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Mike Shinoda

Standing behind one of the great Nu-Metal bands of the 21st century, he is a multi-instrumentalist, a very talented producer and a third-generation American-Japanese.

(Photo: Frank Maddocks)


1. His full name is Michael Kenji Shinoda.


2. He was born on February 11, 1977 in California to a Japanese-American father and mother who pushed him to learn to play classical piano music when he was only six years old.


3. When he was 13 he was already learning to play guitar and sing, he listened to jazz, blues and hip-hop.


4. He attended Agoura High School with Brad Delson and Rob Bourdon and formed his first band Xero with the two.


5. He continued his studies at the Art Center College of Design where he studied graphic design and illustration. There he also met Joseph Hahn.


6. After graduating, the four decided to embark on a musical career and set themselves the goal of making music and succeeding in the industry.


7. In 1996 they added bassist Dave Farrell and singer Mark Wakefield and recorded four songs on tape in Mike's room.


8. Mark left shortly after the recordings (Dave also left, but returned shortly after) and the band sent the demo to a skinny young guy named Chester Bennington, who came to audition and got the role.


9. The band Xero changed its name to Hybrid Theory and tried to get a recording contract, but everyone refused and was not interested in the six young people. Until a guy named Jeff, who helped them out in the beginning, got a role on Warner Bros.'s record label and signed the band, which changed its name to Linkin Park on a recording contract.


(Photo: Mick Hutson)


10. In October 2000 the band released their first album "Hybrid Theory" which despite difficult confrontations with the record company, lack of faith and relentless attempts to change them, the Fantastic Six managed to release an album that flew them first class to the moon.



11. Already on this album Mike took a dominant role on the console and was fully involved in every technical aspect of the recordings. Mike and Brad would lead the musical path and then Mike would sit with Chester on the lyrics. This is how the two got to know each other, Chester would take out everything he went through in his writing and the acquaintance was made through the songs.


12. In 2002, Linkin's remix album "Reanimation" was released. This is one of the most important albums in the band's history and perhaps the most important in Mike's career. He created this album with both hands and carried it on both his shoulders. In one of the interviews he said... that what started as an experiment and play with two or three songs, became a complex, complicated and demanding project which he vowed not to do it again, but he did...



13. On this album he took the band's songs, disassembled them into pieces and reassembled them, layer upon layer. Many different artists participate in the album and together with the new elements created by Mike, this album got an unusual, mesmerizing and addictive sound !!


14. In the same year, Mike co-founded with Brad the record company Machine Shop Recordings. More precisely it is a Warner Bros. label that was given to Mike in the beginning and after a few years he took ownership of it with Brad.


15. The band's second album, “Meteora” came out a year later and despite insane expectations and huge pressure from all sides to be as successful as the first album, Linkin Park flew to number one on Billboard and was again an insane success.



16. On this album Mike has already taken on the role of producer and started directing the whole creative process of the band. He also took on the role of graphic designer while together with Han they designed the covers of the band's albums.


17. The guy does not stop to rest and a year later, in 2004 he initiates (together with MTV) the surprising and refreshing combination between Linkin and Jay-Z as he takes the band's songs and makes them a mashup with Jay-Z's songs. The album is called "Collision Course" and brings together two big stars in the music world at the time.



18. Back in the same year, Mike released one of the big covers of that year when he remixed the song "Enjoy the Silence" by the band Depeche Mode.



19. In 2005 Mike wanted to sharpen his "rapping" abilities and set up an independent hip-hop project called Fort Minor. Although the album features a large and diverse number of artists, the entire album was written, played (on all instruments) and produced by Mike himself.



20. In 2007 the band released their third album, "Minutes To Midnight" which was produced by Mike along with super producer Rick Rubin. The album was a turning point in the band's musical style, where it began its journey with experimental of new directions and disengagement from neo-metal.


21. In 2010 came out the band's fourth album "A Thousand Suns" which was also produced by Mike and Rick, in this album Mike performs more vocal pieces along with Chester and less rap pieces. What started already on the previous album and will continue on subsequent albums.


22. The band then released three more albums, "A Living Things" in 2012, "The Hunting Party" in 2014

And "One More Light" in 2017 when they were all produced by Mike.


(Photo: James Minchin)


23. Remember he said he would not do it again? So he does it again... In 2013 Linkin releases its second remix album "Recharged". The album produced by the regular duo, Mike and Rick, includes 10 songs from the album "A Living Things" and one new song. In this album Mike takes Linkin's sound to the worlds of dance, dub-step and house.


24. Six months after Chester death Mike's feels he must vent all the pain, grief and distress that is contained within him. He said it was a very difficult, complex process and with a lot of concerns and insecurities. In January 2018 he expressed the trauma and released an EP called "Post Traumatic" which includes three songs, "Place to Start", "Over Again" and "Watching as I Fall". Each song was accompanied by a revealing ballot music video and talks about Mike's dealings with Chester's death.



25. Six months later he issued a full album bears the same name and includes 16 songs, the three songs that open the album are from the EP. The album was written and produced by Mike and features members of the Linkin and a large number of different and varied artists.


26. Mike who was very apprehensive of the band fans after the release of the album, got a warm and loving hug. The album was received by most of the band's fans with loving responses and Mike decides to go on a tour to promote the album. The tour included a visit in Israel, a performance that took place at the Tel Aviv port. The amazing thing was that on that tour Mike recruited the Israeli drummer Dan Maio.


27. During the COVID-19 Period, Mike released three albums called Dropped Frames, Vol. 1/2/3. The albums features material that Mike recorded in his home studio as he broadcasts them live on the internet.


Listen to the Post Traumatic album at: Spotify, Apple Music


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