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.

 

mike

In Response to “Rock Music Sucks Now and It’s Depressing”

September 9, 2013

“They say the classics never go outta style, but, they do… they do.  Somehow baby, I never thought we do too…” – Refused, on ”Worms Of The Senses/Faculties Of The Skull”

My name is Mike Shinoda; I’m a songwriter, vocalist, and founding member of the band Linkin Park, and I’m a regular visitor of Pigeons and Planes. When I read the Ernest Baker piece called “Rock Music Sucks Now and It’s Depressing,” I had a few reactions. I sent them to the folks who run the site, and they asked me to share them with you here.

(CLICK HERE FOR TO READ THE REST)

mike

RIP Chi

April 14, 2013

I just heard that Deftones bassist Chi Cheng just passed away, and wanted to share a short story with you. In the early 2000s, we went out on a European tour opening for Deftones which we jokingly called the “Endless Winter Tour” because we followed cold weather around the globe for what seemed like forever. Spirits were a bit down, because it was always freezing and we kept getting sick.

One afternoon, we had a cover photo shoot for some rock magazine, and Chester was late. We were just starting to be discovered by fans in Europe, and the photographer wasn’t familiar with our band.

As we were waiting for Chester, Chi was walking by, and in his typical warm, friendly style, stopped by to hang out and mess around with us. The photographer, seeing the new person there, and watching us together, assumed the guy must be in the band. “Okay, is everyone here?” I remember him saying.

We looked at each other, laughing, and told the photographer: “yep, this is our singer, Chester.”

We proceeded to do an entire cover photo shoot for the magazine with Chi from Deftones standing way out in front, pretending to be the singer of Linkin Park. Chi was hamming it up, doing exaggerated rock star poses. It was hysterical.

My love and deepest condolences go out to the Deftones family, and hope that fond memories like these can stick in our minds during this tough time.

RIP Chi

mike

Design For Linkin Park

April 9, 2013

We’re looking for artists, illustrators, painters, and designers. Send us your artwork inspired by the music and/or lyrics from our song “CASTLE OF GLASS.” The winner chosen by us will get a cash prize of $1000, and we’ll also print our favorite design on a t-shirt and sell it on tour and in our official merchandise store, plus send you a signed copy of the t-shirt you designed. The winner of the popular vote will get $500 and signed 1-off print of their design.

Go HERE for details. Can’t wait to see the submissions.

mike

Center Stage Winners

March 13, 2013

I would like to congratulate BarnabySaints, Gentleman HALL and Phillip Mangus Hartley for being the first Center Stage winners, a program started by The GRAMMYs® to connect aspiring musicians to Grammy-winning musicians. I was honored to be the first mentor in the Center Stage program and help select these artists. Find out more about the program at http://www.grammyamplifier.com/.

mike

New Music and Video: Watch The Duck / “Poppin Off”

October 15, 2012
mike

Sao Paulo Full Show (Video)

October 8, 2012

This link is inevitably going to be pulled down, ha! But here’s the full Sao Paulo show, as shown on MULTI SHOW, Brazil. Big crowd, lots of energy…it felt like a great show, here’s how it looked to you guys at home.

mike

Wow: Killian Martin.

September 5, 2012
mike

The Raid. With Cats. (video)

May 11, 2012
mike

Raid Soundtrack and Score

April 6, 2012

The Raid score is available for purchase at http://theraidsoundtrack.com/

mike