In an interview with Kathy Iandoli from HipHopDX, Mike Shinoda talks about dropping the new single “Guilty all the same” with Shazam, working with Rakim, self-producing the album and preparing for a summer release. Here are some excerpts:
DX: What’s up with the single [“Guilty All The Same”] dropping out of nowhere?
Mike Shinoda: Well I guess the thing to mention first is that for a band like ours [Linkin Park] each record is a different experience and different direction; on each record we try to grow and learn. Be better as songwriters, recording artists, and performing artists. Anything we think we can learn, we wanna learn. With that said, the climate for a Rock band now is weak. For Hip Hop fans, and I don’t think they notice it but they could relate, the Rock genre, the Rock radio/Rock channels are getting smaller, and a lot of the rock on Alternative especially outlets are turning towards Pop. So where you used to get Green Day and System of a Down you are now getting Lorde, or Avicii. I was making new music for this album, I was making the same songs that I was really excited about and they seemed to fit in that genre. Not the Pop genre, but they felt like great Alternative songs. I felt like I was happy with what I was doing, but then I looked at it one day and I said, “You know what? The music I’m making is like a derivative of all this new tempo Poppy Alternative stuff.” I didn’t like it to be honest, so long story short we started working on a real heavy Rock record…[…]
DX: When you approached Rakim for the project, what were his thoughts on it?
Mike Shinoda: It was so funny how that happened. We were in the studio listening to the track and originally I was gonna Rap in the bridge and I said as I was listening to it I thought it was predictable for me to rap a verse right here. Like that’s not as exciting as it could be. What could we do that would be shocking? And I joked [that] you know we’ve already done stuff with Jay Z, what if we got Rakim? Like I thought it would be impossible, but the engineer was like I can get to him if you want me to. I said, ‘You’re fucking kidding me.’ He said, ‘You know my buddy back in New York was his engineer and lived near him, and I’ll just give him a shout and see if he can reach out and ask the question.’ I said, ‘Well it doesn’t hurt so do it.’ Next thing I know a week later I was on the phone with the guy.
DX: The rest of the album, what are we in for?
Mike Shinoda: It’s a Rock record. It’s loud and it’s Rock, but not in the sense of what you’ve heard before, which is more like ‘90s Hardcore-Punk-Thrash. But from time to time we do flex the beatmaking and sampling and a record isn’t done ‘til we add a little of that color to it. You even hear it in “Guilty All The Same” in sections. We break it down to samples that are made with the keyboard then switch it up with sampled guitars. We try to reference some of our favorite older music while still keeping it futuristic.
Read the full interview HERE!