Michael Diamond thinks music should help people forget the world’s problems.
The musician, also known as Mike D, is rapper/drummer in hip-hop group Beastie Boys, alongside rapper Adam Yauch – also known as MCA – and guitarist/rapper Adam Horovitz – nickname Ad-Rock.
The group are currently promoting their eighth studio album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, which was originally set for release in 2009 with the title Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 1, having been delayed following Yauch’s cancer diagnosis.
Diamond thinks the record has a different tone to their 2004 work To the 5 Boroughs, which was made in a serious political climate, although he says music can sometimes be the ideal way to escape from major world issues.
“In the time we made To the 5 Boroughs there was a political seriousness because of what was happening in the world,” he told British newspaper The Guardian.
“And I guess if you look at the last two years, the big thing you would point to would be an economic seriousness, as well as, in the last six months, the social and political reordering of a lot of the world, specifically in the Middle East. All that being said, more than ever, I think, people wanna listen to music and have a good time.”
Horovitz is keen to point out that he and his bandmates still support US President Barack Obama, and they do have a more positive outlook on world issues. He argues that events occurring between the original release date of their current album and now wouldn’t have altered it a great deal.
“We’re all still very optimistic about Obama here,” he said. “We also knew that it wasn’t like everything was gonna change the minute he took office. We knew that it was gonna be a struggle; and the right wing in America would go crazy. But I don’t think the album would be that different if we were recording it today, as opposed to two years ago.”
The musician also discussed Yauch’s current health status, explaining that everybody feels positive about a full recovery. The group have decided not to plan any tours for the moment as they want to give Yauch enough time to recuperate.
“He’s doin’ OK,” added Horovitz. “He’s still in treatment, so it’s not 100%. But things are lookin’ good. We’re not touring, we’re just getting the record out – and we’re not making any plans until he is better. Which is definitely gonna happen.”