The Beastie Boys have plenty in store for fans on their upcoming Get Out and Vote Tour — and not all of it has to do with, you know, voting.
"We're going to work on a lot of dance steps and stuff, because we're setting aside a block of time just for dance stuff. Maybe an hour," Ad-Rock laughed. "And, you know, then the rapping. We've got to work on the rapping stuff. And then just basically physique and toning and tanning. Work on our core. You know, we're going to work on that."
We suspect he's joking (except for the rapping bit), because the Beasties actually have some rather big ideas for the tour — which kicks off October 27 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will make stops in five other crucial swing states in the week leading up to Election Day. To them, this is the most important election in recent memory, and they hope to get that message across to young voters.
"The decision to play the swing states was like, 'OK, we're here in New York City. It's a foregone conclusion what's going to happen here' — same in California and some other places," Mike D explained. "But let's really get to the places where ... you've got a younger demographic of voter, and they're saying, 'Well, is my vote really going to make a difference? Is it really going to count? Is it really going to be counted?' And I think in this election, in those states, absolutely. Every vote matters. And I think the last two elections were a great precedent — not how they ended up, necessarily — but in terms of if you look at [how the election was] decided by 2,000 votes in the state of Florida. That's a great example of how clear it is that every vote matters."
"And it's a great example of how bad things can get if the wrong person gets into office," MCA added, drawing laughs from his bandmates.
The lineup for the Beasties' tour changes with each city — Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow and Tenacious D are just some of the acts confirmed — but the message remains the same at each stop: Your vote matters. You can make a difference. This is very important.
"We found ourselves — like a lot of people throughout this whole country — sitting around realizing this is going to be the most important election of our lives, for a variety of reasons," Mike D said. "You've got a huge economic crisis, we're engaged in two wars, Social Security is about to run out, [and there are] huge environmental issues and environmental crises. So I think in terms of our lifetime, we thought, 'What can we do to make sure that this is something that's decided by the overwhelming population of the people and not just a few thousand people in one state?' "
The tour wraps in Denver on November 3 — the day before millions head to the polls — and if you're thinking about showing up but worried that a late night might make you groggy on Election Day, don't worry. The Beasties have you covered. Like we said, this is a pretty big deal to them.
"We finish in Colorado, in a very important swing state ... and yes, everyone needs to get up early and get to the polls. So we're going to give them all a gift certificate for coffee in the morning," D laughed. "Actually, I just made that up, so it's sort of a lie, but it's a good idea. I'm going to put that forward to our people. We'll see what happens."Head to Choose or Lose for nonstop coverage of the 2008 presidential election, including everything from the latest news on the candidates to on-the-ground multimedia reports from our 51 citizen journalists, MTV and MySpace's Presidential Dialogues, and much more.