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Mike Shinoda Interview with Rolling Stone (May 5, 2021)


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Read a new interview by Mike with Rolling Stone.

What did you want people watching to take away from the streams?
"First and foremost, I wanted to keep the community together. I wanted to create this little nucleus — maybe it’s like a community inside the community — and everybody’s welcome to come in and hang out. The truth is that because of the format and the length of time, most people don’t want to devote that much time. It’s just not for everybody. But I really wanted to do it this way because it felt like, for the average person who doesn’t get to take a look into the makings of songs, they would get that look. For people that just want to be connected, they get that. For people that want to have an opportunity to be heard, I can be making something and they can make suggestions, or say it sucks, or do whatever."

When you’re sitting down to work on something for yourself, or for another artist, what is it from the stream time that bleeds into that solo time?
"Honestly, the one thing I do worry about is that it’s making me too impatient. In the stream, I streamline everything down to the fastest possible solutions. For example, if I get a vocal in, I have a chain of plugins that I just click and drag onto the vocal. I turn different ones on and off to find the ones that I like the best, I tweak those, and then we’re done. If I was doing it on my own, off stream, I’d think about the vocal and individually select plugins that I think will work well. Everything is much more slow and meticulous when I’m off stream. But in order to keep the stream moving, I do things quickly. When I get off stream, I’m still kind of in this habit of doing things quickly. I have to reset my expectations and reset my brain. Off stream is when you have the opportunity to really explore the space and come up with something unique and unusual."

Tell me about creating your latest single “Happy Endings” with Iann Dior and Upsahl.
"Me, Sam Ronson, Upsahl, and Pete Nappi wrote “Happy Endings” on a Zoom towards the end of last year. We were joking around about what a crappy year it had been, and the year wasn’t even over. We were just like, “Wow, this has been an epic year.” But it’s all about your attitude, right? Our attitude was not negative and bad. It was just kind of laughing at how you couldn’t stop coming up with examples and so we just channeled that into the song. Eventually, I crossed paths with Iann and got him on the track."

What’s the next level of this creative pocket you’re in?
"I’m in this phase where I’m developing a whole bunch of different ideas and there’s a lot of spinning plates. I’m just trying to devote the appropriate amount of time to the things that seem like they’re the most interesting and the most fun. I just announced that I’m involved with a company doing music AI. I’ve been working with [Authentic Artists] for months on their project. We’re in beta, still working out kinks and stuff, but the first demo was live the other day, actually on Twitch. The idea is that you’ll see these characters onscreen and you’ll hear them playing music. What people have a hard time wrapping their head around is that the music is being generated in the moment when you are listening to it. So that’s new and that’s different and a huge challenge."

Full interview at rollingstone.com

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