Mike Shinoda Shares Creative Focus Debate on New Song ‘About You’
The tragedy of the passing of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington hovers over most of what the band does these days. It definitely played a role in Mike Shinoda's Post Traumatic EP and the upcoming Post Traumatic full length album, so much so that even songs not specifically about Bennington feel as though they might be. And it's that creative focus debate that plays into Shinoda's latest song "About You."
Shinoda debuted the song on Zane Lowe's World Record show on Beats 1 today (April 26) and he told the radio host, “A lot of the early stuff on this album was about what had happened and Chester and all that, and then I started trying to write some songs that weren’t about Chester and weren’t about that whole thing. I realized people would still hear them as if they were about him. It was like, ‘Man, even when I try to make a song that’s not about him, it still feels like it’s about him.'"
The track is a more electronic sounding effort from Shinoda, reverting more to a rapping style with some assistance by special guest Blackbear on the song. As for the video, it follows a similar DIY vibe to Shinoda's recent clips, following the singer on board an airplane as he leaves L.A. and finds himself enjoying the cityscapes and the nightlife elsewhere as the song plays out.
While speaking with Lowe, Shinoda revealed a little bit more of what to expect when he starts playing his solo shows. He admitted that at first he didn't want to dip into the Linkin Park catalog, preferring to keep his projects separate. But the more he spoke with people, the more he realized the opportunity it presented. "They were kind of like if I came to your show and I didn't hear some Linkin Park I’d be so pissed at you," says the singer. "Look, there's a universe of possibilities. I could do covers, but why would I do covers when I can do a couple of songs that I actually wrote and perform vocals on?" Shinoda also stated that he's working on some new arrangements of Linkin Park songs as well.
As for Linkin Park and where they stand, Shinoda says the band members talk and text and send e-mails, so they are in touch, but he adds there are still many questions about how to continue. "It could be one thing, like we said Hey do you want to go to the studio and just write some new stuff? That's like the easiest thing in the world. Yes, we can do that. But then what happens after that? That's the part where it's like a big question mark. I don't want to get out onstage and if it's just the five of us how are we going to play 'One Step Closer'," asks Shinoda.
He continues, "There are certain songs that I feel like the fans are going to want to hear and I want to play and I don't know how to do that, right? So and of course some people will say well just bring another, bring some other person. It's like yeah that's a nice idea but there's a lot to that. It's more than just the voice, which number one, nobody has a voice like Chester’s. So that's a huge hurdle. Maybe it's not a person maybe it's a combination of things. I don't know what it is and that's all just me talking. If you talk to Brad, if you talk to Dave, Rob, Joe like you’ll probably get other ideas."
Shinoda says that by doing his solo album and getting out playing shows, it affords him and his bandmates the time to figure out things naturally rather than rushing into something.
Look for Shinoda hitting the road at these stops and check out the Post Traumatic album when it arrives on June 15.
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