Come this weekend, Beastie Boys fans will be able to see one Adam Horovitz, aka Ad-Rock, on the big screen. The MC has a starring role in Noah Baumbach’s latest project, the LCD Soundsystem-scored film While We’re Young, appearing alongside Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts. To celebrate the movie’s release, Ad-Rock sat down with GQ for an insightful new interview.
Among the most interesting tidbits discussed, Ad-Rock confirmed what many had already surmised after Adam “MCA” Yauch tragically passed away in 2012: the Beastie Boys are officially no more. “We’re done,” he said. “Adam Yauch started the band. It’s not like a thing where we could continue without him.”
MCA’s absence is not only felt within the confines of the hip-hop group; Ad-Rock noted how he still misses him on a personal level, saying, “…Adam was one of my best friends; I saw him more than I saw my whole family,” adding, “You know, me, Adam, and Mike were together every day, recording, touring, as friends. And so: huge hole.”
MCA’s passing has also led him to contemplate death — or rather, how one can never be properly ready to face it: “You can never prepare yourself for this. I feel like, maybe when you’re an old person, you can. I don’t know how that comes off, but I feel like, when you’re old, you know it’s happening. You know what I mean? Your brother or your sister’s gonna go. Your best friends are probably already gone. All of this — you’re wrapping it up, so it all makes sense. But when you’re, you know, fortysomething, you never really — you don’t expect it to actually happen.”
Despite the end of the Beastie Boys, Ad-Rock revealed that there is a bunch of previously unreleased material “in the vault” that he hopes to someday unearth. He said most of it is instrumental “like, hours and hours of, like, really bad jamming. Which is awful to think about, but some of it’s really funny,” and “then there’s a lot of stuff of us talking in the middle of it, which is priceless. We were just really stoned, talking about, like, where we should get food, or Cirque du Soleil or some shit.”
Elsewhere in the interview, he talks about his life with wife and punk rock veteran Kathleen Hanna, who has been battling Lyme disease; his future in the film industry; and his forthcoming memoir written with Mike D. Check out a few choice excerpts below and/or read the full interview here.
Ad-Rock is trying to adjust to a Beastie Boys-less life:
“It’s a huge deal. And so, you know, it’s probably just taken me time to sit and think and try to figure out what I do next or who I am now or, you know, all of that stuff. Because since high school, I was in this band. And you know, it’s one thing when you’re in a band in high school, but then to have it last for so long — that’s who I am and what I did forever. And so now I’m just trying to figure it out.”
As sad as MCA’s absence has been, Ad-Rock is moved by how the late MC has been remembered:
“Well, you know, all of that stuff made me really happy, that people cared about Adam so much. And there was graffiti all over the world, and it meant a lot. He meant a lot to a lot of people. That’s really nice. That’s rare that that happens: that one of your best friends dies and, internationally, people are freaking out.”
He and Mike D are continuing to work on a memoir, but admits it’s still a ways off:
“My big idea was to have our friends tell the story. And just, you know, we would sort of interject. My best friends have been my best friends since I was a little kid, so they’ve seen everything. And then we started reading it back, and it was really bad. So I was just like,’Me and Mike need to write it, because, you know—no offense to Morrissey’s friends, but you’d rather read what Morrissey is saying than what Morrissey’s friends are saying.'”
The book will reportedly draw on the “weird shit” that has happened to him ever since he became a celebrity, such as:
“I first went to L.A. in ’88 to be in a movie, and I met this guy, Donovan, who turned out to be one of my best friends, lifelong friends. And one of the first nights I got there, he was like,’Oh, there’s this crazy Hollywood party; I want you to come.’ So a bunch of us went to this crazy Hollywood party, and all these — like, the most random celebrities. It was the best way you could be introduced into, like, a Hollywood party. And you know, we’re drinkin’ — it’s this huge house up in the hills somewhere — and everybody’s there, and I’m gettin’ drunk, and it’s like, next thing I know, I turn, I’m on the dance floor, and George Michael’s just standing next to me. I’m like,’This is awesome.’ And then Axl Rose came — like, stepped to me at the party and told me to stop ripping off Led Zeppelin. I’m like,’How am I even — how is this even happening?’ You know, this thing happens to all of us, I would assume: Like, there’s a moment in your life — and I would assume it happens for a lot of different reasons in a lot of different ways, like how you dress and your state of mind or whatever — but there’s this fun time in your life that you’re at, and you kind of always picture yourself that age. So like, I’m 48, but I still kind of think that I’m 22.”
Revisit the trailer for While We’re Young: