Mike is taking over the world! Okay, maybe just the Linkin Park related Twitter world, but what more can you wish for? Not only was his interview with Complex Music released, but his often spoken about column about the US-election in Big Issue magazine is now available online!
The interview for Complex Music was done by Jacob Moore from “Pidgeons and Planes”, one of my most favorite websites. Follow @PigsandPlans!
Interview: Mike Shinoda Talks “Living Things,” The State of Rock, and Linkin Park’s Fan Base
When Linkin Park’s debut album, Hybrid Theory, came out in 2000, the band was at the forefront of the changing face of alternative music. That project was the best-selling album of the year, yielded one Grammy win, eventually went diamond, and forever stands as one of the defining albums of a new genre-bending direction for rock music at the turn of the decade.
A lot has changed since then.
We’ve seen a slew of alternative rock bands who were unfairly lumped in with Linkin Park come and go, and we’ve witnessed a shift in music that left a lot of popular rock from the early 2000s as a thing of the past.
It’s been over 10 years since they exploded into stardom, and Linkin Park is still proving, quite convincingly, that they are not a thing of the past. Their latest album, Living Things, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 220,000 copies in its first week of release.
We sat down with Linkin Park’s resident rapper, writer, guitarist, and producer Mike Shinoda to find out what has changed since that first album and what keeps Linkin Park going strong after all these years.
Interview by Jacob Moore (@PigsAndPlans)
The last time we talked, you were still working on Living Things. Now that you’ve finished it up, how do you feel about it?
Well, how do I feel about it? I feel good. For us, what we tried to do when we started working on it is we wanted to bridge the gap between all the previous records. We wanted to bring some of the old fans into the new and some of the new fans into the old and mix it up. At this point, I feel really good about the response. The response to the singles has been awesome. It’s been even better than I thought it would be. At the same time, I’m really excited to be playing some of the other tracks live. Some of those are a little more adventurous. I really want to play, for example, “Until It Breaks” in the set. That will be fun.
How do you feel about the current state of rock? One of the cool things about Linkin Park is that you guys have always brought so many different genres together, and that seems to be a big thing in rock right now.
Yeah, rock is maybe more fragmented than it has been. It’s more fragmented than it was 10 years ago, that’s for sure. 10 years ago, when our band first came out, it was very much about a certain sound, and everybody was making variations of that certain sound. We hated being lumped into that shit. We didn’t even mind the bands that we were being lumped in with, we just didn’t like the idea of somebody saying that there’s a nu-metal movement and having the flag shoved into our hands. In every interview, we said we are not trying to hold the flag of that thing, because we knew that wasn’t our thing, and it never was. We’ve got six guys with drastically different tastes in music, and we’re always feeding each other different stuff. And that stuff is just moving from one guy to the other, and it ends up influencing the music. The more we play together it’s manifested itself in what we write and what we record.
Mike Shinoda: You need opposition to have a position
Mike Shinoda, Linkin Park frontman and The Big Issue’s US Election correspondent, says the internet is a political dogfight we need
When The Big Issue asked me to write as their American correspondent on this year’s US presidential election, I knew it was a terrible idea. Writing a column would be an easy way to get myself in trouble, because a) there are plenty of people who devote a lot more time to politics and b) as a member of Linkin Park, I have a lot to lose by diving into a commentary on political events.
Since I am drawn to terrible ideas and obvious risk, I jumped at the opportunity. Here’s the deal: for many, the US presidential election is a virtual ‘spring-cleaning’ time for social media. For as much as I get out of Facebook or Twitter, my timelines can occasionally seem like a minefield of social regret. It’s the middle of a working day, and I casually pop online to see what my friends are up to… then BANG: that person pops up to offend, aggravate or sadden me with some kind of insane outburst about guns, gays, money or religion, and how they all tie in to the great tragedy the world has or will become. Ugh.
For pretty much all of us, this social media sermonising nags at us regularly throughout the year – but election season is the most tantalising time for our social media sage to get his preach on. With each firebomb of socio-political garbage, he draws a line in the sand, declaring: ‘I will unabashedly post links to half-read election campaign hyperbole until the end of my days, and there’s nothing you can do to stop me!’ Unfollow!
But then again, for as much as I hate this pest, he’s obviously not going to stop me from using social media. I don’t even think of all the good things sites like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr are good for, because those sites are so tightly woven into the fibre of everyday life, I’m not even aware I’m using them any more.