A Response to “Rock Music Sucks Now and It’s Depressing,” by Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda

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“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.

“The guy from Linkin Park visits this blog?” you say. Indie music purists may want to hate on this piece before I start, simply because I represent a mainstream music act which they think is at odds with their “independent” or “underground” aesthetic. If that’s you, so be it; I know your deal.

I was the same way when I was younger. I leaned toward (and still lean toward) independent, underground music. And then one day, my own band was embraced by the mainstream, and I was forced to reconcile my feelings about the situation. I remember a specific moment when the issue struck me: we were playing four to six shows a week when our song “One Step Closer” first started getting played on the radio. Up until that point, we were playing for a couple hundred people a night. Suddenly, that number doubled. Then quadrupled. And one night, I looked out from the stage and something made me think:

“Oh my God, we probably have fans who love music that I think is terrible.”

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not dissing our fans—the vast majority were (and are) cool. I was seeing people in our crowd singing along to our music, who I didn’t have anything in common with, and it made raised questions about integrity.

What does it take to balance integrity and record sales?

Integrity is subjective. Numbers are not. Today, for those of you who aren’t up on the latest of Linkin Park, we haven’t slowed down. Linkin Park is one of the biggest bands on YouTube; we’re the biggest band on Facebook, and we still headline most major rock festivals in the world when we go out on tour. We’re not a “legacy act,” riding out classic hits on tour like The Stones and Roger Waters, playing shows for nostalgic middle-aged crowd—instead, we’re constantly striving to innovate, in the studio and online with our fans. Every album we’ve released in the last 10 years has debuted at  No. 1 in at least 20 countries.

Yet, even with things still strong and growing, we’re not in the real mainstream, the Kanye-Taylor-Gaga mainstream. And we don’t really want to be, as individuals or as a band. Our fans sit in the shadows, like little sleeper cells all over the world, loyally supporting the band at every turn. Pop radio doesn’t play us, and award shows ignore us. We’re not bitter—we actually work hard to keep the delicate balance.

In Ernest Baker’s piece, here on this site, he wrote: “What’s interesting is exactly how the Rock Music Economy has collapsed over the years… It’s not that I don’t know about or listen to the awesome, great, independent, underground rock music that’s still being made and released every day. But the fact that it’s underground and not mainstream therein lies the problem. There was a time when rock had a complete, undisputed, suffocating stranglehold on the entire realm of popular culture, and that time is no more.”

I have absolutely no problem with the bands Baker cites—Fun., Vampire Weekend, and Mumford and Sons—in fact, they’ve released some of the better albums in recent years. But they’re not who I think of when I think of “rock.” Baker didn’t include huge, active artists like Linkin Park, Muse, Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Green Day, The Black Keys, Jack White, Fall Out Boy, Of Mice And Men, Nine Inch Nails, and hundreds of others. But it doesn’t matter which rock bands you’re talking about. You can make any list of popular rock bands out there right now, and you’ll find they truly have little influence, individually or together, on the zeitgeist.

Why is that?

I believe that these days, more than ever, it’s hard to start a rock band. Want to start rapping? Pull up an instrumental on YouTube, and you have a track. DJing? The software you need is either already on your laptop or it’s a few dollars and clicks away. Starting a rock band is a more complicated endeavor.

Firstly, it’s in the numbers. I believe that these days, more than ever, it’s hard to start a rock band. Want to start rapping? Pull up an instrumental on YouTube, and you have a track. DJing? The software you need is either already on your laptop or it’s a few dollars and clicks away. Starting a rock band is a more complicated endeavor.

Do the math. If you want to start a rock band, you need more than proficiency and/or exceptional talent at your instruments. You also need some kind of production or recording experience, or access to it. You need chemistry. You need a group of individuals who have are all aligned on their vision of what kind of music they want to make. You want to be The Yeah Yeah Yeahs? Rage Against The Machine? MGMT? Your band has to come to a general consensus about what “credibility” and “integrity” mean. You need to be able to write good songs together. And when you finally start making songs for anyone to hear, you’re going to need to be able to get on a stage and play them well together. And for every aspiring rock band with four people who can manage to do all these things, there are four solo DJs and rappers trying to do it too (and probably finishing many more songs, many times faster).

Rock bands are outnumbered, and that’s only half the problem. The other half lies in rock’s culture of segregation—not in the fans’ minds, but in the bands’. Behind the scenes, more than any fan would ever imagine, there’s animosity between rock bands, even if they don’t say it. I ask my friends in other bands; their story is the same. A lot of bands are afraid to align with one another on record and on tour. Maybe it’s a credibility issue, or a snobbery issue, or maybe it’s just because rock bands are loners. Whatever the case, everyone else in every popular genre gets it, and they’re reaping the benefits.  EDM, rap, pop, and even country artists are jumping from record to record because a.) it multiplies the fans’ interest, and b.) it’s fun.

This month, my band will put out a song with Steve Aoki that blends both our styles. And our next album will probably have nothing to do with the Aoki song, or even sound like our previous album. Because lastly, the other half of the problem (yes, the third half), is the most important of all.

Rock music needs to take chances and innovate. Want to compare rock’s growth to other genres? Listen to a Rick Rubin production from the ’80s—which was the epitome of hip hop production at the time—and compare it with the soundscapes and variety that Kanye West, Pharrell, Kendrick and co., A$AP Mob, Odd Future, Azealia Banks, and all the rest are using today. Listen to a track by The Prodigy or Fatboy Slim from the late ’90s, then listen to Zedd, Knife Party, Glitch Mob, Skrillex, Deadmau5, Major Lazer, Avicii, Daft Punk, and TNGHT. And ask yourself: why isn’t rock doing this? Sure, rock is evolving, but it simply doesn’t have the vibrancy it could—and ought to—have.

After all, it’s not just about moving forward, it’s about the direction in which you move. Baker’s piece wasn’t just about “rock” as a genre being less popular. Rock is very popular on a middle-level, the level that doesn’t trend worldwide on Twitter and get talked about in late night monologues. Baker makes a point that the rock music has gotten, in his words, “pussified.” Where’s the rock that’s about innovation, energy, aggression, catharsis, passion? Where’s the explosiveness of The Shape Of Punk To Come? The ferocity of Master Of Puppets? The boldness of The Downward Spiral?

A girl from Japan told me once that she was worried about men of the next generation being what they called “Soushoku Danshi,” or “Sheep Boys.” This description was invented to describe people as either “herbivores” or “carnivores,” the former group being described as soft, non-assertive, and indifferent. For me, rock music has gotten a little herbivorous.

Where are the carnivores? At the end of the day, it will never be about one song, one album, or one band. A movement requires leaders who are restless, brave, and fucking disruptive.

Where are the carnivores? At the end of the day, it will never be about one song, one album, or one band. A movement requires leaders who are restless, brave, and fucking disruptive. I’m in the studio right now. I’m looking for ways to do it myself. I hope my peers and their fans are as well, because it’s the only way we’ll be able to force Pigeons and Planes to write a post called:

“Everything But Rock Sucks Right Now and It’s Depressing.”

– M. Shinoda
twitter.com/mikeshinoda
facebook.com/mikeshinoda
instagram.com/m_shinoda
mikeshinoda.com

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Linkin Park x Steve Aoki’s “A Light That Never Comes” debuts in the new free-to-play Facebook game Recharge on September 12. Play the game at LPRecharge.com.

  • H. Drew Blackburn

    Great points. I’m a firm believer that the bay area garage rock movement is full of “leaders who are restless,brave and fucking disruptive.” However, if you’re familiar with Iggy Pop or half of the bands James Murphy name drops in “Losing My Edge” it’s nothing new. It’s done incredibly well done, but nothing new.

  • braffschein

    I honestly don’t know how I feel about this. On one hand, you’ve got a point. On the other, I think I’m pretty fucking tired of people having points about music. This whole thing is bullshit on the first place. Do you even know some people consider you pop, not rock? Just because you don’t sound like AC/DC or Metallica or w/e? What kind of rock are we even talking about here? Why on Earth does rock have to be just guitars and drums? I think it’s super dumb. How can we all possibly claim something about any kind of art, music, cinematography, etc.? It’s not something you’re supposed to understand. It’s just whether you like it or not. Bottom line.
    I am 18 and I don’t have any idea about what the situation was like in 70s or 80s, so I can’t compare and make trustworthy statements. I think pop has always been pop. You can totally spell “popular” without rock.
    But my point is, why is the discussion always so necessary? Can we all please shut up and enjoy this “less popular now” thing we really really like? Thanks.

  • io

    Still trying to get over the fact that Mike Shinoda reads Pigeons & Planes. It’s like finding out that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are friends. (I’d choose a more eloquent metaphor but my brain is in shock mode atm.)

  • TJ

    Dovetailing off your point about rock’s fear of collaboration, I’ve gotten the sense that modern rock’s artists and fans have issues surrounding (for lack of a better phrase) ideological purity. In talking to musicians and fans, I get the sense that those who like rock music think that their preferred music is the only “true” type of music, and that the Kanye’s and Gaga’s of the world aren’t real artists.

    That’s a very destructive attitude. It categorically dismisses a wide range of music (some good, some less good), and it also seems to force bands to prove their legitimacy through some musical litmus test. It’s like they have to show that they’re real artists by making what the people defining music say is art. The result? A whole lot of bland, uninteresting, forgettable music. Meanwhile pop and hip-hop are finding ways to keep themselves fresh and interesting. If something doesn’t change, and soon, I worry that rock music will just continue to devolve into a dull sameness.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/PancakeMcKennz pancakemckennz

    It’s been said many times that trends in music are cyclical. Right now, we’re kinda back in somewhat of a disco age. It’s not as gaudy, obviously, but if you give it some time, people are going to tire of the current music scene and say “we’ve got to do something about this,” and maybe start putting bands together with more fervency so to speak.

    What’s difficult is getting noticed. Though trends can be cyclical, the problem is that in this snap-judgement-everyone’s-a-critic age today, people often say “this [new band] is copying this [old band].” or “they sound too pop” or whatever. (Remember how people talked about Muse because they had a dubstep influence on one song on their recent album?)

    The longer we progress into rock’s life, the more difficult it is to be original, sound “like rock”, and be what is considered “good”, especially if you let indie credibility determine how good something is. I’m definitely not saying being innovative can’t be done; it’s just that, like Mike said, it takes a certain cohesion to get there. Stay patient and soon, you’ll get a new Linkin Park or Green Day or Blink-182. Maybe whoever’s reading this will be the big thing in rock music. When it comes down to it, it can be done–much easier these days, I’d add. Someone’s just got to do it.

  • BrunoMendes

    Mike is the fucking boss. Enough said.

  • darenmay

    Thank you, Mike, for citing examples of great rock bands Mr. Baker must have forgotten, and thus reminding everyone that rock doesn’t today suck. It isn’t as popular as it was, but it certainly isn’t dead. It just keeps on evolving and moving forward.

  • Choi Yon Neul

    Everyone goes for what’s on the radio, for what everyone listens to, a lot of people out there don’t take the time to search for something different from what’s common around them.. I think they are lazy enough not to listen to those voices that are waiting to be heard and just need to be found. Some of them don’t listen to songs that are not in their native language and it’s ok! But I think they need to give it a chance. Rock bands new, old or whatever they are, do have fans that support them, but at least in my country society associates them with vandals or simply think they are weird so they don’t share those things with other ones that aren’t part of their circle of friends.
    In my case, my sister accuses me of being crazy for listening to Linkin Park, but I don’t care, I don’t want to be what anyone wants me to be anyway.. (:

  • Lpmikey

    LP did a pretty good job of innovating rock back in the day when Hybrid Theory and Meteora were out, it was pretty much the first proper time i heard rap and rock mixed together so well, i know there were other bands at the time trying similar things such as Limp Bizkit, but i feel LP were what made the new genre then called Nu Metal, and there hasnt been anyone better since, and thats a sign of a great band, a great producer in Mike Shinoda, and im glad after reading this he hasnt changed and has some more great innovative new rock coming our way.

  • http://Twitter.com/thedanperez dan

    Shinoda’s too humble to say so, but LP is a great evolver of rock music. Think back to the 1st time you watched a music video of them.

    -LP has 2 frontmen.
    -LP is an ethnically diverse band (which believe it or not, it’s a huge risk for labels to break away from the four-white-dudes-formula).
    -LP are blending their rock songs with straight hip-hop raps.
    -LP has a DJ.

    I hope many upcoming bands will take risks like LP has. It’s the only way our beloved genre can evolve.

  • Anupam

    oh i don’t fucking care. I love LP.

  • Ayotunde Afolabi

    Well said dude. There definitely is a sub-conscious “greater than thou” mentally with a lot of “pure” rock fans. I love rock music, but as you’ve said, that approach that some take narrows the musical field of view SO much. A lot of it is the result of recycling older material & ideas without evolution or experimentation.

    Bands like LP broke a few unwritten laws and opened the doors for a lot of other rock artists who wanted to expand themselves musically to thrive. But that period seems to have died down, to the point where some can write an article called “Rock music sucks now and its depressing”, and not be completely wrong..

  • Taylor Holst

    Up until around 2009/2010, my music of choice was strictly mainstream rock. Disturbed, godsmack, metallica, slipknot, stone sour, theory of a deadman, puddle of mudd. Like straight up, Krock, cheesy mainstream shit. I owned every new single that was on the radio, and every album of my top favs. You know what happened after 2009/2010? Disturbed put out their 5th album, and it sounded almost exactly like their first. (I’m estimating here, I don’t know actual dates.) But they weren’t the only ones. Every rock band was doing it. No one was growing, changing, adapting. I had listened to that same rock for a decade and I was sick of it. I know everyone bashed linkin park for changing their style, but at least they’re still growing.

    I have the most current linkin park album. I do not have the most current album of any of the bands previously mentioned.

    You know what I listen to a lot of now? Country music. Because they’re growing. Collaborations with each other, collaborations with rap artists. Songs being put on pop radio. Taylor Swift probably started it, and even though she’s not my favorite, I cant get enough of the Florida Georgia Line/Neyo song, “Cruise.” It has taken over both country AND pop radio, because it’s NEW. And different. And spirited.

    Rock music needs to get back some of it’s spirit.

  • Aaron

    Rock consistently re-invented itself by drawing from different fringe influences of the 20th century: First it was a play on “race” (r&b) records, 30’s blues… then punk, rap, etc. But such “unknown” music doesn’t exist in the age of youtube distribution and electronic production – every sound is now known. There is no “underground” culture to steal from because via the internet everyone can access fringe culture. With today’s rock music, musicians can only recycle the 70’s and 80’s over and over again. I like MGMT, Muse, etc. but they really aren’t accessing any new underground influences like their forefathers because there aren’t any. Other than the logistics of starting a band, that’s why the genre is boring and kids are not interested.

  • http://www.mikeshinodaclan.co.nr Ana A.

    So true! The reason why so many people lose interest is because it’s the same, people get tired of listening to the same thing and radios don’t help at all they play the same thing over and over again and the real good songs, they don’t play so we’re stuck listening to the same thing constantly unless we get ourselves out of it. Sure, I was in that phase too, all I listened to was rock. Then I got tired now you wouldn’t believe the songs I listen to, I was loyally faithful to Linkin Park though, the music wasn’t consistently same. I could actually buy the CD without thinking twice and jam to it. From the last record, I love LOST IN THE ECHO but you know? I also love UNTIL IT BREAKS, those are two completely different songs but they’re on the same record! I love the variety! I love CASTLE OF GLASS but I also love SKIN TO BONE. Mr. Shinoda, please lead the rock bands, I vote you for president. Ha.

  • https://www.facebook.com/LP.lyrics.video Ghaith Al Hami

    Linkin Park the best band ever

  • Chase

    I hate to get off subject, but in my opinion country is not growing at all (I’m not including alternative country in the is argument since your primary examples are Swift and FGL). The majority of country radio is the same tired formula. Many artist and bands that use to be “country” are now venturing into other genres (Taylor’s last album was a pop album, Alan Jackson is releasing a bluegrass album, Zac Brown Band has embraced Buffet’s island themes, etc), but you tend to still here the same cliche songs on country radio. To continue to feed the fire, one of the best albums for me this year was Kasey Musgraves who in my opinion is moving the “popular country music” genre forward. Sadly, many people are off-put by her views and non-traditional lyricism. Fans of country don’t want this change and progress which is similar to some of the stubborn fans of mainstream rock. Not trying to bash the country music genre, but I do think it is in a rough spot as well.

  • Ryan Wheless

    What’s hard to take is the lack of intensity in rock. It seems like every fucking band on rock radio is playing an acoustic guitar with a synth. Where did loud ass guitars, and loud ass vocals go? When I listen to a band like Nirvana or Led Zeppelin I want to fucking throw my arms up at the pure epicness in my ears. I just don’t get that bear as much anymore. I definitely got it from Lost in the Echo on Living Things, and Arlandria from Wasting Light, but these moments are gettin further between with each day….

  • Ariel Alcazar

    I would Like to know the part where you say about herbivores and carnivores? What does it have to do with the situation that your talking about?

  • Sandra

    Mike wrote from the musician perspective, but I as a simple music listener, can agree!

    Over the last years I come to appreciate artists who are special in their own way and that are mostly unpopular bands. RADIOHEAD opened a wide door for me (thx). I became to love Post-Rock very much, also instrumental stuff and many other – for me so far unknown – genres. This nice music made me think: All the “popular” music that is played on radio is crap.

    I thought like this until I “collided” with LINKIN PARK (thx:), more precisely with A Thousand Suns. Because they are “popular” and they are awseome at the same time! Through them I learned, to not ignore music just because of the fact that it is common. You can miss a lot of good music if you close your mind!

    Well now, I still don’t like most of radio played pop music. But from time to time there is a song that grap my attention. Last one was Another Love from TOM ODELL.

  • Sacha Remling

    Utterly boring and pointless. Hard to start a rock band? Like as in hard to start a Pizza Hut? Steve Aoki? Linkin park exists in a intellectual desert. Read the letter 3 times and to me there is no point what so ever. Enjoy your success.

  • Joshua Stratton

    Rock is much more an attitude than it is a genre. Rock isn’t afraid to say “fuck you”. Rock isn’t afraid to call out our flaws as a society, in an unfiltered and raw way, without apology. Rock is often mistaken as arrogant, but its much more complicated than that. Rock is free. Rock is aggressive. Rock is revolutionary. Rock will rise again, and when it does: who knows what kind of “genre” implications it will bring with it.

  • Mike Shinoda

    Music now days sucks, in general, sad but true. I am from the 90’s and back then music were and still fresh in my ear. Good music stopped til 2009/10 maybe I’m mistaken, but that’s just my opinion. I think the main reason why music sucks is because people change. that’s the majority of it. BTW I am a big fan of Mike and Linkin Park, I am not MS.

  • Thick Red Wine

    rock is dead because of money, marketing and the internet. it doesn’t deserve to command the respect of mainstream culture. http://thickredwine.com/post/59205026199/music-marketing-for-dummies

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

    I think a lot of the “problem” the original article might be pointing to is that guitar driven rock with an edge has given way to more heavy music. Hardcore and Metal and everything inbetween is hugely popular right now, yet the radio doesn’t really want to play it. They want to play rock songs from ten to twenty years ago instead of playing what kids today want to hear. A lot of the metalcore, post-hardcore and deathcore might be considered this generation’s grunge, and closed minded boring people don’t want to accept that. They’d rather just cry about how rock music is boring. Try to keep up folks, it’s really not all that complicated.

  • Chrismtsu01

    Most people just want to listen to generic music. Whether is it country, edm, radio rock, rap, hip/hop, folk, etc…. all they really want is music in 4/4 without much variety. If you clap your hands to the beat to any song on the radio, it will either be 3/4 or 4/4 and that is extremely boring and predictable.

    IMHO, all the real rock is in the underground with metal, hardcore, and all the rock genres around them. From Envy to Cloudkicker to Hopesfall to the Chariot to Heart in Hand, there are 100’s of amazing bands out there that do not follow the normal rules for songwriting. All you have to do is open your mind a bit, don’t mind some screaming or some longer songs, and you will find all sorts of good stuff.

    And about Linkin Park, I owned their first 2 albums but they honestly all sound the same. Except for adding some emd elements here or some rap there, the songs are all very similar and follow the same structure. I still like their old stuff, but let’s not go crazy here thinking these guys are the saviors of rock b/c they are just radio rock in a different package.

  • violent3nds

    So basically he’s saying rock should become more mainstream, when that’s the exact opposite of what they’re trying to do? The rock movement is to stand out to the smaller audience, and to speak to them in a way that pop doesn’t. Rock is for the “outcasts” if you will. I disagree. Good rock music should stay underground.

  • alamrashed

    Mr. Shinoda, you are not innocent in polluting rock in the name of mockery an financial benefits as you and your band basically copied the Aerosmith approach by mainstreaming with rap. What you’re saying does not hold a candle as you may be successful and selling out concerts but today’s music is irrelevant compared to classics like Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin

  • Joshua Colby

    to start, I’m 17, and up until a year ago, i had 5 bands in my vocab (LP being number 1). but in the past year, I’ve expanded my music library as much as i can. not nearly as diverse as many of you guys/girls. I have a very strong, and lengthy opinion on what music is, and one day should be. ill shorten it down the best i ccan

    1. creativity. You might be thinking that i mean, “make something totally unheard of, totally original, and comes from no prior influence.” That is FAR from wrong, all things are influenced by something. True creativity lies in taking whats been done, and adding, adjusting, and sometimes, taking away.

    2. complexity. 3/4 and 4/4 are over done as i have been told (i am incapable of telling much difference between anything else). even though i dont see a big difference (which there most likely is), i know that just doing that, is flat and boring. you need a song that fluxes in tempo (100 bpm, to 200, and back to 100 kinda thing), and the primary layer (drums being one, vocals another) should not be the same through out. guitar, to drums, to vocal, to dj, to drum, to whatever. not drums all the way.

    3. meaning. most obvious point of meaning is the lyrics. first off, if they can be interpreted in multiple way, PERFECT. not “my boyfriend broke with me, i trashed his car” crap that t-swift so often says. pointing out flaws in society or personal lives. GREAT. but theres more than just lyrics. the insrumental is the KEY POINT OF ALL SONGS. i love instrumentals. glorious if they convey emotions.

    so, creativity, complexity, and meaning. the basis of all music should be these 3 words defined as above. regardless of genre. no other rules should apply. what makes a genre is how they go through making music, and what edge a song may or may not have. guitars (as influential as they are to rock) are actually not required. but they are among the best instruments for rock.

    A Thousand Suns is all 3 of these. LP is all three. they took whats been done (limp bizkit, and many other artists, even folk artists) added, adjusted, and took away, made it complex and meaningful. ATS has many many layers. and in each song, not one layer is the prevailing layer in the entire song.

    rock isnt lost, just weak. get artists who want it back, and teach them these 3 rules. all will be good.

  • Matthew Almont

    I thought this article was great. And I hate Linkin Park.

  • Matthew Almont

    Seems like most rock music these days is either lame acoustic music or terrible metal. Everyone just keeps copying one another instead of actually putting in effort and trying to become the next Bob Dylan or Kurt Cobain. Thank god for Jack White, Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire, and Arctic Monkeys.

  • Angie1978

    Rock does need to keep up with the times. The technology available now
    is way beyond what it was back in the 90’s. It was difficult in those
    days to find a rock band that did something “outside the box”.

    When you did find it, it was “underground” music, and when more people
    starting listening to it, SOME of the bands sound usually changed to
    suit third parties, and the music tended to become “mainstream”.
    Entering mainstream music seems to be some bands decline in my opinion.
    Some seem to play it safe in order to stay there, and that “outside the
    box” sound isn’t there anymore.

    Linkin park never seemed to do that, hats off to them.

    Rock needs to get back “outside the box”.

  • Ryan Wheless

    It’s easy to say the problem comes from a purely technical standpoint. But that is not the problem; enter sandman is in 4/4, In Bloom is in 4/4, Pride and joy is a 4/4 shuffle, money is in 3/4 and 4/4 etc… The truth is, all these songs had more charisma and soul by themselves than most albums in total today. There are two types of music- good and bad. These are good. You can put any fun. Song in 10/4 and it would still sound like shit.

  • Ryan Wheless

    To further illustrate the point, Beethoven’s 5th symphony rotated around a simple 4 note scheme. It is the most widely known piece in Western music I would argue. (I play some neoclassical guitar).

  • IvanRott

    Mike’s the man, but I’d argue that Linkin Park’s very own music has grown herbivorous – to use his own word – over the years. Tell me I’m wrong.

  • Sean D

    Linkin Park did not make Nu-Metal what it was, they helped yes, however, the likes of KoRn, Slipknot, Deftones, Bizkit, Drowning Pool etc are also massive contributors one being the creator!

  • braffschein

    I agree that some turning point happened around 2009/10. Don’t you think music influences people? Makes them change? You said a right thing, “that’s just my opinion”. Literally any opinion about music is just your opinion. Someone’s opinion is “thank God for all that happened to music in 2009/10″.
    Can we all please be honest and admit that “%something% is not what it used to be anymore and I don’t like it” argument is probably about billion years old? How is anything stated in the original article new?

    Things like “you’re not rock you lack guitar solos and your drummer is not hardcore enough” piss me off. I am definitely “pro” changes.

    Speaking of LP, I’ve been listening to them ever since the beginning and I always liked them, but they were never good enough for me to get really into them, to become a fan. I had no idea what lacked them, but then A Thousand Suns happened in 2010 and my mind was blown. THAT is Linkin Park?? Wow. Finally they made a big step.
    You might say Minutes To Midnight was different from the first two records too, and it was, but not in the same brave innovative “we’re just gonna make this music because we love it and we don’t care you don’t expect this from us” way. And I respect musicians like these more than anything in the music industry.

  • Mike Shinoda

    What a thoughtful comment; thanks for reading. I like the point about artists proving themselves against whatever the popular, current definition of “art” or “legitimate.” Not sure what I think about it yet, seems like a complex matter.

  • Gregory Keaton

    Dude has always come across as a pretty intellectual cat, but they are in the same mainstream as Taylor Swift, Kanye and Gaga – they’ve won 2 Grammys for their music and their fan base is very diverse, not sleeper cells of unique people to the genre. I think he’s drinking his own kool-aid a little to much and has convinced himself that his band is something different than it actually is at this point. LIke I said, the guy seems like a smart and genuine dude – article was well written, I just don’t believe what he’s trying to sell here.

  • braffschein

    Agreed, but I wouldn’t say “same” mainstream. Define “mainstream”. As in “half of Twitter worldwide trends are about the band and they’re played wherever you go and you hear about them like 24/7″ mainstream? – no. More like “still one of the hugest bands out there that is constantly making new music and touring all over the world for millions to see” mainstream. That, yes.

  • Mike Shinoda

    Sorry man, I’m not saying we’re not popular, we are. I’m pretty familiar with our stats, as you can imagine–we’re not on the Taylor/Kanye/Gaga level, Grammys or not (some very anti-pop music has won Grammys by the way). I just want to see more energetic + visceral music, and I want to see more bands get along.

  • Mike Shinoda

    Our most recent album is called Living Things. Please check that out, starting with VICTIMIZED and LOST IN THE ECHO. Maybe you’ll feel differently. If not, then maybe your feeling about “carnivorous” or “energetic” is different than mine. All good.

  • Gregory Keaton

    If your record label pays to have your music played on mainstream radio stations, your mainstream. It doesn’t matter if you hear about them 24/7 – if you are sponsored by major corporations to fund your tours, you are mainstream. If your music is constantly being played in commercials for the NBA, Honda, HBO promos, and movie trailers, you are mainstream. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being mainstream, there is just no grey area when it comes to the definition.

  • Tenbenson

    Linkin Park “innovative”? Please… Try Shining from Norway. Try Factory Floor from London. Or, if Mr Shinoda can’t be bothered to look further than his own nose, try Deftones from Sacramento. He might have heard of them.

  • Gregory Keaton

    I mean no disrespect yo, it’s just my opinion as a passionate student of music and as a fan of music. I give mad love to you for even replying to these posts (it says a lot about you as a person not just as an artist) – not many people at your level would interact with people in this type of forum. Music should always be visceral and energetic, and energy comes through in all genres of music whether it’s rock or folk music. I’ve always believed that musicians should make music for themselves not their fans. If they challenge themselves by pushing the boundaries of their artistic creativity and there is real emotion and passion behind it, than that’s integrity – if your fans end up liking it, than that’s an added bonus.

    There are always exceptions to the rule I agree with you, but I would like to see more of them. Linkin Park might not be my thing, but I do have respect for what you do. You have definitely made me a fan of you Mr. Shinoda.

    Keep doing what you’re doing – stay up!

    Peace=Love=Unity=Respect

  • Green

    The root of the problem is trying to label and categorize music. It’s all music. If genres weren’t so prevalent in discussions about music, bands would probably be a lot better and more eclectic. And music as a whole would be progressing quicker. No matter how much LP tries to change up their sound from album to album they still keep that abrasive sound reminiscent of Metal just to make sure that they are staying true to the “Rock and Roll” fan base and to prove that they are still in fact rock music. This is what is stifling musical innovation, not only in “rock” bands, but in all musicians who are trying to make a certain genre of music.

  • Gregory Keaton

    But in the end it doesn’t even matter (sorry, I had to) – because you’re right, it’s all music when you strip away the genre label.

  • braffschein

    Best comment so far. Thank you.

  • Tony Fields

    Surprise, motherfucker!

    Mike is one of the biggest friends of Chino, you stupid retard. And don’t even imagine that you know things on music and music business more than a man who’s there for more than 15 years. Go teach your mummy how to cook pies, looser.

  • Tony Fields

    You’re wrong.
    Listen to the first albums and compare them to the things like Burning in the Skies, Robot Boy, Roads Untraveled…
    It’s not even about parts or something like that, it’s about the emotional filling of the songs. It envolved greatly.

  • Tony Fields

    >You can miss a lot of good music if you close your mind!
    Couldn’t be said better!

  • Tony Fields

    It’s funny to see all of these people trying to slam and bash LP for they’re allegedly making the ‘wrong’ music.

    Mike, if you read that – I think the problem is that people listwen mostly to the bands and not to the music.
    I mean, they’re waiting for the same sound they’ve already heard from the each band – they want rocking from Foo Fighters, they want ARushOfBloodToTheHead-vibe from Coldplay, they want nu metal/rapcore stuff from your band, from Linkin Park.
    Damn, those people just forgot that the main thing is music and nothing more. No matter what band produce what, the result values only.

    Just stop hanging the badges on bands. Listen to fucking music, no matter what artist produced it.

  • IvanRott

    “Lost in the Echo” and “Burn It Down” have been in my workout mix playlist since the album dropped. Love those songs. The rest of the album? Not so much.

    I’ve been a fan since Hybrid Theory was released back when I was in high school. That record plus Meteora are probably in my all-time top 10 in terms of play count. Starting with Minutes to Midnight, LP’s albums have felt much less congruous (kinda like you and Chester have worked independently and mashed that together in production; the first two albums felt more… organic, I suppose; I could be way off about that, but that’s how it sounds to me, a fan). I find myself pressing “skip track” on all the albums released since Minutes to Midnight. It wasn’t like that with Hybrid Theory and Meteora.

    I guess it’d be more accurate to say that you guys are still carnivorous, just not as consistently.

    I appreciate the response. Still a fan.

  • konrad

    Massive, massive respect for you getting involved with P&P Mike. Massively underrated in the hip-hop ‘community’. Hopefully you’ll hint at FM2 eventually haha!

  • Omar Kadir

    Im going to give my opinion about Linkin Park to
    make a greater point on why music just sucks today, not just rock.
    Rock, and music in general sucks, because as a society we destroyed it
    with our greed. We’ve entered the digital download age where
    everything is illegally downloaded, record sales have declined, so
    artists are just more prone to trade their credibility and lose focus on
    who they are, the hunger they had breaking through, to create/promote
    their band which requires streamlining their sound to sell the music to
    as large as an audience as possible.

    Linkin Park is successful
    and remains that way strictly because of Hybrid Theory and Meteora.
    Please don’t kid yourself Mike. Ive listened to stuff since day 1, im
    talking everything from Xero to LPU demos. Those 2 albums were unique,
    it was a combination of feeling fresh, Chester Bennington’s vocals (his
    range is incredible), that era of the band just made noise because they
    knew who the fuck they were, rocked out in their own way, and had a
    distinct identity. Anything they’ve released after was strictly a
    technique to keep people interested, but this streamlined the band and
    made them mainstream. The band because poppier, the Transformers stuff,
    the award show performances, the Jay-Z collabo, Medal Of Honour stuff
    in music videos, etc was GREAT for the band, but it killed the integrity
    of the band.

    It was never about making better music after
    Meteora, a long term buisness decision was made after that which what
    mainstream acts do.. If it was about making better music, they should
    have pushed the Hybrid Theory/Meteora sound further and evolved it.
    Instead they deconstructed the band, streamlined it, and did what they
    had to do push the brand, because more of the same would have destroyed
    them. It was a good business decision. But terrible artistic
    decision. They didn’t have the balls to take HT/Meteora’s sound way
    further. A common misconception YOU have is that if people don’t like
    the new stuff, its because they’re obsessed with the heavy guitars,
    screaming stuff. It’s really not that. They just want that creativity
    back from you guys deep down. I mean Minutes to Midnight had a track
    like In Between because it was trying to hard to shed it’s nu-metal
    image versus making GOOD MUSIC. It’s like going to medical school,
    graduating, then deciding you want to go to law school. Its basic
    stuff, you can’t build momentum, then suddenly halt it and go a
    different direction. This is what kills so many artists. Breaking the
    Habit for example is one of my favorite songs of all-time, but they’ve
    never been able to get back to that level of creativity. And numbers
    show that. Their singles just dont chart the way it used to apart from a
    hot shot debut in the first week. I think The Catalyst and Castle of
    Glass I saw flashes of brilliance, but otherwise the band lost it’s
    edge. Im not talking about nu-metal, rap/rock edge, im just talking
    about Linkin Park that band that ever had to listen to. It turned into
    something else, and this happens to A LOT of artists and why the fan
    base disappears and is replaced by zombie fans who are into the
    streamlined stuff because they eat everything that Mike and the band has
    to say i.e. ” Living Thing is a mix of old/new” when in reality it was
    a mainsteam/poppy album that understood that electronic music is
    popular and that they needed more upbeat/live-material friendly stuff to
    create. its when artists DO this and think their fans are idiots is
    when I stop supporting them.

    This is just one example of a
    band that just sold out. Rappers, DJ’s, etc its all the same tune.
    These are the entertainers that dominate radio play and are heard
    because it’s so damn hard to break through now. As Mike said, putting
    together a rock band is tough, but now in the digital age where it’s so
    easy to get your music out there just makes it that more competitive,
    and how snobby and unsupportive bands are with one another, its just
    that much more difficult for those GREAT bands to breakthrough. Once
    bands do breakthrough, records are no longer sold on the merit of
    putting together a great record unless you make a classic. Even then to
    maintain the band’s trajectory it’s important to expand it’s audience
    but it destroys the quality of the music, so what Mike confuses as being
    innovative i.e. a collabo with Steve Aoki, I call bull $hit. Linkin
    Park does not need Steve Aoki to grow as a band! Rock music will not
    become better or return to form from these types of innovation.

    I
    think you’re a talented guy, but I think you’re success has gone to
    your head. You’re a bit out of touch with some things, biased because
    the formula works for your band strictly on a numbers standpoint, and
    just living in a bubble if you don’t think your mainstream.

    To recap:

    1)Hybrid Theory/Meteora is why people love you guys.
    2)Expanding your audience with M2M, ATS, and LT streamlined the band.
    3)
    In the past people didn’t like Linkin Park because it didn’t suit their
    taste. Now people don’t like Linkin Park because they sold out/lost credibility for making those decisions based on the buisness, not the music. I dont blame you guys it is how you make a living. A lot of artists do this, but this is why music sucks nowadays. Its not about the music anymore.

  • Omar Kadir

    Double post sorry.

  • Konrad

    If have done anything is innovated themselves as a band. What you have to understand is they like anyone, get older and develop their music taste.
    I don’t know Mike’s music taste but lets say in the 90s he loved raekwon and lyrically he would of been inspired by him but recently he digs Oddisee / Kendrick whatever and gains inspiration from them – this evolves him as an artist and LP as a band.

    Had LP kept on making the same shit sonically I would of been incredibly tired of their music and called them lazy. I wasn’t a fan of M2M, but very much enjoyed LT because Mike went back to rapping all the past experiments after Meteora seemed to pay of with a dope album.

    Let the band and musicians evolve and keep developing rather than sticking to what they know..

  • Sandra

    Nice photo :) You know what? Let those genre-drawer-heads live in their small bubbles. That’s ok. They don’t know what they are missing.

  • Marcial Brummel Jimenez

    I am not into technicalities of music. I just like the music as I hear it and feel it.
    In the Philippines, Rock Music Industry is I think in a much worse condition than what has Mike described above. I can’t even believe that Linkin Park Songs were not played in the Radios here prior to the concert. LP Songs are just played because of the concert promoters. After the concert, the radio stations are back to KPOPshits, playing all over and over again. I have nothing against the Korean Pop Music. But what I don’t understand is, why Filipinos patronize such music they don’t even understand the lyrics!!! Most of us are not Korean Language literate but they still continue listening to it! What the Hell!

    Only the pinoy Linkin Park Fans knows the current music of Linkin Park here in the Philippines. Most music lovers only knows the “In The End” , “Numb”, and “Somewhere I Belong”. And OMG, they even don’t know that the OSTs of Transformer Movies are from Linkin Park!!! BUT, Transformer Movies here are very popular! All Pinoys knows about Optimus Prime but don’t know the “New Divide”. I am very saddened by the truth that Linkin Park is not popular in the Philippines anymore.

    We don’t have a Mike Shinoda here, who is trying to elevate the rock music industry to a whole new perspective. We only have imitators and a lot of cover artists. As much as they want to bring out the original voice in them, they are just still a mere reproduction of something that has gone popular.

    I wish I could help re-invent the rock music industry… That when I play One Step Closer and Lying From You in my cubicle at the office, it will not disturb my colleagues. But again, I am not into music. I just listen to it. All I can do is to be a proud Rock Music Listener- A proud soldier of Linkin Park

  • Mike Shinoda

    Thanks man! And your point about integrity is well put, that’s how I see integrity too.

  • Rachel S

    It’s not rock music that sucks – it’s a fear of standing out from everybody else that sucks.
    In the UK, we are currently drowning in a sea of talent shows with this idea that you can gain overnight success without putting in any work or effort or having any actual talent. The participants of these shows are very rarely original, they don’t write their own material, they don’t play instruments – they are simply puppets to a massive marketing machine. Integrity doesn’t even feature any more. The music becomes a mere side-line.
    Ninety-nine percent of all auditions will typically feature someone singing either a classic ballad or mainstream pop. It’s safe, it’s predictable, it’s mind-numbing. On the rare occasions that someone does actually attempt rock, or heaven forbid, metal, they either don’t get chosen or they get voted off because they are not seen as commercially viable. Innovation, energy and passion are all crushed in favour of marketability.
    People seem to just want instant success and so they simply follow a formula which they believe will provide that success. Nobody will push the boundaries – it’s no longer permissible to take chances and innovate – which means that we end up with endless ubiquitous bands with nothing to say and yes – it is depressing.
    The talent shows need to end and the industry needs to get serious about supporting those who bring something new and original to the table.

  • tonirali

    I was born in 2000, and this generation of music that I am living right now sucks (with some exceptions). I admit it. I feel like my time was 90s and the 2000s til 2005, and I listen to band like Nirvana, Creed and Limp Bizkit. But in 2007 I started to listen my favorite band: Linkin Park. I really like them (Mike and Co.) and I know all of their songs by heart, from Rhinestone to Powerless. I hope Mike is reading this, and I’ve already went to three of their shows (Lisbon 2008 and 2012, and Portimão 2009 Portugal FTW). Just saying that because I’m from this generation, doesn’t mean that I like this generation.

  • nokeys

    Back then, it was more like Korn and Slipknot were the darker more hardcore guys while Limp Bizkit made it easily accessible, and everyone was eating. Linkin Park’s debut at the time seemed (to me just the casual passerby-er) similar at first, but then when ‘Meteora’ came out it was like someone finally approached the genre with a real artistry. While Korn/Slipknot were the hardcore rock guys, and Limp Bizkit was the popular jock, Linkin Park were the nerds who knew too much about the subject to be considered cool. In the end, as a group they came out with a superior product, and were able to change with the times (abandoning the nu-metal/rap rock label completely). I give them a lot of credit as its been proven its definitely hard to change something that 1) works for you and 2) you genuinely like. Though I haven’t been a fan of theirs since high school, I still will give them credit and respect where it is due.

  • Madhura Redij

    First of all, LP lost a lot of fans after HT/Meteora, so it’s stupid to say that the new music was a good business decision and a technique to keep people interested. Also, being an artist myself, I can tell you that it isn’t about making “better” music. Art is expression, and to an artist, it is not better or worse. That is for the audience to interpret as they will. It’s simply different, more appealing or less. Oh, and I’d say that deciding to take up law school after graduating from med school needs more balls than just expanding something that’s been tried and tested and you know is gonna be successful.
    Moving on, if you just see “flashes” of brilliance, maybe you need to take your shades off. People grow, and their art grows with them. Stop moaning for the “good ol’ days”. Grow up.

  • Omar Kadir

    Linkin Park didn’t fall off the way a lot of nu-metal artists. The record industry has declined, but they’ve continued to chart at #1 on billboard, and go on arena tours, as well as play major music festivals. If they did more of the same interest would have waned, but they reinvented themselves and broadened their audiences to keep themselves popular, but it’s streamlined their sound. There’s fundamental points you just aren’t getting here. This isn’t a “bring back the old stuff” argument. It’s not even about Linkin Park, it’s a larger point being made as to why music SUCKS these days and the reasoning for it behind the scenes that’s causing artists to lose the edge that rock music once had. The industry has changed. In that sense, I don’t want another “One Step Closer”, but at the same time I don’t want watered down LP songs that are being made for the sole intent to broaden their audiences i.e. a collabo with Steve Aoki. That’s not good music or pushing the industry in the right direction, it’s just changing the rules as Jay-Z would put it, but for the sole purpose of selling shit because the digital download age and internet has taken control from artists. Being successful as a band does NOT always mean you’re making good music.

    Don’t tell people to grow up when they state their opinions as well it’s immature.

  • Omar Kadir

    I hear you on that, and that stuff has been debated before and I get the reasoning behind that, but I’m really not talking about. I’m just talking about the fundamental point of innovation versus the purpose of putting rock music into the right direction VS selling out/streamlining/broadening their audience to sell shit. Linkin Park is doing the latter and it’s a response to the industry changing. I’m basically attacking Mike for thinking that his band is helping rock music when in reality he and a lot of mainstream acts are just part of the problem.

  • Yvon Shawn Legrand

    Totally, Linkin Park sales fell down while business men and puppets like Bieber steal people and
    annihilate theirs brains and are making their albums sales getting up and up

  • Yvon Shawn Legrand

    In reality, it is really simple to know how Mike Is right: how people can listen and give money to an horrible, disgusting and pure commercial product touting hatred and power as Robin thicke and co song s ? Ther’s not art in here, no
    ambition, no elevation in here, not at all. Whereas Bands like Deftones, The Devil Wears Prada, Architects, Payable On Death, Linkin Park …. A real message, something palpable, a real goal with no restrictions !

  • Tony Fields

    Can’t be said better, man!

  • Yvon Shawn Legrand

    In Fact, there no more musical and artistic passion in the mainstream music industry: Miley Cyrus having 23 640 420 vews on youtube the day after posting a video, Bieber having 300 000 000 vews ! What the fuck, is the hole thing about naked girls, only about physic,superficiality and futile things?

    Listen to the Upcoming Devil Wears Prada album, 8:18. this is so from the guts, croses from soul, and growing from the heart ! No genres limits. It’s only going where it goes, no matter it cost.

  • Snail

    As an avid follower of your work ethic, ideals, and philosophy, I hope that the fire has indeed been lit. From a creative standpoint, here’s to hoping that you and the rest of the group will provide the masses with a record as groundbreaking as ‘Hybrid Theory’ or ‘A Thousand Suns’.

    Goodluck, and looking forward to your future endeavors.

  • Astat

    As an independent musician who is part of the twenty-something age group that the majority of the “Kanye-Taylor-Gaga mainstream” musicians are from, I want to expand on something Mike touched on a bit: How the odds are stacked against rock bands due to the level of individualism the music industry is currently promoting.

    I’m not the type of person who hates technology. Quite the opposite, actually. I use a lot of tools in my music-making that simply didn’t exist a decade ago. However, I do think the level of integration technology has with music these days has made the “musician’s learning curve” MUCH quicker, and there’s definitely an “instant gratification” aspect to a lot of what’s out there for musicians today. It makes a lot of sense, as that’s the direction our society is headed in as a whole. This makes certain types of music production incredibly easy… Want to produce a hip hop track? Instead of digging through your record crate looking for a When the Levee Breaks-esque drum break, you can just boot up your software of choice and build a drum track exactly how you want (Even the “Linkin Park Edition” entry-level Stagelight software comes with over 800 MB of one-shot drum samples – for ten bucks!). Want to add some harmonies to that sweet vocal line you just recorded? Instead of working out the intervals yourself and then having to sing along with your own voice perfectly, you can boot up Auto-Tune or Melodyne and create harmonies without even having to sing them (and they might just come out BETTER than they would have if you had a human sing them!). Want to add a classic “Hammond B3 through a Leslie” organ to your track? Instead of searching all over the place for vintage gear that’s going to cost you thousands of dollars or racking up some hefty rental fees, there are VST plugins that will create an authentic copy of that sound without having to get up from in front of your laptop.

    But rock musicians? It isn’t quite that easy. Virtual instruments have come a LONG way over the past few years, but there’s still a lot to be said for the sound of a Les Paul running through a cranked Marshall stack, or a big Bonham-esque drum track played by someone who loves hitting the skins. For me, that was always the most “audibly attractive” kind of music, which is what led to me picking up the guitar nearly 13 years ago (and rarely putting it down since!). Sure, the technology of today can be a big help to rock musicians, particularly in a studio setting, but that level of “instant gratification” isn’t quite the same as it is with the Kanye-Taylor-Gaga mainstream productions. A drummer still has to be able to play to a click track. A guitarist still has to be able to tune his guitar to within a few cents of perfect pitch to do studio-quality punch-ins. A singer still has to be able to sing relatively in tune (the “T-Pain effect” may get you by on a pop track or the hook on a hip-hop song, but it rarely works in a rock song!). I know quite a few people who have produced VERY high-quality songs with absolutely NO formal knowledge of music theory or how to play an instrument. Save for going the hyper-experimental route and cutting up a bunch of one-shot instrument samples and making a song out of them, that isn’t something that’s going to happen in rock music.

    Let’s say you’re a 15 year-old aspiring musician, and the year is 2003. You really have no idea what genre you want to get into. Do you go take piano lessons? Nah, piano’s a useful instrument to learn and all, but the lessons will be boring and cost a lot of money…and besides, they’ll probably try to teach you classical pieces, and classical ain’t cool to anyone except Grandpa! Do you try to take up the guitar? How about drums? Tempting…but you’ll need a LOT of practice to be any good, which might be a stretch as a high school student with a lot of homework, plus extracurricular activities…and besides, the only way you’ll likely get anywhere with it is if you happen to meet other people who play the proper instruments to fill out a band, who also have the time to practice enough to be good at their instruments, who have a similar vision of what the band should sound like…too much that needs to happen! Hmm…oh! That new FL Studio program just came out, you can create entire songs on your computer without needing to learn an instrument! Lots of hip-hop and pop producers are raving about it. Awesome! That’s just a few clicks away…

    When you look at it from that perspective, the fact that rock music is in the spot it is today really isn’t surprising. You don’t need to work with other musicians to be successful in the music business anymore…hell, you don’t even need to learn an instrument. Now more than ever, the tools you need to get your music career off the ground are LITERALLY right at your fingertips if you have an Internet connection. I’m not saying this is stifling musical creativity – as Mike said, there are a LOT of artists out there doing some wonderfully unexpected things with all of these new tools, many of which are finding their way onto Top 40 stations. Look at how underground dubstep/EDM was a few years back, for example. Had you even HEARD the word “dubstep” 5 years ago? I hadn’t…but it’s EVERYWHERE now! That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t exactly cater to music that’s still largely instrument-based.

    It’s hard to find 3 or 4 other people who are interested in making the same kind of music you are, who have all honed their craft well enough to create music that’s good enough to make an impact on Top 40 radio, and who most importantly have the amount of time necessary to actually be a “professional” rock musician. That’s why rock bands are outnumbered and no longer have a stranglehold on popular culture. Most of us just don’t have the time to make rock music, and when there are other music-making options that are far less time-consuming and aren’t dependent on other musicians’ input…why bother?

  • Victor Loch

    I’m suspect to say, because Linkin Park is my favorite band, but I really love the way they innovate in every song, every album, and that’s a very risky move for such a big band to do, a carnivorous attitude, lol
    Linkin Park’s fan base is VERY divided because of the risks they’ve taken, and this is actually awesome! I think this should inspire others musicians to move on, do different things, open their minds for new horizons.
    But all I read on LP’s youtube now (after their collab with Steve Aoki) is people saying that Linkin Park is pop/electronic shit now. Well…after their collaboration with Jay-Z or Busta Rhymes did they became a Hip-Hop band? No! (and, all I can see in the videos is the band and Steve Aoki having a lot of fun together!)
    They are just adding tools to their repertoire, that’s the point. Go listen to Living Things for example, every song is different, it’s insane! A Thousand Suns? Oh god this album is brilliant =D
    If the band did Nu-Metal forever they would be forgotten after some years, that’s what happened to a lot of bands that sounded like them on the early 00’s.
    Keep it up Shinoda! Open your mind and be creative! Rock music needs to evolve and you’re doing it right!

  • Amanda

    What a great article. Rock music needs a spark of innovation to shine again.

  • Madhura Redij
  • therealjojie

    I’m from the Philippines and I’ve read that article by Ernest Baker and I said; “Well, time evolves and that’s just the way it is.” And there goes the reply from LP’s Mike Shinoda! Thought so. I am a 90’s child when Limp Bizkit, POD, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Papa Roach, Linkin Park (Hybrid Theory), Staind, God Smack, Korn, Cold Play, Rage Against The Machine, Lifehouse, etc… were rocking MTV. Since I’m a female, these are all in my brother’s playlists. But of course, I enjoyed these music as well. We both love music. Life went on, I went to college and got a job and I have not heard much from anyone anymore.
    FAST FORWARD TO 2012… when my fiance gave me a new phone stuffed with Linkin Park’s albums (Hybrid Theory, Meteora, Minutes to Midnight, A Thousand Suns, Living Things) and some videos of their recent shows. And there’s Fort Minor, too. Oh, how I’ve missed Linkin Park!
    I’m still moved by their music more than ever. I was struck with their ability to sustain themselves amid the change and being the only one to survive and stand out. The risk they took on experimentation and innovation was worth it and it was just all so brilliant to the fans. They’ve recently been here during their Living Things Asian Tour. They’re the BOSS. They’ve got something that the rest don’t. Everything But LP Sucks Now! No doubt. :P

  • Ayotunde Afolabi

    Just to get the fanboy moment of the week out of the way. Dude… Mike Shinoda just replied to you. Awesome. Haha.

  • sanie_hm

    I too have objections. The first and foremost rock was a protest, and nothing to hide rock culture it`s still protesting. It`s desire express emotions somehow differently, brighter than the rast, more poverfull and clearly. Rock all time was and stay another caste. Modern rock became more impulsive and sense of saturation. Many who fall into a kind of ecstasy, whan listen rock music. Than we can equating rock with the soul healing mantras. we can say rock culture it`s a enlightenment.
    And for the end I whant subjoin: I have a little daughter. She is only 2 year old, and rock it`s her life. And I know she kill anyone who said she “rock it`s bad”. As we know the baby lips always has spoken true .

  • dylan Alessi

    We’re not a “legacy act,” riding out classic hits on tour like The Stones and Roger Waters, iwould take issue with that on tour you only play lost in the echo victimise ans castle of glass from what was your new album. Rock comes in many forms and there’s nothing wrong with for example Foo Fighters or Black Keys who sell out arena’s. One of what critics are calling the album of the year the new Nine Inch Nails album uses very little guitar and is electronic and drum based . Artists in the rock world often work with other artists always have but why should they for the sake of it. It’s horses for courses there is so much sub genre already.Another band crossing the genres is CrossFaith mixing rock with electronic and metal and their are many example Enter Shikari another. Albums are streamed and sales have dropped in all genres for last few years that doesn’t mean because rock is not in the charts every week that’s its not as huge as ever of course it is. Reading Festival was a sell out the other weekend. Download festival saw 200’000 people through its gates over the course of its weekend. Try getting tickets in Uk for QOTSA or Avenged Sevenfold. What should be discussed is the role of the big record labels destroying independent record labels and setting their own agenda as to what rock is or isn’t.

  • Rachel S

    I want to ask you about your comment about being the biggest band on Facebook. You have over 56.5 million likes but what does that mean ?
    Claimed sales for Living Things are currently at the 2 million mark. Does that cataclysmic disconnect not bother you ?
    Don’t get me wrong – 2 million sales is nothing to be sniffed at but it is a far, far cry from the 26 million claimed sales for Hybrid Theory and the 16 million for Meteora. If every one of your Facebook followers actually bought a copy of Living Things, you would have the second biggest selling album of all time, surpassed only by Michael Jackson’s Thrilller.
    I ‘liked’ the LP page so that I could find out what was going on with the band. I very occasionally look at the comments and they generally fall into three categories – the first just want to criticize you for ‘selling out’, the second are all begging you to perform in their country (which I can at least understand) and the third are all the idolisers. For me, typing ‘I love Mike Shinoda’ or ‘Mike Shinoda is a genius’ in a comment box is not my interpretation of being a fan. My interpretation is first and foremost buying your material and secondly, going to your shows.
    I am interested to know your thoughts regarding why you think so many people are keen to follow the band on Facebook and yet seemingly a lot less keen to buy your records.

  • John Bernard

    Linkin Park has sucked since 2003, they tried so hard to be U2 in 2007 and since then have just been a laughing stock.

  • Adam Norbury

    The best thing about music to me, regardless of genre is the ability and necessity it has of reinventing itself through the process of taking elements from other popular genres. Music genres are not set in stone, and when an artist tries to force their music to be so it often feels repetitive, uninspired, and bland. Freshness and innovation comes through creating a mixing pot of sound and taking influences from everything and not just a certain place. The same can be said about every kind of artform, from painting to film. To be a successful artist, the best way possible is to create a conglomerate of different influences and use it to create a distinct and inventive sound completely unique to the artist itself. This is what I find best about modern music. I used to be the sort of kid who had the ridiculous and moronic idea that modern music is just getting worse and worse, but I lacked a certain desire for innovation at the time. Now I realize that the things I love the most are able to combine elements from multiple genres across multiple decades. Modern music is better than ever because it has the largest pool of works of art to pick and choose from, and it will continue to get better as more work is made. More artists just need to get into this viewpoint that many have already, particularly Modern Rock, as I would argue that modern radio pop and rap are doing on a much greater scale. Just listen to pop radio once in a while, many songs are taking clear jazz, punk, rock, blues ect. influences, while many popular modern rock songs just sound like pop or folk-infused rock.

  • Omar Kadir

    Recap:

    -I didn’t say something that you like
    -You got defensive and debated with passive aggressiveness versus assertive communication.
    -Then called me stupid and told me to grow up
    -Now you’re…. taking the high road?

    What just happened lol but I digress.

  • Brendan

    In the end, I don’t think it’s that they’re not artists, but that they waste their artistic abilitys for on popular teenag belief for the sake of acceptance and, of course, money. Their style isn’t really the issue most the time. The sounds produced are usually enjoyable, but they always go off the tracks into the lyrics and language of a teenager trying to be cool. I’ve been criticized quite a bit being LDS and a Linkin Park fan. But they miss the fact that its Rock Bands like Linkin Park that continue to make music for the love of music and with an honest passion that most popular music today lacks. I think that is the biggest separation between the two and overall, I think I agree with Mike. I think I’d like to keep that separation. Not only for the reasons that Mike pointed out but because there’s a certain unity between the fans that develops because of it and I love being a part of it. It’s almost like a family.

  • sanie_hm

    The first and foremostrock was a protest, and nothing to hide rock culture it`s still protesting. It`s desire express emotions somehow differently, brighter than the rest, more powerful and clearly. Rock all time was and stay another caste.

  • sanie_hm

    Modern rock became more impulsive and sense of saturation. Many who fall into a kind of extasy, whan listen rock music. Than we can equating rock with the soul healing mantras. I can say rock culture it`s a elightenment.

  • Dav Bennington Davis

    One of your best articles Mike. Read it and you’re so true in everything you said, personally I just hope that you’ll continue moving forward and be for rock and history what you really mean to all of us as fans since day 1.
    I hope with all my heart that the new album will ne carnivore!!!

  • Jack

    Mike, as a freelance musician and someone who appreciates and plays almost ALL types of music I completely agree with most everything you say. While there are good things happening in other genres, (fusion, progressive jazz, return of disco-esque funk and dance music among many others) rock has become sterile.

    My question to you is why don´t you start a movement in rock music and lead by example? You have the voice, you have the all the talent, resources, and ears you need to reform this genre. You are passionate enough to write an article, so write the songs that make others want to follow suit and create music that SOUNDS like music. You have delivered music (especially in your early days) that is interesting, progressive, aggressive, and created an impact along with a new genre, there is no reason you (or your group) couldn’t do that again.

  • Melinda O’Connor

    While I understand that musicians need to make money just as much as anyone else. There is a part of me, maybe it is a little idealistic, that thinks that some bands are not only in it for the fame and all of that, but also because it is what they love to do. I get this feeling from the guys in LP, especially after meeting them a few years ago during the Sydney LPU Summit. I’m sure they do think, “Will people like this? Will they buy it?”, but I also like to think that they have to consider, “Do WE like this, is it something we will be happy to play live?”. Correct me if I’m wrong though, Mike!

    I do tend lean more towards the Rock or Metal genres, however, I also like music for how it makes me feel. If I can connect to it in some way, regardless of what genre it is, then I will listen to it. I may not buy their album, or go to their concert, but I won’t whinge and moan about how much the music sucks or rush to change the channel when their song comes on.

    It is a shame that some bands seem held back by what they think sells well, or what defines their genre, and they are possibly reluctant to experiment with their sound or collaborate with other bands. I don’t know why, maybe it is either because they may be labelled “sell-outs” (which is stupid, because to me selling out means to keep the sound the same as the highest selling album they made and not changing). Or possibly because they may upset the people who are too close minded to understand that everything changes over time. Imagine if a band did not change it’s sound, if a song from one album could easily be confused with a song from an earlier album. How boring would that be? I know I wouldn’t see the point in paying money for something that sounds similar to something I already own.

  • Stavern

    Dear Mike,
    I’m also a musician and my response to your post is like this :

    I think it’s about “taste”, in the end, taste is the name of the game after all.
    No matter what the genre is, if people like it they gonna buy it.
    So either you have to innovate and be creative with your music or you have to make a music that touch people heart.

    And also I have to disagree with you about your statement that say, “I believe that these days, more than ever, it’s hard to start a rock
    band. Want to start rapping? Pull up an instrumental on YouTube, and you
    have a track. DJing? The software you need is either already on your
    laptop or it’s a few dollars and clicks away. Starting a rock band is a
    more complicated endeavor.”
    Dude, every discipline(or genre in this thing) has different difficulty and challenge, so never say become a rock band is harder than become a DJ or a rapper.
    So you need to respect every genre or you not a musician.

    Thank you if you read this.

  • Stavern

    Dear Mike,
    I’m also a musician and my response to your post is like this :

    I think it’s about “taste”, in the end, taste is the name of the game after all.
    No matter what the genre is, if people like it they gonna buy it.
    So either you have to innovate and be creative with your music or you have to make a music that touch people heart.

    And also I have to disagree with you about your statement that say, “I believe that these days, more than ever, it’s hard to start a rock
    band. Want to start rapping? Pull up an instrumental on YouTube, and you
    have a track. DJing? The software you need is either already on your
    laptop or it’s a few dollars and clicks away. Starting a rock band is a
    more complicated endeavor.”
    Dude, every discipline(or genre in this thing) has different difficulty and challenge, so never say become a rock band is harder than become a DJ or a rapper.
    So you need to respect every genre or you not a musician.

    Thank you if you read this.

  • chrisfullam

    I think what he’s saying is there are more hurdles to starting a rock band than other genres, not that there is more or less skill involved in doing either. 20 years ago, it was the other way around. No one had laptops and production equipment that they could start making music by themselves in their home. Picking up a guitar was a much easier route. Its like the difference between ice hockey and basketball. Hockey requires an ice rink and expensive equipment to play, whereas basketball just requires a hoop and a ball. Both sports take the same amount of effort and skill to become the best at them, but there will always be more people who are playing basketball simply because its easier to get a game going.

  • hoji00725

    I agree with Mike Shinoda, his words truly demonstrate the open mind of a true artist/ musician. I believe the main problem in society nowadays is that we try to define everything as “black” and “white” and the truth is when it comes to music it’s simply hard to label music as anything because when we do we have a narrow vision of music in general and develop a sense of “genre superiority”. I myself have done so in the past but thanks to bands like Linkin Park, Papa Roach and Avenged Sevenfold (yes these example are all “mainstream” but I always point out those bands because they have proven themselves great by evolving within their music, not just being comfortable with a single sound and that’s what really proves them to be great and sets them worlds apart than most bands) it makes me wonder and realize every genre has something of value. I believe rock in general is one of the most competitive genres to love and defend cause rockers themselves are the first ones pointing fingers, judging and saying what is “legit” and what’s not, and the key lies once again in understanding that rock is all about creating new waves and embracing elements from all genres. You have my utmost respect, Mike.

  • Benjamin G.

    I think this post is extremely insightful about the state of rock music in the mainstream. However, I think it’s awesome that Linkin Park’s music reached people that Mike didn’t necessarily relate too. I feel that’s what rock & roll (or music as a whole) is about! There are some rock bands who I feel are being innovative such as KoRn and Filter. Also, I feel Christian rock bands have taken the reins and have been bringing rock & roll to the next level! Bands such as RED, Newsboys, and Manic Drive have mixed rock and electronic music to create a fresh, new sound.

  • Stavern

    Yea OK, I understand. but that does not necessarily make a rock, a genre that better than the others.
    My point here is simple, time has changed you need to adapt or you won’t survive. :D

  • chrisfullam

    I agree. Like you said originally – people either like it or don’t. Personally, I think LP has evolved to fit the times, but most other rock bands have not…and thats kind of what he’s saying.

  • Brian Penny

    There are a few other problems…

    1) Venues.

    Venues treat bands like they are doing the band a favor. Even when that band packs the house and helps sell god knows how many drinks.

    For example my band BoneGunn played at one of the bigger venues in lower Manhattan 3 times. They had to turn people away at the door 2 of the times because it was beyond capacity. When we decided to part ways with our manager I couldn’t even get the same venue to call me back.

    No they didn’t care that my band had made them lots of money. No they didn’t care that we always showed up on time and where sober and respectful of the space. All they cared about was that we didn’t have a big name manager anymore so why pay attention.

    2) Touring.

    Touring as an indie rock act is beyond expensive. If you are able to break even its a gift from the rock gods. So you have 2 choices 1 keep touring and loose money until that magic day when you “make it” or 2 just play local gigs and hope the internet will help get you out there.

    oh and that brings me to

    3) The Internet.

    The internet is amazing…. There is so much stuff out there to look at on it. with countless amounts of people trying to get you to notice them on it. Just think about it this way…. how would you get “above the noise” on the internet.

    Then there is this dishartining effect..

    I post a new song on facebook and some people will go and listen to it. I might even get some likes. But I hit share on a picture with a craption of how dumb justin bieber is and I’ll get 30 likes in less then 10 mins.

    4) The personality type of rock musicians

    Most rock musicians that I know are introverted by nature and what you see on stage is them getting a lot of the internal feelings out. They are not (myself included) very good at self publicity. Its simply not in the nature of an introvert.

    But look at rap on the other hand. They talk about how amazing they are in the damn songs. half of the time its people telling you how great they are and why you should listen to them. For better or worse it gets people to pay attention.

  • Jem

    Change is constant, and that falls on all categories including music. I was a LP fan way back since I was in 4th grade. I’m already a working professional and I’m still a fan. I was killing myself ’cause I wasn’t able to watch the concert here in the Philippines just weeks ago.

    Going back to the discussion, again “change” is constant. Ernest Baker’s article wasn’t able to put that into consideration. I was in a band myself and I, too, was able to witness that evolution in music and the art. The problem with Baker’s article was it lacked a good eye of perspective about rock music. Music comes in all genres and genres come in all generations. A bird’s-eye-view on Rock Music gives us the idea that it’s slightly slowing down but that doesn’t mean it “sucks” as per Baker. It’s just taking its time to wait for that perfect opportunity that it’ll rock the music world once again.

    Being on mainstream is a good and a bad thing altogether. A lot of fans come around, a lot of fans gets tired of it. The attrition rate for fans is so high that it would ’cause a song or album to die young. Rock is still alive within everyone of us. It just depends if we let it out or let it sleep for the meantime.

    L.P. rules. Peace!

    -Jem

  • Kerry Lynne

    I think that he has made some very good points, but I don’t think that this is all about “Rock” music or a specific genre. In my opinion, music in general has become very superficial. Lyrics are the root and meaning of the song. It does take a lot to form a rock band. Like he said, you need talented and passionate people who work well together and can play instruments, not just make a beat. But, I have heard some really good music with great substance to it, and not part of the rock genre. I think this is not just about the genre, but about the messages in the lyrics, and society. Society seems to have become less individualistic and deep, and more superficial. I like modern mainstream music, don’t get me wrong, it’s fun. But, that’s all it it is to me.. Fun and entertaining. I am a recording artist myself and when I listen to music to inspire me I rarely ever listen to stuff that is played on the radio today. I listen to a lot of LP and bands that I consider to be “real” for lack of a better word. A lot of music these days is all about partying and drinking and clubbing, and simple obvious things that don’t provoke much thought. Linkin park and fort minor, among many of my favorite artists, have actual depth to their music. And I like where they stand in the mainstream, and I disagree with anyone who has ever called them “sellouts”. I am a big fan of Mike Shinoda and when people tell me that I sound like a female version of him in my music it makes me smile. :)

  • zt

    rock music never sucked!That’s bullshit!Rock songs have meaningful lyrics,Pop songs are just POPular and if you listen to them all the time you’ll eventually become dump (in a way)..The difference between pop and rock music is that rock songs can help you and pop songs can make you forget

  • <3 IMANAWESOMEGIRL <3

    I totally agree with mike but also rock is for the unique individual so if you think rock sucks then somethings wrong I think before you start to criticize a bands music take the time to listen and understand the music and what it means.

  • http://bloggingwithwhitekids.tumblr.com/ Mac Le Moan

    “Pop radio doesn’t play us”

    Come on Mike, this isn’t true. I’ve been hearing Burn It Down everywhere I go. I know you guys say you’re always trying to go in new directions but your last 2 albums have been nothing more than pop-rock for the radio crowd.

  • http://bloggingwithwhitekids.tumblr.com/ Mac Le Moan

    You fail to get Omar’s point Konrad, it’s not that LP aren’t evolving, I mean if they were still making nu-metal in their 30’s they’d become a laughing stock and no one would take them seriously but the direction they went in with Living Things and MTM doesn’t scream “evolution.” It’s just a follow up of current trends and I like what Omar said, it feels like only Mike and Chester are the ones contributing while everyone else takes a back seat. Why do they need to collab with Steve Aoki? Is Joe not in the band anymore or something?

    I have a lot of respect and admiration for Mike and think he’s a really talented song writer and general musician but the last couple of years have been hit and miss, I listened to the collab snippet of their new song and it’s really not anything new that I haven’t already heard before. It’s not innovation, it’s just blatant laziness. I’ve seen them live a couple of times and their performance is insane but in terms of being innovative they’re really not being that at all.

    In 2004, they used to cover NIN
    In 2011, they were doing an Adele cover

    That just goes to show how highly from their graces they’ve fallen in terms of sticking to their “rock roots.” And yeah yeah I get it people will hound me and say, “Hey music tastes change” and this is true, I definitely don’t still listen to the same bands I listened to when I was in high school, they’re good for nostalgia but that’s it, but the argument here isn’t that people want “The old LP” it’s more like they want songs and records that will live a lasting impression. I get a lot of emotion listening to a song like Breaking The Habit compared to their newer stuff which is mostly made for marketing purposes, eg. Transformers movies, Medal Of Honor etc. etc. I even watched their making of A thousand suns documentary and they were arguing about shortening a song for it to be playable on the radio…I mean what the fuck…if that’s not selling out then I really don’t know what is.

    This isn’t to say they still don’t produce quality music that pushes the envelope, Blackout comes straight to mind but every other track on the record is reduced to pop sounding radio friendly songs, and not to say that this is a bad thing, but it shows that their hearts aren’t in the right place seeing as they just want to churn out stuff that will reach the largest demographic, which is good for business, but not put out stuff that will not reach as many people but will be good from an artistic point of view.

  • Guest

    I agree, especially with the ‘back in the day’ part. Meteora was their peak.

  • MJ

    I agree with the fact that you think Rock music has gone to become “herbivores” over the years. I think Musicians are afraid that by trying something new they will only lose fans and in turn they will fade away. I love when bands try new things and continue to grow with their music. I think that is why I am always buying Linkin Park albums day 1 at least they are willing to take chances. I like all different kinds of music and I listen to pretty much everything but it is all starting to sound the same. and like you Mike I am waiting for someone to take the chance. Keep up the good work I loved the response you are a very smart dude.

  • Joyce

    Hi Mike! Just want to let you know that I like Victimized because it sounds like an opening song to an anime (and it’s already in a TV size version xD) and my favorite track on the Living Things album is Lost in the Echo. I would really love to hear an LP song in an anime one day. I’ve been an LP fan since Hybrid Theory and until now, I still enjoy your music. I salute you and LP for doing what you really like and not being forced by others just because they want you and the band to stick to specific style/genre. I support the direction you and the band is heading to. Keep up the good work and continue to lead the evolution of rock. :)

  • Conner Luymes

    In my opinion, music in general is a tough thing to get “right” in regards to what’s popular and should be popular. The blunt truth is, there are billions around the world that each have a unique taste of what they enjoy and think should be popular, which, in some ways, is a little selfish. Why should one person’s taste in music be more popular than anyone else’s?
    Being a musician myself, I think that what we listen to and choose to listen to has a strong impact on the kind of music that we in turn decide to make. Years ago, I wanted my music to sound like Relient K. Next it was the “Linkin Park” sound, and more recently has evolved into more of a folk sound. The point is, musicians are going to make the kind of music that they want to make, and part of that is trying to be innovative, as Mike put it. Music would be so boring if artists made the same album ten times over. I respect Linkin Park and Mike as a producer in the fact that they are keeping their eyes up towards new sounds and styles of music.
    I think it is stubborn to say that music “sucks” nowadays. Music has evolved as the mainstream fan base has, and will continue to do so. There will always be music that one doesn’t like–we can only imagine a world where each and every song that plays on the radio is our “favorite”. That’s just not a realistic goal. While we are all entitled to our opinions and unique sets of favorite bands/styles, we should learn to be more respectful towards others. I, myself, am very passionate about my personal bubble of music that I am biased towards, and I can honestly say that I would rather gouge my eyeballs out than listen to some songs. But I understand that as long as there is a market for that kind of music, it will keep coming.
    And finally, I am just in an awe in regards to Mike openness as a musician on this issue, as well as his humility to know that his position doesn’t mean that he can’t interact with fans, as he is on this cite. Artists should look up to MS in that sense–we don’t see a lot of that as fans these days. Complete and utter respect for you, Mike. Keep it up.

  • Conner Luymes

    Wow, just realized this was a lot of rambling and isn’t very organized. What I’m trying to say is, let’s learn to respect good music as good music, regardless of the genre. When I say we should be more respectful towards other people’s musical niches, I mean that we shouldn’t necessarily become fan boys of all genres, I mean we should simply respect the music if it’s good, well-produced, and innovative.

  • SixDays

    I love rock music, in it’s various mutations.
    Let it die. Let it slip from the view and consciousness of the mainstream. Let the flame be carried by the brave few. In a world where attention spans have shortened, where everything’s value is tied to the extent it can be consumed, let rock music die. Laughing lions will still carry the flame within. That will be where rock will continue to live.

  • random kid from .MN

    Keep mixin the genres…n throw out another side project…rising tied is the most understated realist sht that hip hop needs..or atleast rap in general.. Almost as Ill as lamar had it not been so long since you tore up a track..where’d you go? ; P

  • J (LPMB)

    Great response Mike!
    – one of your many loyal sleeper cell peeps ;)

  • GO

    I only watched Transformers because of their OST, LOL!

  • Marcial Brummel Jimenez

    nice! as for me, I hate the fact that transformer movies don’t follow a certain plot from the 1st to the 3rd. LoL

  • LES

    Great article!

  • Jim

    The problem with music now is that the mainstream is aligned (more or less) to the tastes of the masses, and the masses don’t seem to appreciate the underground element of music in general. So, in a way, it’s good that rock and so on are underground. If they were mainstream, the formula would be broken, because they would be generic and exactly what the majority of consumers want, which at present is NOT rock. As a musician, you can’t change the opinions and preferences of the masses, but you can continue to look for what works for you and your fans.

  • ALinkinParkFan

    To start off this comment, I would like to say that I am a musician, and a young one at that. Linkin Park is and, since I started listening to rock, has been my favorite band. Contrary to my listening habits, my favorite genre of music to play is classic jazz, and am currently in a 2 man jazz combo. I have also been a member of punk, classic rock, and metal bands. Everyone needs a bass player! I, in my “band travels” have found that, for me, jazz is the most expressive. We do not write originals, but instead read lead sheets and solo. I feel that in my experiences, it is not as hard to start a rock band as it once was. With the introduction of technology and computers into the everyday lives of average people, there are more options becoming available for people who want to make music. For example, electronica and dubstep are becoming more popular for this reason. They are accessible, amazing genres! Almost anyone with the time and a decent computer can become a musician. This is the beauty of the downfall of rock.
    Back to my main thought, music rises and falls (offspring reference :) with the times, and rock is simply on the outs. Take jazz for instance. In my area, there is one classical jazz station on the radio. Throughout every decade in the past 100 years, there have been differentiating styles of music which take the lead. We just have to accept this is not rock’s decade and patiently wait it out until its return. :)

  • ben

    all the bands he mentions sucks. The problem began in the 90’s when musicianship started going down hill

  • Ben

    pop was hendrix, zep, and eagles, joplin it was way better

  • ben

    the problem is that no body can real play in a tasteful, way where at least its on par w the 60’s to early 80s. Lincoln PArk and Limp Biskit ruined it for opportunities for perhaps better rock bands, rock just just like rap did for rock, and disco did back int he 70;’ (except disco has musical elements ). Prob w todays music is that its loop music, no great instrumental work, or guitar solos, and the songs are entirely forgettable. Thisis because the music industry only seeks to clone copy bands to seel their agenda $$$, Thats why ii cant tell the diff from any of these modern bands, its lesser art,

  • tired

    sisters of mercy

  • tired

    sisters of mercy

  • sleepy

    robert johnson

  • sleepy

    the birthday party

  • Sel Melvin

    If electro punk, doom metal, and jazz rock because big, then I’ll accept that modern rock is worth saving.
    Linkin Park is good though; kinda feel sorry for them. Dave Grohl once mentioned playing at an awards show as the complimentary “rock” band, so the popsters/rap stars/etc have a rock band just to have one. They, LP, Metallica, Slipknot, it’s like they’re not popular, but tweens need a “rock band” on their iPods so they were their choice. Kinda sad.

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  • brianz

    Just because you’re popular, it doesn’t mean you are a good band. ie Limp Bizkit. I don’t even know the last song from LP that had a guitar solo in it. I’ll stick to my 50s, 60s, and 70s rock music thank you.

  • Devito

    I stumbled across this article today (25.march.2014) and i want you to know this: everything ou said is the absolute truth about Link Park.

    I wish we could travel together and read your post in their faces. You feelings and thoughts towards this bad is exactly as mine. Thank you. Long live to Xeno, Hybrid Theory EP/Album, Reanimation and Meteora.

    About creativity and emotions in music, just like Breaking The Habit, they made more songs without the LP’s Nu Metal style: Cure For The Itch, Sessions and the magnificent My December.

    That being said, Minutes To Midnight has the last listenable tracks they made, after that, everything is a huge pile of horse shit.

    Cheers.

  • Nico

    In the nu-metal era, it was not uncommon at all to have one dude singing and one dude rapping. More so, having a DJ. Having two Asian guys, that was particular. But anyways there was some diversity before (of the top of my head: James Iha, Kirk Hammett), specially out of the mainstream.

  • chief

    Music in North America is significantly weaker these days in my opinion. I’ve found some salvation in European artists, and their more symphonic approach to rock and metal. I think there is a market there that hasn’t attracted North Americans yet.

    Note: I don’t hate all music that comes out these days, but I just find (again preference) that it’s significantly weaker than the 80s and 90s.

  • http://www.miasma.org Njordr

    Kinda just thinking in text here, but…

    What you said: “I get the sense that those who like rock music think that their preferred music is the only “true” type of music,” makes me think back on when Linkin Park released Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns. I seem to remember there was quite a bit of conflict going on about LP’s new albums and their old albums, the changes in the music and the way it sounded, which ones were better, etc. This is an example, but I’ve watched it happen a few times and in different ways (see: Nightwish’s Tarja vs. Annette, or the whole split between the music of 20-30 years ago and toady’s industry.)

    I agree with you. I’m kind of drawing the connections here, between old and new, the “true” type of music, the common assumption of “first was best,” and people being afraid of change.

    If any rock band (or any band period, really) tries to do something fresh and innovative with their type of music, they also risk losing their following due to what I just mentioned above. With “mainstream” music as it is now being at the top, and the most popular artists/bands defining each genre, there seems to be this stress surrounding change or innovation. Stress about whether or not people will like the new change and continue to follow the band, or if they don’t like it and will stop following the band.

    Hopefully I’m understanding things the right way. I mean, this is all coming from a college student with the only connection to music being as a consumer. As it is, I’m just gonna stick with jumping from rock/metal genre to rock/metal genre, but here’s to hoping for the future of rock music.

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  • Jackov

    “Meanwhile pop and hip-hop are finding ways to keep themselves fresh and interesting.”

    You lose all credibility by uttering the complete and utter nonsense quoted above.

  • I will find you and kill you

    “Want to start rapping? Pull up an instrumental on YouTube, and you have a track”.That`s like sayin ” find a old guitar in your basement, and you are a rock star”.Everybody can download instrumental,eveybody can buy a guitar,everybody can write a song,everybody can dj-ing but when you do something like that is one thing,when you do it great is another thing.I never played a guitar but nobody stops me to start playing…just find one and start…it will be pathetic but i will “playing on a guitar” and if i wanna record it,I will and nobody can stop me.I will have a “rock song” even if it is the worst song ever…that`s the same with rap,everybody can make a song, but not everybody can do it “good”.The man sad that about rap music that everybody can do it deserve to be punched in the face.

  • forallthecows

    LP is a horrible band. I wont even start on in as how they are today. Also you forgot that Deftones did also play a BIG role in Nu Metal. Even LP ripped off their shit back in the day.

  • forallthecows

    Sorry did mean to reply to you Sean D i meant it to the OP

  • Jonathan

    In Pieces has a solo in it.

  • Marry Park

    It was a great answer by Mike. I love him. I have got all linking park albums with the help of a finance service called bridging finance

  • Jessy D

    God I love these discussions. First off, I want to start by saying this ; We are constantly evolving. This earth is evolving, animals, plants, humans. Everything around us is constantly evolving. I completely understand and do agree with TJs post. He has some very good points. And hearing many musicians who were considered to be in the “rock genre” have softened their edge a bit, which in fact, is a good thing. Personally, I never like the whole genre idea, because it separates a lot of people and dismisses the words and depth behind a song from a group. So seeing a change in “rock” music brings me a sense of understanding behind it all. I don’t find it bad at all if all music were to, in some way, blend and mesh different styes perfectly. We hear it in Mgmt and Kid Cudi and we heard it A LOT in Linkin parks old albums. There was the beautiful collaboration of rhymes(“rapping”) that had meaning. Linkin park had drums, bass, guitar and a DJ all in the background that all meshed perfectly together. It was as though ALL the genres had come together. I felt it couldn’t be categorized! Which, did in fact make me happy. Hearing their new stuff makes me realize how much we ARE all evolving as people. Think back to when Mozart was alive! People were amazed how he put his musical pieces together. Some people liked it and others didn’t. But, NOW, NOW its classified as “classical” music. Why? Why do we always have to have labels to EVERYTHING? We are always categorizing, dividing, and labeling everything. That is the beginning of any war. Division. Back when I was in middle school people used to tell me I was weird because I liked “rock” and they liked “rap.” What kind of crap is that? Then, when everyone heard linkin park or rage against the machine, EVERYONE enjoyed it. it was something we could all relate to. Its not about how rock music sucks nowadays, its about how we ALL CANNOT relate to most of the music we hear. The music we want to hear is about PASSION,a bit of AGGRESSION, DEPTH, MEANING, ENERGY AND INNOVATION. Back then “ROCK” was one of those genres that gave us just what we wanted. Now everybody wants to have a single and they put up the first thing that they “think” is good. Because it’s going to sell not because its revolutionary. So therefore, the groups that are ACTUALLY evolving and adding in a bit of calmness into their music is dismissed, because everyone is doing it. It seems like there is no evolution. And so I understand a little bit of what everybody is saying. I just wish others understood what the heck I was talking about lol. Bottom line is this, Evolution is a good thing, changing your style is good, but EVERYBODY LOVES a GOOD COLLABORATION. EVERYBODY. And every one loves a piece of art that is understandable,has meaning, depth, passion, and is relatable. PASSION is where you get others, because mostly everyone can relate to passion. Everything else comes next. It’s like a domino effect.I know it seems like I aimlessly hit bullet points, but I didn’t. For those of you who do understand what I am saying, KUDOS to you. :)

  • Christopher

    This is an old article, but it was interesting to hear Shinoda’s opinion on the current state of rock music.

    Particular, the point about innovation, which leads to evolution.

    I’ll say the only reason I still listen to LP and get excited when I hear about a new track/album is because they don’t sound the same as they did when I got Hybrid Theory for Christmas in 2000. I’ve actually said this to friends and acquaintances… If LP still had the Hybrid Theory sound today, I’d have lost interest a long time ago. It’s interesting to see that Mike realizes this.

    In fact, I did lose interest. I lost interest in Korn, Limp Bizkit (Though everyone lost interest in them), Slipknot. (Don’t criticize me too harshly; I was 14 in 2000)

    LP is the only rock band from that generation (MTV dubbed rock-rap) to survive and still be commercially successful that I know of.

    To Mike:
    Old article now, so I don’t know if you’ll check on it. Big fan, and LP’s evolution in sound is the only reason I’m still interested in your music today.

    You even hit some demographics I would never have guessed. My 65 year old computer science professor loves your music.

  • susan l

    Well idk if I am just sounding redundant but I”ve seen the durection rock music was going and it scared me. I wondered what happened to writing music for yourself and just saying fuck it and have fun. I think a lot of people write to stay relavent.They start to sound like they are regurgitating the sound of everyone else.The idea of being carnivorous is brilliant.We need that in music right now. I am a huge fan of linkin park AFI chevelle among other rock groups. I like that linkin park is doing what they love. Who care what people who dont know music thing. So what if linkin park doesnt sound the same every album. At the end of it all no one wants that.They think they do but it gets old fast.Glad linkin park pushes the envelope.I also enjoyed the show on the 16th just had to say. I feel like rock would be better off to take chances and be who they are because thats what people loved in the first place

  • Beezeecade

    Lol have you watched Rise of the Guardians?

  • Beezeecade

    Lmao I’m 16, I just rediscovered Linkin Park recently, listened to all their songs, and I’m loving where they are now. I can say definitely say that they’ve definitely evolved quite successfully as a band, considering that they’ve branched out into different areas of music and exploring a bit more. Honestly, I don’t get why music has genres in the first place, it’s still music, regardless of if you have a different perception of music than everyone else. If you enjoy it, great, if you don’t, go listen to music that you do enjoy. Society shows its stupidity so often nowadays, it’s kind of sad.

  • Beezeecade

    I think the main problem with music nowadays is that all the artists focus on putting something out that’s catchy. There’s a period of time where everyone listens to it and loves it, but after an alarmingly short while, the song gets annoying if replayed over and over again. It’s catchy for about a week or two before people start to dislike it, and a new song takes its place. Everything’s becoming quality over quantity, and that’s part of what made Linkin Park so successful. They generally work at their own pace to perfect their music, so when it comes out, it stays enjoyable no matter how long it’s been or how many times you replay it.

  • The Saracen

    TL;DR Linkin Park Suuuuuuuxxxxxx!

  • Miguel Mendoza

    I know this is a year old, but I happened to find this after google-ing “why newer rock music is becoming more depressing” (something along those lines). What I am trying to say is that, everything happens to be so technology based and that is something I feel might be changing rock for the worst. In my opinion, it doesn’t make music sound so genuine, if anything it is becoming more pop-ish, there is no rawness. It does not excite me as much as the older rebellious punk music of the 70’s and the fun, in-your-face 80’s rock/metal (GNR) sound to the early-mid 90’s grunge which was fearless, bold, and meaningful with a certain type of angst that was not overdone like today’s music. Don’t get me wrong, I do like some new songs, for example, there is one new song that I can say that I do enjoy which is “Out of Time” by Stone Temple Pilots, but it my be more of that energy that captivates me. I do not mean to offend you or anyone else for that matter because music is an art, people have their own taste. I understand that there are fewer bands and that it is also very difficult to get to a certain status of being known, but I believe that people like what they hear because of whats being “thrown” at them, which is pop so many people end up liking the same music. I’d just like to conclude with this, being a musician, I understand the difficulty, the struggle, and the need to feel to be original and fresh, but there are certain ways to go about it and keep the spirit of rock and roll true, which is by never settle for playing anything less that you love. I hope to be able to continue to play live and record music for as long as I can and maybe even bring some good innovative ideas to the amazing genre of Rock N Roll.

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