Thanks, Germany

March 23, 2013

Joe and I just got back from Germany, where we went to the Echo Awards (the German Grammys), and did a bunch of press for our upcoming Facebook video game, called RECHARGE.  Good to see our friends and team out there, and great to hang with the awesome Til Schweiger, who has been a great supporter of LP.

I tried a little German on stage, which was fun.  I don’t actually speak German, but people tell me that, for those who speak English, German is one of the “easier” languages to learn because there are a lot of similarities in sentence structure, etc.  I’m not so sure about that…I had to practice the hell out of that speech in order to make it sound anything like German.

For those interested in our upcoming game, it’s called RECHARGE.  It’s still in development, and we’re making improvements all the time.  But we hope to have it ready by the middle of the year, maybe late summer.  It all depends on how the testing goes, and how long it takes to handle all the challenges and changes presented in testing.  A big thank you to everyone who is testing the game and telling us what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s not working.

In other news, how dope is that new Schoolboy Q song?

mike

My Chapter for Jono Bacon’s ART OF COMMUNITY Second Edition

July 3, 2012

A while back, the amazing Chris Anderson (Wired, TED) introduced me to a guy named Jono Bacon.  With Chris recommending we speak, and with a name like that, there was no way I could forget this guy.  Jono is the author of a fantastic book called The Art Of Community.  The book is about growing, empowering, and leading communities to success, both online and in the world.

As it turned out, he was writing the second edition of the book, and asked me for an interview for one of his chapters.  I gladly obliged.

Now, the new book is out (with my interview chapter) and you can check it out here on Amazon: LINK

Jono also notes: “While the book is available to buy in bookstores it is also licensed under a Creative Commons license — I have believed that if you don’t have $40 to your name but want to improve your community, you should have access to the information. People can download it from the website at http://www.artofcommunityonline.org/ too.

So: either get it for free, or purchase it and support Jono if you can.  Either way, please help Jono and me out by spreading the word.

Thanks,

mike

Short Update: Secret Show, Smodcast, and OP-1

August 8, 2011

Busy busy.  Other than my occasional post from Instagram, things have been pretty busy and pretty random over here.

I recently did a podcast with my friend Jensen, who has a show on Kevin Smith’s “Smodcast” network.  It’s here.  If you want to know what’s up with Spotify, America, Kreayshawn, humble brags, and sax solos, then you have to check it out.

In other news, we’re challenging everyone to go to secretshowforjapan.com and donate to MFR / Save The Children to help kids affected by the situation in Japan.  The contest isn’t secret, but the location of the show is–and I think it’s the smallest venue we’ve played in half a decade, maybe more.  Anyone able to raise $500 will receive 2 tickets to the show.  There are special prizes for the top fundraisers, as well.  Just go to the website and start a fundraising page.

Other than that, I’m still writing.  I got a new keyboard, the OP-1 by Teenage Engineering.  Check it out:

mike

Huffington Post: Linkin Park One of 10 Bands shaping the Post-Nirvana Era

March 26, 2011

Thanks to everyone who has been supporting Download To Donate by donating and spreading the word.  I’ve been doing interviews this week; they’re starting to go live, like these: HERE and HERE.

Also in the news this week, the Huffington Post called Linkin Park one of the “10 bands shaping the Post-Nirvana Era.”  Also on the list: Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, and The White Stripes among others.  See the list and article here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-pollack/10-bands-shaping-the-post_b_838771.html

By the way…keep working on those “Issho Ni” tracks.  I want to hear some singing / rapping over it…

mike

Matt Pinfield is awesome.

March 19, 2011

Matt Pinfield is a human wikipedia of music history and information.  Very few people I can think of know their stuff better than this guy.  I grew up watching him on MTV, and getting schooled by him as a viewer. I used to wonder if he’s just well-prepped by a staff or something, but a few interviews with him reassured me that he is exactly as sharp as he seems.

Now, every time we see him to do an interview, I look forward to it.  I feel confident that the questions are going to be smart and well-researched, and it’s going to dip into some topics that most interviewers don’t know enough to ask about.  Because the dude knows his stuff, and he shows artists the respect of knowing about them well before he sits down with them.

That said, it’s awesome that he’ll be returning to 120 Minutes on MTV.  Good call, guys.  Matt is one way to put the “M” back in MTV.

http://newsroom.mtv.com/2011/03/17/120-minutes-mtv-matt-pinfield/

mike

Good Press.

February 25, 2011

A few new reviews and press pieces:

 

“They are still the kings of the hybrid, and they only get better at it with each album, song, and performance…Their gig at The Staples Center further solidified them as one of the most important rock bands of all time.”  Article here: http://www.artistdirect.com/entertainment-news/article/live-review-linkin-park-the-staples-center-los-angeles/8718527

“All the star singers have influence and power…I went to Haiti (after the earthquake), and we were mobilized, but this is not enough. We made a (relief fundraising) video and put it on our website and YouTube, and it was visited by 6,000 people. Then this band, Linkin Park, incorporated this video into their music, and it was visited by 6 million people.” -UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, from the Variety piece here: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118032787?refCatId=16

 

“A Linkin Park concert is a communal experience that borders on spiritual, with a stage steaming as if perched atop the entrance to hell, and a bass line powerful enough to restart your heart, should it become overwhelmed at any point during the show.” Article here: http://www.neontommy.com/news/2011/02/linkin-park-rocks-staples-center-what-we-re-all-about

 

“They’re kind of like the hard rock equivalent of a Swiss Army knife, a multipurpose thingamabob with lots of different edges, defined primarily by versatility, capable of opening wounds as well as helping mend them.” Article here: http://www.lvrj.com/neon/linkin-park-shines-with-diverse-sound-116576403.html

mike

Come geek out in the studio.

December 23, 2010

A great article about A Thousand Suns came out recently in EQ Magazine.  It’s more of a tech-focused piece, so those of you who are into music gear can feel free to get into full-on nerd mode with me.

But for those who aren’t as music-gear-savvy, here’s an excerpt that you might enjoy:

“With the exception of Bennington’s trademark guttural screams, any resemblance to the rap rock genre they helped define has been rinsed out. Intensity and ferocious introspection are still the endgame, but the path has changed. And when that path is lined with more than 50 million album sales, two Grammys, and nine Number One singles on the Billboard Alternative Chart, throwing the rule book out the window takes more than a simple leap of faith.”

Check out the whole article here:
http://www.eqmag.com/article/linkin-park-/December-2010/123281

mike

Haters and Believers: A Thousand Suns Album Release

September 27, 2010

Hey guys.  I’ve been getting some questions regaring my thoughts about the album release, so I thought that I’d try to address some of them.

To start, a quick review: about a year and a half ago, we made a conscious decision to take our music in a new direction.  Once the music started flowing, it became a modern, alternative sound–an abstract, concept-driven, 50-minute journey.  We predicted the album release would be incendiary; the new direction would be welcomed by some, and fervently resisted by others.  Now, with that album out in stores, it seems that you guys are curious about our intentions behind the music, and our reactions to the noise being made about A Thousand Suns.

Let’s get the simple part out of the way.  To the fans who like the new album: a million thanks for your support.  There are some of you that have been with us for a long time, and are thrilled about the new sound; there are others who weren’t sure of the new album at first, but have given it a chance, and are now reaping its rewards.  And there are others who have never been fans of Linkin Park, but are interested in the band for the first time with A Thousand Suns.  We’re happy to have all of you on board, and we appreciate your good words and rave reviews.

A friend of mine told me a story from his childhood: when he was a little kid, his dad, who never had any facial hair, left for a trip and came home with a beard.  His son took one look at him and ran away, demanding, “what happened to my real dad?”

So let’s talk about “haters.”

We’ll ignore the fact that there are people out there who would review and rate an album without really listening to it, who might preview some of the tracks and throw down an opinion (although I think the music stores and websites should keep the right to “rate it” limited strictly to those who have bought and listened to something).  I don’t need to tell you that the internet can breed negativity-for-negativity’s-sake.  So let’s skip that nonsense, and talk only about the people who were already Linkin Park fans, but listened to the new album and didn’t like it.  As I write this, one of the most popular iTunes (US) reviews of A Thousand Suns is by Janxrod, who gives the album one star and asks “What happened to the real Linkin Park?”  In response to this review, one knee-jerk reaction I found seems to be an assumption that people who dislike ATS simply love heavy metal and hate alternative / electronic music.  But, in their defense, many of the “one-star reviewers” are not brainless cynics who talk shit because they’re bored.

I’m a curious guy, so I did some research about Janxrod.  Although 7/10 of his favorite albums include stuff like Disturbed, Shinedown, and Dethklok…he also likes Daft Punk.  He’s not opposed to a little variety.  So what bothers Janxrod so much about A Thousand Suns?  One reason is that, according to his page, we “write songs about how pissed off they are at their old fans, telling them to go f*** themselves.  That’s not mature, that’s just disrespectful.”

Know what?  I agree.  That’s a bad message.  The problem is: it’s not really our message.

Let’s clear it up: the other guys and I have said many things in the past, not all of it thoughtful or respectful (sorry, we’re human too).  But let it be known that we love and respect our fans of all eras.  And, just as we stand behind Hybrid Theory, we stand behind the work we put into A Thousand Suns, so we think it’ll be a rewarding listen if you decide to give it a chance (like Justin Lewis, Jeffrey Griffith, and James Montgomery did).  And, in case Janxrod decides to give the album a chance, our door will always be open.

Some will always lazily claim that a band has “gone pop” or “sold out.”  As far as I know, “selling out” means compromising the integrity of your band/music in exchange for money or popularity.  Never before has this claim been so absurd.  This is the opposite of a “sell out” album; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  If money and popularity was the goal, the safe bet would be to try to make Hybrid Theory again.  Outside our studio walls, the climate for music is different: according to Nielsen SoundScan, of the 97,751 albums released in 2009, only 12 of them sold more than one million units last year.  Everyone in the world is buying music by the song, not by the album.  So, more than ever before, to stand behind one whole 50-minute piece–asking the fan to listen to the whole thing rather than a couple songs–is unquestionably a big a request.  (Some people want to color that request as a “marketing tactic,” that we are asking people to buy the whole thing instead of a couple songs.  If that was the case, we’d be the worst marketers ever.  Clearly, a collection of “hit singles” is a better reason to buy a whole album than a concept record.)  Radio singles still sell an album.  A concept album requires a leap of faith on the listener’s part.  The whole “sell out” argument is wholly illogical.

So why did we make such a big change?  “What happened to the real Linkin Park?”  We’re still here.  We look and sound different, but the intention behind the music is the same as it has been since day one: in the studio, we are constantly in search of new sounds that excite and inspire us.

Hearing that our album debuted at #1 in 15 countries gave us all a massive feeling of gratitude, but if being in this band has taught me anything in the past decade, it’s that you can’t base your happiness on things that are out of your control.  The truth is, we’re believers that good, honest art will triumph at the end of the day.  But the measure of real success isn’t sales, numbers, and chart position.  It’s about a connection with a dedicated fan base and a chance to introduce people to a fresh new sound.

See you on tour, where we’ll be playing songs from “Hybrid Theory” through “A Thousand Suns.”  Fans of every era are welcome.

mike

LP Fans: Amazing Aggregators

September 15, 2010

Hey guys.  The album is out, and we’re workin’.  We’re performing, doing interviews, putting out content on linkinpark.com, Facebook, iTunes Ping, and all over the internet.  And while we’ve been busy with the live show and interviews, you guys have been doing an amazing job collecting it…and even making your own compilations and videos.  Check these out:

http://www.lpassociation.com/

http://lptimes.com/

http://lplive.net/

mike

MTV calls A Thousand Suns “Linkin Park’s ‘Kid A’”

September 1, 2010

“According to legend, in August of 2000, a group of clearly terrified Capitol Records executives were outfitted with headphones, loaded into a series of unmarked vans and driven down the Pacific Coast Highway, where they listened to Radiohead’s Kid A for the first time. It was an inspired — not to mention particularly apt — premiere for the album, and though the whole thing is rather apocryphal, it certainly made for nice copy at the time.

I only mention that because in August of 2010, a clearly relaxed Warner Bros. publicist sat me down in her office and allowed me one of the first listens to Linkin Park’s A Thousand Suns. There were no headphones or unmarked vans or winding, windswept vistas — budgetary cuts, one can only assume — just an iced coffee and a notepad, which was sort of a shame, because if ever there was an album that deserves the Radiohead treatment, it’s this one. Since, as you’ll probably discover in the coming weeks, A Thousand Suns is most definitely Linkin Park’s Kid A…completely different from the band’s previous efforts that it will almost certainly stand as the line of demarcation between everything that came before and everything that will come after…”

A big thank you to James Montgomery for the flattering (and ballsy) piece.  Read the whole article here: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1646930/20100831/linkin_park.jhtml

mike