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Mike Q&A Summary 6/11/2020

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Before we get behind on Mike's Q&As, we better start recapping! Here's June 11th. Thanks to PeppePark for all of his help!

 

"I've already delivered the first volume of these jams for distribution to put on streaming services."

 

- "How many jams are you doing on the first volume?" -> "I think I'm doing.... how many am I doing? I'm not going to tell you which ones either. This is part of the artistic decisions that have to be made, this is what makes me happy is choosing the right ones and transitioning them and making a mix from one to the next, making a presentation out of it. You've gotta leave some of it to me. I'm not going to tell you which ones."

- "Will there be a Minutes To Midnight 2 if Linkin Park returns?" -> "In the sense that Minutes To Midnight was like a reinvention, yes, we would have to reinvent things in order for that to work. In terms of the sound of that record, we're probably not trying to do the sound again."


- "What's the criteria for the band to add an outro or an intro to the songs in the setlist? Do you have a story about the Waiting For The End outro?" -> "You know, the critera was just like - it felt like a good idea. Usually it'd be me making them. And the decision to do them would be me or Brad most of the time. Like different eras had different setlists, like projects. So like around Minutes To Midnight and A Thousand Suns we realized that we could really do more with the interludes and the way we transition and stuff because we had more songs. And then after that, it was like "oh we've got a lot of songs, we've got too many songs to put in the set, and so now how do we do that?" So we started mashing them up, shortening them, blending them into each other. We did that on Living Things a lot. It becomes more of the aesthetic of the record too, almost a DJ set of Linkin Park stuff but more live band. Then we backed off that a little bit because we felt like we were shortening too many songs. Or we had done it for a while and we were ready for a break on it. It was back and forth."

He always thought that Jimi Hendrix played really well and he would have liked to have worked with him. "There was something so remarkable about the way he played and the way he sang. I got to hear a multitrack recording of him one time and it was so complicated and it was almost like two different people."

- "Please share It's Goin' Down music video making stories." -> "You know, Joe directed it. Joe basically wanted to do a performance video in a really unique environment. It wasn't anything crazy. Brad wasn't available, I played guitar on the song. I wrote and recorded the guitar on the song, so anybody could have played guitar. And we wanted me to be rapping in the video. And Joe reached out to Wayne Static from Static-X about doing it. Part of it was just like bringing in that element of, "oh shit, look at that guy", because his look was so crazy. So that was fun, though. The X-Men were dope, they were so great. All super nice guys and obviously insanely talented with a ton of history behind them. They were like innovators in that space along with like Beat Junkiez.... like dozens of them you can name. That lead into guys like Z-Trip and so many others. But again, I could just go down the rabbit hole forever on that stuff."

- "Have you ever thought about doing a stream where do you do a deep dive into the production of a Linkin Park or Post Traumatic song?" -> "I could do that. Let me think about that one."

- "Have you ever had your songs in setlists censored in other countries?" -> "Yes, and I shouldn't say what and where. Probably would get me in trouble with that country because it's happened before. So yeah what generally will happen is like, before you come, the country will say  "these are our rules." Many times the countries will say, "if you're going to play, you have to send us your setlist. If you don't send it, you can't play. And if you don't play that setlist, you won't come back, you might get arrested." So those are kind of the rules. I can say like, in Malaysia, for example. I can say this is them because to me it isn't a big deal - being a Muslim country and like, relatively conservative, they don't allow cursing. So they just request that like... they want to see setlists, they don't want you to curse, and they want you to self-edit. They also don't want you to spit. One time the request was - no spitting, no taking your shirt off Chester, and no showing the bottoms of your feet. So don't jump. And we were like "woah! what?! why is that?" and they were like, "oh because if your feet are dirty, if the bottoms are dirty and you're showing that, it's disgusting." And we were like, "oh we understand that but no jumping, we really feel like that's going to hold back the show. And it's a lot of rules, are you sure we should play Malaysia?" I'm glad we kind of pushed back and said this sounds weird. You want us to come play and you don't want us to be ourselves and play our show. So figure that out for me. So it turns out the reason they were pushing these rules is because there was going to be royalty in the crowd. Some of their like... royalty and political people and figures and stuff. We went "oh! where are they sitting? don't put them down there, would it help if we put them higher up so they aren't going to see the bottoms of our feet and whatever. And we won't curse and Chester won't take his shirt off.... that's no problem." It came back then as, "Oh yeah no problem, you can jump all you want." They didn't want a photo of us being taken with our feet up in the face of these people. That would be a bad look for both them and us. So you have to realize there's a cultural barrier and once you solve that, it wasn't a big deal. They came to the show and they loved the show. We didn't insult them, they didn't get mad and kick us out of the country and whatever.... it was all good."


- "Do you think you'll continue with the streams after quarantine is over?" -> "I think so. We're already starting to come out of quarantine in LA."

- "Can you tell us some meaning behind the song What The Words Meant?" -> "Sometimes it's hard to remember. We've made a lot of songs. That song is about - I don't know if I've said who this artist is so I won't. There was an album I liked a lot, I loved almost every song on it and then I talked to the singer. Ah I did say, It was Phantogram. So, Three, the album Three.  We talked, and it was after Chester had passed. And I found out she had lost her sister. She had died by suicide and she said something about that record, how it dealt with and expressed that. I was like, "oh shit. no way, I love that record." So I went back and I listened back and I was like, "holy crap, I had no idea this record was about that." I didn't tell her that because we had already talked. But anyway, that was crazy. There's so many records that we listen to that we haven't been through the things they were going through when they were recording the album. We're just listening to it as good music or we're listening to it because we connect to it in a different way. So yeah, that was fucking crazy. Wow."

Open Door coming soon -> "So I picked the vocalists for Open Door and we're wrapping up, we're doing some content to release that. So we're doing some stuff with it. More to come."

 

Mike talked about mastering records. "Mastering is the final process in finishing a record. It's these little tweaks, the barely audible tweaks to your songs... so you take all the finished mixes and mastering is where you put them together and sequence the album and decide how they either overlap or how much space goes in between them. The volume levels, the compression and limiting and EQ. Very very subtly. When we first started making records, I could not tell the difference in what those guys were doing. All I knew is that it was louder. Back then, that's the only thing I knew - "ok, that's louder than it was and now it sounds like a record and now let's put the track markers here." Now, I can master a record myself. Bernie Grundman is the company where Brian masters. Brian maybe masters three to six records a day, I'm kind of spitballing. Imagine that many finished albums going across this man's desk, and he just does them, these EQs. It's not super tedious work. He does a pass at it and gets it sounding the way he likes it. Most people are like "cool, we're done." Some people like us say, "hey, will you tweak these things?" and he's like "uh huh", and he'll go back to it."

 

"How did you manage being in school and having the band?" -> "So I started the band, the first songs were at the end of high school, me and Mark Wakefield. After that, we started to get a little interest and encouragement from this guy who worked at the label. So we started recording more in my house and playing some shows once a month or once every couple of months. We were practicing once or twice a week and recording once or twice a week. I didn't have time to do more than that. The further I got through school, towards the end the workload lightens up a bit. I was really good at consolidating my work. If I needed to make an album cover for us, like we had these demo cassettes that we'd hand out. CD burners were really unreliable at that point and we didn't have money to burn a whole bunch of them. But cassettes were cheap, so we'd send it over to the guy and he'd make a bunch of cassettes and they'd look professional. And everybody had cassette players. I was making the art for one of those, and one of my school projects was kind of an open ended design project. We're going to use these techniques, but whatever you make with the techniques... you can make whatever you want to make. So I'd do my project, and that would be the cover of the thing. So I was killing two birds with one stones, trying to be efficient."

 

"Why didn't Prove You Wrong make it to Post Traumatic?" -> "I just needed to choose. I didn't want to put every song on there. So I figured I'd leave a couple off. It didn't make the cut, it sounded different enough from the record enough that I said, "I'll just release this later.""

 

At the end, Mike talks about Brad being a bigger guy when he was a bouncer back in the day, and talks about the jobs they had.

 

 

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- "Please share It's Goin' Down music video making stories." -> "You know, Joe directed it. Joe basically wanted to do a performance video in a really unique environment. It wasn't anything crazy. Brad wasn't available, I played guitar on the song. I wrote and recorded the guitar on the song, so anybody could have played guitar. And we wanted me to be rapping in the video. And Joe reached out to Wayne Static from Static-X about doing it."


Oh wow, imagine that, I've been right about Mike playing guitar on the studio version of IGD for the last 15 years even though all the "wHy iS wAyNe In ThE vIdEo ThEn" people never believed me.

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Posted (edited)

Cool things. Now we know Malaysians are weird lol 😂😂 HYPE for the MTM Answer, hope he’s figuring this out how to come back with LP. 
On the other side, I’m happy PYW didn’t make it on PT because it might be my least fav LP related song ever including LP albums and all the Chester and Mike side projects (FM, DBS, GD) 

Edited by Comfortinthepanic92

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Minutes to Midnight, Part 2?

MTM: The Sequel?

LINKIN PARK: The Reinvention of the Legends?

Avenge the Fallen Son?

Xero to Hero?

 

NEW ALBUM, coming soon! Stay tuned!

 

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China gets so butthurt about everything. Literally can't handle the stuff with Zoom and Tienanmen Square, they lost their minds at the LP Dalai Lama 2011 stuff and banned LP, etc. No wonder Mike is afraid to speak out against China - he wants to play the shows there for the huge fanbase and it isn't the fans fault that the government is so insane.

 

All of these stories were good. I liked the Xero one a lot.

 

Brad is in the It's Goin' Down video.... so I wonder why he didn't play guitar in the video.

 

Prove You Wrong is your least favorite song in the WHOLE catalogue? What about Lies Greed Misery, Hit The Floor, Until It's Gone, etc? Pretty bad tracks.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Hahninator said:

China gets so butthurt about everything. Literally can't handle the stuff with Zoom and Tienanmen Square, they lost their minds at the LP Dalai Lama 2011 stuff and banned LP, etc. No wonder Mike is afraid to speak out against China - he wants to play the shows there for the huge fanbase and it isn't the fans fault that the government is so insane.

 

All of these stories were good. I liked the Xero one a lot.

 

Brad is in the It's Goin' Down video.... so I wonder why he didn't play guitar in the video.

 

Prove You Wrong is your least favorite song in the WHOLE catalogue? What about Lies Greed Misery, Hit The Floor, Until It's Gone, etc? Pretty bad tracks.

On par with Hit the Floor maybe and Nobody’s Listening, but I like UIG and LGM better that PYW for sure. 
I’ve never been a fan of Welcome and PYW sounds like its cheesier twin, really really don’t like the chorus. 

Edited by Comfortinthepanic92

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