In an interview with Ted Stryker just prior to a dress rehearsal for a small group of fans, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda shares some insight into the creation of their latest album, Living Things.
The band calls the new record a “developing journey” and one where they had a discussion about “getting real with who they are.” For Shinoda, that meant co-producing the album with Rubin, although he deems the word co-production a “technicality.”
“Rick comes in about once a week and he does a few hours with us where he hears it with fresh ears and gives us the Rick Rubin take,” Shinoda explains.
“There are a couple misconceptions with a band writing a song,” Shinoda continues. “One is that you think of a song, you like dream it up, and then you make it. And that’s not how it works for us. Another thing is people think maybe a band jams and then they write a song and then they go into a studio and then they record it and then when they’re done recorded they go mix and master and then the put it out.”
[pullquote quote="It's not your fault when you're young and everything's about you." credit="Chester Bennington"]“Our process is weird because it doesn’t work linearly like that at all,” says Shinoda. “Like from the very first demo, which could be on a laptop, home studio, big recording studio…everyone of those places we’re just writing. And the demos, from the very first idea, we’re already trying to get a handle on it, the engineering of it, the mix, the sound. We’re doing all steps of it at once at all times.”
This also gets alluded to later as their “automatic writing” technique which Bennington admits can sometimes sound like “gibberish.” “There’s no words, just things that sound like words,” he says.
They did say they like to put a positive spin on their music, even some of the “doom and gloom” songs of Hybrid Theory, and when asked how age has played into their writing process, Bennington says that “age comes with a different perspective on life.”
“You know, when you’re young, everything’s about you. It’s not like your fault when you’re young and everything’s about you and you’re trying to find your place,” he explains. “And you view the world, in a way, at least I did, as things happening to me, and so, I think now my perspective is much different. I’m kind of excited about even the sh*t that’s bad because there’s always some good that comes out of it and I kind of wonder what that will be.”
Linkin Park are getting into tour shape to co-headline the 2012 Honda Civic Tour with Incubus. The two bands, whom have often been put into the same musical category, also grew up in the same area. Linkin Park said they saw Incubus play some backyards when they were in high school; Incubus lived down the 101 freeway in Calabasas.
The band will promote their latest album, Living Things, in stores June 26th.
-Nadia Noir, CBS Radio Los Angeles / Jay Tilles, CBS Local