"When there were more challenges, we'd have each other's back because we knew we had this creative agreement — or in our case, a brotherhood."
As Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda took the stage at BIGSOUND 2023, the room went wild with applause before falling into a hushed anticipation.
Every seat was filled, and the energy was palpable. Shinoda, with his charismatic presence and natural storytelling prowess, commanded the room effortlessly as Rolling Stone Australia’s Poppy Reid interviewed him about Linkin Park's history, their rise to fame, and their journey through the tumultuous world of music.
Shinoda's anecdotes about the late Chester Bennington were particularly poignant. His stories painted a vivid picture of Chester - his audacity, his humour, and most importantly, his unwavering dedication to the band's artistic integrity.
One particular anecdote that had the audience in stitches was a story about the band’s early days while working on their 2000 debut album Hybrid Theory, during which a label manager had suggested to Bennington ditch the rest of the band.
"So we're doing the album — Hybrid Theory — and someone from the label, went to him one on one and was like, 'You don't need these other guys. We can build this whole project around you,' — this was the same person who told me not to rap on so many songs — He had this other vision for what the band had to be."
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“Chester came and told us, and we're like, 'Well, what did you say?' He said, 'I told them to go fuck themselves.'“ Shinoda added as the crowd laughed uproariously.
“But we knew there was that moment of galvanisation that we knew we were in it hardcore for the long run.”
He added, “When there were more challenges, we'd have each other's back because we knew we had this creative agreement — or in our case, a brotherhood.”
“We all felt like we were necessary for each other.”