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Mike's Response To "Rock Music Sucks Now"

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Here's some highlights from Mike's response to the article "Rock Music Sucks Now and It’s Depressing" in Pigeons and Planes:

 

My name is Mike Shinoda; I’m a songwriter, vocalist, and founding member of the band Linkin Park, and I’m a regular visitor of Pigeons and Planes. When I read the Ernest Baker piece called “Rock Music Sucks Now and It’s Depressing,” I had a few reactions. I sent them to the folks who run the site, and they asked me to share them with you here.

 

I leaned toward (and still lean toward) independent, underground music. And then one day, my own band was embraced by the mainstream, and I was forced to reconcile my feelings about the situation. I remember a specific moment when the issue struck me: we were playing four to six shows a week when our song “One Step Closer” first started getting played on the radio. Up until that point, we were playing for a couple hundred people a night. Suddenly, that number doubled. Then quadrupled. And one night, I looked out from the stage and something made me think:

 

“Oh my God, we probably have fans who love music that I think is terrible.”

 

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not dissing our fans—the vast majority were (and are) cool. I was seeing people in our crowd singing along to our music, who I didn’t have anything in common with, and it made raised questions about integrity.

 

What does it take to balance integrity and record sales?

 

Integrity is subjective. Numbers are not. Today, for those of you who aren’t up on the latest of Linkin Park, we haven’t slowed down. Linkin Park is one of the biggest bands on YouTube; we’re the biggest band on Facebook, and we still headline most major rock festivals in the world when we go out on tour. We’re not a “legacy act,” riding out classic hits on tour like The Stones and Roger Waters, playing shows for nostalgic middle-aged crowd—instead, we’re constantly striving to innovate, in the studio and online with our fans. Every album we’ve released in the last 10 years has debuted at No. 1 in at least 20 countries.

 

Yet, even with things still strong and growing, we’re not in the real mainstream, the Kanye-Taylor-Gaga mainstream. And we don’t really want to be, as individuals or as a band. Our fans sit in the shadows, like little sleeper cells all over the world, loyally supporting the band at every turn. Pop radio doesn’t play us, and award shows ignore us. We’re not bitter—we actually work hard to keep the delicate balance.

 

This month, my band will put out a song with Steve Aoki that blends both our styles. And our next album will probably have nothing to do with the Aoki song, or even sound like our previous album. Because lastly, the other half of the problem (yes, the third half), is the most important of all.

 

Read the full article here.

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Seems to me it's more of a "shut up" to the people saying LP's best days are behind them. Also basically saying they're not content to ride on the success of songs like ITE and Numb, etc basically. Nice to hear him speak out about how he and the band feel.

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Omg, finally. Something to shut up those idiots who keep on bitching about LP going in an EDM direction.

Thanks for finding this article man.

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After reading the whole article, this is not a "shut up" thing at all, more like a call for all of the rock bands/artists to wake up.

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After reading the whole article, this is not a "shut up" thing at all, more like a call for all of the rock bands/artists to wake up.

Agree B)

 

I think this article most be in newswire.

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And again Mike proves to be one of the smartest men in rock. I agree so much with what he's saying here. Plus the way he outlines Linkin Park's hugeness is brilliant. Why they aren't as well regarded as Foo Fighters or Radiohead I still don't understand. Guess it's still the nu metal stigma.

 

After reading the whole article, this is not a "shut up" thing at all, more like a call for all of the rock bands/artists to wake up.

Agreed.

 

Of Mice and Men is such a random inclusion on his list of his artists, I guess he must be a fan. It's not like they're even the biggest band in their genre, let alone the scene as a whole.

And I disagree with his inclusion of Coldplay as a rock band, but never mind, I'm nitpicking.

 

So overall, YES MIKE. WE LOVE YOU.

 

Oh, and also here's the obligatory "YAY LP ARENT GOING 2 BE EDM NOW HURRAAAHHH"

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Even though it's not the main subject of the article, Mike is giving some important information about the new album. It's not going to be similar to LT, which means they're going in a new direction again. That's great, in my opinion. I love to see the band trying new styles of music, and I can't wait to hear the final product.

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Why they aren't as well regarded as Foo Fighters or Radiohead I still don't understand. Guess it's still the nu metal stigma.

Yes, when their debut album is the best-selling nu-metal album of all times and best-selling debut album in the 21st century, it will takes more than a three albums to change the stigma.

 

The funniest thing is that the only people who still thinking LP is a nu-metal band, probably didn't listen to them since Meteora. What's not funny about it - there are a lot of them, and since Linkin Park is a big band and many people review/talk about them a lot, they're moving the wrong info foreword.

 

Personally I don't really care about genres, sub-genres and sub-sub-genres tags (metalstep!? c'mon...), they can tag them as Nualterock or something, but the important thing is the music itself.

 

---

 

Back to Mike's response, I think the original article mixed up between Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park.

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I was very impressed with the article and with Mike.

 

The eloquence of the article surprised me, I don't know why since we all know Mike is very inteligent but it did, he really is one of those annoying guys that's good at everything.

 

I particularly liked the part about rock bands needing to align with one another, I'm sick of bitchyness in rock.

 

 

It also annoys me how people talk about Nu-Metal as if it's AIDS. I LIKED Nu-Metal when I was a teenager! I still like listening to Nu-Metal in a nostalgic way! And to me LP used to be Nu-Metal, they aren't now, clearly, but HT and Meteora were what I would class as Nu-Metal!

Edited by Kirstie

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Without nu-metal, the original article was written by a journalist from LA, named Michael Shinoda in 1998.

 

Ever since the grunge bands started to crumble, nothing good/exciting(/new?) happend in the rock music except the nu-metal (Please don't give examples of particular bands, I'm talking about full wave).

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After reading the whole article, this is not a "shut up" thing at all, more like a call for all of the rock bands/artists to wake up.

well the whole thing is different i only took the edm bit to calm down those annoying guys..

 

what i love most about this article is the way mike puts the level of the band. LP still a huge respected Rock band!

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well the whole thing is different i only took the edm bit to calm down those annoying guys..

The LP-EDM bitching is gone. ;)

 

what i love most about this article is the way mike puts the level of the band. LP still a huge respected Rock band!

Plus the way he outlines Linkin Park's hugeness is brilliant.

And without to be arrogant.

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I'd like to point out an interesting thing in this article and compare it with some fans on this site.

Rock bands are outnumbered, and that’s only half the problem. The other half lies in rock’s culture of segregation—not in the fans’ minds, but in the bands’. Behind the scenes, more than any fan would ever imagine, there’s animosity between rock bands, even if they don’t say it. I ask my friends in other bands; their story is the same. A lot of bands are afraid to align with one another on record and on tour. Maybe it’s a credibility issue, or a snobbery issue, or maybe it’s just because rock bands are loners. Whatever the case, everyone else in every popular genre gets it, and they’re reaping the benefits. EDM, rap, pop, and even country artists are jumping from record to record because a.) it multiplies the fans’ interest, and b.) it’s fun.

Now you see how Mike is encouraging people to collaborate (which I feel is an excellent thing.) Some bands are doing it others aren't. Then look at the fans who are so, indiscriminately hateful towards anything and anyone other than their band and the nostalgic sound they only want from that band. You who complained about the Aoki collab, also hold this article up as brilliant and you're missing the point. You aren't understanding what he is saying. He is saying that rock can't and in respect to Linkin park isn't going to do the same things.

 

So all the people who hate on every new thing LP does, you better get used to it, because Mike just stated that they are going to keep innovating, keep experimenting, and keep evolving so Rock music doesn't die.

 

Rock music needs to take chances and innovate. Want to compare rock’s growth to other genres? Listen to a Rick Rubin production from the ’80s—which was the epitome of hip hop production at the time—and compare it with the soundscapes and variety that Kanye West, Pharrell, Kendrick and co., A$AP Mob, Odd Future, Azealia Banks, and all the rest are using today. Listen to a track by The Prodigy or Fatboy Slim from the late ’90s, then listen to Zedd, Knife Party, Glitch Mob, Skrillex, Deadmau5, Major Lazer, Avicii, Daft Punk, and TNGHT. And ask yourself: why isn’t rock doing this? Sure, rock is evolving, but it simply doesn’t have the vibrancy it could—and ought to—have.

I want to provide an answer to Mike's question "Why isn't rock doing this". Because of bitchy fans who whine and complain every time a band makes a change.

 

Granted there are some bands who don't give a shit: Linkin park, Muse, 30 Seconds to Mars, Green Day, Avenged Sevenfold, Fall out Boy, Foo Fighters, Blink-182, etc etc. But at the same time these bands listed are rather Theatrical, and their albums are very almost Cinematic in nature.

 

What I'm trying to say is what I've always said here in response to the bitching. If you don't like it leave, go hide in your corner put your headphones on and pretend its 2000. The rest of us, we will be enjoying the amazing music artists who evolve create. Because music is art.

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I replied to this on Pooch's Facebook and had this to say:

 

"Interesting points and a great article. Owen Pallett from Arcade Fire was on the last Linkin Park album, even further proving Mike's point, and they're doing the song with Steve Aoki. I think the last great collaborations on a rock album I have heard are from Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl is a very smart musician and really impressed me by bringing in Bob Mould, Pat Smear, Krist Novoselic and Fee Waybill on the last album, as well as some of the Foo live touring members. Plus they went with Butch Vig again and recorded it to analog. Overall, rock isn't experimenting nearly enough with sound (so many albums sound the same...) or with guests. How many guests did Yeezus by Kanye have? It seems like over 10. I like how Amir commented here because he gets it too. Julien-K has Eric from Decode Radio on one of their awesome new songs as well as some other solid guests. It's not all about the guests of course but changing things up (whether musically or just by bringing friends on board with you) is a much welcomed breath of fresh air for avid music fans."

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Because music is art.

This, but...

 

I think you're taking it too far. When you have 10/100/1000 fans maybe you can satisfy all of them, but when you have millions of fans you can split them to dozens opinions and hundreds of "sub-opinions". With millions of fans you'll never find the exact path to satisfy everyone. It's obvious that someone will whine or bitch about something, you don't need to be surprised.

 

Big bands can do whatever they want especially in our days, they can change/add something in every album. The reason is that about any one that goes, a new one can come. There are too many genres and too many ways to find new people that will listen to your music. Of course that sometimes when it's too drastic they'll lose big part of their fanbase.

 

Btw, you're bitching about the bitching, is that count? ;)

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Seems to me it's more of a "shut up" to the people saying LP's best days are behind them. Also basically saying they're not content to ride on the success of songs like ITE and Numb, etc basically. Nice to hear him speak out about how he and the band feel.

I agree with this. Cool article. I can't wait to see what LP's next album will be like.

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This, but...

 

I think you're taking it too far. When you have 10/100/1000 fans maybe you can satisfy all of them, but when you have millions of fans you can split them to dozens opinions and hundreds of "sub-opinions". With millions of fans you'll never find the exact path to satisfy everyone. It's obvious that someone will whine or bitch about something, you don't need to be surprised.

 

Big bands can do whatever they want especially in our days, they can change/add something in every album. The reason is that about any one that goes, a new one can come. There are too many genres and too many ways to find new people that will listen to your music. Of course that sometimes when it's too drastic they'll lose big part of their fanbase.

 

Btw, you're bitching about the bitching, is that count? ;)

Yes :D

 

and the point I was trying to make was that they shouldn't listen to their fan base as to what music they should make. They should really just make the music they want to. They will gain new fans that way. Mike even pointed out bands like the Stones and the Who, who are really just riding on classics. He made it clear they do't wanna be like that. He made it clear that music shouldn't be what "fans" want, the fans should follow the band and open their interests up.

 

When you say there are so many genre's to choose from, I ask you this: Why is that a bad thing? It allows bands to explore new areas, gain new fans, and become more versatile. I don't want a band to make music to satisfy me based on what I want from them. I want them to make music that I will be satisfied from or unsatisfied from, because of what they wanted. Does that make sense? I don't want them to make music based off my likes, but rather I want them to introduce me to music so I can expand my likes and dislikes. I want them to make something they can look at and be happy with, I don't want them to look at it and critique it and say, "well will this website, or that blog, or that person like this? No? then how should we change it to fit them?" Because ultimately that hurts music.

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When you say there are so many genre's to choose from, I ask you this: Why is that a bad thing?

It's not. I meant that no matter which genre they'll choose - in this genre they'll find another people that will like their music.

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