Joining Audacy host Brad Steiner for a special Check In today is with Mike Shinoda as we discuss his two brand new Scream VI singles and the upcoming 20th anniversary of Linkin Park's Meteora set for later this month.
LISTEN NOW: Audacy Check In with Mike Shinoda
Mike Shinoda crept into 2023 with two brand new solo tracks included in the new Scream VI flick -- "Still Alive" featuring Demi Lovato, and "In My Head" with Alt/Pop singer and songwriter Kailee Morgue. On top of new solo music, he also offered up a new/old Linkin Park track, "Lost," as a tease leading up to the 20th-anniversary drop of Meteora on March 25.
"It's a lot, I admit that it's a lot," Shinoda explains. "On the Linkin Park stuff... it started with wanting to look back. We had the 'Hybrid Theory' 20th anniversary and fans kept asking if we're gonna do one for the next album too. My instinct, in the beginning, was 'no.' Maybe I was a little unsure, but I was saying, it depended on what we find. So we went into our hard drives, went into storage, and looked through material to see if there was something to make a 20th anniversary for 'Meteora,' and there was a ton. There's a whole album of demos that no one has ever heard, half of them have vocals on them, a handful of them are full-blown, finished songs... 70-something-minute documentary of unseen footage. There's a lot in there."
The track "Lost" that the band dropped as the lead single for their Meteora 20th, Shinoda says, "was a song that, when we made [the record] we decided that we wanted 12 songs on the album and 'Lost' was effectively the 13th song. The only reason it wasn't on there was because it was a little too similar to 'Numb.'" He continues with a laugh, "we just kind of put it to the side and said, 'yeah we're gonna do something with this at some point,' and then we didn't... and then we forgot about it."
Making the switch from writing for Linkin Park and late singer Chester Bennington to creating his own solo work still feels as though he's "pulling tools from a toolbox," although he admits fans have poked fun at his metaphor before. "Over the years, I just want to get better at doing it," Shinoda says. Looking back at his own production technique where he builds tracks layer upon layer, "I remember on our third album, 'Minutes To Midnight,' we started to work with Rick Rubin, and Rick said to me, 'have you ever written a song starting with an instrument and vocals, but not in the computer?'" The small number of songs at the time that stood out were some of the band's biggest hits, which ended up being quite a revelation.
"I think now when I write, for example I have two songs in the new 'Scream' movie, one is a song that I produced and co-wrote with Demi Lovato called 'Still Alive,' and then I have a solo song called 'In My Head.' Both of those were kind of written in this way, where I started the track. started some instruments, put some vocals on, tweaked the track a little bit, and came back and it's, yeah a different approach."
"['In My Head'], while it is informed by concepts in the movie, my song is more about intrusive thoughts and paranoia and things like second-guessing things that go on in your own head. Whereas Demi's song came from a conversation I had with her where she was talking about how she's gone through a lot in recent years and that she's so happy to be still alive. As soon as she said that, I was like, 'that's a great lyric...' and we kind of riffed off of those words."
WATCH NOW: Audacy Check In with Mike Shinoda
From his Linkin Park days to now, Shinoda sees his songwriting growing out of a need to get out what he has welled up inside while at the same time feeling as if he doesn't have the capacity himself to deliver. "With Chester, for example, he could sing just about anything you'd throw at him, and Demi's similar; Her range is insane. So I can throw ideas out and then I get to hear this world-class performance of the thing, and it just really supercharges the experience of making the song."
Listen to the full Check In Audacy Check In with Brad and Mike above, and stay tuned for even more conversations with your favorite artists on Audacy.com/Live.
Rounding it all out, Audacy is celebrating 50 years of Hip-Hop this year with Hip-Hop Made, and Shinoda as many certainly remember, played a major part in the Jay-Z/Linkin Park mash-up collaboration Collision Course that took the world by storm in 2004.
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Listen to more of your favorite music on Audacy's Emo Kids, Alt Now, Rockternative, Drivin' Alt, New Wave Mix Tape, 90s and Chill, Alterna 00s, and ALT Roots stations -- plus check out our talent-hosted Kevan Kenney's Music Discovery, Megan Holiday's My So Called '90s Playlist, and Scott Lowe on the Go's Post Modern Music Box!
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