Eric Lewis: Linkin Park, Coltrane, Miles Davis, Puccini

December 8, 2009

Jazz pianist Eric Lewis:

“I spent a period of time really despondent and upset with trying to fight through it all, and finally I managed to get my technique to a different level. I was listening one day to a record by Linkin Park called Meteora. It was the first time that I had ever purchased a rock record. Prior to that time, I was very much a jazz purist, and that’s why I had gone so far in the jazz world. However, that purism didn’t work for me. So then I finally broke that habit and checked out Linkin Park on the recommendation of some people who heard me describing something that I wanted to do in music. And it really opened me up.
I heard the song “Somewhere I Belong,” and to hear Chester Bennington scream reminded me of Coltrane howling and wailing on the saxophone, and the harmonies they were using reminded me of Miles Davis, and reminded me of Puccini. And then the power of the drums reminded me of Elvin Jones. And the clarity of the bass reminded me of the power of the orchestra.”
Here’s the whole interview:




  1. Robin on April 22, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Hi Mike

    What are the chances of LP coming to South Africa

  2. linkinladie328 on December 20, 2009 at 1:47 am Check him out. DJ Flowwolf. Pass it on to Joe too. He was my math teacher with a huge passion for creating music. He’s got a youtube channel as well:

    Trust me, he’s very talented. Just give him a listen and if you guys like it (even if it’s not your genre of music) please put him up as recommended music. I think he’s gonna go places.

  3. Morinoajin on December 18, 2009 at 5:14 am

    Must have been real proud Mike!! Luv u LP ❀ ❀ Bravo to Lewis!!

  4. Nikki_LPforever on December 13, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    That is amazing! Thanks for posting that Mike! LP has been an inspiration to only us fans but to other great musicians as well! Its so great that your music has helped him open up! You guys are definately the best EVER! And i wanted to thank u soo much for ansewring all the fan questions in the LPU chat! Its so great that all u guys are always intercating with us, it makes LP all the more special to us! Love LP always! -Nikki

  5. gugu on December 11, 2009 at 10:49 am

    hey mike check this out….please………there is a serious mistake in the description

  6. Valerie on December 10, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks for posting this article Mike. Jazz and Hard Rock are my two favorite genres, even though they’re almost on opposite sides of the spectrum. It’s very nice to see a convergence of the two.

  7. Jo_o8 on December 10, 2009 at 1:12 am

    That is really interesting. Well that’s Linkin Park for you, not only great musicians but also an inspirations to other artists. Way to go!

  8. The_Black_Hawk on December 9, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Hey Mike, CONGRATS!
    See The Complete List Here:

  9. leiza on December 9, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    WOW. what an amazing compliment. from, no doubt, an amazing musician. meteora was always my favorite, too. πŸ˜‰

  10. Elliot_aka_MC_Eli on December 9, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Nice article. Must feel good that you inspire such established musicians. On a side point, there has been talk based on the recent LPU chat of about you guys player older stuff…. if you would take the time to briefly scan this thread which has some great points and questions as to what is the problem with playing older songs. It will nice to hear a reply from you officially.

  11. junior8821 on December 9, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    I never heard of Eric Lewis until now. Very talented dude. Its even better that your guys were the one who finally open him up and take a chance. This come to show you that everything help everything else. I showed that article to my music professor and he was just blown away but it.

  12. lucky_cat on December 9, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Woah…congrats, this is really nice! I think it is always the best part, when you see that what you have created can push someone in his own aspirations and inspires.
    Not that it has some importance, but Meteora is my favorite Linkin Park album and “Somewhere I Belong” is the best song you’ve written, in my opinion. If I was a musician I could explain to you why, but so … you just can believe it πŸ™‚

  13. ghostly on December 9, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Eric Lewis!!! Chaos and harmony~ I’ve heard his performance~ Awesome pianist!! But you guys are even better!!! Because he was inspired by you~ LOL~~~ Love Meteora!!! Love “Somewhere I Belong”~~~

  14. shan1105 on December 9, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Hey mike i know you are a busy guy, but my niece is doing a report on rock and roll and needs to interview someone. could you do an email interview for her. email me and let me know. it would awesome for her!

  15. rjcrimzon on December 9, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    haha get it! He broke that habit! hahahaha! Anyways that’s really awesome. Meteora is a really fantastic album. I’m pretty pumped for the next one πŸ™‚ Keep up the good work πŸ™‚

  16. Sintia on December 9, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    That is gr8 that you help inspire Eric Lewis. That was a very interesting interview with him. I liked how he just went to play on the piano and ended up with 20+ ppl then started to do an intimate show with 120 ppl. How something so little can turn into something els. It would be cool if you could do a song or 2 with him. That would definitly be good! He is already a fan…right? :o) Thanks for blogging this. Keep up the hard work too. I hope you, LP, & your families are in gr8 health and are doing good. Take Care. :o)

  17. ShadowerLiltani on December 9, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Booyah! Congratulations, you have been recognized by a very, very famous man. Isn’t it awesome they way artists can encourage other artists to pursue their aspirations?

  18. rockermeg on December 9, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I never thought of comparing LP to Miles Davis…
    See you guys have so many levels

  19. _Tiff_Tiff_33_LP_ on December 9, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    dude that’s cool that the first rock record he heard was meteora!!!!^^see how awesomeness u guys r?!!^^*

  20. Madlen on December 9, 2009 at 9:02 am

    You must be really proud of yourselves…you don’t just inspire us the fans but you inspire musicians too…not a lot of bands do that πŸ˜› Btw I read in a magazine that Paul Van Dyke is a huge fan of yours…just wanted to let you know:)Anyway…see you on the chat tonight:)

  21. sz_David on December 9, 2009 at 7:04 am

    This guy is unbelievable. Absolutely genius. I saw him for the first time on His performance is magical. It is good to know how it started, especially that Linkin Park was involved too.
    You can listen to Breaking the Habit here (not as long as on youtube, but great quality), and there is a picture him and Chester on it:

  22. ShadowThanatos on December 9, 2009 at 5:25 am

    Look like you guys gave us a hint about the next album =))…sounds Jazzy ……………………………………………………….
    Oh well, just a joke πŸ˜€

  23. DemonNoir99 on December 9, 2009 at 5:23 am

    Thanks to jamiedrums for the link , At least now i have a view of the results from the fusion of jazz with LP !!

    @Rex : awesome link dude , Thanks !!

  24. Rex on December 9, 2009 at 2:08 am

    wow, i searched on youtube for this guy, and i found this: an amazing cover of Breaking the habit!

  25. MaryBing on December 9, 2009 at 1:27 am

    Maybe LP can draw some inspiration from jazz for the new record?;)
    P.S. jamiedrums thanks for the link, it’s amazing!

  26. Dori on December 9, 2009 at 1:18 am

    I swear I’ve read this before, but I can’t remember where exactly. Anyway, I thought it was really cool! That, to me, is the gift of music.

  27. miKer0cks on December 9, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Ok, this is huge! You guys must be really proud! πŸ™‚ Besides Meteora is awesome! My fave album so far πŸ˜‰ And as you said “Meteora sounded huge” Totally true πŸ˜‰

    PS. How about a live concert in Meteora? Hahaha! Just imagine rocking out in Meteora! It’d be so cooooool πŸ˜€

    PSS. Can’t wait for the chat!!! Would you take another pic before the chat starts, like you did the last time?

  28. RurouniKenshin on December 8, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    This is totally awesome He could embrace all kinds of music , that is rarely done by a jazz musician !!

  29. zahra on December 8, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    meteros was AWESOME MY FAV ALBUM EVER……:)..i just got back from school and i had to add somthing to this post…umm its that i wanted to say that LP music will never die! i think its soo deep and gr8 that it will keep growing it wont die it will keep on getting higher!(u guys wont stop making new fans) ppl wont stop….its all over the world and its awesome!….anyhooo i’m stuck in between asking u 8 questions on LPU tonight…ughh as i said very frustrating ….X( XD(i’m excited!!!)

  30. cincybmxlpfreak on December 8, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Wow! You guys must be flattered!! That’s very cool to read about. πŸ™‚

  31. boyzdontcry on December 8, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Honestly I don’t so familiar with These Eric Lewis but after reading this interview I became curious about him !!

  32. abbykulyde on December 8, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    music do really evolve.. and i luv Meteora..β™₯

    for Eric Lewis, there’s always a first time….=)

    speaking of LP’s album, they ranked 7th in the top-selling albums of the decade, according to Nielsen SoundScan:

  33. aussieChazz on December 8, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    From Jazz to Linkin Park, Coldplay and Evanescence ?? …Holy shit .. He is a powerful musician !!

  34. minuteforce on December 8, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    He complimented the “clarity of the bass”? ;D On “Meteora”? Ha.

  35. Justbiteme9 on December 8, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    I can’t say I’m suprised, you are awesome indeed and even when I think that Minutes to Midnight is your best album, I got to say that Meteora is amazing and someone can actually feel how much you love what you do and that’s exactly what makes you so amazing. Really, I can feel the passion and that’s why I love Linkin Park so much. Thank you so much for that!

  36. SoUneik on December 8, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    What a lovely compliment. But well deserved. “I spent a period of time really despondent and upset with trying to fight through it all”…I don’t think It could be said any better… Ah, but I’m not so sure that its a technique we look for. I just toss out everything I think I know and let go. …and for a few seconds if you can hear a sound. Its doesn’t matter if its 3 notes or 20. If it catches you, its the key to a new song. I can only name 5 musicians/bands/etc. (among the living) who have managed to create an album I can listen to from start to finish and never get tired of it. Three of those did it more than once. Linkin Park is one of them.

  37. LPmadman on December 8, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    After reading this interview I can see Eric Lewis is not only a jazz musician who has a great talent with a universal outlook .. but he was also a humanist !

  38. silversmile13 on December 8, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    meteora is meteora..nobody can change that..

  39. Aditya_the_warrior_within on December 8, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    meteora is an epic

  40. girlaloud on December 8, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    I Totally agree with spraypaintNinkpens .. Yeah it’s fun to hear LP songs with another way !!

    Note : Huge Thanks to jamiedrums for the link !!

  41. spraypaintNinkpens on December 8, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Meteora is a classic album, definitely lp’s best. I can agree with his statement because I still get chills listening to songs from meteora. From the sampling to the great production, to the collaboration on vocals; its just euphoric for the ears.

  42. Full_Metal_Ninja on December 8, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    How do you do it man… LP reaches so many people. Stuff like that is what I can only dream about, but I guess that’s why my goal is to make the dream a reality. Don’t sleep to dream, sleep to build stamina right? heh

  43. jamiedrums on December 8, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Hey Mike, check it out, Eric Lewis covering Breaking the Habit. I dont know how to put the actual video up so i just gave you the link.

    p.s Really looking forward to the new album πŸ˜€

  44. Squishy_Ho on December 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    that’s actually pretty cool, knowing that your music can get as many people in that “genre”, if so to say. i was listening back to all the LP tracks i got lately, and made my favourite LP track list, and only Meteora is all part of that track listing.

    even though, I’m my opinion, it was somehow a follow-up to Hybrid Theory, i still believe it was the better of the two: more deep, more mature, and surely better crafted than HT (surely cause of the time you spent on it i believe). anyways, glad to hear Meteora still helps people out there =)

  45. YuN_RoCks on December 8, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Whoa..That’s really incredibile. I cannot but agree with him, you guys make more than music. And I’m happy that a musician of his level and depth said something like this! : )

  46. PinkyLouloulp on December 8, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    It doesn’t surprise me. Meteora was in my opinion your best album. It makes me happy that someone so big said those amazing things. It definitely deserves it. πŸ™‚

  47. lovableFreak on December 8, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    WOW… how awesome is that?! puccini… coltrane… miles davis… those are fucking geniuses!!!! these words really must have been the sweetest melody ever in your ears… that’s the proof, that rock music, classical mausic and jazz DO match up… how often do i say that only to be told an idiot?! ^_____^

  48. navee on December 8, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    wow thats a beutiful description from jazz to rock, thats dope

    congrats on the grammy nom!

    see ya at the candy club mike!

    you’re hair looks cool so its robs

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