LINKIN PARK's MIKE SHINODA Wants Rock Music To Be 'Exciting' Again

June 12, 2014

LINKIN PARK's Mike Shinoda recently spoke to about the band's new album, "The Hunting Party", and why rock isn't part of the zeitgeist at the moment.

"We’re a band that, we've been around long enough that music trends have gone away from us and come back and gone away, and right now they're away," Shinoda said (see video below). "Rock music has gone this direction that's basically become indie pop jingles. It's, like, songs that could be on Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Disney channel. And I feel like I can't see myself writing music that's, like… I don't wanna follow that trend. Like, forget it.

"Usually, if I'm listening to 20 songs, there's, like, two or three of them that end up getting on, like, alternative radio, like, six months later or a year later. From bands, like, I don't know what… CHVRCHES and HAIM to VAMPIRE WEEKEND. I like those records and I like those bands, and I always cite those bands when I'm talking about this subject, because I do like those bands, I like that style of music, or those styles of music, but there was a point at which that was fresh and new and they were making it because it was part of their identity and they were making something different. And now it's a different situation. There's, like, indie sensibility… Like, none of these bands are indie bands — let's be clear about that — they're all major-label bands. So if you think they're not, you're mistaken. But the sensibility was indie. Now the sensibility is not; the sensibility is pop. They’re making music in an indie style but they're making it to appeal to a pop audience intentionally. And that's where… you just see through it. Like, you listen to it and you go, like, 'C'mon, guys, you're making a jingle. This is not, like, an alternative to what's going on in the mainstream anymore at all.' And so that's where I started to feel like, 'What's the alternative? What is it that I'm looking for that nobody's making?' Either they can't make it, 'cause they're not experienced in it or their group isn't set up to do that. Or they're making it, but I don't like it; that's just not the style of it that I wanna hear. And that's how we arrived at our record."

He continued: "I know the thresholds of heavy — like, I've heard MESHUGGAH; I'm not under the impression that we've made the heaviest record of all time. But I do know that what's going on out there in rock music is that rock music, even the most popular ones, are not really influencing zeitgeist, it's not moving the needle of pop culture. And I don't want rock to be pop, I don't want rock to go out there like that, but I do want it to be exciting, and right now it's moderately exciting."

"The Hunting Party" is scheduled for release on June 17.

Aside from their 2004 EP "Collision Course", on which they collaborated with rapper Jay-Z, LINKIN PARK has never worked on studio recordings with other artists. According to The Pulse Of Radio, that's about to change on "The Hunting Party", which features guest appearances from RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Tom Morello, HELMET's Page Hamilton and SYSTEM OF A DOWN's Daron Malakian in addition to rapper Rakim's guest spot on the single "Guilty All The Same".

Vocalist Chester Bennington told New Zealand's 3 News, "We've collaborated with people for the first time, which was inspiring . . . When we got Page in, Mike [Shinoda, co-vocalist and producer] had written this chorus and sang it, and his voice had this tone, and it was unlike anything I'd heard from him before. And I was like, 'Dude, this is crazy, this sounds like a HELMET song! It's cool!' And we were like, 'Dude, why don't we see if we can get like Page in here?' You know? And if that's why the song says it's feeling like it should be, then why don't we just go straight to the source."


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