Rapper/Keyboardist/Guitarist Mike Shinoda, member of the hugely popular Linkin Park, takes a moment out from his tour to sit down with Shira Lazar and discuss the band’s interactive music video and upcoming projects.
Mike tells us that Linkin Park’s new album, Living Things, as well as the single, “Lost in the Echo,” are more personal, in contrast to the previous release, which was a concept record. “So we figured we’d try something extra personal with the video…when viewers watch, it’s Facebook connected, so it’s basically pulling them and their friends and family into the video,” Mike says.
While the band was a bit late to the Twitter craze, Facebook has long been a strong platform for them in terms of engagement, as their page currently has almost 45 million Likes and almost a half million people talking!
Bouncing off of our first round of fan questions, it’s evident that Mike has an artist’s soul. “I grew up painting and drawing,” he says. “That’s actually what I thought I would be doing for a living right now, but the music thing kind of took off.” Mike still stretches those muscles, however, by helping to design album art for Linkin Park.
Speaking of musical inspirations, Mike says he grew up listening to hip-hop and, amazingly enough, most of the artists he enjoyed — Beastie Boys, Run DMC, LL Cool J — were produced by Rick Rubin, who he now works with today. “That actually made me really nervous the first time we worked with Rick,” Mike laughs. “Of my top 10 favorite albums, he’s probably produced more than half of them.”
Mike goes on to praise Rubin’s experience with and appreciation for a range of different genres, which proved a massive help when Linkin Park was trying to solidify their unique and hybrid sound.
Rounding back to creating the band’s brand new, Facebook-based music video, Mike says, “It takes risks like that to do something new,” but next time he’d like to expand the next visual project to more social sites in order to reach a broader fanbase.