Recording Artists, Not Performers

May 6, 2010

I was having dinner with a close friend named Mark, and we found ourselves on the topic of seeing “new” bands in concert. Mark had recently gone to Coachella, and was telling me about his favorite acts–and some of the ones that underwhelmed him. He wondered aloud why some bands seem to be so proficient in the studio, but their live show didn’t seem to be nearly as solid. A thought occurred to me/us somewhere in the conversation, and I’m going to put it out there for discussion:

Today, there is a historic surplus of “recording artists” and deficit of “performers.” And it’s probably technology’s fault.

Thirty years ago, if you wanted to be a professional musician, you might start by saving up to buy an instrument. You’d buy it, and start teaching yourself. Next, you’d probably get lessons, and practice, practice, practice. You would get together with other musicians, at someone’s house, to jam other peoples’ songs, and maybe eventually write your own. Then you’d work your way toward playing live. You might start by playing covers, then move toward playing your own stuff. If that went over well, you’d build a fan base, who would spread the word. Eventually, a record company representative could find you and sign you to a deal, and FINALLY you would be able to create a “professional” recording of your music. By that time, you would have logged thousands of hours of performing together. And the recording of your album was geared towards capturing the essence of what you actually sounded like: the magic that everyone heard while listening to you play live.

Today, most people skip straight to the recording. The tools to make a great recording are as cheap as free: whether GarageBand on a Mac, or amazing online recording communities like BOJAM, nearly anyone can have access to the tools necessary to make a quality recording. There’s no gatekeeper or major hurdle between an amateur and their interest in learning writing, recording, engineering, and mixing music. That being the case, there’s a whole new generation of artists who have become really good at those things. They log thousands of hours writing and recording. Since an early age, they’ve been honing their skills, composing pop diddies and alternative anthems on their laptops–wherever, whenever they like. They put the songs online…and occasionally, a song starts to take off in a viral whirlwind.

But what then?

Let’s say the song becomes popular; whether signed to a record label or working independently, piracy assures that the mp3 doesn’t make a lot of money online. And the group needs to make some money to pay the rent, buy gear, build the band. So they start planning their “tour.” But they don’t have much experience playing live. They’re really good at their instruments, but they can’t make it happen on stage. The album has dozens of layered sounds on every song, and they only have four band members. The drummer can’t keep up with the drum pattern on the popular single, because it was a drum machine on the original recording. And the vocalist’s voice sounds awful without Auto Tune.

One of the places where a “listener” becomes a “fan” is at the concert, and if you can’t connect there, you lose. In the case of Coachella, there were some bands that had the whole package. Some sounded great because they sounded just like the album, some sounded great because they sounded different from the album. There were rock-based bands that played well together, and electronic-based groups that brought the energy of their recording to life on stage. But in between–and in general–more and more often, the world is seeing artists with incredible-sounding albums and songs, and no magic when you see them in concert.

My own band has had to deal with these same issues in one way or another in the past. We grew up recording on a computer, at the specific point in time when home recording software became accessible to the average kid. When we met a record executive for the first time, we had played no shows. At that moment, we realized that we needed to start playing live and practicing our new songs, so we could eventually bring them to a stage. It would be years before anyone had ever heard of Linkin Park. We were lucky enough to get through the worst of our awkward live mistakes while we were still a baby band, unsigned, without a million people coming to our first show to see what all the hype was about, and by the time “In The End” hit the mainstream, we had probably played 150-200 shows together and worked a lot of the kinks out.

I’m definitely not saying that being a masterful at recording isn’t an asset. I’m just saying that it’s a game with a lot of competition, due to ease of entry.

If you want to stand out, performance is key. After all, if you master that, you can easily hire someone to record you.



  1. iridescent2202 on June 17, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Linkin Park is an evidence

  2. Xero Theory on June 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    ! Mark Wakefield !

  3. Stonecold on June 22, 2010 at 3:45 am

    hey Mike, i recorded vocals over Linkin Park’s track “A.06” from the LPU 9.0 cd, i just wanna know what do u think about it cuz it really matters to me, anyway….i wanna send it to u but i just dont know how so reply if you’re interested.
    Rock On Dude \m/

  4. OmarKhan on June 4, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Hey Mike. Agree with you about the performance. I have an idea that you guys should sdopt for a fun and awesome music experience. Recently, I don’t exactly remember which album, but 30 Seconds to mars asked thier fans to submit a piece or some sort of a demo of their music and the band liked it, they were willing to incorporate it into thier songs. I think you guys should definitly do it! You’ll get an awesome response! Me being first on the list of course! πŸ™‚

    BTW, you guys are the best ungeneric band in the world! πŸ˜€

  5. analoggirl on May 23, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Great blog post! Articulate, as always. I love reading your insights into the music industry.

    It’s interesting to see that while the recording and delivery channels may have changed, certain things remain constant – like the need for a great live show. I also find it ironic that technology has created a problem (like the loss of profits to pirating) that requires a lo-tech response (touring). I’ll look forward to seeing how LP releases and supports its next album.

  6. Roshnai on May 23, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    That’s a really good observation Mike.But you know what’s sad?The fact that your band will acually perform live in our country,India is a distant dream.Yes,I’m a great fan of your music even without having the good fortune of being born in a country where you guys perform live.Just imagine what we Indiain fans would do if we just saw you perform.We would turn from great fans to devoted worshippers.

  7. Ali on May 22, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I couldn’t agree more, the music industry has honestly been going down the drain recently, most artists use technology in one way or another to enhance their recordings. That’s why I have the highest respect for Linkin Park. MIke you are amazing.

  8. Sofisofi on May 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Playing an instrument must be something funny and you have to enjoy with it, if you don’t do so, you loose a great part of what being a musician is.

  9. Puppy on May 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Can I share this on my facebook, Milke, please? I can’t agree more about this article. The true of music should be performed by music instruments!

  10. Stephanie on May 16, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Amen brother. I’ve been complaining about this for years. In fact, my first live LP concert was the day I went from just a listener to a mega-fan. You guys brought it like no band I had ever seen and that sealed the deal. If you had sucked, I wouldn’t be here right now. Period.

  11. StitchesGuy90 on May 13, 2010 at 5:07 am

    hey ya πŸ™‚ First Of All. lemme Tell Yu. Dis Is My vei First Comment In Your Blog πŸ™‚ I read Dis Whole Topic On My Mobile πŸ™‚ Now im Commenting It From PC πŸ™‚ *Seriusly A Great Topic Yu Made Me Remind Of. πŸ™‚ *

    I Love A Band Called DISARMONIA MUNDI πŸ™‚ They Are Awesome πŸ™‚ But They Neva Performed Live :O πŸ˜€ SO It Made Me Remind Again That Though Good Piece Of Music Is Being Produced Thru Out The World, But Real Performers Are Very Less. πŸ™‚ Technology Improved The Quality Of MUsic But Undoubtedly Affected The Quality In Artists πŸ™‚ **So I Love GUNS AND ROSES AND MAIDEN More:)** Love For LP and You Too πŸ™‚ Take Care Bro πŸ™‚

  12. ammy aybar on May 12, 2010 at 11:03 pm


  13. Jack Owens on May 12, 2010 at 7:06 am

    I think this is really inspirational. I now have some great ideas for my band hoping to make it big…

  14. Mike on May 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    This helped me look at music kind of differently. It’s great that you guys got where you are because when I was 13 I started listening to LP then my first concert ever was Projekt Rev. ’08. That really inspired me to start writing music and now I am in the midst of writing my own songs. I really do need to have a show but my band and I need to practice as a group more. I’m hoping I can start getting on tours and hopefully be on a projekt revolution with you guys some day

  15. Joelle on May 11, 2010 at 6:44 am

    I am so glad that I can visit your website again

  16. Jason on May 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Since you mentioned a lot of the songs on LP’s new album have a drum machine feel to them, I’d like to know how you would make your new material work for your future live shows.

    In addition to Linkin Park, another band I’ve seen many times that knows how to give a killer live show is Alice In Chains. No backing tracks, no autotuned vocals, just classic musicianship. Another great performer live is Chris Cornell.

  17. Nata on May 10, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Agreed! Thanks for posting this, glad I read it. πŸ™‚

  18. JusTurned20 on May 10, 2010 at 11:40 am

    very insightful at least we as fans know that you guys put the effort to performing as great as any of the other bands that may be starting of fresh but I mean if it were that you and your friend were discussing such details about how new bands are not sounding so well live you can act like an advocate cuz u been through the growing pains of having to perform bigger crowds. i hope other upcoming bands read this and understand it’s not just popping out a single and selling millions it’s about delivering that passion live.

  19. Justin on May 10, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Reminds me of ISMFOF, or Atreyu.

  20. M_Bugashata on May 10, 2010 at 4:03 am

    It’s not about the music any more. They want to make it to the top by taking a shortcut just to make money and become famous, it’s not about music itself any more…I call them the one album bands, they have one album with one worthy hit song then…PUFFFF!, you never hear about them any more. Bands like Green Day, Scorpion, AC/DC and for sure LP bands built for life. They never let the fan’s eyes sleep and when they have tour they show how great the album was by live performers.

    Perhaps we see bands with better quality.

    BTW was he Mark Wakefield or Mark Fiore? πŸ˜€

  21. micky on May 9, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    mike.. can I copy paste this and share it with my friends? because they are in the same situation as u mentioned it now.. and this would be a great advise for them.. thanks

  22. Jeanette on May 9, 2010 at 8:51 am

    God don’t remind me.
    Either way I still love you loads.

  23. Jo_o8 on May 9, 2010 at 4:14 am

    Mike, well said. Love reading your blogs, you always have something intelligent to say.

  24. Xplos1v.p1tt on May 8, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Well Mike, im rly glad more and more musicians are seeing the problem with toay’s music. The best example of what u mean(well not literally, u only mention the bands problem, but it’s a wider angle problem) has been alrdy told by my favourite guitar teacher on youtube:
    he states everything that you apply here, and i totally agree with u both. What has come to the world? Today everyone with some experience in programs and no talents can make music, soon the computers will replace the actual artists :O

  25. gin on May 8, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    i totally agree with you, some of the bands outside really suck in living performances

    this is like a mini essay, i really like it

  26. Josh Rohl on May 8, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Yes I do agree with you Mike. There’s just one problem, how much electronic is too much live? Especially when trying to create the perfect cover. Ok so I play the keys and have a keyboard with all these synth sounds so I could do a mix of both. Then any backing tracks I can play through USB which is connected to the keyboard. Sounding and peforming exact covers are almost impossible and the problem then is you won’t stand up to the standard that guys like you have set. So how do perfect live performances when it’s impossible?

  27. Soham on May 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Just read what u wrote in there, man. You’ve really got a point. Hope someday will be able to share the stage with you guys. Will be waiting eagerly for the next album. Long live LP!

  28. Marley on May 8, 2010 at 11:15 am

    mike, truer words have never been spoken! I cant wait until the 2010 album! keep the music coming cus your music is my life… Linkin Park FTW =P

  29. Shawn on May 8, 2010 at 5:01 am

    i agree with you and i think this is the reason why i love LP so much.

  30. Cody Williams on May 8, 2010 at 12:06 am

    That is what I love about your opinions on music. You may not think so but you’re a genius. I don’t throw that word around like birdseed, either. Just don’t get all egotistical like Jerod Ledo on me. By the way, and this sounds a little obsessive (trust me, it’s not because I have reason behind it) I have you’re portrait tattooed on my forearm. Chester is on there, too. Just a form of gratitude for the artists whose music helped me through very, very, very rough times in my life.

  31. M Shinoda on May 7, 2010 at 11:48 pm


  32. SAwithdesperation on May 7, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    i totally agree with you mike, my dream is to become as well musicians and recording artists and amazing live performers as you, me i’m only 13 i have years ahead of me, i’m teaching myself guitar hopfully lookin for a teacher! and maybe sometime soon i’ll see you perform live! πŸ˜€

  33. Xandro Pontillas on May 7, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I agree with you Mike… you are right..

  34. FernieG on May 7, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Mike you nailed it perfectly in this topic! I was having a conversation with my cousin about some other bands that depend to much on tools then there actual live performances! Good to hear your side of the story on how these things go. You guys are all amazing live, even surpassing the stuff u guys do in the studio; not saying the studio stuff isn’t good, its just u guys always add some new on ur live shows that keeps the music fresh. Major Props to you and the rest of the gang!

  35. Matthew on May 7, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    I saw you guys live at montreal, and you guys put on an amazing show. You guys are really good live and you obviously know what youre doing! You probably hear this a million times, but it probably doesn’t hurt hearing it for the million and one time lol. Cant wait for the new album!

  36. MaJito wafLerA on May 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    i agree πŸ™‚

  37. cuz on May 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I had an opposite situation these days. I was at show of band I know from radio and tv only-never checked cds. In media it seems to be average pop band with sweet I love you songs. Singer is great, he’s background in both popular and classical music-a MIND-BLOWING tenor. Show was a total surprise-music that was so pop in studio version changed so much live. They did amazing show, I was like WTF?! Totally different from their media reputation, so much better! All sweet songs turned to a great rock, contact with people was amazing, guys were so nice and there was bunch of classical adds to pop repertory. Biggest surprise was singer’s voice-no idea how much more powerful it’s live!

  38. CurlyLp on May 7, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Great post!! I totally agree with you. This phrase: “One of the places where a β€œlistener” becomes a β€œfan” is at the concert, and if you can’t connect there, you lose.” it’s soooo true!! We can like the songs in the CD but then at the concert if the band are bad at live shows (like many and many bands) the can’t have fans. It’s too bad. A great exemple of amazing concerts are Linkin Park concerts. U have a f*cking great concerts and in the end of the show the fans are really happy. Because yours songs are wonderful at live. πŸ˜€ So yeah i agree with u. Nice post! πŸ˜€

  39. STINGER_LP on May 7, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Such a good point Mike! You absolutely right. That’s the thing that ruins for me all the impression of a lot of bands, or solo singers, whatever. The band that can’t actually sound live as good as their album sounds is not a band for me. If I liked some songs from the album and then saw how this band play them live and I didn’t like it (whether i saw them live personally of saw a videos of their performances) in most cases i ended up not listen them anymore.

  40. ALLBUTOVER on May 7, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Good post mike. Lots of responses!

    Recording is a great start for a lot of bands. Its helpful for groups who are missing members and still want to make progress.

    If you want to really make a career out of rock music, your live show is going to have to be awesome. Theres no getting around it.

    If you are a new band, no question, you need to move as much as possible on stage. You’ll likely comprise a bit of the performance musically (esp. if your not well enough rehearsed), but if you plan to capitalize off things like youtube, your going to need to give people more then 4 guys just standing there playing the song! Boring!

  41. katouche*didi* on May 7, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I’m agree with you,Mike! You’re so right.

  42. Micosa on May 7, 2010 at 9:35 am

    You are so right. What a deep thought…
    I agree with you. Skill of performing must be the first

  43. Carlos Waight on May 7, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I agree… I guess there isnt time for practice and practice… and fame is all the objective.. not art ..not music…

  44. Roger on May 7, 2010 at 9:02 am

    GREAT POST MIKE!! I LOVED… and good advices for all of musicians.


    I love that cover of Britney Spears by Brad… DO YOU LIKE BRITNEY???

  45. Lord Of Donut on May 7, 2010 at 8:46 am

    This si so true…
    I became a hacord Linkin Park fan after the AWESOME show of Paris!

  46. vickyLP on May 7, 2010 at 8:46 am

    i’ve been to a small music event here in Thessaloniki (Greece) to listen to new local bands…and that’s exactly what happened.There were bands that they were really cool and other ones that they were horrible on stage…the frontman was ok but the instruments sounded like…i don’t know…like each member of the band was playing alone.And it was totally different from what the studio version of the song sounded like. BTW u are totally right to what u’re saying but i think it’s luck too…For example there may be a band that plays really great music both in the studio and onstage but they don’t find a good producer or something else.

  47. Analyn Hilado on May 7, 2010 at 8:41 am

    wow, mike, you really had a good point in there. that’s what i notice too sometimes. bands or singers are really good on on studio record but sucks on live performance.

  48. Meklit Wogayehu on May 7, 2010 at 7:38 am

    It is true and I agree with you Mike!! For a band which wants to stand first, the step before recording professionally should be performing live,then the rest will follow!!!

  49. Mateusz from Poland on May 7, 2010 at 6:59 am

    I agree with Your opinion,m r Shinoda. Today’s music is friendly-radio streamed. Good, hard record like Forgotten or By Myself is rarity. And i say it again: I totally agree with you. Greetings from Poland.

  50. zahralp on May 7, 2010 at 6:23 am

    i guess u got it all laid out 4 ur self…i agree but i dont understand if its a good thing that we have the power to make songs like this or bad thing …i mean its just soo easy these days …. but musics losing its value …
    ps: the last concert i was at was last years viva09 tour (coldplay) there music was awesome live …just awesome !!! i loved it soo much it was nothing like listening to it on ur ipod it was just sooo amazing…and i think that just called real music that i admire.
    thanx 4 sharing this

  51. Matt German on May 7, 2010 at 5:53 am

    My band Tripwire just finished our self-recorded EP. We have been practicing the songs on our EP every week and have played about 7-8 shows now. We are having a problem with finding the balance between stage presence and actual performance. For instance, last Friday we played very well but didnt have the stage presence. The next day, we completely rocked the entire club, but we also made more mistakes. How does one find a balance between this? whats more important?

  52. adam on May 7, 2010 at 4:57 am

    I’ve never been to a concert, but from what can be seen on video I know that you guys always deliver on stage. The fact that you can maintain the sound of your studio recordings during live performances makes me a little bit prouder as a fan.

    Good read by the way. You’re very logical.

  53. JanV on May 7, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Hey Mike~!

    Lovely post! πŸ™‚ It made me ask myself: There are thousands of recording artists worldwide; but how many of them really have what it takes to be on stage? Answer: Very few. Maybe a few hundred, but not more.

    Sadly, I’m not one of those few hundred (yet), but I really want to be. I’ve recorded a couple of tracks before, but may not be able to perform them live. I and some friends had covered ‘With You’ from Hybrid Theory once and it was a complete disaster.

    Thanks a ton for making me realise that talent alone doesn’t take anyone to great heights. I will definitely keep your advice in mind while making music.

    Thanks for everything~!
    -JanV πŸ˜‰

  54. Kaochan on May 7, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Mike, I am very impressed by your post. When I was a child, I saw one of my cousins was struggling with his dream to be a musician. He must have had many many live stages before releasing his own band’s album. That was about 20-30 years ago. He plays keyboards now but cannot be a polular musician. Linkin Park is a very successful band. I think your success is not luck at all, because you guys are so sensible that you always know where you stand.

  55. lor on May 7, 2010 at 3:57 am

    i agree, but i think old school style is coming back around. i love the british folk scene and there are so many musicians all over who have banded together and prefer to perform their music and record it simply for it to be collected, remembered, catalogued…cant think of the word :s i think artists who remain somewhat on the peripheral often outlast those suddenly thrust into the spotlight – the quicker you’re built up, the quicker they want to knock you down. but definitely back to the point – performance if where you prove yourself, anyne can record a song (Janice Dickinson anyone??) but not everyone can hold the attention of a live audience.

  56. linkinbabe112 on May 7, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Hey Mike i could f**king help myself laughing when watching the TPain Obama Autotune vid :))
    All the same, i totally agree with your words. It’s gonna be a topic for my next compositions!

  57. RUSSian FAN on May 7, 2010 at 3:04 am

    Hello Mike! I know that I’m not on topic …. but I would like to know from you, you will come again in St. Petersburg. I loved the last time!

  58. Jen88 on May 7, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Amen dude! I couldn’t agree with you more. I play bass in a rock band, and we do a rehearsal for three hours every weekend, just running through our set as much as we can. And we won’t consider playing gigs until we’re sounding spot on, because sounding good on a recording means nothing if we play sh*thouse live.

  59. RDE on May 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Wise words, and so true!

  60. widya rahayu on May 7, 2010 at 1:44 am

    I was there in Linkin Park live performance in Jakarta, 2004. You guys not just created and played music but sharing the strong energy to the crowd below the stage. Could you heard us when we sang along from the start to the end of the show? Before it i loved so much listening to your music in the ear/headphone or speaker. After the show i love LP more. But one thing that really differ Linkin Park from any other bands or artists is LP’s works are so inspiring. From music, art works…to the real life, fans been so excited to make their own works that inspired by the spirit of LP. I’ve listened to many songs, but it’s only LP’s that inspired me this much & deep

  61. Dori on May 7, 2010 at 1:09 am

    None of this should be rocket science, really. I’ve been to SO many shows where I’ve seen bands that weren’t really my favorites on record, necessarily, but seeing them live made me become a true fan. I’ve felt the same way about some supporting acts as well. On the otherside of the spectrum, I’ve been to shows where the band was good on record, but not so much live.

  62. MALAYSIALPFANS on May 7, 2010 at 12:55 am

    it was a good articles to read for those are creating they own band.
    today too many indie bands compare to the major band.
    i agree that performs in live show need to be the best because it show how
    much commited the band about they music journey through their fans.
    i hope have another useful articles like this again mike…thanks bro

  63. Teo on May 6, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    there’s still hope for some people. I mean there are still people who get themselves to the top the old way. much like you guys did.

  64. Hesse on May 6, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    700 characters? More than that in my life. You guys rule, as they say. I’ve just begun playing geetar. Ambient, environmental stuff. Yet to “jam”. Keep the heart guys.

  65. Varun on May 6, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Great article Mike, made for a nice read!

    By the way, is this Mark you had dinner with- Mark Wakefield? πŸ™‚

  66. Marco Jimenez on May 6, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    i think its safe to assume that mike iz 100 percent correct. and Linkin Park has one of the best live performances in the world.

  67. Fred Durst on May 6, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Linkin Park = Recording Artists
    Limp Bizkit = Performers

  68. swati on May 6, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    LOVE, INDIA…. πŸ™‚

  69. Rick Montalvan on May 6, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    My thoughts exactly, music isn’t what it used to be. You can make music electronically and have an average singer sound amazing in an album but it can never beat the true talent and skill of a real artist playing the intrument(s) he loves. I love techno and even though half the stuff you hear is syntheticly made by mixing and effects it took effort and is definatley appreciated but its so much better to be wowed by a person who honed their skills on a guitar or drums or bass. Linkin Park is great and Fort Minor is ridiculously good by the way. Keep up the awesome work man. We need Projekt Revolution in Denver again!

  70. Peter Kahn on May 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    You’re great, Mike.
    I agree with you. Ya!-Ha!

  71. princess on May 6, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    mike is kkkkkk πŸ˜›

  72. orionwong on May 6, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    You’re so genius! Now, I know why your lives are always fantastic. I solemnly agree with you~

  73. Kenneth on May 6, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Hey Mike! I agree.

  74. Souneik on May 6, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Great Post. I think (at this point) you can sum that up and apply that to the industry in general. ‘The Advent’ of the internet opened doors that wouldn’t normally be opened. …Inadvertently causing a surplus. But instead of working a new strategy up or doing something different. …They all seem to be playing it safe. [with few exceptions…of course ;C)] I’m hoping I’m on the cusp of a transitional period (as a fan) & eagerly waiting the next wave of awesomeness tojump out of the bushes (please!!). …I’ll be planning my assault.

  75. Dave Morgan on May 6, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Mike you rock!

  76. IndonesiaNeedsLP on May 6, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    you’re really inspiring us, Linkin Park fans. You’re master, Mike πŸ˜€

    who’s agree with me??

  77. LPFreakification on May 6, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    its my birthday and i completely agree with you Mike Shinoda! thanks for the post

  78. Chirag Shekhar on May 6, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    It’s exceptionally well put up thought Mike !!!
    I love the way you guys came up (build up everything from scratch and that too so well !!!) to the Int’l Horizon and your quality live concerts played an important part at it……So, Yes, LIVE Performances are definitely important to a band along with quality RECORDINGS at the Studio….


  79. LΓ­lian Rachel on May 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Oh Mike, I totally agree with you!
    And our … you were inspired to write is not it? lol
    I am happy every time you come here and exposes his ideas, I like how you think and what you feel!
    And I’m happiest when I discover that inda agent thinks a lot like …
    Good evening, linkisses Brazil :*

  80. Jan on May 6, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    i agree with this.

  81. Tozcano on May 6, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks Mike!

  82. SIlentK on May 6, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I completely agree with you Mike. I’ve seen bands like Bring Me The Horizon for example and been disappointed with the Live performance. Now I’ve seen Linkin Park or Killswitch Engage live and was impressed. LP in my opinion sounds better live because they seem to sound heavier on some songs. I like to think that artists that sound the same if not better on stage than in studio are the real artists. The artists that seem to climb to fame on layer studio tracks simply have easier access to better tech.

  83. Mickey on May 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    While I can’t say I’ve seen LP live (sigh), I have seen Muse, who (in my books) are unbeatable at live concerts. Unbelievable show.
    I think they are a great example of not only very great album & live music, but great live entertainment to back it up.

    I hope one day to see LP live and say the same thing!
    Nice piece Mike.

  84. Sarah A. on May 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Yeah that does happen alot on stage doesn’t it? The performer just can’t deliver and everyone gets all disappointed, also alot of people barely even sing any more. I mean they do sing, but when the chorus comes on they just stop and dance while a computer does all the work. Ever notice that with pop stars??

  85. MsDee on May 6, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Wow! What an excellent piece of writing! Mike, is it ok if I print this article for my students for our argumentative essay writing lesson? I think the 16 year olds can relate to this better than some boring topic we teachers like to give them hah! The students still get surprised when they find out that their teacher’s favourite band is Linkin Park! This will up my cool factor even further heh…..

  86. Sarah McDougall on May 6, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I immediately thought of Ke$ha when I read this.

  87. Gokul Mohan on May 6, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Hey Mike, i totally agree with what your saying cause the videos that me and my mates share on f/book are those where the performer(s) skill stands out i.e. some live band for e.g. where we can clearly see that the guitarist is pulling off a solo for instance. Here in the UK, the ‘dubstep’ scene is becoming ‘HUGE’ and i can’t help but think of these artists as performers in virtual instruments cause rather than sampling, they seem to create different sounds and make them sound ground-breaking. At a Dubstep gig, i believe that seeing a performer juggling various laptops and module set-ups can be regarded as a performance? maybe this is the future of a ‘live performance’?

  88. kathyara on May 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    nossa !!! nΓ£o pensei que fosse um processo tΓ£o complexo e complicado ..para a galera (nΓ³s ) chega tudo no ponto ,nΓ£o fazemos a minima ideia de quanto trabalho. mais adimiro todo trabalho ,simples ou complicado ,mas sendo de boa qualidade …claro’ (brasil)

    our! I did not think it was a process so complex and complicated .. for the guys (us) everything arrives at the point, do not do the slightest idea of how much work. I admire any more work, simple or complicated, but being good … of course ‘

  89. d on May 6, 2010 at 2:51 pm


  90. Jeovanni Nembhard on May 6, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    How do you guys do it?.That’s my question to you Mr.Shinoda how does the recording procees go and the same for live performances?.

  91. linkinparkbelgiummanager on May 6, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I write and pruduce music without have the talent to play live what I make.
    But… I don’t even have a band. It’s really difficult to find bandmembers…
    I mean, not only band members are enough: place were we cna make hard noise + truck… For traveling to places where we can perform.

  92. Ruben91lp on May 6, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    When you’re recording a song, do you already think about how to play it live? If so, does it have any influences on the song?
    For example: HHH can’t be performed live the way it sounds on the album, because of the ‘amen-chorus’, wich is written to be performed by a choir.
    On the other hand: sometimes your studio versions are being extended (bleed it out) or played differently (pushing me away). Is that because it fits better in the live show, or do you regret you didn’t have it on the album like that? By the way, my english is not that great, so if I sound like I’m criticizing (im not), I apologize.

  93. unleaver on May 6, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    everybody wanna sing, everybody wanna rap

  94. dolly on May 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    THAT happens with JUSTIN BIEBER , I love his CD , in the album sounds great , but then I see him singing Live but he sounds …he makes mistakes, and he REALIZES what he is doing…I donΒ΄t know if his fans realized how he sings , I love LP cuz sounds great live, not like other artists…β™ͺβ™«β™ͺβ™«, other LP fans said me that if I like him i HAVE to like all he does. Mike I was right … thanx 4 saying this…

  95. Veronika Oskera on May 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    I agree Mike

  96. LP on May 6, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I agree Mike there are too many artists out there that don’t think like you do, but they should. It’s not enough to sound or seem good on a CD or on paper, you gotta be someone that’ll sound good either way, and that could appeal to fans for being more than a muscian, but as a person. Which is what you guys do all the time. You sound awesome live, and on your CD’s, after almost a decade since you started, and you’re getting better every day. Also, true fans know you guys more than just as artists, they get a piece of your not-so-musical side when you do chats and stuff like this. I love you Mike!!

  97. Aud on May 6, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I agree 100%! It’s so disappointing hearing awful live music from great recording artists, and realizing they’re not actually great musicians.

  98. Fatima on May 6, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    so true, mike! thank u!

  99. LPMichelle on May 6, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Well put Mike!

  100. Maria on May 6, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    well put. my most “favorite” bands are the ones that i’ve heard live. of course i love all kinds of bands and genres of music, but its the one’s i’ve heard live and ENJOYED that sticks with me more than the rest.

  101. casey mynatt on May 6, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I agree with u mike. There 2 be more recording arists out there.

  102. Parker on May 6, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Good point.
    It’s really difficult to find a “real band/artist” these days. That’s why I admire and support artists who wisely use technology while making music.
    I don’t enjoy too electronic sounds. I find it to be fake.

  103. todraw on May 6, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Wow Mike, thx for this contentful post, i fully agree with the stuff u’re telling and I also noticed that several times that some bands sounds cool on the CD but u listen them live u kinda think…. WTF?
    For my own i prefer a band who’s a good performe then one who’s only good in studio….

  104. TheGlueLpFan on May 6, 2010 at 11:14 am

    When I listen to a new band first of all I listen to their album recordings and usually afterwards I find a live performance to listen to.To me being a good artist involves not only recording skills but performing skills too.Even I can record myself and then add cool effects to my voice and fix all the mistakes.That is probably why I get really annoyed/dissapointed when I find out that the band that I really liked can’t even play their songs right.Although I have some respect for them for not using playback or something.My point is-some bands have it-the talent,the skills,the amazing live performance.Cause it proves that you have it not only in the studioThis is why you are my favorite band

  105. Dennis on May 6, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I couldn’t agree more, so well stated Mr. Shinoda πŸ™‚

  106. Jake on May 6, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Overall, I certainly agree. However, there have always been studio musicians… those guys who laid down a killer solo on the album, but didn’t tour. Steely Dan comes to mind. Even in the 60s and 70s, they were a studio band who had to figure out how to do those things live.

    Speaking of Coachella, I assume some bands that you may have been discussing are Muse and the Gorillaz. The first an example of rocking the hell out beyond all comprehension and the other showing how what sounds great in your headphones doesn’t always work on stage.

  107. Alexandra Nofi on May 6, 2010 at 10:42 am

    From one writer to another, I’d just like to say that you have excellent journalism skills. I suck at writing articles, severely I might add, so, you just totally owned me, who has been story-telling most of my life. Hats off to you πŸ˜€

    Sometimes I truly hate how similar you and I are, because that sounds like something I would say, and I have little to add to it. I have used recording software for fun, and I wasn’t that thrilled with it. It’s okay to use, but, it takes away the artistic aspect of music. This is what people sometimes forget or don’t understand: Music, is art. I’m going to post about this on my blog:

  108. KATHYxx on May 6, 2010 at 10:42 am

    This is a manifestation of Sturgeon’s Law in musical form (and it also sounds like a self-critique lol). This really applies to any and all artistic areas.

    But you know what, since the barrier of entry has lessened, more types of people can participate in the world of music, not just the folks well off enough to afford instruments and time. I really think this is a case that the world constantly changes, and that there isn’t a “shoulda been this way” or “that way”. In any case, an artist has hurdles to overcome, and they have to change with the times or “sink like a stone”, as Bob Dylan put it.

  109. pranshu rana on May 6, 2010 at 10:40 am

    hey that’s why your band is ma favorite , u guys makes realistic songs and also understand what is life all about , many of people gets success without doing any effort, they don’t understand what is real happiness of success,after all “”those who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try nothing and succeed”” i love u guys.. and have a request please also perform in india , i want to see your live performance,plz.

  110. Tina on May 6, 2010 at 10:36 am

    You’re totally right!I’m just a freetime musician,but I love,what I’m doing and I hate the new hype of using autotune in almost every song.Many artists even use it live,cause of the techn. conditions.I think it’s really sad that most listeners couldn’t even tell whether the music is played live or not and that is absurd!Sure,using computers and the internet is a great posiibility,but I can remember times,when we practised only short parts of a song a million times.And you can really feel that you’re improving….

  111. EpicLinkinPark on May 6, 2010 at 10:25 am

    THANK YOU MIKE! I seriously needed to hear this from you because Iv’e been asking this myself about the songs I write and was wondering what the music business was like and thank you for your helpful tips and story on how you guys started. This has helped alot and Thank you for posting this. Hope all is well Mike. :]

  112. ana on May 6, 2010 at 10:23 am

    woah mike! thanks a bunch for this!

    Im currently in a band and we will hit the studio next month and WE NEVER PLAYED OUR SONGS LIVE…Im definately gonna tell the guys about what you have said on your blog…

    but the difference is: we dont use any software, we are just playing all the stuff WE CAN play live… can you give us tips on how to behave in a studio`?

    – ana

  113. DAMLA on May 6, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I’m totally agree with you Mike. Thanks for that true words πŸ™‚

  114. connie on May 6, 2010 at 10:04 am

    yea mike i know what you mean!! i went to bamboozle last weekend and kesha was there. i didn’t go to see her but i did pass by the stage where she was performing and it was terrible.they can blame the sound people all the want but i think that chick just can’t sing!!!!.same for a few other bands but most of them were awsome as expected!!

  115. Olla Chaz on May 6, 2010 at 10:04 am

    I’m so happy that you shared what you had in mind. It’s rare to see Mike Shinoda ‘spilled’ his thought like that πŸ™‚ So, thank you so much for sharing and also thanks a lot for always inspiring me. Keep writing, keep doing what you’re doing, you have no idea how much influence you’ve given me and other people in the world. Thanks, Mr. Shinoda.

  116. Alexander on May 6, 2010 at 9:58 am

    So true, so true, i wont say any more because i think enough allready have been said about agreeing with you πŸ˜›

  117. Jesus on May 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Says the man who can’t sing No Roads Lef… Just kidding, I know it’s a lot of effort for you and that’s cool, you guys rock and don’t need to play only certain songs to do a good show, the more variation the better!. Actually what you say it’s very true, and I think it’s a fact that is getting bigger and bigger, and will continue to, sadly. There’s a magic that was before in music that is gone during live shows… that’s very true Mike.

  118. Linnea (NikaroDLinnea) on May 6, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Really true. Good that you posted that. Those people with Auto Tune for example is really awkward to see.

  119. RV on May 6, 2010 at 9:50 am

    [[Beautiful words Mike….just beautiful :D]]

  120. Valery on May 6, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I agree with you=)

  121. rockermeg on May 6, 2010 at 9:48 am

    That is a great point and I totally agree.
    I’ve actually given up my dream of being a musician when I’m older, just because it’s almost impossible to do it the way I wanted; the way you described. I don’t want to be just another artist on the internet – I want to play shows and meet the fans (if I get any). I love performing on stage, I think it’s a real art and a lot of fun. But now no-one is performing, so there aren’t many venue owners in need of acts because they recognise that it’s all just on the web. You can even record in your bedroom and stream straight to the internet. That’s not performing.
    I do love production, and I’m now aiming for that


  122. Mayra Lorenzo on May 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

    My hat off to you sir. I have NEVER been disappointed by LP, nor Green Day, Kaiser Chiefs, Silversun…, and about another handful of bands. Its crazy how kids nowadays want to record first w/o knowing whether or not they can obtain a following. Aside from nonsensical songs now on mainstream there’s no life in many other artists to bring @ their shows. Francis Mark (drummer of From Autumn to Ashes) said it best “When did the music turn into a beauty pageant?” I think that’s what they go for now ; looks, girls, and deff forget the real reason for being on stage: PERFORMING!
    Again, well said Mike and I β™₯ LP. See you guys soon~

  123. kelly on May 6, 2010 at 9:42 am

    kay i need to see you guys live again, twice wasn’t enough LOL.
    thanks for the good read mike

  124. JOSEFINE LOUISE BECK on May 6, 2010 at 9:38 am

    haha i agree with you !! i have really wanted too say that in a very VERY long time!! thats awesome MS …amazing making some more hope for the not that good one stage peeps…

    kh: jose

  125. Sunrise_Ashes on May 6, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I’m glad you pointed this out. The reason I go to concerts is to the hear the band live, not to hear “album perfection”. If I wanted that, I’d stay at home and listen to the tracks. When I go to the concert, I want to the “live” sound. I can’t tell you what that is exactly, something to do with the atmosphere and the connection with the crowd. I’ve only been to three concerts (Linkin Park at Milton Keynes, Nickelback at Birmingham, and Dead By Sunrise in London) but each performance had a connection.

    As for the climbing your way up, I think that’s essential for an artist or band, and it gives them experience, which makes for better music. It’s sad to see that is being lost.

  126. murry on May 6, 2010 at 9:36 am

    This is very true. And I think that’s why I’m finding myself drawn more and more to older music and more raw indie stuff. Not Indie in that pretentious way, but, indie in the way that an alt. country punk band is indie, because no label would touch them. There’s a special energy to a band like The Old 97s, who played hundreds of bars before they ever got to a real studio. Too, I think there’s a difference in the sound of the recording when a band isn’t accustomed to performing together. You listen to a modern punk rock band and then listen to The Clash, and the energy is so obviously different, even on record.

  127. Nemesis101 on May 6, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I totally agree with you….no band of the current generation can perform live !!!!! I’ve not attended your concert…..well..that’s probably because…u’ve never come to Dubai or India !!!!(I’m an indian living in Dubai)…..But…i have both your live cds !!!! LP sounds awesome live !!! although chester’s aggressiveness has gone down considerably..compared to before!!!!I’ve seen almost all your available Live shows on youtube…and well….you guys are awesome !!! although…u guys should really try out more set design’s !!! Muse is amazing live….they also sound the same !!!
    Btw…..can we have some new details on the new album???? its been a long time since u updated us !

  128. Jules on May 6, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I agree with you Mike. The other thing is you do need a front(person) who has stage presence…I’m English and Oasis played a gig 2 miles from my house, didn’t like them but hey it’s live music and other bands were also playing. They were totally awful…sound quality excellent, it sounded just like the album but I go to a gig to see something as well as hear and I want to see a performance. if I wanted to listen to album quality I would stay at home. Your shows are superb ( still playing the bootleg from London O2! Billie Joe is a great performer and showman, Jared Leto, The Prodigy, Gorillaz, Street Drum Corps – music is awesome and in addition, where are they and what are they doing?

  129. Michele on May 6, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Mike I couldn’t agree more. So many times I have been into a band and see them live and immediately go home and remove them from my Zune, I don’t feel I should spend my hard earned money on bands that cannot hold their own outside of the studio., I get that a band will not sound exactly the same live, but when it goes from Amazing to below average then you have a problem. On the other hand I have been blown away by live shows and that makes me want to go out and buy the actual CD’s and attend their concerts ect.

  130. EvoOba_ on May 6, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I totally agree with you on this one. I actually went to see a local band (whose members happened to be graduent-students of my school) live but I was shocked when they came on stage. The record sounded so awesome but apparently they couldn’t give that awesome sound live. The vocalist couldn’t keep up with the melody and the drums sounded just way too off :/ I’m no expert in music but I think I can understand when a band is actually a true band that cares about its sound.

    I wonder if it’s the same with art. I mean someone may have the average equipment and the right skills/knowledge to draw but some just cant get it right or cant even make a straight line :/

  131. chris banisch on May 6, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Mikw Shinoda…. that was probably the greatest music speaches I have ever heard, you guys inspire me so much! Its such a pleasure to be a fan of you guys!

  132. menacemvc30 on May 6, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Well thought out discussion, Mike. That’s what I admire so much about you guys. I’m never disappointed at a live concert because I know that you guys will bring the energy each time. When I feel that chill, that vibe through me the same way I do when I listen to the album, I know that you guys are legit about your performance. And I think a lot of us fans can feel the dedication that is put into the live show the same way it’s put into the album. You are so right about everything. It’s disappointing when you don’t have that same feeling from a album in a live performance. You start to question the artist.

  133. Aarchana on May 6, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Originality also counts, especially in performances.

  134. touchouch on May 6, 2010 at 9:09 am

    My friend finished recording his 6th full length album. In the past, he’s been signed with small indie labels to a major label(Epic) and even self-released a couple albums on his own. With this upcoming album, he’s decided to pitch it at his next show in a few weeks with numerous labels attending. I’m so nervous for him. But he’ll be signed no doubt about it.

  135. pepper on May 6, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I agree Mike, I’m an audio production student myself, but the only reason I’m even in this to begin with is for live sound!!! It’s the concert experience and atmosphere that seduced me, things you hear and feel that you just can’t get off a recording. The live performance is such a vital part of getting a real, loyal fan base. There’s nothing so disappointing as going to the concert of an artist you admire and realizing all the magic is in the mixing and there’s nothing left for stage. We need to redefine performance and frontmen to what they used to be, incredible because of their music and the amazing and energetic performance everyone gives on the stage. You can’t cut corners IRL.

  136. Kolby on May 6, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I think the music industry has reached a point where the ability to create a solid recording is just as much a part of the artform as performing the music live. However, you’re right – there’s no substitute to driving out to a venue, setting your equipment up, and playing a few songs with your band, all together at the same time. For people who are used to just sitting in front of a computer with unlimited room for errors, that’s an uncomfortable situation to be in the first time.

  137. Lonnie Clark on May 6, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Been saying these exact words for years now. Glad to know somebody with your stature believes the same thing.

  138. Linkin_Theorist on May 6, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I agree with you on 100 per cent Mike. You’re so right.

  139. Sean Smith on May 6, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Mike – I am a college student in Michigan working to become an audio engineer and producer. I know exactly what you mean. My favorite thing about my job is when a band comes in, and knows how to play it, and can do it for me on the spot. I like to record that. Sure sometimes, extra layers here and there are great for the overall enhancement of a certain song, but musicians should be musicians I think if they plan on taking to the road. I always say, (for vocalists) if you can’t pull it off live, don’t record it. One band that is really good at capturing the live sound is Silent Lapse. Can you tell me if you like them Mike, they are from a small town here.

  140. Molls on May 6, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Well stated Mike!

  141. Aditya_the_warrior_within on May 6, 2010 at 8:56 am

    nice discussion ! will definetly pinder upon this and give my views later on.
    For now, what makes Linkin Park the best is live performance is better than the studio albums. Very few have that magic, just rare like till now only the movies of The Lord Of The Rings beats the book which is astoundishing

  142. Farkenstain on May 6, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I’m agree with you, Mike! πŸ˜€

  143. PR on May 6, 2010 at 8:48 am

    I say it is more luck than anything else.
    and obvious ability

  144. rena on May 6, 2010 at 8:44 am

    i agree with u mike

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