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Mike Shinoda Talks Playing Linkin Park Songs Live: “It’s A Whole New Experience”

James Wilson-Taylor
James Wilson-Taylor 17 August 2018 at 17.00

Mike talks bringing politics into his shows and revisiting his back catalogue on this week's Rock Sound Podcast.

Mike Shinoda has revealed why he selected particular Linkin Park and Fort Minor songs for inclusion in his solo shows.

We chatted to Mike for this week's Rock Sound Podcast, covering his recent solo album 'Post Traumatic' and what we can expect from his future music plans:

On the topic of playing Linkin Park's 'In The End' during recent concerts, we wondered if he was surprised by the celebratory reaction it has been receiving given the sombre nature of the lyrics following the passing of Chester Bennington:

"I don't think it surprised me but it was better than I thought. The other day I played a really small, 600 capacity venue in New York and it was even more energetic...'In The End' was very energetic that night. It's something that as I go, as I play more shows, it's a whole new experience. First of all just doing stuff on my own, there's a lot of newness to it. There's surprises around every corner which keeps it exciting, and it's also open for a lot of spontaneity."

But with such a huge back catalogue, how did he select which Fort Minor and Linkin Park songs to play in the solo set?

"It's still changing. I've got more songs than I can really put in the set, in terms of what I'm ready to play and what I want to play. Which is nice. I've been playing it by ear. But some of the songs are in there because they are fan favourites and some of the popular stuff. Other ones like 'Kenji' I added in because I feel like, especially in the US shows, things like the immigration issues are a big deal right now. And that song is all about, in World War 2, my family and all the Japanese families on the West Coast were sent to internment camps in the US. So, it's topically relevant."

So, will we see more political moments in his shows moving forward?

"When it seems appropriate, when it's something I feel I want to talk about, I bring it in a little bit. We have another song, it's a Linkin Park track called 'Hands Held High' which was kind of a stream of consciousness rant when George W Bush was president. The other night I was just feeling that so I played those two songs back to back, I played the 'Hands Held High' verse acapella and then I played 'Kenji'. Part of it is just being on Twitter that day and reading it and going 'Oh my god, this is so insane'. And then other times it's about going through certain things during the day and wanting to play certain songs."

Hear our full chat with Mike on the Rock Sound Podcast, available now on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and your favourite podcast app.

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