The last time the Beastie Boys were at SXSW, it was 2006.
This year, surviving members Mike D (Michael Diamond) and Ad Rock (Adam Horowitz) returned to the city of Austin to deliver the music keynote.
The main topic of conversation was about their Beastie Boys Book which was released at the end of October last year (2018).
The book is nominated for audiobook of the year featuring an all-star cast reading the words of Mike D and Ad Rock including Steve Buscemi, Bobby Cannavale, Jarvis Cocker, Elvis Costello, Chuck D, Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell, Kim Gordon, LL Cool J, Spike Jonze, Talib Kweli, Bette Midler, Nas, Rosie Perez, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rev Run, Luc Sante, Chloe Sevigny, Jon Stewart, Ben Stiller, Wanda Sykes, Jeff Tweedy and more.
Adam (Yauch) just instinctively knew random shit about life and not just music and we wanted people to know the kind of person he was.
– Ad Rock
They also touched on the late Adam Yauch (MCA)’s genius as a producer which both Mike D and Ad Rock was always amazed by. It was Yauch’s idea for example, to play the beat backwards in “Paul Revere” and rhyme over that.
They didn’t take anything away from producer Rick Rubin’s influence however stating that “Rick did a good job making it sound like a real album.”
Yauch always was interested in the world beyond what we were… he really had an interest in the people who lived in the world… and he brought it back to the studio. You’re so grateful you have a friend who brought stuff back.
– Mike D.
Panel moderator Nathan Brackett kept the conversation moving and arrived at a great question. One of Yauch’s most iconic lyrics came at the end of “Sure Shot.”
I want to say a little something that’s long overdue / the disrespect to women has got to be through / To all the mothers and the sisters and the wives and friends / I wanna offer my love and respect till the end
Brackett asked if they had known what an impact this would have when the track came out. Both Mike D and Ad Rock thought it was a really cool bar at the time but never imagined how influential those words would become.
He (Yauch) was interested in moving forward as fucking people.
To finish the keynote, they dropped their big news .
We are going to Mars with Elon…we wrote this book, that came out, so now coming up in April we have some shows coming up in Philadelphia and New York City. Spike Jonze is going to direct it and that’s our big news.
– Mike D.
As of now there will be 3 shows which will take place at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia on April 5th and at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn on April 8th and 9th.
Although the specifics of the format was not specified, they did say Spike Jonze will be directing the shows so you can expect a release in video format in the future.