Beck Is Back

July 12, 1996 -- Back in action is the lovable and ferociously talented Beck Hanson -- just Beck to his fans -- whose numbers will no doubt swell thanks to his just-released second major label album.

How do you follow up a slacker anthem you never meant to be an anthem? If you're folk-rap phenom, Beck, you hone in on the Latino culture in which you were raised, with a new album called "Odelay."

ALISON STEWART: What is the title in reference to?

BECK: It's a Chicano slang word. Actually I grew up in a Mexican-Salvadorian neighborhood, so it's a word I heard a lot. I mean, you'd say "How you doing?" and they'd say "orale." So it's kind of... It had a nice ring to it. We started recording about two years ago when the last one came out.

STEWART: Really?

BECK: And then most of it was recorded early last year, and then we were mixing it, and then I went on Lollapalooza...Then after Lollapalooza we finished mixing it, and then it's been sitting around

gathering dust.

MTV: Literally. To co-produce Odelay, Beck enlisted the sample-friendly Dust Brothers, best known for their groove-laden work with the Beastie Boys and Tone-Loc.

STEWART: Did you seek out the Dust Brothers or did they come looking for you?

BECK: It was kind of a mutual thing, we had a lot of mutual friends, and I needed somebody to work with, who had a studio in their house and all that, and they lived two minutes from me, and it worked out really nice.

STEWART: You said that you had all these ideas that you wanted to see in a video. Is there any one or two that you really point out and you're like, "yes", every time that you see that, you're glad that it's in there?

BECK: Well, there's, of course the line dancing, which I've been fascinated with since the rise of Billy Ray Cirus, you know, with their hats, and their one dollar beers and doing their synchronized dance steps. It's a really interesting thing I wanted to pay homage to.

MTV: Well, while Beck is busy paying homage to line dancing, rock veteran Tom Petty is about to pay homage to Beck by covering a tune off one of his indie albums, for a soon to be released movie soundtrack.

BECK: Anyhow, it's been nice talking to you, and I'll see you later.