Interview with Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson and Jonathan Davis (Korn)
12.05.2008Question: Mr Hahn did a great video for that. It's nominated for 2 VMAs: Rock Song of the Year and the Viewers Choice Award. Knowing you guys, Viewers Choice probably means more than the other.
Brad Delson: Well it's just so cool that that's an award that's voted on by fans online and we've always taken so much effort to building our online presence and making sure that the internet is the vehicle through which we can communicate with our fans, so we're tremendously proud of that award and just the recognition, not only the song, but the video, in particular, has been getting, I think it's Joe's most impressive video to date and in terms of the work he put in and the collaboration he was able to do with the animators in Japan, it just blew our mind when we saw it and we're so proud with him so we're very appreciative for the recognition that that video is getting.
Question: Where do you guys stand with the new Linkin Park CD?
Brad Delson: We don't have a studio album coming out for anytime soon. We do have something really special that we've been working on, that will hopefully be out much sooner than later, so I think that's gonna be a really nice surprise for LP fans.
Mike Shinoda: Unfortunately, we can't tell you exactly what's going on with that at this point, you're going to have to just kind of keep an eye on our website, and the answers will be there eventually.
Brad Delson: We're just going to drive you crazy with anticipation. It's not Reanimation 2, I can tell you that.
Mike Shinoda: It's not a Reanimation style project
Question: What is your favorite tour to this date? (Assuming this is your favorite)
Mike Shinoda: Beyond this tour, I'd go Metallica, Summer Sanitarium, that was a really great tour. I mean, obviously we liked it a lot if we wanted to capture it on film and on CD for Live in Texas
Brad Delson: I really liked our last tour we did, kind of around the world, in particular the shows we played in Asia, because I love it over there and people are so cool.
Brad Delson: In terms of Projekt Rev, yeah, it's something we started a few years back. This is the biggest it's ever been and our plan going forward would be to do it every year. Hopefully we'll be on it, maybe not, but even if we're not on it, it will still be our baby and we'll put together a bill that's just as sick as this year and I hope it works out for next summer. Kids have just been having a great time at the shows and we've even had a fun time doing it.
Question: What are the set changes made on the Projekt Revolution tour that are different than the Meteora tour?
Brad Delson: That's such a great question because Mike and I both worked very hard on the set changes.
Mike Shinoda: Every time we plan a new set for a tour, I go through this whole 'refusal to do work' and--
Brad Delson: He cries about it to me and I have to sit there and hold his hand.
Mike Shinoda: Don't make it sound like it's just complaining, it's not just complaining, I get angry and violent and I'm screaming and crap and 'I don't want to do this', 'This is ridiculous' because every time we do it, every little thing, if you've heard about our band, we're control freaks, every guy is, and every guy wants to have their hand in every little thing, which 90% of the time that's good. When it comes to something as simple as little changes to the set, you bring these changes in, and the guys want to have a friggin' meeting about it. And they want to sit down and work on every little thing.
Brad Delson: I think it's just that you don't want to do work.
Mike Shinoda: If you know me, that's hillarious.
Brad Delson: Since we've only got a few albums, we have the responsibility of planning for a long time on stage, we've really tried to continually evolve the songs and the music and on this tour, we're playing songs that are from back in the day and also reworking things in a way that people haven't heard. If you were at the Meteora World Tour, the one we did with P.O.D and Story of the Year, Hoobastank in the States, we are doing a lot of different stuff on this tour, so I think we've actually designed it for those fans that have been at all the shows and I hope that they appreciate all the changes.
Question: Are you watching each other's sets? At least some throughout the tour?
Brad Delson: I watched the first couple of shows, and then I started getting really upset
Mike Shinoda: He was trying to mess up their shows by unplugging stuff backstage when they weren't on. After I did that, I felt much more comfortable going on.
Jonathan [Korn]: I watch you every night. It's good, man.
Mike Shinoda: I even heard a couple of the guys from Korn would go in disguise and watch. You know who I'm talking about, but I'm not going to call them out because I don't want people to actually see them.
Jonathan [Korn]: Yeah. Some of the members of my band will cruise out there and watch.
Brad Delson: You know what's weird though? I've seen some of your security guys, and I'm thinking, what are they doing out there?
Mike Shinoda: Why are they out there and not with the band?
Jonathan [Korn]: They are with the band, the band in disguise.
Brad Delson: Not that I would need a disguise. No one would even say a thing to me if I walked through the crowd.
Question: Do y'all take y'alls families on the road with y'all?
Mike Shinoda: That was a lot of y'alls. I'm from L.A., I'm not used to the y'alls
Brad Delson: I loved all the y'alls
Jonathan [Korn]: I do too
Mike Shinoda: I'm trying to start using more y'alls
Brad Delson: I heard you say y'all
Mike Shinoda: Jon says "Y'all want a single"
Jonathan [Korn]: I've got southern roots, baby!
Mike Shinoda: He's a cart carrying member, they've got a single with y'all in it
Mike Shinoda: But I think everybody is different, speaking for me, I think it's true for Brad, family usually just visits us on the road. Being on the road is kind of difficult."
Brad Delson: It's not as much fun as it looks.
Mike Shinoda: I know my family doesn't like to come out and spend much time out, there's probably a four or five day time limit and they just start getting antsy, wanting to go home.
Brad Delson: The fun part is playing the show. If you're not out involved with the show, it can get very boring.
Question: Who does the artwork on the Linkin Park albums?
Mike Shinoda: Just to be clear about what I kind of do as far as the artwork goes, usually on the albums, I work with another designer because it's a lot of work putting together an album artwork. I know our album had a really lengthy booklet with it. We'll usually just kinda throw some ideas together and get things started. For Meteora, we had a whole art day where Joe and I and Frank, who was our art director, then we invited out a graffiti artist named Delta, he's actually from Europe. It was a pretty big deal to get him out and get him to work with us. We had a lot of fun and we did a whole day where we just spraypainted and painted these gigantic walls. Things like that are really out of the ordinary and they're really special when we can make them happen. We're hoping to do some more things like that in the future.
Question: What is your favorite anime?
Brad Delson: We're all obviously fans of Japanese animation, in particular, Joe, likes the classics like Ghosts in the Shell. He was able to team up with a company called GDH in Japan. It's the guys who did the animation for the anime sequence in Kill Bill volume 2 and they also did the anime for the Matrix and those guys are sick, so we're really excited to have worked with them and also to have been able to put out a Manga book with Tokyo pop that features the artwork from Breaking the Habit so if you haven't seen that, you should go check it out because I think it turned out really cool.
Mike Shinoda: Also, just because I can tell that you're into the art side of things, I actually just got approached a few months ago to do a remix shoe with DC and the idea behind the remix is that we take a shoe that's pre-existing and we change the color styles and the textures on it. I'm not that big into doing endorsement things and all that, then I realized I could do something more cooler with the money. We're going to be doing a scholarship at Art Centre College of Design in Pasadena and all of my proceeds from the shoe plus a dollar for dollar match from DC, which doubles the amount, those proceeds from the shoe will go to the scholarship and start the principle monnies for that, that come beginning of next year, we can offer a scholarship over there, so people that need a little bit of financial help going to art school, they can look at it there. Back to the shoe, the shoe will be out in October. It's really cool too because I did the artwork for the box and the hangtag, and the insole and the ads, so it kinda did come full circle
Question: Why did you decide to play Nine Inch Nails "Wish" on Projekt Revolution?
Mike Shinoda: We're playing it because I really like the song. It's really hard for our band to agree. Even though I know a lot of the people, especially the younger people, who are in the crowd who aren't as familliar with that song as for example 'Closer' by Nine Inch Nails. It's just a song we really like and feel strongly about and it's a lot of fun to play live because it's so energetic. Enjoy it, I hope.
Brad Delson: And the drumming is very fast.
Mike Shinoda: Rob has fun with it. Actually, one of the hardest parts about putting that song together live, was rebuilding all the sample sounds, because I tried to replicate all sounds that you hear in the song, I think I did. Actually, one of our techs used to work for Nine Inch Nails, and I played it for him, and I said "Dude you gotta hear this, I can't believe I made all these sounds, it sounds so similar" and he confirmed that they were, in his expert opinion, very similar. If I have his vote, then it's similar, because he's a die-hard Nine Inch Nails fan.
Question: Breaking the Habit appeared to define the sound of Linkin Park's future. What does that mean?
Mike Shinoda: It's an interesting idea, I think the place that that idea came from, the reason that that's written in the book, is that was the first song we completely finished for the album. And up until then, we didn't know what was going to make Meteora different from Hybrid Theory. Why this album is worth listening to. I think that once that showed up, we realized that we had so far, that there were so many things that we could do, that we weren't doing yet. There's a million different ideas we could have tried in the studio that opened up those doors. In the future, I think we know from that experience that there is a lot of different things we can try. There are really no boundaries to the types of songs we can make. We'll continue to be creative when we get in the studio and try out all those things.
Question: Were you guys a little trepadacious that it really is not the Hybrid Theory, that it's more of a straight-ahead song? I think it's the fifth single on the album.
Brad Delson: Breaking the habit is a totally unique song. It actually started as an instrumental and more of an electronic style song. It combines different styles in a different way than in the other songs and that's what I think makes it so compelling.
Mike Shinoda: Every once and a while I think, what's funny, is that I wrote most of In the End and these two songs came together in a similar way. Like I just sat down and there was an idea that'd I'd had. Especially for Breaking the Habit, there's an idea I'd had for years that I wanted to do and I tried it out a few different ways but when I sat down with this instrumental and that idea of the theme of the lyrics, it was literally finished from the time I started writing it until being done, probably 2 hours. In the context of writing an album, that's fast. You never know when those types of things just pour out and they feel right. That's a good feeling, with a lot of momentum.
Question: How long ago did Chester do the song "State of the Art" with DJ Lethal and how did that come about?
Mike Shinoda: He did that song a long time ago. Year and a half ago? Two years? It was that long ago. I don't even know if Chester has heard the final version. I haven't, that's for sure. Last time I heard anything, was a little snippet or a vocal on a beat.
Brad Delson: I'm sorry we couldn't hallucidate. Expound? Elaborate? DJ: I think Chester might want to hear that!
Mike Shinoda: Yeah. He probably should hear it since it's now out and people are listening to it.
Question: Can you elaborate on the success of your labels?
Mike Shinoda: We have yet to see any success with our label because we are putting out our first things now, but we feel strongly about basically the direction and the reason we wanted to start it so that we can put together albums that are creatively on point and fun to listen to.
Question: You mentionned the band "No Warning" earlier on, that's a Canadian band.They've got an album coming out that drops soon. The 28th of this month, right?
Brad Delson: No Warning is actually on Projekt Revolution. They're one of the many bands on the second stage. I know No Warning's approach is that they are going to be touring for a while and just building. They're a younger band but they're building their base one fan at a time. I think they're an incredible live band and they really encourage people if they're coming out to get there early and check out Funeral for a Friend, M.O.P and a number of acts that are on that stage.
Mike Shinoda: It's tough because I know our guys won't accept un-solicited material. So what that means is that you kind of had to have the inside track and meet people. It's all about getting out there. And to me, number one, is to get out there and make the fans love it first. Because if you aren't already out there, playing shows and on the web, and people are already interested, and you need to know that that's the first step. You need to get your own thing going without a label, without anything else because the label isn't always there for you. At least, in past experience, not speaking about our labels, but the major labels, they're not always there for you, they can't be. So you need to make sure that you've got your own stuff under control.
Question: Who's idea was it to have a brief history of each song next to the lyrics in Meteora?
Mike Shinoda: I am going to be totally forthright about this, and say that number one, it was an idea that I got from The Roots' because they do that and I love it. I think it's the best. If you're into the roots, and you read the crazy things they write about their songs, it's one of the most entertaining parts of the whole album packaging. As far as our version of it, we just thought that in a lot of cases, the songs had some really cool stories that our fans would want to know. Speaking on that subject, we actually have a book coming out later this year. It's a coffee table book, it's photos and stories from the road. It's basically like a really personal, kind of inside into the band and it tells those same types of stories. The stories, in Meteora's case about the actual songs and how those came together. This book shows pictures and words from the guys and and of the guys. Just everyday, like hanging out and what goes on on tour. I think it's a really great personal, into the band.
Brad Delson: It's called "From the Inside" and we actually just saw the last edit. Edited, drafted it, and I think it's going to be coming out in October/November of this year.
Mike Shinoda: You can find it at any book store, you know Barnes and Noble, Amazon, wherever.
Question: How do you react to having Snoop Dogg on the tour?
Jonathan [Korn]: He's great, man.
Mike Shinoda: He's a great guy.
Jonathan [Korn]: He's awesome, he's been fun, nothing but fun the whole tour. He's really brought it this time. He's brought out a huge band.
Brad Delson: Huge band.
Mike Shinoda: Snoopadelics.
Jonathan [Korn]: I think it's like 13 piece band, a DJ and he just rocks it. Does Murder with a Case to Iron Man which is pretty cool.
Brad Delson: He plays all the hits. Just watching the crowd while he's on stage, every single person is into it. The guy's a legend, and when you come see his show, you see why.
Brad Delson: The whole idea of Projekt Revolution is to bring together fans of lots of different styles of music. We're fans of lots of different styles of music and we were designing a tour that we could do every year. We thought, why not bring that same mentality to the stage, because we think there's a lot of other people out there like us that aren't just fans of one thing. You know they'll have a Tool CD next to a Beastie Boys CD next to a Rage Against the Machine CD next to who knows what. We wanted to create a tour that combined all those different elements.
Question: Will Korn and Linkin Park do anything musically in the future?
Brad Delson: The thing about it, is all the guys in Korn are really cool, except their singer. He's kind of an ego-maniac. I thought it'd be a good idea to go out with them, but I've just really had a terrible experience with him.
Question: [At Linkin Park] What's your favorite Korn song?
Brad Delson: I like Blind because that's one of the first songs that really got me into Korn and I've been a huge fan of the band (figuratively speaking).
Mike Shinoda: It's the one that you first hear about a band, whenever you first hear about a band. Blind is the one that really sticks with you. Brad and I, and a bunch of friends of ours, we went to high school together and that's the one that was kind of passed around. "Dude you gotta check this album out"
Question: [At Korn] What's your favorite Linkin Park song?
Jonathan [Korn]: One Step Closer has always been my favorite. Same thing, it introduced me to the band. I got to sing on it in Reanimation. When I heard it, it's like "Ohh this is cool. Finally a band that does something cool. It's not the same old stuff. I was stoked.
Radio "Rockline" - August 24, 2004