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

“Station To Station” Art Train

August 26, 2013

 

September 6th to the 28th, created by artist Doug Aitken.  This train runs between New York and San Francisco.  From TheVerge.com:

“At each of nine stops, a core group of artists will be joined by performers both famous and unknown: Beck, Cat Power, Giorgio Moroder, and more are all set to appear at points across the country. In Chicago, five yurts will separate Union Station into a series of galleries; in Winslow, Arizona, artist Ed Ruscha will make cactus omelets.”

mike

THE PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT: Making shoes out of recycled plastic

August 11, 2013

In the spirit of SRS Haiti, check The People’s Movement.  Their story is above.  Thanks to Aaron Levant for the heads up.

mike

A Visit with Publish Brand

June 14, 2013

Publish Image

This week, I had a short visit with a new friend, Michael Huynh of Publish Brand Apparel.  He’s a smart and intense dude who built a company from the ground up.  His dad was a shoe cobbler with some experience in clothing, and never wanted his son to be in the apparel business, since he saw it as tough, low-paying, and service-based.  Michael’s dad wanted him to be a lawyer or doctor.  So Michael hid the idea of Publish from his dad.

The idea of Michael’s company came from his infatuation with a specific moment in the creative process: the moment when something becomes “real.”  For many, like myself, the buildup of time and energy behind a creative passion can be all-consuming to the maker, but there is often a sense of disconnection.  When you’re making something creative–an album, a book, or a clothing line, for example–countless hours may go into a project, over a long span of time.  During that time, it’s hard for other people to understand or appreciate the sweat and stress of making it work, the frustration of hitting dead ends and getting it wrong, and the overwhelming joy of getting it right.  Your parents and friends will ask, “how is it going?” but there’s really no answer you can give them that will help them understand.

Really, you’re working toward the moment when you get “published”–the moment when you finally get to show everyone what you’ve been up to.  Only then can they truly feel the effort that went into it, and begin to understand.

That feeling is one that I understand intimately, and it’s the feeling that Michael’s company was built on. He told me a great story about it: when Michael finally got his own space, his own office and warehouse, he didn’t even invite his dad to his opening party, for fear that his Dad would be disappointed in the small office.  Then, in the middle of the party, he felt a familiar hand on his shoulder…his father had crashed the party to see what his son was up to.

Michael was embarrassed and anxious as he showed his dad around the place.  But in the end, his dad gave him some of his most important encouragement.  And today, Michael is in the middle of a breakthrough in “publishing” his brand right now, finally turning heads with his creations.  In particular, their hats are kinda blowing up.

Unfortunately, as we were  hanging out and talking, I didn’t think to take any photos.  But if I had, I would have taken a picture of the craziest thing I found at their warehouse: the guy hand-making Publish’s popular hats is Michael’s own dad.

In a day and age where everything is computerized and streamlined, it’s often easy for fans to forget or question that there’s a human being on the creation side of the equation.  So sometimes it’s the human touch that makes the biggest difference.

As Michael says, “Today for Tomorrow.”

 

mike

The way we think about charity is dead wrong. (Video)

April 22, 2013

Today, Linkin Park won Rock The Earth’s “Planet Defender Award” (Wall Street Journal Article here).  For some reason I was reminded of this great TED video.

Is it wrong for a charity to make money?  Do the smartest people avoid working for charities?  Is it bad for a charity to advertise?  Is there a climate of risk-aversion in the non-profit world?  Why do we have no problem with companies putting trillions in their personal pockets from selling throwaway toys, clothes, sneakers, trashy movies, violent video games, cigarettes, alcohol, and so many other things…but it’s somehow not acceptable for a charity to make money?

If we’re talking about protecting the planet, or healing and educating people, I would prefer the job go to a team based on talent and great ideas, not based on lowest cost.  Watch the video, and I think you’ll find a new perspective on the important task of making the world better.

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

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

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

If you have a phone or like connecting with other people, watch this.

February 26, 2013
mike