this is good. This is where Yauch is at. You sound like you’re working hard. You’re the working rapper. [Laughs] I’m still not sure what to take away from that.”
Read the full piece here.