Tag Archives: Interview

Complex Music Interview: Mike Shinoda Talks New Linkin Park Album And Ranks His Top 5 Rappers

Photo: James Minchin

No kidding, this is one of the best interviews ever! Great questions and Shinoda namedrops so many artists that it will keep my Spotify busy for the next 6 months.

When the Cali-based “rock meets rap” outfit Linkin Park released their first album, Hybrid Theory, it beat out Britney Spears to become the best selling record of 2001. That level of success freaked them out. After releasing their second album, Meteora in 2003, they regrouped and re-emerged four years later with a completely new sound that caused an uproar amongst loyal stans.

The albums Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns bore the sonic signature of legendary producer Rick Rubin. Rubin was also behind the boards for the band’s latest studio effort, Living Things, which is set to drop June 26th.

Last Friday Complex got a chance to hear a few tracks and chat with Linkin Park co-founder and resident MC, Mike Shinoda. He’s a smart dude with an interesting take on the band’s place in music history.

The new songs have a big, modern polished sound, but with that warm, fuzzy, hard-hitting Rick Rubin feel to them. Linkin Park has evolved from MTV frat-house faves into a class act and MC Mike Shinoda makes that clear in the rap-heavy joint “Until It Breaks” off Living Things. Over a bed of big healthy drums, he confidently spits, “I’m a Banksy / You’re a Brainwash / Get the picture like that?” Yes, we get the picture.

Interview by Jeff Sanico

Do you keep abreast of rap current affairs?

I think I do. These days everything moves really fast. There’s all kinds of sub-genres so it all depends on what you’re talking about. For instance, just this morning I heard about this track. It’s a Foster The People remix for “Blue Jeans” (by Lana Del Rey) that Azealia Banks raps on. She’s dope. The guy that mixed our record was doing her record right after ours and I was like, “Dude, can I sneak in?” I’m excited to hear Azealia Banks’s stuff.

What excites you about the new Linkin Park album?

It doesn’t lose any of the creativity of the newer stuff and it brings in the energy of the older stuff. It’s kind of a comprehensive sound. I feel like we’ve been able to take all the stuff we’ve learned on the way and put it all together in each song and still keep it fresh and forward-thinking.

Whenever we get in the studio we react really badly to anything feeling like it’s a throwback or a repeat of what we’ve done—as long as it feels like we’re taking a step forward it feels good. This record echoes a lot of different random things from what we’ve learned along the way. I think every artist’s “new album” is their favorite one.

We’ve been immersed in this one for a year. It’s like we are currently in the eye of the storm. All of my focus is on getting this record perfect and presenting it to the fans in the way that I think is the perfect way. It’ll never be perfect, but we just do our best to make it the best it can be. I’m thrilled about the record, I couldn’t be more excited about people hearing it.

Read the rest…

ABC News About Dave Choe’s Facebook Story

1. “I did everything I wanted to when I had nothing” – Dave Choe at 3:22 -> Probably the best sentence I’ve ever heard in my whole life! This should be everyone’s life motto!

2. Don’t worry, Dave. I bet the hype will die down someday!

Interview: Evanescence’s Amy Lee About Ben Moody, Juggalos and Being Drunk

After a decade of multiplatinum sales, two Grammy awards, and the messy departure of band cofounder Ben Moody, Evanescence siren Amy Lee took a hiatus from her painfully earnest public existence to be a wife, learn the harp, and, perhaps counterintuitively, listen to M.I.A. “She’s so freaking powerful and awesome,” the singer-pianist gushes. “I love her voice because it’s weird, almost like she doesn’t care.” Lee, 29, does care, so much so that the admitted perfectionist needed five years to finish this October’s Evanescence (Wind-up).

The New York City resident phoned from home before the video shoot for hair-blowingly grandiose lead single “What You Want” to discuss some personal misconceptions, Hot Topic, and Juggalos.

How often do you regret naming your band after a word no one can spell?
It’s pretty fun, actually. It’s always a test of true fanhood. Like, “Oh my God, I’m your biggest fan, I’ve loved Effervescence since I was 
12 years old.” I’m like, “Oh, okay, 
you have?”

One of your biggest hits is “Call Me When You’re Sober.” Do you drink?

I wouldn’t say I’m a drunk or anything. When I was young and we were first out there, there was more of that. I think I badly needed the 
release because everything was crazy. But I’ve calmed down a lot.

Have Al-Anon groups approached you because of that song?

No. It’s mostly a chick anthem: “You only want me when you’re drunk. You only want me because I’m not there.” I definitely get a lot of girls who are like, “That’s my song. I assigned that ringtone to my ex-boyfriend.”

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Prime and Estria: Na’au Pono Interview

Photography: Aaron Yoshino

Heroes come in many shapes and sizes. Some are decked out in skin tight spandex suits while others have the uncanny ability to hit home runs. Along the spectrum, there are also those that defy social injustice by sitting at the front of buses and those that do forbidden art in the face of an oppressive government. In my hometown of Hawaii, there are two figures that have grown to become rallying forces for an art form that has been marginalized by social misconceptions. They are considered heroes in my book and many others that reside on the islands. They are champions for social consciousness and youth education through art. Their names are Prime and Estria.

To shed light on who they individually are as both educators and social change advocates, Prime is considered to be one of the most influential and prolific graffiti writers in Hawaii’s history. His active role towards enlightening the public about Polynesian culture and its diverse history has had a lasting and positive impact on Hawaii’s community. Through his educational initiative called 808 Urban, his work on both the artistic and educational fronts has created environments that advocate for progressive social change while promoting sustainability for low-income communities through self-determination, cultural awareness, and leadership development. While, Estria has been painting murals since 1984. Since his inception in the art form, his work has populated hundreds of walls that dot every corner of the globe. He has been an influential leader during the Golden Age of graffiti during the 80′s and has pioneered painting techniques that are still widely used to this day. Since 1993, he has taught graffiti classes and lectured at universities on graffiti’s social and political impact. Together they are changing the world one wall at a time through the act of graffiti.

We caught up with the artists as they painted a new mural as a prelude to the upcoming POW WOW Hawai’i art event in 2012.

Lets start this interview on a more lighthearted note. How did you two meet?

Prime: We met through a mutual friend who runs the website graffiti.org. I reached out and said that I’m offering free luaus to visiting artists. She mentioned a fellow local artist who was now residing in the Bay area by the name of Estria.

Estria: Her name was Susan Farrell and she started the first graffiti based website. She told me about this guy that gave free luaus to any writers that came to Hawaii. I said that I wanted a free luau! (laughs)

E: A luau is Hawaiian for barbecue.

P: …and beer. (laughs)

Hawaii is considered to be one of the most isolated places on Earth. A grouping of islands smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It’s American, but also culturally distinct due to its vast Polynesian history and melting pot of immigrant influences. Growing up in the islands creates variables that lead to a unique upbringing. Can you talk to me more about your connection to Hawaii and how it has led to your perspectives on art and life?


The Drums: ‘Kings Of Leon should split up’

Jonathan Pierce, the lead singer of The Drums told Clickmusic in an interview that he would advice Kings of Leon, who had to cancel their last tour because singer Caleb Followill suffers from “exhaustion” and “vocal problems”, to just split up:

I would advise them to split up and stop making music. I don’t think they’re really helping anybody – they’ve never made a song that’s really touched me in any way. I think the less bands that are making bad music, the better. I can only be honest! I honestly think that the new Britney Spears record is better than their songs – it sounds like a really great pop song and that’s what I really like. They’re very American bar rock and it’s not interesting, it doesn’t affect me at all. That Sex is on Fire song is one of the worst songs I’ve heard in my life. I would advice them to call it quits, definitely the best thing they can do. I do have to say that Jared was a very kind man and he’s smarter than he’s letting on. I don’t think he really enjoys the music that Kings of Leon are putting out. I’ve had long conversations with him and he’s very open to me. He has really great taste in music and likes really great bands – I think he looks at Kings of Leon and it’s just a job that he has. I think that’s a really sad place to be – going through the motions and collecting a pay check, especially if you’re doing something that’s creative you know. To misrepresent yourself in a creative atmosphere seems a little dark to me.

Read the whole interview here: http://www.clickmusic.com/interviews/article/the-drums-real-fans-will-understand-this-album-well#ixzz1YOFJYpGS