On a trip back down memory lane, the two remaining members of The Beastie Boys, Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz, give a glimpse into the extraordinary story of the band’s memorable moments in their 40-year career. Their story premieres on Friday, April 24, 2020 on Apple TV+.
The documentary reunites The Beastie Boys with filmmaker Spike Jonze over 20 years after he directed their video for “Sabotage.” The documentary is comprised of lots of anecdotes and live footage, which will excite old fans and interest the new hip hop generation.
Watch the trailer here.
Once known as a formidable threesome (member Adam “MCA” Yauch passed away from cancer in 2012), the punk rock band was initially formed in 1978 but finally reached prominence as a hip hop band in 1983, where under the direction of Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, the band’s debut album, “Licensed To Ill,” became the first rap record to top Billboard’s 200 chart. Right On! Magazine was one of the first publications to cover the band, and we connected with them during a press opportunity where journalists went one on one with them about their new project.
Q: What did you want the fans to learn about The Beastie Boys during the making of the documentary?
Spike Jonze: I wanted to capture the spirit of the band and their friendship. Not many bands that have been together that long would ever continue to be great friends.
Q: In the documentary it’s pointed out that Mike D said it could have been any three white guys that could have been chosen and that they would have been successful. What is your comment about that statement?
The Beastie Boys: In that moment, looking back, when Rick Rubin introduced us to Russell Simmons, Russell saw things in ourselves that we didn’t see in ourselves. Rap was underground culture that they were trying to bust into the mainstream. It could have been us or some other dudes. Rick Rubin wanted to just make great records. We were terrible when we started out. It wasn’t like we were this great gem. It took us a minute to figure it out.
Q: Were there memorable moments about the documentary?
The Beastie Boys: We would see the pictures there were still moments where we say things like, “oh, there’s that guitar I don’t have any more.”
Q: When you first got started, you said you were terrible. But Russell Simmons told us that you would be the next big thing. Did you believe it at the time?
The Beastie Boys: No! We came from punk rock background so for us day to day it was, “what would be the next thing?” When we started having records came out, it was wild!
Q: How did you come up with a concept to make this documentary stand out?
The Beastie Boys: It evolved over time. We had written a book and we weren’t sure if we should do book readings, so we decided to do performances instead. We were trying to tell our story and when it takes place. It was tricky. We didn’t expect people to sit in their seats for two hours. So, we had those shows and then it went well. It was different. We figured it out on stage. We took a break and we started rewriting the show to film it and get more of the story down. We would try certain things that didn’t work but then we got to a certain point where all of us were getting together and implementing them on the fly.
FLASHBACK: THE BEASTIE BOYS ON SOUL TRAIN! CLICK HERE: