I'm the Man by Scott Ian

I'm the Man by Scott Ian

Author:Scott Ian
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Published: 2014-07-28T19:29:17+00:00


Chapter 18

BRING THE NOISE

One day I was fucking around with a riff and I thought it sounded like the horn part in the PE song “Bring the Noise,” which was originally on the Less Than Zero soundtrack and also included on the group’s 1988 album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. It was a very political song and somewhat controversial since it referred to Nation of Islam president Minister Louis Farrakhan as “a prophet that I think you oughta listen to.” I didn’t care about Farrakhan; all I wanted to do was work with Public Enemy.

My friends Georges Sulmers and Scott Koenig used to work at Def Jam, and they introduced me to Rick Rubin. I was so into rap, I used to hang out at their funky little office on Elizabeth Street in Greenwich Village. They gave me T-shirts and Def Jam stuff. I still have one of the original Def Jam baseball jackets with my name on it. I spent a lot of time down there picking up rap records and hanging out because the place had such a cool vibe and it really felt like something was happening.

The first song I heard from Public Enemy was “Miuzi Weighs a Ton,” and it was like the first time I heard “Rock and Roll All Nite,” the first Iron Maiden album, or Metallica’s No Life ’til Leather. It made me want to run down the fucking street and punch people in the face as hard as I could!

I got an advance copy of It Takes a Nation of Millions, and I met Chuck D in the office soon after. We shook hands and he said to me, “Everyone tells me you guys are big fans. Thank you so much. I see pictures of you wearing Public Enemy T-shirts in magazines. That’s so cool, thank you.”

I was like, “No, thank you! You guys are awesome!” And we became friends. He came to see us play for the first time in ’87 at the Beacon Theater when Metal Church and the Cro-Mags opened for us. When I found out he was there, I turned into that giddy eleven-year-old again. We actually had a lot in common. He’s from Roosevelt, Long Island, I spent a lot of time in Merrick, which is the next town over, and we were into the same shit growing up. Chuck has always said classic rock was just as important an influence on him as soul and funk. I loved Public Enemy. PE were a rap group like no other at the time: they layered their tracks with beats, bass, guitars, horns, noise, and bits of speeches from black leaders like Malcolm X, Thomas “TNT” Todd, and Jesse Jackson, creating a ferocious sonic landscape. Their live show was equally aggressive—much more akin to a metal concert than to a performance by any other rap group of the ’80s.

Fast forward to early 1990. I had this riff, and I started playing it along with the “Bring the Noise” track.



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