How do we give you what you want?

June 20, 2011

“Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.”
-Mark Twain

In our band, there are many moments that help define–to us and you–who we are as a group.  With each of those moments, we weigh a myriad of factors–how we felt about it, what the fans’ reactions were, how it affected the band in broad or specific terms.  Is this music interesting?  Should we curse on that song?  Should we tour with this band?  Should we put our song in that movie?

Each time we enter a new phase of the band, we rely on our own sense of what we like, and mix it with the opinions of people whose opinions we trust and value.

This is one of those times.

At the link below, you’ll find a list of questions.  It only takes a few moments to fill out.  But by doing so, you could–quite literally–be helping define the future of Linkin Park.  Let us know who you are and what you want.  As an added bonus, one person will receive an autographed A THOUSAND SUNS box set.

Thank you.  Click here:

http://bit.ly/kRJNAN

mike

Playing Your Music On LP Radio

June 12, 2011

OK, it took a while to listen through all the great submissions in response to my earlier post about adding your music on LP Radio.  Thanks for all the amazing submissions.  I had three favorites, in no particular order…

OMNISCIENT FEAT. SKAM 2

If you’re going to mix rap and rock, you have to do something a little extra to catch my attention.  This track by Omniscient & Skam2 has it.

Listen to the track here:
http://www.okayplayer.com/news/Audio-Omniscient-To-Be-A-Legend-feat.-Skam2-.html

or download it here:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/hllpn95py81cupp/Omniscient-To_Be_A_Legend_feat_Skam2.mp3

JORGEN LANDE

Another great song was posted by Duragon; his friend Jorgen’s “Pieces Of Me (For Mini)” is here:
http://www.nrk.no/urort/Laat/352530/default.aspx#top

MISSING SHIPS

One of my favorites was Missing Ships “Forget Me, Forgive Me.”  I’m definitely putting this track on our station.  Here’s what it sounds like.  By the way, the image above is their mixtape / album, which can be found here.

Thanks again to everyone who took time to post about their music.  You’ll be hearing these and more on our radio station.

mike

How to Get Attention The Right Way

June 6, 2011

Yesterday at the show, a group of fans tracked Chester down.  After a quick exchange, they handed him an iPod Touch, and said, “We’re in a band called Beta State, and we’d be honored if you guys would check out our music.”

They handed him their demo on an iPod.

After the show, Chester told us what had happened, and showed Phoenix and me the iPod.  In Phoenix’s words, “at this point, it almost doesn’t even matter what their band sounds like–they obviously get it.”  Their album, art, and four professional-looking videos were all on the iPod, which was customized for the viewing and listening experience.  When we first turned it on, there was a personal note, addressed to me (see video above).

If you’re going to try to get noticed, you’ve got to be able to put yourself in the shoes of the person you want to get noticed by.  You have to think to yourself, “How often do they get asked questions like the one I’m asking?  How do I make myself stand out?  How I do put my best foot forward?”  Beta State knows the value of a standout connection.  We’ve received demos on similar devices before, but it’s never been so thorough and so thoughtfully put together as this one.

You may say, “I want to promote my band, but I can’t afford to give away iPods.”  Exactly.  Any thoughtful person who receives this gift will recognize the effort and sacrifice that potentially comes with it.  This iPod was obviously used, but clearly, Beta State can’t do this for everybody.  If they wanted to hand me an iPod, how many chances would they get to do that?

They chose a single connection that mattered to them, and they made a huge effort.

And I realize that, as I’m telling this story, there will be people out there who are inclined to copy this band’s move, and try to give us iPods with their music on them.  If you do that, you’re missing the point, and we won’t accept them.  It’s about being the first one to get it right.

Have a thoughtful presentation, put in the effort, and you can get people’s attention.  And as Phoenix said, it almost doesn’t matter what your band sounds like.

But lucky for Beta State, this is what it sounds like:

Go here to check out more of their music, videos, photos, and info: http://betastatemusic.com/Beta_State_v2.2/Home.html

mike

I want to play your music on LP radio

May 29, 2011

I’m planning some more additions to our LP radio station on IHeartRadio, and wondered if there are any great tracks by YOU that I should play. Post ONE link below (in the comments), and I’ll check them out. If I like what I hear, I’ll add it to the playlist.

One more thing: don’t spam…I’ll be a lot less likely to play your music.

http://iheartradio.com/cc-common/widget/streaming.swf?wid=7558

EDIT: Sorry I wasn’t clear…I don’t actually need any music recommendations from bands we’ve all heard of.  I’m looking for your demos–your music–to feature on the station.  Thanks!

mike

New Linkin Park Radio!

May 23, 2011

I recently updated our Linkin Park radio station, and did some talkin’ with Jensen Karp (voice of the Hype Men podcast and owner of Gallery 1988).  He got me to call some Linkin Park fans on the phone, with the intention of getting them to:

1.) talk trash about us,
2.) demand what our next album should sound like, and
3.) find out who we should kick out of the band.

Go here to listen — http://iheartradio.com/cc-common/widget/streaming.swf?wid=7558

mike

LPU Announcement

April 27, 2011

We’ve been promising some new LPU news for a while.  With all the Transformers news, MFR events, video shooting, and studio sessions going on, it’s been tough to make it happen.

It looks like that announcement is finally on its way.  Look for an email by the end of next week.  Don’t get your hopes up, though.  It’s probably nothing very special or interesting.

In other news, if you haven’t seen the photos of Phoenix’s trip to Haiti, check them out HERE.  Talk to you soon.

mike

For Superfans Only

April 6, 2011

My band and I have some very dedicated fans out there (big thank you).  I’m going to be upfront about this post: it’s asking for you to do work, and it’s only for the super-fans.  If that’s not you, skip this one.

mike

Fans “Thank You” Video

November 11, 2010

Big shout out to all the fans who attended The Summit today (and yesterday), and to the amazing people at LPAssociation who made this video possible.  We saw it, and we appreciate it!

From the LPA notes under the video:
Many of us can remember how we discovered Linkin Park. To many fans, the initial experience of listening to “Hybrid Theory” from start to finish would prove to be life altering, and would steer many lives in completely unexpected directions. “Hybrid Theory” can fondly be looked back upon as a soundtrack to many of our lives in the early twenty-first century. For some, listening to the album would bring them back from the brink of despair, while others would meet lifelong friends and companions through shared love of the same band and its music.

This video is our way of giving back to the band that has changed our lives in such a positive way, and who have given us the strength to make it through.

Created via the use of over 100 submissions sent over a two week period by fans from over 20 different countries, this video slide-show is a heartfelt look into the impact Linkin Park’s music has had on all of our lives.

On behalf of the entire Linkin Park fan community, LPAssociation.com, the LPU, the LPMB and the Linkin Park street team, we would like to express our deepest thanks and gratitude to the band for the life-changing music they have given us, and for their unwavering dedication to their fans.

Here’s to another 10 years.

Thanks Mike, Chester, Brad, Rob, Phoenix and Joe!

-LPA Staff (Derek, Joe, Keaton, Todd, Louis, Andrea, Mark and Luke)

mike

New: My Own Radio Station, Rehearsals, and Anteaters

October 1, 2010

The other day I got a chance to record a station for IHeartRadio. It’s an online station where we (Chester and I) get to play whatever we want; we host the show ourselves.  The best part was that I got really tired of just hearing myself talk, so I started messing around, calling people and bothering them, and even playing some rare Linkin Park tracks (and I think one Fort Minor one).  It’s going to go up some time in October.  (I asked some of you to send questions and stories via Twitter; thanks for your help making the show interesting.)

In the days between then and now, I’ve been rehearsing with those other five guys to put a show together.  We leave for tour in four days.  We’re hitting a few places in South America, A bunch of dates in Europe, and a bunch of dates in Australia  (What’s up PERTH and ADELAIDE).  Ready for a little bit of this:

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