Adam Yauch

If anyone would like to audition to be my new ADROCK, I've already cast Mr. T as Mike D.

SonicNetHost: We are pleased to be talking to

Adam Yauch of The Beastie

Boys & Erin Potts

of The Milarepa Fund.

SonicNetHost: Who turned you on the cause of

the Tibetan people? What compelled you to act?

Erin: In general sense, when I was younger,

my favorite bands played at Amnesty International.

I then became a big fan of Human Rights. I then had a teacher,

David Brown who lived in a Tibetan Refugee camp for 7 years. He

really turned me on to the cause.

Adam: Well I first got interested in it from

some Tibetan refugees who had just escaped from Tibet. Shortly

after that I met Erin in Katmandu. Erin and her friend Sam were

the first people who really began to teach me to tell me about

what was going on in Tibet.

SonicNetHost: Tibet has been getting a lot of

media exposure lately. People know about it now more than ever.

How do we turn this knowledge into action?

Erin: That a really good question. Action is

the key to getting things to happen. There's a lot of

organizations like Students for a Free Tibet and

others, where people can join and find out what's going on.

Adam: Students For a Free Tibet.

I think its very important for people to find out that whether

there is an SFT chapter at their school if their

isn’t they should start one. If there is it would be great

if they would get involved with it. I think that we cant under

estimate letter writing campaigns, boycotts and demonstrations

have over corporations. All of those tools have a very strong


SonicNetHost: I was just wondering how much

you guys think the public actually learned from the shows, or if

it was just more of a showcase for music? What if any action has

resulted from the shows?

Erin: We have one campaign where we're

sending 1.2 million messages to President Clinton asking him to

set up negotiations between China and Tibet. And you can all

check out the Web site at The shows

definitely increased awareness. Before last years shows in San

Francisco , there were only 80 chapters of Students for

Free Tibet, now there are over 350 and growing every


Adam: A lot of people did come to the shows

but I think out of those people any of them did learn quite a bit

about what’s happening in Tibet and took something positive

away with them. But I think that even for the people who just

came there to hear the music although they made not have gathered

very much, they are at the show. It may have been the door for

them to learn more later.

SonicNetHost: When you're dedicating your

time and effort for a good cause, do you get frustrated by

others' apathy?

Erin: Since the concert in San Francisco, we

launched a boycott of Holiday Inn. After 4 months of boycotting,

Holiday Inn left!

Adam: No I don’t get at all frustrated

by it. Its very natural. In fact I think that that is the main

obstacle in what we are trying to over come here. I think as we

begin to overcome that we will also be able to over come the

Chinese government's oppressive policies.

SonicNetHost: With the current trend of

"Buddhism chic" that seems to be sweeping over some of

this country (especially Hollywood) Do you see the

religion/philosophy become trivialized or trite?

Erin: The media says there's a lot of apathy,

but I actually think people aren't as apathetic as the media

says. People should participate in what they believe in. That's


Adam: No I thinks its image may appear more

trivial. To the general public. But I think that the principles

that its based on, are very solid. If anyone takes the time to

really look into the Dharma by great teachers

such as the Dali Llama , you’ll find that the teachings

themselves are in no way trivialized at all.

SonicNetHost: Given the recent talks between

Clinton and Chinese President Jiang Zemin's semi-recognition of

past mistakes in terms of human rights abuses in China, are you

all optimistic about the plight of Tibetans (and others seeking

freedom from persecution)?

Erin: Yes, I'm really optimistic about the

situation in Tibet. The situation inside Tibet is getting a lot

worse, but outside awareness has grown tremendously. When

President Jiang came to the US he saw the overwhelming concern

for Tibet from the American People.

Adam: Yes I am extremely optimistic about it.

I think that the fact Jiang recognized Tibet at all is a sign

that the pressures that we are putting on are working. If not for

the demonstrations, letter writing campaigns and films concerts,

all of the work that people in the Tibetan movement I don’t

even think that we would hear Bill Clinton or the Chinese premier

mention the word Tibet.

BAD_RELIGION_ : Hey Adam: What's your biggest

impetus to put on this Tibetan Freedom Concert?

Adam: Well it was two things, on the one hand

there is a tremendous amount that we can do as American citizens,

to help end the suffering of the Tibetan people. Which is one of

the things we were hoping would be a result of the concert. The

other side of that is that there is a great deal that Tibetan

culture has to offer the rest of the world. I believe that the

insights that Tibetan culture posses into non violence and

compassion are things that our society desperately needs.

Brian817 : Hey Adam, been a fan since ILL,

and I think what you're doing is a great and a great cause. Who

would you say is your biggest inspiration, musically,

politically, or otherwise?

SonicNetGuest: Well, probably musically

politically together would have to be Bob Marley. I think it is

amazing when someone is able to use music to create positive

change in the world

Hatmosh : Do you think it is good or bad that

Hong Kong is back to being communist?

SonicNetGuest: I think there are good and bad

aspects to it. The bad side is that some people who have gotten

accustomed to some levels of freedom in HK may find that those

freedoms are being taken away from them. But on the upside, uh

some of those ideas of freedom and human rights may be filtering

into mainland China through Hong Kong.

Erin: On the one hand, it was a British

colony, now it's communist so now people are losing a lot of

their freedoms. We'll just have to see how it plays out. We

support the people of Hong Kong in their efforts to retain their


C.a.s.h.069 : Adam, what do you think about

the impact you had on rap and hip hop in the 80s?

Adam: I think some of it was good. But I also

think that some of it was destructive. There were times that we

said things joking around about taking drugs like smoking dust or

being involved in violence or negativity towards women that

people may have taken a bit too seriously. I think I learned a

lot about how putting ideas out into the world really does affect

the world. So now I'm a little more careful about what I'm

putting out there.

Aardvark76 : Are the Beastie Boys going

to continue to use samples in their music? Where did they find

Jimmy Smith's "Root Down" (and get it)?

Adam: Yes, I'm sure we'll always use samples,

these days we've mostly been sampling our own music sometimes we

jam for a while & then sample it. I think that Jimmy

Smith’s was one of Adam's.

Yubie : Will Pearl Jam be involved w/

Milarepa in the future?

Adam: Probably.

Erin: I hope so. Eddie was amazing!

Adam : How do you feel about music


Adam: Uh...I don't know.

Inzaney : Do the Chinese suppress all


Adam: That's a tricky question. But Chinese

people and Tibetan people in general don't have the basic

freedoms that we enjoy. They don't have freedom of speech or

freedom of religion. So it's not so much that they oppress

Buddhists as much as they oppress everyone.

Erin: There's definitely China being a

communist country. Communism believes that religion is the opiate

of the masses. So there's repression against all religions

including Christianity and Buddhism.

Kaething : Erin (and Adam) I read that you

guys met while living in Tibet. I was thinking about taking a

month to travel through the country. Any recommendations on what

to do/where to go/what not to do/where not to go?

Adam: Actually we met in Katmandu. Erin can

probably tell you more because she lived there. I was just

passing through.

Erin: Try and go everywhere! But as far as

what not to do, be very careful where you speak to the Tibetans

about politics. In fact, only talk about politics when you are

asked first.

Adam : If you could jam with anyone living or

dead, who would it be?

Adam: I would like to say Hendrix, but it

sounds too obvious. George Washington, because he had a rad


Punkrockqueer : Where does the name Milarepa

come from?

Adam: Milarepa is the name of a Tibetan saint

who used to play music.

Erin: Milarepa was a Tibetan Saint who lived

1000 AD. And he gained enlightenment in one lifetime after being

a really bad person. After he gained enlightenment, he taught

others through music. It's a good example of how people can

change themselves to be more positive no matter what they've done

in the past.

Sdaddy_Mack87 : MCA, how do you reconcile

being a well-known musician with Buddhism?

Adam: I don't know that the two conflict at

all I think that the most important thing about being a Buddhist

is trying to benefit other people & to try not to do anything

to harm anyone else.

Jamrage asks: Will there be concerts every

year, and will they be released on CD?

Adam: Yes, there will be a concert next year

& I don't know if we will do another CD This one (that is out

now on Grand Royal/Capitol) seems like such good document that

maybe we should just leave it alone.

Erin: I would say, although Adam would

probably disagree, that we probably won't do it every year. And

since we just did a CD, we probably won't do it again.

VWESTfaLiA asks: Paul's Boutique

is my favorite B-Boys album. What would you

consider to be yours Adam?

Adam: I know this sounds like a cheesy stock

answer; but anyway I think it's true. They all represent the

period of time which they were made. Back to the

"record" question. There will probably not be another Tibetan

Freedom Concert record. Not Beastie Boys record.

WizeMunkey asks: This Tibetan Freedom,

is it really helping? Are we having an impact?

Adam: Definitely, um but we need to escalate

the work that is being done. I think that the next couple of

years will be a crucial time. This is where we will really see if

the movement is able to succeed so it is crucial that everyone

involve themselves.

Erin: Yes! We now have a special coordinator

at the State Department helping to achieve Tibetan freedom since

the concert. And the only reason this position was created was

because of the people's support..

Ruiner97 asks: Where did you come up with the

idea for the song "Crafty?" Did it really happen to


Adam: Nope. I was just sitting around bored

one day writing some rhymes, but me and Mike D did used to live

in a house together and I was sitting in that house and that's

what inspired me.

Erin: I heard it was a girl at my school..

Tee hee.

FullOfCode asks: Hey Adam! When is the movie

is going to be making the rounds and do you have any confirmed

acts for the '98 show in DC? Thanks so much!

Adam: The movie should be out soon. Cross

your fingers and we do have a bunch of confirmed acts for next

years concerts. But I'm not allowed to answer them, cuz I'll get

in trouble.

Erin: We're hoping to have public

distribution early next year. Keep checking our website


for details.

Yubie asks: Sabotage, a great video. Who's


Adam: It started out just as a photo shoot,

then somebody thought of the idea of doing it as a video. But I

don't remember who.

Keving_98 asks: Adam, when did you become

Buddhist? What prompted you to join the religion?

Adam: Well I studied different religions from

about 1988 until 1992. When I first met some Tibetan people in

Nepal at that point I got specifically interested in Tibetan

Buddhism and began to study that after going to a lot of

teachings and reading a lot of books. It made so much sense to

me, that I decided to become Buddhist; but that was only about a

year & 1/2 ago.

Mixx3 asks: How do I know the money I

contribute to Tibetan charities actually gets there?

Adam: I'm typing to you from my private

helicopter which I bought from absconding funds from all of the

charitable events that I've been involved in. I'm sure that Erin

can vouch for that as she is typing from her "private"



Erin: I can personally assure that money that

is sent to the Milarepa Fund to be sent on to other organizations

is personally accounted for. We do the "white glove


SonOSam asks: I love " Lookin' Down The

Barrel Of A Gun!" Is it true that you don't play that song

in concert anymore?

Adam: We do sometimes.

AdamK asks: What does your family think of

your band?

Adam: My mom loves the Beastie Boys. You

didn't see her out at the mosh pit at the Tibetan Freedom

Concert? She was the lady with the five mohawks and the

pierced elbow.

Chuckie1138 asks: How far are you willing to

go in the quest for Tibetan freedom?

Erin: All the way!

Adam: The Full Monty!

AWOL17 asks: Are you really leaving the band,

and why?

Adam: We're all leaving the band; but each of

us is starting a new version of the Beastie Boys

and right now we're in litigation over the name. If anyone would

like to audition to be my new ADROCK, I've already cast Mr. T as

Mike D. They can send their applications to:

AdamK asks: Have you ever been abducted by


Adam: Not that I know of, but they might've

caught me when I was sleeping this one time. One of them tried to

come in the studio and abduct all of us. But I crouched down

behind him and Adrock pushed him over my back!

AureanaRaine asks: Can you describe the

Tibetan concert in 3 words?

Adam: Buy The CD.

Erin: I'll leave that one to Adam.

AdamK asks: If you weren’t in a band,

what would you be doing right now?

Adam: If you weren't doing whatever you are

doing what would you be doing?

MissJ_320 asks: What do you feel you are

getting out of your efforts to free Tibet? Why has it become so

important to you? Adam, do your other "B-Boys"

share your same contributions?

Adam: I feel really honored to help the

Tibetans in any way that I can. I think it is the greatest sense

of fulfillment I've ever had. The other B-Boys

may not spend as much time as I do; but they definitely have my

back and feel that it is an extremely important worthwhile cause.

Erin: I guess there's a certain amount of

learning in any job. But doing this, fighting to free Tibet, is a

lot more rewarding than anything .

Lovlei1 asks: Is Screech from saved by the

bell Mike D’s brother?

Adam: I'm in the studio with Mike D right now

and that's the most asked question. It might be true. But if is,

Mike doesn't know about it. Maybe it's Mike's long lost brother

that was put up for adoption. Does the kid have any beats or

rhymes? Maybe he could audition as the Mike D for my new version

of the Beastie Boys.

Erin: Thanks all of you for coming to this

chat. If you're interested in learning more about the Milarepa

Fund, call us toll free 1-888-MILAREPA or check out the website


Adam: Goodbye. I would just like to thank

everyone whose involved with the Tibet movement. I think it is an

extremely important cause & will have an affect on the

evolution of humanity... Because the Tibet show was based on

nonviolence, I think it's come to symbolize a way of thinking

that we can all aspire to backtrack. Because of the Tibetan

struggle is based on nonviolence. I think it's come to symbolize

a way of thinking we can all aspire to. I think that if Tibet

succeeds and gains their freedom then that will show that

humanity has begun to work towards world peace and if we allow

Tibetan culture to be wiped out, then I think that will symbolize

humanity heading in a more destructive direction . I encourage

everyone to get involved in this. Because I believe that

ultimately it will affect all of us for generations. Bye.