Some musicians sit in a comfort zone, making songs they know will do well in the music marketplace. Others, on the other hand, leave that comfort zone and experiment, collaborate and innovate. Mike Shinoda has never been comfortable in the comfort zone. Frontman for Linkin Park and Fort Minor, Shinoda is constantly morphing and departing from sounds to go on new musical adventures. Most recently that adventure was a collaboration with Steve Aoki.
“I’ve worked with a lot of different people and stylistically their approaches have ranged all over the place. I think one thing that is great about Steve is that he is really experienced. He knows his stuff. He is also a patient guy. He’s an excited guy with lots of energy but when we were working on A Light That Never Comes things would kind of ebb and flow and Steve really just rolled with it.”
Linkin Park is also one of the few bands you will find giving out a remix album to their fans. It all started when they put our their “Living Things” album. They promised the fans that bought the album directly from the band a remix a month for 6 months.
“We started collecting remixes to give to the fans and more and more remixes starting coming in and a lot of them were really great. We had more than we knew what to do with so we basically held on to a bunch of them and then this remix album was created. There’s really a bunch of great stuff on there from Datsik, Killsonik to Money Mark and even a remix from Rick Rubin.”
Linkin Park has always taken influence from all corners of the music world. Shinoda says the band has always taken influence from electronic music.
“On our first album we had bits of what, at the time, I guess you could consider electronic influences of jungle in particular. I loved jungle in college. It has really always been a part of the band, a part of our music. When you’re working with songs like ours there’s dozens and dozens of tracks. When we mix a song we can’t just turn everything up, it would sound like shit.
We end up creating a hierarchy and some things get pushed to the front while others get pushed to the back. On various albums, especially on our earlier stuff, the guitars and vocals and drums got pushed up to the front. I think that as we’ve gone on we’ve played with that. For example, on 1000 Suns a lot of the electronic elements really got pushed up to the front while the guitars took more of a back seat. It has really been a fun process. There are a lot of different genres, including electronic music, that are a part of the band.”
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