Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda
LP's frontman talks Tranformers 2, fan reaction, and the future of the band.
June 22, 2009 - Huge bands penning songs for the summer's biggest movies is a longstanding Hollywood tradition. The latest and greatest to get in on the summer action is Linkin Park, who wrote "New Divide" for the upcoming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. We got an opportunity to sit down with Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda to talk about the track, what's planned for LP's new album, and the solo projects he's working on.
IGN Music: Your track is included in arguably the biggest movie release of the summer in Transformers 2. What kind of impact does inclusion in a movie of this caliber have on the band, which is already huge in its own right?
Mike Shinoda: We're happy with how the song turned out, and being a part of the scoring process was a great new experience. It's great to have a new song out that we can play at our shows in Europe and Asia this summer.
IGN: Is the writing process different knowing you're composing something for a specific film like this?
Shinoda: Yes. We don't usually write a song to fit with a story like this, and trying to find a way to make it our own was the challenge. I suppose it came surprisingly easily! The toughest part for us was getting the right melody and sounds.
IGN: Were you into Transformers growing up? If so, which was your favorite and why?
Shinoda: My favorite Transformer was either Starscream, the jet, or Soundwave, the one that turned into a cassette player. Ironic, I guess, since I spend so much flying to shows and playing music.
IGN: The band is working on a new record… what can you share with us about it?
Shinoda: It actually doesn't sound a lot like "New Divide," but it sounds great. We've got about 40 song ideas so far. We're trying to do something different from our other albums, with a focus on making some stuff that's more experimental, and hopefully more cutting-edge. The first few albums had "a sound." The new album is a new sound. "Minutes To Midnight" was a collection of songs that were really different from one another; the new album is likely to have more of a thread of consistency from beginning to end.
IGN: Your last album was a bit of an evolution from your previous sound. What has the fan response been since Minutes to Midnight?
Shinoda: Whenever a band goes through a change, there will be people onboard, and people who aren't. All bands hear both sides, all the time. But the fact of the matter is our two biggest debut singles in our career--have been "What I've Done" and "New Divide." If you equate that with fan opinion, then I'd say the response has been great.
IGN: Your Linkin Park Underground site has a lot of goodies for Linkin Park fans…. Anything up your sleeves on LPU with "New Divide" or the upcoming record?
Shinoda: I can't speculate...nothing right now.
IGN: Outside of music, you are also an artist. Anything cooking on that front?
Shinoda: I have had a number of art shows over the years. I've been asked to do a painting for Ron English and Michael Lau's "Godfather" themed show. It's in L.A. on July 19th at De La Barracuda Gallery, and in New York on September 18th. Not sure about that location, but Mark Dean Veca and Travis Louie are in the show as well.
I'm really excited about my next solo art show, called "Glorious Excess Dies" in L.A. this August. It's going to be my biggest art show to date. I think there will be 17 pieces, plus a short film. I've been working on those paintings, every spare minute. Some images will be coming up on my website soon. A book, skate decks, and possibly prints will be available at the show and on mikeshinoda.com.
IGN: Will we see any new material from Fort Minor?
Shinoda: I'm putting all my Fort Minor energy into the new Linkin Park album. You never know which tracks will make the final cut, but hopefully there will be more rapping, and some big beats on the new LP record!
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