The Number One, Twitter Responses, and a New Linkin Park Video Game.

July 8, 2012

I wanted to take a moment to respond to a couple things online that caught my eye. These responses seemed worth more time than a tweet, so I collected them for answers here.

1.) First off, thanks to the fans for making LIVING THINGS #1 in the U.S. this week. Billboard says that LP now holds the record for the most consecutive #1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart since the year 2000. A surprising bit of trivia, though: the five albums are Meteora, Collision Course, Minutes To Midnight, A Thousand Suns, and LIVING THINGS…Hybrid Theory, although it did stay in the Billboard Top 100 for over 100 weeks, peaked at #2, and never made it to #1.



June 27, 2012

A few weeks ago, I challenged the fans to hold off listening to the album until release day. I had suggested the fans create their own listening party, and share with us on Twitter. As it turns out, one group of fans scheduled a big online “listening party”, celebrating the release in the U.S. I decided to join them.

I’ve never seen anything like it. The sheer volume of activity and excitement was astounding. I’m writing to share some of that excitement with those of you who weren’t there.

We all hit play, together, worldwide, around 1pm PST. As the album played, people shared reactions in words, photos, and videos. LIVING THINGS was a top-two trending topic on Twitter worldwide for about an hour. People were freaking out. I re-tweeted some of the comments, and added some of my own thoughts. I also favorite-ed many of the things people were saying and the pictures they put up. There was so much going on; my Twitter feed was impossible to follow. After it was done, many people listened to it again. Others stayed on just to chat.

I can’t really recreate any of the actual magic of the day, but luckily, I don’t have to.

Here are a few snippets:

To get a real sense of how it went down, check out this stuff people said:!/m_shinoda/favorites

…and my own Twitter feed:!/m_shinoda


Living Things Is Here; Twitter Release Day Listening w/ Me, Tomorrow at 1pm

June 25, 2012


(image courtesy of @Moniics)

Our 5th studio album, LIVING THINGS, comes out in the U.S. tomorrow.  Elsewhere in the world, it has already arrived.  We just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who is listening, however you’re doing it.  For those who took the Release Day Challenge, we salute you.

Tomorrow, I will be doing a Twitter release day listening party at 1pm PST.  At that time, we’re all going to hit “play” and listen together, worldwide.  Feel free to upload photos and and videos before and during, to show how you got the album, how you’re listening, and who’s there.  Special thanks to @AdieK84 and for helping pick the time and getting people organized.  Find me on Twitter here: @m_shinoda

Thanks again, and enjoy LIVING THINGS


PS: tonight, theaters across the US are showing “Linkin Park Live In Berlin” for one-night-only.  Find a theater near you here:





June 6, 2012

Imagine opening your birthday presents by yourself, alone.  Imagine having no one to look in the eye, sharing the excitement of each new thing.

Now imagine opening those presents, surrounded by the people you love.  There’s something better about sharing an exciting moment with other people.

Growing up, when one of my favorite bands released a new album, it was an event.  I used to leave school at lunchtime with my friends to drive to the store and buy it.  We would rip open the packages and put one in, and listen to it together, eating lunch in the car.  We would shout over the music, rewind our favorite parts, play songs over.  It recently occurred to me how sad it is that so much of that experience has been lost.  Albums leak, release dates are spread out over the course of weeks, and often, people hear an album alone, on pathetic computer speakers.  True, they tweet, text, and chat about it, but the magic isn’t as magical.

Our new album LIVING THINGS comes out in the US on June 26. It hits the shelves in a number of other countries on June 22.  And it’s no secret that the album will likely leak a week or two prior. We want to issue a challenge to our fans: make the LIVING THINGS release date a special event for yourself.

When the album leaks, ignore it.

You’ll only have to wait a few days.  Then, at midnight of the release date in your country, listen to the album from front to back.  If you can, listen to it with friends.  Have a party.  Drive somewhere.  Enjoy yourself.  If you decide to download the album leak rather than purchase the album, fine.  This challenge still applies to you.  This is not about downloading, it’s about deciding to have more fun.

However you get the album, document the day. Take photos of you buying the album and putting the CD in your car, downloading it and listening to it on your iPod, streaming it and playing it on your stereo.  Tweet your photos to us @linkinpark with the hashtag #LIVINGTHINGSRELEASEDAY.  We’ll retweet our favorites.

We want LIVING THINGS release day to be as special for you as it will be for us.  Challenge yourself to hold out, and we’ll all share in the excitement together.  For the record, I’ll be celebrating on the 26th, so if you want to celebrate with me, come find me on Twitter.



#LinkinParkScavengerHunt: Final Wrap-Up

May 30, 2012

This is the continuation of an earlier post here.  It is the second half of the Linkin Park Scavenger Hunt story, a worldwide event over the course of the past few weeks. Written by

Puzzle #4 (Continued) – May 15, 2012 – Chicago, IL

The second half of the Linkin Park Scavenger Hunt began where we left off in Chicago, where a clue awaited us at the aptly-titled Lincoln Park Zoo. Linkin Park fans were instructed to visit the zoo’s Gateway Pavilion during regular business hours on May 15th to collect the next piece of the puzzle. Back on message boards and the Twittersphere, LP fans eagerly anticipated new developments upon the opening of the zoo at 10am local time. Thirty minutes went by without any news. Then an hour. Then two. The community soon became restless and started questioning whether we had overlooked something along the way. No longer able to contain their intrigue or excitement, fans from across the world began inundating the zoo with phone calls asking about the hunt.

Eventually, a fan by the name of Justin Sohn (@JustinSohn1) arrived at the front desk of the Gateway Pavilion and received an envelope containing a Brazilian soccer jersey. On the inside of the jersey was a message written in Portuguese:


Almost There: Final Steps of the #LinkinParkScavengerHunt

May 23, 2012


The finish line of the LINKIN PARK SCAVENGER HUNT is finally upon us.

I’ll be calling in to BBC’s Zane Lowe, to talk about the end of the puzzle, the journey on which it has taken us, and premiering a brand new track from LIVING THINGS.  Check in with me on Twitter for updates and other info.

But keep in mind: we’ve still got a surprise or two up our sleeve.

Stay tuned.

Check out LPA’s coverage of the hunt HERE.


The Story of The Linkin Park Scavenger Hunt So Far

May 14, 2012

As many of you know, Linkin Park is currently hosting a worldwide scavenger hunt in anticipation of the new album.  In the short week since it began, the fans have already made this one of the most exciting album release events we’ve ever hosted. We haven’t disclosed what is waiting for them at the end of it all, but we’re all enjoying the trip there.  I asked the fans at LPAssociation to give us a wrap-up of the events so far, and here’s what they had to say:

If one thing has remained constant about Linkin Park throughout their evolution as a band, it’s that they know how to put on a show for their fans, whether it be on the stage or off. With the upcoming release of their fifth studio album LIVING THINGS, the band has topped themselves once again with an interactive campaign involving cryptic messages, code cracking, puzzle solving and treasure hunting. The activities have sparked much intrigue throughout the LP community over the last two months, as dedicated fans across the world have come together to speculate and debate about the band’s next moves. Where we’re going, nobody knows, but we’re excited to be along for the journey.

With last week’s announcement of a real-world scavenger hunt, the band has once again stepped out of the box to engage their fan-base. It is the first time a Linkin Park album hype campaign has taken place outside the cyberworld, instead playing out in the backyards of some of the world’s largest cities. The fervor at which the LP fan community has embraced this campaign is a testament to the band’s worldwide presence and influence, and its scale and complexity makes this Linkin Park’s most ambitious endeavor yet.

The journey began with an ambiguous tweet from Mike Shinoda on May 6th , which ignited much excitement among fans across social media and message boards. Two days later, the Linkin Park Scavenger Hunt was officially underway.  The first clue was announced by Mike via Viddy. This would be the starting point for an ongoing campaign that would take Linkin Park fans on a journey around the world, and it all began Down Under…


Monday News: Burn It Down, Release Dates, The Album, and a Toolbox.

April 15, 2012

Monday is almost here.

Early Monday morning, our new single BURN IT DOWN will be released. The LIVING THINGS album pre-sale will begin. You’ll see the album cover, the track listing, and hear about some new tour plans. My bandmates and I are very excited for this week.

Many of you know our story up until this point. We built the band upon the idea of fusing all our favorite styles of music–as different as they might be–into one, signature sound. Our first two albums were the result of a lot of hard work, perseverance, smarts, and luck, to build a toolbox that would provide us with what we needed to make the best songs we could at the time.

Success came at a pivotal time in an industry that was about to take a nosedive, and we were able to establish ourselves before things changed drastically. Hybrid Theory became the best-selling album of the year, worldwide. After Meteora‘s success, we realized that we needed to step back and think about our future, in order to have one. We decided we had to had to veer away from the main thing upon which our success was built: the music.

When I tried to explain this pivotal moment to a friend of mine, he had a hard time understanding. He said, “It’s like you invented the Big Mac or the iPod, then decided not to sell it anymore. Why the hell would you do that?”

Trying to explain how personal and artistic choices factor in for a band like ours is difficult. As we finished up “A Thousand Suns” in 2010, I found myself having to try to do it often, in interviews and to myself. Before we even finished the songs, each guy in my band knew it was a polarizing and challenging album, one that people would probably love or hate. I suppose that it didn’t really matter if it made sense to anyone but us — for a while, we had to steer as far away from the early sound of Linkin Park as possible, or else we would be trapped making the exact same music over and over until we had to call it quits.

Thinking back: as we wrote Minutes To Midnight and A Thousand Suns, I would sometimes bring in demos that sounded like something from the first two albums. Those demos were always met with a negative reaction by my bandmates, and I tended to agree. I loved the journey toward a new, unknown sound. With each experiment, we discovered new ways to make songs, and we filled our toolbox with tons of new tools. With each song, we tried both cutting-edge and classic gear; we started with radically different seeds; and we approached the vocals with a virtual blindfold on. And, about a year ago, I realized that our toolbox was virtually overflowing with great tools.

But we were avoiding something.

In the early part of our career, we were inexperienced. We made decisions on all fronts that some of us regret (some times a little, some times a lot). And some decisions (like my fire-engine red hair back in the day) were things that I don’t really regret, but I simply wouldn’t do today. All those things spun together to create a complicated uneasiness about the past that the band wasn’t able to come to terms with for a while.

Luckily, I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Over the course of the last year, the subject kept popping up, and we talked about how to tastefully bridge the gap between all the musical places we’ve been, to marry together all the ideas we’ve accumulated about how to make a song. And as LIVING THINGS began taking shape, the most powerful shift I saw take place was the acceptance and eagerness to use all the tools in the toolbox, not just some. Everything at once, together.

Some people have already compared our new album to the early ones. I suppose it depends on how you want to make that comparison (by the way, it’s certainly not about guitars). For me, it’s all about getting back to the real “hybrid theory” — not the album with that name, but the idea that the six guys in our band have drastically different tastes in music, and the blending of all those sounds into one is exactly what we built our band upon.


The single BURN IT DOWN and the album LIVING THINGS (presale) will be available tomorrow.