Mike D and Ad Rock Talk to Rolling Stone About MCA’s Death

It’s been a few weeks, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. I’m talking about the passing of Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys. We’ve had a couple of short statements from the other Beastie Boys members, Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz, but the two of them opened up in an interview with Rolling Stone. Click here for the Ad Rock interview and here for the Mike D interview in full, and check out some highlights below.

Rolling Stone: Can you recall a killer song or verbal lick Yauch wrote that just knocked you out?

Ad Rock: When we were in Los Angeles, doing Paul’s Boutique, he got this crazy apartment in Koreatown. And he made “A Year and a Day.” What happened to the three of us together and all that crap? But I heard that track, and it was some heavy shit. He rapped his ass off. Adam bought a jet pilot’s helmet, rigged it with a microphone and recorded the song wearing that helmet.

Rolling Stone: What was your reaction when he told you he had cancer?

Ad Rock: He said, “I’m gonna be okay.” He’s been right about most shit so far. So I believe him. You would get swept up in his excitement and positivity. We recorded a few months ago. It wasn’t any different from before. We spent more time making fart jokes and ordering food, which was true to form. That’s why it always took so long for us to put records out.

Rolling Stone: How much music did you make at your final recording session with him last fall?

Mike D: Adam instigated it. It could only come from him, in terms of where he was at with treatment. It was stuff we had written or demo-ed, and there were new ideas. He wasn’t sure he was able to do vocals. But after a bit, we ended up doing them. And he was fine. It was a way for him to say, “Yeah, I’m doing it.”

Rolling Stone: Can you imagine making music without him?

Mike D: I can see making music. I don’t know about a band format. But Yauch would genuinely want us to try whatever crazy thing we wanted but never got around to.


That last answer surprises me a bit. I guess it’s unfair of me to think that Mike and Adam are just going to pack in their careers because their bandmate died, but it’ll be interesting to see exactly what format their music does take on. Also, will there be a new album? Awful thing to say, but the fan interest will be there for a posthumous album – think Notorious B.I.G. or even Heath Ledger in the Dark Knight. I’m sure they could cobble something together.

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