Mike Shinoda Is Really Into Sleep Token, Says They’re ‘Adventurous’
And why wouldn't he? Sleep Token, the mysterious British post-metal act whose songs veer from scream-laden rockers to synth-filled pop numbers, shook the rock and metal world in a very viral way with this spring's Take Me Back to Eden, their breakthrough third studio album.
So when asked what newer music he's been listening to lately, Shinoda threw out a handful of acts — specifically Sleep Token, with the musician going on to illustrate why he likes the masked band, saying they're "really adventurous."
"Stuff that I'm listening to right now, I really love Jean Dawson," Shinoda divulges to the NME (Nov. 24). "I love Brakence. Sleep Token, been listening to a lot of them… I think somebody from the U.K. was like, 'Have you heard this yet?'"
Why Mike Shinoda Likes Sleep Token
When the interviewer suggests they had mentioned Sleep Token to him, Shinoda marvels, "Was it really you? And I made fun of you for it, do you remember? I was like, 'You guys always have this hot band that you're like, 'Oh everybody's listening to this. This is the one that we listen to,' and I was like, 'Why is it always so trendy with you?'"
He explains, however, "Then I went and listened to it, and I was like, 'Oh! I've actually already heard this band.' Now I know why everybody's talking about them because their new record is really adventurous. It's really strange to me in the best way."
Indeed, that "strange" quality is what really makes it for Shinoda. But when pressed for what else he thinks of today's metal scene, the Linkin Park icon demurs on any overall genre commentary, offering instead why he looks for artists who are doing something fresh.
"You already know how much I give a shit about genres and scenes like, I don't care," Shinoda says. "I really don't! I just listen to what I listen to. When I think about it, I usually am more impressed or drawn to things that build on top of tropes or common ways people do things. When they add something new to the conversation. So that's the reason I mentioned those artists, I think all of them add something to the conversation."
He adds, "I have this Spotify playlist — it's a public playlist, my "Breadcrumbs" playlist — [that] just has tons of stuff I'm listening to. The metal stuff that I do like, it's usually because it's unusual in some way."
Other Shinoda Stuff
Last month, Mike Shinoda released the new single "Already Over." Linkin Park spent 2023 celebrating their second album, Meteora, with an anniversary reissue and previously unheard songs such as "Lost."
Mike Shinoda on "Linkin Park's DNA," 'Already Over' + His Love of Sleep Token
Every Linkin Park Single, Ranked
Gallery Credit: Chad Childers, Loudwire