THE BEASTIE BOYS‘ compilation album ‘The Sound Of Science’ does not include their first Def Jam single ‘Rock Hard’ because AC/DC have refused the band clearance to use a sample from ‘Back In Black’.
“We originally had ‘Rock Hard’ on there because it was never widely available,” Mike D told NME. “So we had to go back to AC/DC for sample clearance. Their lawyer said no, so I decided to call them myself. ”
“So I tracked AC/DC down in the studio in Vancouver and talked to Malcolm (Young, brother of Angus). And they were just not having it. He goes, ‘I’d love to do it for you guys, but it’s ‘Back In Black’ – one of the top three songs we’ve ever written!’ Whatever. AC/DC could not get with the sample concept. They were just like, ‘Nothing against you guys, but we just don’t endorse sampling.'”
Adrock: “So we told them that we don’t endorse people playing guitars.”
‘Rock Hard’ has been replaced by ‘She’s On It’ which the Beasties describe as “not one of out top three songs.”
The band also reminisced with NME about their 80s tabloid notoriety when they were accused of insulting children with leukaemia.
“It was pretty insane. The headline was something like Pop Yobs Insult Dying Children,” said Adam Yauch. “Ridiculous. The way I remember it, we were coming out of our hotel, and we were rushing to get to soundcheck, when this lady asked for an autograph. I said, ‘Sorry we’re in a hurry’, and she said ‘If you don’t sign this autograph I’m going to stitch you up in the press’. And I said ‘Fuck you!’ – which was probably typical of me at the time. And the next day those headlines came out, and from there on out the press were out to get us.”
Yauch, now a committed Buddhist, describes the band’s big 80s hit ‘Fight For Your Right To Party’ as a big exaggeration.
“We were definitely getting drunk and acting really stupid and trying to purposely be obnoxious because we thought it was funny – but we were also talking in the lyrics about smoking crack and smoking dust and all the type of stuff that we weren’t actually doing. It was all just stupid exaggeration.”
Adam Horowitz nods. “And the press, at that time, would have believed anything. So we just made shit up. It was kind of a goof. We’d just build on each other’s stories. Like, yeah, we flooded the bathroom at the hotel, and we sawed a hole in the ceiling so that we could go from one room to the other.”
Mike D: “But once it gets printed one place that establishes it as fact. I think the thing that we weren’t prepared for was when the exaggeration stopped coming from us – when it went to the tabloid level. It took the whole thing into a completely negative and kind of frightening and alienating area. It’s easy to look back on it now, in this context, and see it all leading up to that point. But at the time, we really didn’t know what was happening.” The band have also said that they will take a break and haven’t got any plans yet for the next album.
“Whatever we work on individually now will probably end up going towards whatever our next record becomes. Don’t know. That’s the way we are. The records just sort of happen when they happen,” said Mike D.
You can read the whole interview in NME next week, out across the UK from Wednesday.