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Beastie Boys On the Attack

First new song in years slams Bush; album is in the works

Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys at Tibet Freedom Concert in Chicago on June 13th, 1999.
Frank Micelotta/Getty
April 3, 2003

We always work a little slower than others," says Beastie Boy Adam Yauch. Five years after Hello Nasty, the group is busy recording in a New York studio it built last year.

But have patience: The new CD is unlikely to be finished before 2004. According to the band, it's "about fifteen percent done." One completed track will be posted on the Beasties' Web site on March 11th: the antiwar tirade "In a World Gone Mad." "We wanted to offer our help in the war-protest arena," says Yauch. Over a herky-jerky beat, the song attacks President Bush, but it also flashes trademark Beasties humor, as when Mike Diamond addresses the president: "You and Saddam should kick it like back in the day/With the cocaine and the Courvoisier."

"It's a bit of a goof," says Yauch. "The implication is, rather than involving everybody in the world in their problems, the two of them could go work it out somewhere."

During a quick recording break, the Beasties have two live appearances scheduled: the Tibetan Freedom Concert in Japan, on April 19th, and the Coachella Festival in California, on April 26th. "I don't quite know how bands put out a record every year," says Yauch. "It takes a year to make a record, a year to tour and then a year of vacation. We just happen to stretch that vacation part to two or three years."

This story is from the April 3rd, 2003 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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