Before House of Pain was telling everybody to jump around, Everlast (real name Erik Schrody) was just another punk kid running wild in the streets of New York City. In 1992, however, the trio’s massive single “Jump Around” put them on the map with bagpipes, kilts and a healthy dose of attitude. Everlast, Danny Boy and DJ Lethal were quickly catapulted to international recognition thanks to the incredible success of their self-titled Tommy Boy debut. Fast-forward to 2015 and Everlast (real name Erik Schrody) can be found putting out countless songs/albums as a solo artist. From 1998’s explosive success Whitey Ford Sings the Blues to 2013’s acoustic album, The Life Acoustic, he stays busy. We caught up with Everlast to discuss meeting Chuck D, winning a Grammy and getting kicked off a Beastie Boys tour.
BandWagon Magazine (Kyle Eustice): In 1992, you signed something for me in the parking lot of a Marriott hotel in Omaha, when you were on the “Check Your Head Tour” with the Beastie Boys.
Everlast: We got kicked off that tour.
I guess we were too crazy for the Beastie Boys.
That’s pretty crazy.
They were Buddhists at that point. It wasn’t the same.
I thought it was strange you only got a few songs at the Peony Park show.
We kind of had that same argument.
[Laughs] Good times. How old were you at the time?
I think I was 21.
You went a different route with your music career, most notably with 1998’s Whitey Ford Sings the Blues, which eventually went double platinum. Why the change in direction?
I was kind of bored with everything that I was doing. I stumble on this style and ran with it.
You won a Grammy shortly after that with Carlos Santana? Did they change anything for you?
It was cool, I guess. I never really vested much in the award show thing, but I guess it’s cool to win a Grammy and to have written a song with Santana to get it. It was worth it.
Do you feel like it opened doors for you that previously hadn’t been opened?
Hell no. I’m so like the antithesis of the music business. I make music, but I don’t keep my head in that at all. I don’t know if it opened more doors. I’m sure it did, but I wouldn’t be able to identify it or which ones they were. I just want to make music. That’s it. That’s really what it’s about. Are you making music to be making music or are you making music to be seen?
You had quite a health scare back then, right?
Well, I was born with a heart defect. I had to have surgery for you.
Wow. How did that change your life?
I really don’t know. I thought we were talking about the new music I put out [laughs].
Well, I like to get a little background.
I wasn’t prepared to think a lot. It’s a fifteen-minute interview.
We can cover a lot in fifteen minutes [laughs].
[Laughs] I could answer your question by saying, ‘How didn’t it change my life?’ if I wanted to be a dick.
Well, don’t be a dick [laughs].
That was twenty years ago.
I guess I’m just trying to paint a picture for myself of how you have gotten to this point today and how you ended up making acoustic music. Did that experience make you more mellow?
The acoustic record just came because that’s how I write all of my music. Instead of producing it into some lavish songs, we just went the other way. I took some old songs and recorded them the way I wrote them.
I thought the Slick Rick cover was pretty interesting. What made you decide to pick that one?
I covered it on one of my albums with me and Rahzel. I just wanted to see what it sounded like acoustically and I liked it.
You also did an acoustic version of “Jump Around.”
It was just a joke kind of. It was supposed to be funny. That’s why there was a question mark next to it. I don’t even like to do it live because it’s so confusing to an audience. They can’t really jump around to it. It’s like an oxymoron in a song.
How did you meet Chuck D?
I met Chuck when I was like 17. He was involved with Ice-T on certain levels. I think it was at a media event. I was under the impression he wouldn’t fuck with me because I was white [laughs]. I remember meeting him and he was so friendly and nice. He’s been that same dude every time I see him over the past twenty past years. That’s a pretty good accomplishment right there to be that consistent of a person. You’re doing something right.
Everlast, December 10, Aggie Theatre, 206 S. College Ave., 8 p.m. Tickets are $20/DOS and $25. Visit www.aggietheatre.com for more information.