Beastie Boys will talk your ear off, if you let them. Last Tuesday, Product Shop NYC went down to their studio Oscilloscope Laboratories in lower Manhattan for an interview on their new concert film Awesome; I Fucking Shot That!. The other interviewers and I walk into the room with Mike D (Mike Diamond) explaining to Adrock (Adam Horovitz) how to improve his paper-chase look, the current popular look in Hip Hop usually involving blinged-out jewelry. Adam had given Mike a found VW hood ornament to wear on a chain and Mike was trying to return the favor with some style tips. Adam was not amused. After a minute of this chatter, one interviewer interrupted their conversation with a question about who watched the massive amount of footage for the film. For those of you who aren't yet familiar with the premise of the movie, in 2004 at Madison Square Garden, 50 fans were given cameras to record the show and their experience from different spots in the venue. So if the movie itself is 90 minutes long plus another 15 minutes cut for breaks and the encore, that means there is over 87 hours of footage condensed into this movie. Nathanial Hornblower (aka MCA, aka Adam Yauch) directed the film but all the Beastie Boys had something to say about it.
Listen to our condensed version of the interview here.
(It's worth five minutes and has some funny excerpts)
Read some more of the interview after the jump.
See Awesome; I Fucking Shot That! for yourself when it opens in theaters this Friday.
Beastie Boys Interview (excerpt)
Oscilloscope Laboratories, New York
March 21, 2006
What about this particular concert attracted you to film it?
Mike D: I remember when Yauch came with the idea, we were playing New York a few days from that time. We felt like, oh man, we have had these shows there before; it would have been nice to have filmed one of those. And since its New York, where were from, maybe there would a little more intensity that you don't have other places.
When making the film were you guided by any concert films of the past or are there any concert films you especially like?
MCA: I like Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii but this is kind of the antithesis of that movie.
You guys spoofed that in one of your videos, right?
MCA: Yes. [Video for “Gratitude”]
Mike D: I like the concert film Wattstax.
Was there any song that you did not perform that you wish you did for the movie?
MCA: Yes, "No Sleep Till Brooklyn." It really should have been there.
Mike D: You know I was thinking that too, like the other day the other day when we were in Texas [for SXSW]. If it was at The Gardens, why didn't we do that song?
MCA: We hadn't started doing it on that tour yet; we started shortly after that show.
There is a moment in the film when it seems like you are using stop motion graphics. At one point you guys are jumping and the angle rotates around. Did you have other cameras set up?
MCA: Actually that is from the live show. We had a rig set up that this guy built, a kind of bullet-cam thing that had 20 cameras on this half circle. And he had it hooked up to this computer program that he wrote where he could simultaneously capture from all the cameras and then go between them. So it was actually a thing we were using in our live show that would appear up on the big screens.
I noticed that you dedicated “Sabotage” to George W. Bush in the concert. Is that something that you were doing often and if so what do you think is the role of music in political protest?
Mike D: On that tour, definitely.
MCA: Yeah, we were doing it almost every night.
Mike D: Its funny because that tour took place leading up to the Presidential Election and then, disarmingly, past it. So it was definitely something that was big on our minds. I believe music has an incredible means of going beyond what words can do in getting people together and translating emotions.
Are you guys working any album right now?
Mike D: I'm currently working on a big album by Faith Hill. I don't know if you are familiar with the artist.
MCA: Oh, I didn't know?
Mike D: I do some of the digital effects, some of the special effects, and also some of the graphics: the album cover, the air brushing.
Adrock: That's great.
Mike D: And I play the glockenspiel on it too.
Do you guys still keep up with the whole Def Jam roster besides the acts that you toured with but the new acts?
MCA: Who's on Def Jam now?
Mike D: Young Jeezy. There's actually this new kid on Def Jam named Tru Life who is big at the Barber Shop in the Lower East Side.
Adrock: I am actually working with a new artist on Def Jam – Lady Sovereign.
MCA are you working on some other movies too? I heard you are working on another documentary.
MCA: Not a documentary, but a story base on graffiti writers set in 1981.
You guys do some crazy things in this show like going into the nosebleed section of the crowd for a few songs. Did this concert differ at all from any other on the tour?
Adrock: It was the same. We didn't do anything different.
Mike D: Right, we didn't say because we are filming tonight we are gonna do this and this in the show tonight.