Three and half years after the release of their fifth full-length album, Hello Nasty, the Beastie Boys are finally getting to work on the follow-up. Along with their DJ, Mixmaster Mike, the Beasties (Ad-Rock, Mike D and MCA) have begun the writing process and expect to begin formal recording sessions early in 2002.
"Right now, we're at the incubation stage," Mixmaster Mike says. "We've got all the beats in the incubator. They're eggs. We're waiting for them to hatch. Me and Mike [D] are just like, politicking. We're very moody players. We're moody musicians. You never know what's gonna come out of it."
The band is working in Los Angeles and New York, where, in late October, they emerged from a lengthy hiatus to play two New Yorkers Against Violence benefit shows alongside the Strokes, Mos Def, the B-52's, Cibo Matto, the John Spencer Blues Explosion and the Roots.
Beyond his Beasties duties, Mixmaster Mike has recently guested on Rob Zombie's The Sinister Urge, and Tommy Lee has also requested his services for Method of Mayhem's forthcoming second album. The DJ has also just released his own solo effort, Spin Psycle, and his score for the limited-release art-house flick Jails, Hostpitals and Hip-Hop drops next week. He is also plotting the return of Invisibl Skratch Piklz, who split last year. The Bay Area fivesome - Mike, Q-Bert, Yoga Frog, Shortkut and D-Styles - were instrumental in launching the turntablist movement.
"Right now, we're all working on our own solo stuff," Mixmaster Mike says. "But next year we're going to come back together and formulate something. Next year we're gonna hook up and build something monstrous."
For the Methods track, Brandon Boyd and Mike Einziger of Incubus and Cypress Hill's B-Real will all join Lee and Mixmaster on a cover of David Bowie's "Fame." As for the Jails, Hospitals and Hip-Hop score, Mike says, "It's all original beats and scratches. It's crazy. It's like hypnotic, psychedelic hip-hop meets Ultraman and Godzilla."