Pioneering hip-hop trio the Beastie Boys are a group that need no introduction, so we ain’t gonna bother. However, that said, they’ve got a sweet new album out, plus a very, very awesome video sequel to 1986 hit “Fight For Your Right” – it’s 29 minutes long and stars everyone from Seth Rogan to Orlando Bloom – so we grabbed a word with Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock…

Hi guys, what’s the new record about?
MCA: I would say this album is sort of an adventure and it’s an excursion. In some ways it’s like a rollercoaster ride. It’s like when you go down that first big hill that gives you all your speed, then the person in the front row throws up, the throw up flies into the people in the back. We’re sort of like the guys in the front that are throwing up and the people who are listening to us are like the people riding in the back of the rollercoaster. 

MCA: I apologise for that right out of the gate. But that’s part of it. It’s just kind of like a visit to one of those amusement parks where you can see all the animals hanging out. You’ll be there with the headphones on listening and you’ll be like, “oh shit – that’s a lion over there“, then I see an elephant. Something like that maybe, I don’t know.

Do you see yourselves as part of pop culture?
Ad Rock: I don’t think that we do. You can’t avoid it, culture is there, it’s out there. We certainly watch TV. You know, I like Häagen-Dazs ice cream. I like most of the Häagen-Dazs flavours, I do, I really do. They make a great vanilla obviously. I think that we just, we’re kind of making our own thing and I think that’s kind of how we continue this band, to not follow what trends are happening in culture and we kind of make our own trends for just the three of us.

What are the Beastie Boys in their own self-image?
Ad Rock: I feel like we are honest, I feel like we are brave men. I feel we are erotic in ways, sexy, I mean to us. You know, what’s sexy to you might not be sexy to someone else. Hardened, creative certainly, sensitive. There are lot of different words I could throw out to describe us as a band.

After nearly 30 years, do you still see yourself as street reporters?
Mike D: Not just us, but many hip hop artists and MCs. We are street reporters in essence. We just report, we’re just writing and documenting what we see or what we experience.

In what way can you be grown-up in a young culture like hip hop?
MCA: That’s an interesting question. Actually this album was written 
as a prequel to Licensed To Ill.

In what way?
MCA: It’s set in about 1985/1986, the period – it’s a period piece, 
that’s what it is. This album is sort of a missing link. Like if you are an archaeologist or an anthropologist and you are searching for the link between apes and humans and you couldn’t find that skull, that one skull with the big-ass forehead that was like half-ape and half-human. And then all of a sudden you found that skull and you were like “oh shit“. Or that skull maybe didn’t exist and then you just wanted to try to forge it and show it to people and be like, “yo, this is the skull that proves the whole thing that I was talking about before“. This album is like that, this album is that fake skull. 

How grown-up are you?
MCA: I’m a grown-up. Look, I’m wearing a tie and a blazer and everything. I’m like set, I’m all adulted up.

The Beastie Boys’ new album, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2, is out now.