LINKIN PARK’s MIKE SHINODA Explains Why Computer Should Be Considered An Instrument

Mike Shinoda

During a recent fan Q&A hosted by ALT 98.7 FM, LINKIN PARK‘s Mike Shinoda talked about computers, their importance in music, and why they should be consider an instrument.

When asked if computer is an instrument, he responded: “Yes. Is the keyboard an instrument, first of all? Most people would say yes. The keyboard is just a MIDI interface, series of MIDI input receptors feeding information to an internal computer. So there’s really no difference, theoretically, between pressing notes on a keyboard or hitting a drum pad, and that going to a thing that makes noises, versus your computer.

“Besides, ever since the beginning of our band, I really treated Pro Tools or Ableton as an instrument where you can chop up the audio and actually make new sounds out of the audio.”

Asked how he would like for his fans to know him, Shinoda said: “I feel like some artists… it’s a part of the fun of what they represent, or what they portray is either fiction or an exaggeration of themselves — or it’s even the opposite. For some people, it’s the opposite of themselves. Like, offstage they’re very introverted but on stage, they get to be a different character. Go outside of that or go against that.

“I feel in the early days of the band we were still figuring out who we were, and we were probably the more exaggerated version of ourselves category,” he continued. “But as I got older, as I think all of us got older, it was just trying to put that aside and just be ourselves.

“I think of some artists who have been around for many years who do have a very exaggerated persona, and at some point, some of those folks merge with that persona.

Gene Simmons from KISS. Gene Simmons, to me, feels like he probably didn’t grow up being Gene Simmons but now he’s just the guy from the band and the guy in real life is kind of the same person. I have no reason to believe otherwise. Which is kind of fun but it’s also kind of crazy. I would never feel like I wanted to be a caricature.

“It does take some effort too to be just aware of yourself and comfortable with yourself.”