Pointless Dicks: @CHVRCHES, Laziness, and Cowards.

July 1, 2014

As we released THE HUNTING PARTY, I spoke on various occasions about the inspiration of the album.  Part of the answer is that the album is a response to a surplus of danceable, safe, indie-pop music that’s taken over “rock”.  A year ago, we knew the indie-pop thing was a style that our band is capable of making.  But we were not interested in pursuing it.  Why?  Because there is a LOT of it out there.  It seemed far more exciting for us to go against the grain.

In interviews like this one and this one I plainly explained that, although I enjoy listening to bands like Haim, CHVRCHES, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, M83, and Phoenix, I felt like the genre as a whole was suffering from a surplus of bands in that vein–bands that, in many cases, came after the ones I mentioned.  And I made it abundantly clear that my comment was not a dig:

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 5.03.02 PM

But in spite of all that, in an interview recently, the band CHVRCHES was asked to respond to the comment…kinda.  They were asked to respond to a version of the comment that was not consistent with what I actually said.  Now, to be clear, it’s a journalist’s tendency (if not their main objective) to sensationalize this kind of commentary, and make a fight where there is none.  Let’s not let them have that.

I learned a new term this year: “click bait.”  Click bait is when someone titles a piece in a sensationalized way in order to get more clicks.  It’s what I did with the title of this post.

There’s a lot I could pick apart about the CHVRCHES interview; after all, the group’s singer criticized me for “saying something that would become a tagline”…by saying something that became a tagline.  (Also notable: the journalist printed the title “pointless dick” but the actual words were “pointless dig”).  But really, my criticism is not with them or any of those bands.  I said their names because I was telling the story of how our album began: not because I hate that style music, but because I hate the volume of it.  In contrast, one way of looking at it is: the bands I named are the only ones I singled out as being on my “awesome” list (albeit, there are others who are awesome, and there are yet others who are “not awesome”, but that’s neither here nor there).

Lazy journalists will simplify words and start conflicts they don’t have to fight in.  Cowardly bloggers will take sides based on what other blogs think is cool.  In contrast, THE HUNTING PARTY is a statement about who we are and what inspires us right now.  It’s a stab out into an unknown.  Our fight is with conformity, stagnation, inspiration, and even our own band’s complex history.  And a big thank you goes out to CHVRCHES and all the bands whose names I’ve mentioned, for helping us find direction with this album.  Because sometimes, knowing where you don’t want to go is all the direction you need.




  1. orlandathenew on December 30, 2014 at 1:05 am

    Still it looks like they have no other problems than sensationalize things and put a bad energie in it, to give a bad taste or their own dissatisfaction over their unproffessionell work (caused by bad s.. or a dispute with whom ever…god, i know, i´m late with my comment, but it´s all really new for me and it took me yet 6mth to arrive for leaving my comment (´cause today is the birthday of my -still no name- blog, that I found thanks mike´s blogs support.

  2. xerosam on September 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Have you seen that Video they postet back then?
    That three ours? What the hell are they trying to to? Getting more attention?

  3. dirtytrick23 on August 5, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Media Misleader, the only thing comes to my mind. Unfortunately I feel it’s getting worse everyday. Cheesy what I am about to say but I’ll stay by your side you guys whatever happens.

    I’ll see your concert for the 1st time in MTL next 26 aug. with my brother! Finallly Thank you you guys 🙂

    Cheers from Mtl.

  4. Alexandra Nofi on July 27, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    I think when what you say is taken out of context, it’s appropriate to say “Hey, that ain’t what I said”. But sometimes I think you get far too bent out of shape about it. That doesn’t mean I don’t rant on my own blog, because believe me, I do. And last night for example, I actually ranted on my blog about The Hunting Party, but that’s an opinion I won’t share with you, because I know it’ll hurt your feelings. But that’s my point, some stupid interviewer who wants to instigate shouldn’t upset you. When people do dumb things like that, it doesn’t even surprise me anymore. This is the statement I live by: “Everyone is stupid until proven otherwise.”

  5. benjaminsgroundlesspath on July 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I love the way Mike has always used the rap-lines as a “delayed attack” just like he said in the song Wastelands, to be honest i loved the new album and i know Mike and the band members are doing their best on creating new music. At the end of this post when Mike wrote “sometimes, knowing where you don’t want to go is all the direction you need.” just reminded me of his nature as a liberal just like the topics he raps about, thanks Mike for these awsome verses you’re truly a pure musician i hope one day i can create things as great as yours.

  6. penneysound on July 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    have you considered that the reason there are no more “carnivores” might be because the hard rock sound just isn’t very good? this album felt like a mid-life crisis. it was a big artistic miss. the kind of noise that you yourself previously called frat rock. it was a huge disappointment. i wonder if you guys are in a creative slump again.

  7. ellzworth on July 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    This article reminds me of the track “GET ME GONE” from Fort Minor’s “The Rising Tied”

    “After that I made it a rule, I only do e-mail responses to print interviews
    Because these people love to put a twist to your words, to infer that you said something f#*king absurd…”

    This is a perfect example of this. Glad you’re speaking out Mike. Hopefully more people will see this.

  8. jkp777 on July 7, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Hey Mike! I know this has nothing to do with your article but hear me out. You need to do a collaboration with Eminem! It would no doubt be one of the biggest songs of the year. There’s so many similarities between Chester and Eminem’s drug abuse in the past and the song could be about that. It would be really powerful. I would love an EP or full album with Linkin Park + Eminem together. It would be a dream come true. You always say that you like to go different directions with albums…Well teaming up with Eminem would be the most shocking of all. I know you collaborated with Jay Z but Eminem is a different animal. Make it happen Mike! Loved THP btw! Fort Minor + Em would be awesome too.

  9. chrismammoth117 on July 6, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    It must be both a recurring and frustrating event to have lazy, spineless journalists continually screw around with what you’ve said. Then again, it reminds me of your Fort Minor track “Get Me Gone”, so I’m pretty sure that you’re used to it.

    I hope this isn’t a stupid question, but while you’ve stated that The Hunting Party is an excursion into the unknown, does it connect to previous Linkin Park albums in any way?

  10. thegrandkaidbz on July 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    CHVRCHES = Everything wrong with the music industry. They are corporate “disney commercial music”. Their intent in writing music is to be played on the radio. They make music that sells and generates money. The members of CHVRCHES are not musicians, they are entrepreneurs. They don’t write music for themselves or their fans. They write music for their bank accounts.

  11. maldito1981 on July 6, 2014 at 11:20 am

    i used to be a huge, huge LP fan. but the last album with any real direction or artistic vision behind it was ATS. although this is just my opinion, i feel that so many would agree. you ‘like’ these groups, but you know that’s not the sound you wanted to follow. that is understandable, mike. however, the hunting party and living things.. well, i found them quite BORING. all the songs sound the same, the video’s are lame, etc. lp may be ‘doing their own thing’,but you and your band fail to stand out from these groups you did not want to replicate. no matter how many records/tickets you sell mike, you have lost that mysterious and driving force behind the music you make. take care

  12. Gatsie on July 4, 2014 at 3:01 am

    It’s quite silly and awkward when your favorite musician misunderstands what you are trying to say, isn’t it? And it’s even more silly and awkward when others use that misunderstanding for their advantage. But you know what? In the end it doesn’t really matter 😛 The Hunting Party is like a breath of fresh air in an era where almost everything starts to sound the same 🙂

  13. aravind221 on July 3, 2014 at 10:22 am

    this album goes out to the kids who inspire your music and who want to make the new HYBIRD THEORY of the future era ! and GORILLA BISCUITS is a band ! sounds interesting mike 🙂

  14. YoMarques on July 2, 2014 at 9:14 am

    I think you were pretty clear when saying that there was too much of this type of music out there, so you were looking to do something you guys felt like was missing on the music scene, to try to fill a void. Saying there’s too much of one thing doesn’t mean you hate it, or you wouldn’t be listening to these bands in the first place. I’m actually quite interested in journalism as a profession, so it frustrates me when comments are changed to make it look like people said something completely different.

  15. Esther Lopez on July 2, 2014 at 8:35 am

    For this reason I gave up to work as a journalist. I believe that for to write fiction you only need a piece of paper and your imagination and not to manipulate or to change the real words of the people whom you interviewed.
    About your last album, I am afraid it is not my cup of tea. I always loved the concept of your band from the beginning, that mix of styles and music but to me, most of the songs of The Hunting Party do not show me nothing new. They remember me a lot, to some songs of Mago de Oz (a spanish rock-folk band) so I am sorry but I cannot connect with it. I suppose that I miss more rap with that amazing vocal chords that you know how to do guys. Until the next one 🙂 PeaceLove

  16. Esther Lopez on July 2, 2014 at 8:24 am

    I am quite disconnected of the music world in these days but I think Mr Shinoda it would be great if you have posted a link of where we can find all that crappy sensationalism. It is for curiosity and for to can check all the contrast of the real facts or manipulative interviews. However, I can confess that one of the first things that professors of journalism taught me in college it is to manipulate the audience and the interviewee. As you said, get the words of somebody out of context it is good for the business of to sell newspapers and it does not matter for which kind of news (yellow press, pink press…-It is fun say it with colors) it is the interview…

  17. NephthysPhoenix on July 2, 2014 at 4:32 am

    Also, last comment (I had to go to work) I was going to give you some bands that you might like that are popping up around lately in the music industry.

    Blessthefall, Gemini Syndrome, Glamour of the Kill, Nothing More, and Evans Blues. They are awesome :)! Also, take a look into Escape the Fate (Craig Mabbit not Ronnie Radke), Pierce the Veil, and Sleeping with Sirens. They aren’t my favorite bands, but they make some music that I could listen to every day in the car without getting bored.

  18. christinahu84 on July 2, 2014 at 4:09 am

    What we need are better journalists! That goes for all kinds of news, not just music and entertainment. There are only very few ones who do a decent job. That´s by the way the reason we just had a huge crowdfunding project for independent journalism in Germany. And in addition to that people need to start putting more value on their own opinion instead of following the masses and the path of least resistance. Do your own thing, live your life like you want to and if you offend some people on the way then so be it. Just don´t do it on purpose and don´t make excuses for you or anyone else.

  19. christinahu84 on July 2, 2014 at 4:03 am

    People have a tendency to follow the path with the least resistance. That being said, always choosing the path of the most resistance because you want to make a difference might lead you in the wrong direction. In the case of The Hunting Party I feel like you are taking too much time to explain yourself for doing something Linkin Park wanted to do. Being open towards a confrontation is one thing, seeking one is another and while I agree that music has changed a lot over the years (and not for the better)letting journalists force you into a position where you feel like you have to defend yourself will only make them more eager to twist your words.

  20. NephthysPhoenix on July 2, 2014 at 3:26 am

    I couldn’t fit this all in 700 characters. Anyways, I’ll still support you and LP no matter what, and I am glad The Hunting Party is out there; but I have a question. Does the album feel forced out of you guys due to the fact y’all solely made this album based on today’s music scene? I am remotely curious. Have a nice Wednesday :)!

  21. NephthysPhoenix on July 2, 2014 at 3:24 am

    Is the last line suppose to be sarcasm? If so that wasn’t very nice, and if not then still wasn’t nice. People are going to make the type of music they want to make. I’ve read in plenty of articles where you keep talking about how basically rock is becoming too “happy.” Last time I checked there is no rule where rock has to be 100% “emo.” Let people make what they want and move on. Yes, the media sucks, and paraphrasing what you said and make it look bad, but this isn’t also the only article where you repeatedly said what I said above. However, I do agree that better journalism is needed out there. Sorry if this offends you Mike, but it’s just my opinion. .

  22. lachyrich on July 2, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Disappointing that the media looks to spark whatever fire they can, with disregard for the lines inbetween everything they publish and say. End of the day, inference and implication are nasty bedfellows.

  23. Kate-KE on July 1, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    That’s the journalists’ job nowadays – create conflicts where they’re not supposed to be. But the point is that it was not only the journalist telling them this story, but the band already heard that and they already thought about it: that you “hated” their music. That’s kind of like people don’t understanding what they are reading about in the interviews, they see what they want to see, and they see you criticizing them. They read about a guy from a big band saying that he don’t like the music of these small bands that he’ve mentioned, and not about a guy who was inspired by these bands. That’s actually a great example of the failure of the media.

  24. splatsomething on July 1, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    I read your post multiple times & I don’t think it’s fair to squarely blame “lazy journalist & cowardly bloggers” for how they interrupt what was said. Maybe your intention wasn’t to dig at those bands but by naming those bands, you perpetuate the stupid industry labeling of them into a certain genre. I doubt those bands’ objective was to be a mainstream “indie pop” band. By prefacing that you love their music but then turning around & saying thanks for inspiring us not to be like you…it’s not hard to interpret it as a backhanded comment, even though that wasn’t your intention. I get your point but I think you’re missing why they rightfully could be offended.

  25. evooba on July 1, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    First and foremost, it is YOUR opinion about music nowadays and they should respect it whether they agree or not. Secondly, they didn’t understand what you meant with your comments and obviously paraphrased your words, for their best interest, and came bashing straight at you; lame. But I guess that’s how journalism works… they create a fuzz where there isn’t one and shouldn’t be one. You couldn’t be more clear about this topic to be honest. Their bad they misunderstood it.

  26. Leigh on July 1, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Thanks for specifying ‘lazy’ journalists. As a journalist (gasp!) in the entertainment industry, I find it frustrating to always be typecast as the scum of the earth, out to screw artists over for an explosive byline, because of what SOME do.
    I chose this career path because I genuinely love talking with other creative people, it inspires me to interact with artists of all kinds and share their stories, and I love writing.
    I’m not interested in being a flash in the pan and burning bridges for the sake of a ‘scoop’, I’m interested in career longevity and being able to have meaningful, genuine conversations with people I admire. So are many, MANY others.
    I also think THP is superb.

  27. bananagabbana on July 1, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    journalism at its FINEST.

  28. anthonymaroon on July 1, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    As someone who’s dabbled a bit in journalism, sensational misquotes like this are my number one pet peeve in that world. The original interview was FIFTEEN minutes long and titled according to that one unfounded question. My take on the original quote was essentially a statement that these bands are great, but Linkin Park is choosing not to further populate that genre.

    I’m also unsure why “I’m a huge Linkin Park fan” is a punchline; granted, that was instigated by the journalist. Take A Thousand Suns and The Hunting Party side by side, for example, and you have two very different, very successful albums–one artistically, one technically. You guys keep doing what you’re doing.

  29. kitten0830 on July 1, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    If I am not mistaken I had seen that in a video of what your true words you actually said. The media has serious issues.

  30. Braffschein on July 1, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    AND to be honest, thanks for clearing up how you feel about all those bands. To tell you the truth, I was kinda confused after I read that article for Pigeons&Planes. I was like, but sir you have these all over your playlists??? So I needed that particular paragraph you posted here. Misunderstanding sucks!

  31. Braffschein on July 1, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I guess the other problem similar to this is the way you pronounce things, the sense you put into them, and the way they end up in the interviews may be different, not on purpose, just because the structure of a sentence became different. It gets worse with translation into other languages. I guess we can only trust what we hear you speak. Then it’s only personal, people will interpret what you’ve said in various ways, ha.

  32. kathyxx on July 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Another vocabulary word: “quote mining” which means to take a partial quote out of context to misrepresent its intended meaning. Just like what’s about to happen to the title of this post. Beware of elepsises.

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