Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda Is Enjoying Writing Songs For Himself – ‘I’ve Been Unlocking Little Nuances in What My Voice Can Do’
Mike Shinoda — best known as guitarist, songwriter, producer and founding member of Linkin Park — celebrated his latest solo track, "Already Over," on Thursday night's Loudwire Nights (Oct. 19). Speaking with host Chuck Armstrong, he admitted it's felt really good to focus on writing for himself and his voice.
"I've spent so much of my life writing songs for other people to sing," he admitted. "Writing for myself feels like an unlocked door, like it feels like, 'Oh, I don't ever really do that.' And when I do it, I choose different words, I choose different melodies."
As he unpacked this idea, he connected it to how different his singing style was from his bandmate and friend, Chester Bennington.
"I don't say words the way he said them. I don't have the higher register that he had. You know, if there's a screaming part [in a Linkin Park song], that would have been his part. But if there's a rapping part, that would have been my part. We tried to do it the other way. I cannot scream. He could not rap."
Shinoda said that over the years, he's learned how to write toward the skillset of the vocalist he was working with. Now that he's spending more time on himself lately, he told Chuck, "I've been unlocking little nuances in what my voice can do well."
Why Fans Might Be Surprised to Hear Mike Shinoda Singing on "Already Over"
Earlier this year, Shinoda released the solo song "In My Head," which was featured on the Scream VI soundtrack, and he has now followed it up with "Already Over." While the two songs sound different on the surface, there's no question they both have Linkin Park DNA in them.
That's something Shinoda didn't seem to shy away from as he and Chuck discussed the new track.
"This thing came out of me and I started recording it and putting it all together," Shinoda said about "Already Over." "[But] it occurred to me at one point, I've been singing so much lately just here in the studio on demos and whatever, it occurred to me that people haven't heard me sing in a minute or much at all. Especially not on a song like this."
What Shinoda meant by saying that was that most fans are familiar with his voice thanks to the softer songs in Linkin Park's catalog, most of which sound nothing like "Already Over."
"When I did it, I was like, oh, there's something fresh about it because of the combination of elements. You've got stuff you might recognize, but not in the combination ... Sometimes you just gotta let the song be the song."
While fans are curious if Shinoda's output this year is pointing toward a full album or live shows, he was pretty quick to say there are no specific plans for what the future holds. But that's not to say he's done releasing songs.
"There is definitely more music on the way ... I feel like it's a world-building time."
What Else Did Mike Shinoda Discuss on Loudwire Nights?
- What he learned working with Rick Rubin on several of Linkin Park's albums: "He gave us some great guidance on how to keep things fresh and how to keep your ship pointed in the direction of the art."
- Why he enjoys working with younger writers who have been influenced by Linkin Park
- Why it's difficult for him to be proud of some of the major successes in his career and how that's connected to his Japanese culture
Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below
Mike Shinoda joined Loudwire Nights on Thursday, Oct. 19; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand. Stream "Already" at this location and then follow Mike Shinoda on Twitter.
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