Linkin Park Talk Venture Capital Firm, Fans, Fort Minor + More
Linkin Park headlined the Loudwire Music Festival in Grand Junction, Colo., during the last weekend of June. Full Metal Jackie caught up with Mike Shinoda and Phoenix at the event. In the interview the guys talk about thinking outside the box, starting a venture capital firm, how fans react to the band + more. Check out the interview below:
Thinking outside the box is typical for Linkin Park, be it musical or non-musical. Musically, what’s the most extreme direction you’ve ever considered taking this band that never actually came to fruition?
Mike Shinoda: There’s probably a lot of answers to that. The song “Shadow of the Day” I recall that first hook that happens in the beginning of the song, we were trying… originally we just tempted in with just a piano or something and then we tried all kinds of different instruments for the hooks including xylophone and banjo.
That’s definitely unexpected. Nobody gets into music or starts a band with the goal of starting a venture capital firm. How did that first idea come up?
MS: People often ask us about our relationship with tech because it is so seamless. It’s just something we don’t even think about and we just have grown up as tech and music have grown together. That said, I think that I knew at a certain point different guys in the band have been involved with tech, behind the scenes to varying degrees. It just seemed like when we took a step back and looked at it, doing it as a band on a united front seemed like the right way to approach it. We could actually have conversations with partners that we wouldn’t have normally had conversations with and on the other hand could offer the full ideas and support marketing or whatever of the band. To be honest, for me the most exciting part about it is getting deeper into conversations and ideas with really smart people.
What surprises you most about how people react to Linkin Park?
Phoenix: I think at this point for us, one of the things I really don’t take for granted is the fact that our fans for 15 years at this point continue to be interested in letting us pursue what we want to pursue creatively and I think that it’s rare for a band to have that kind of freedom. So for us, when we enter a studio and start working on new material there aren’t any rules that are put on us. There aren’t any expectations as to what it has to sound like or where it needs to fit when it’s a finished product. It really let’s it be a clean slate. I think that’s a real cool thing from a fan base and for us. It’s been really freeing and has made the creative process that much more fun.
Music touches people and affects them. How does Linkin Park affect you guys when you hear it on the radio or out of the PA during a show?
MS: I immediately get nauseous. It’s probably the worst thing to listen to, in spite of the fact that it’s what we have to do every day… I power through it. I’m the personality type that if it comes on the radio it does cross my mind to turn it off, not because I’m not proud of the music. But I’m not the type to put record plaques up in the house, so that’s… I don’t know that’s me. It’s just how I roll.
Can you tell us what’s coming up for Linkin Park for the next couple of months and through the rest of the year?
MS: I put out a brand new song, a side project song. I have a side project called Fort Minor. I haven’t put anything out with Fort Minor in a really long time, a song just kind of popped up and we surprised the fans with it. That’s out on FortMinor.com right now. I did a video for that which is in 360. For a lot of you guys listening, that’ll be the first time you see a 360 video, here’s what to do. Just open up your YouTube app on your phone and search for Fort Minor “Welcome.” “Welcome” is the name of the song. You can watch it and move your phone around, and by moving your phone around you get to look around the space. If you don’t happen to have YouTube on your phone you can go in your Chrome browser on your laptop. I’m sure YouTube will start to make 360 content available in other ways, but at this point that’s the only way to watch it. After that… we’re touring in China this year, Europe this year, this show [Loudwire Music Festival] and one other show in the U.S. to finishing things out here then working on new music.
Many thanks to Mike Shinoda and Phoenix for the interview. Linkin Park head to China for five shows later this month. Check out all their tour dates here. Tune in to Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie and Tony LaBrie Monday through Friday at 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.
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