Text-Based Online Chat with Yahoo and Linkin Park [english version]
This is a transcription of an online chat conducted with
Linkin Park on 11/30/2000 in the Yahoo! chat room by hob.com
THIS IS NOT A VERBATIM TRANSCRIPT.
IT HAS BEEN EDITED.
Mike: Hey, this is Mike and Brad from Linkin Park.
QUESTION: What are you guys going as for Halloween?
Brad: That's a really good question, because we're playing a big Halloween show tomorrow night and everyone's going in costume, and I have about 24 hours to figure it out. So I'll be taking suggestions online today.
Mike: I'm pretty much on the same page. I had a bunch of ideas, but I don't think I'm quite at the stage where I could actually share them with people.
Brad: He's still in development.
QUESTION: Do you guys feel like you've got some pretty big shoes to fill with all the Limp Bizkits and Korns out there in today's music scene?
Brad: Well, I'm not that tall - I actually wear a size 11 [shoe] - and we're actually getting stuff for free now. I just got a pair of Converse, so in terms of filling shoes I don't have any complaints.
Mike: Filling shoes? Wouldn't that mean that those bands are gone? I don't think any of those bands have left the scene. We're all playing music together at this point.
Brad: That was a very adept answer.
Mike: Thank you, Brad. Brad's so kind. He's here for my moral support. Without Brad I think I'd be pretty bummed out on tour, because he's the only one who gives me any moral support. Everyone else makes fun of me - especially Mr. Hahn.
QUESTION: how long have you guys been a band?
Mike: About four years. Going on five, actually. Brad and I have been friends since 7th grade, and everybody else we kind of picked up along the way.
QUESTION: Who directed your video for "One Step Closer"?
LINKIN PARK: Gregory Dark
Brad: he's actually an ex-porn director turned video director/superstar
Brad: The response to "One Step Closer" has been really overwhelming in a good way. We hear stories all the time of people who seem to have been really moved by the song, and in that regard I think it was an excellent choice for us to meet the world. Even better would be for people to actually get our full record - because even though "OSC" is a really solid singular track, if people listen to the entire record they will get an idea of what we're trying to do musically and creatively. And that's just starting to happen. We're just starting to get feedback from people who have heard the whole thing.
Mike: When kids are picking up the album it seems to me that they're at this point, by listening to all the tracks, really starting to get to know the whole band and the different types of music that inspire us - what we like to listen to - and that's important to us because we have pretty diverse tastes and hope to draw a diverse crowd when we play.
QUESTION: Who are your biggest influences?
Brad: My tastes are pretty varied. I listen to everything from groups like the Roots and Blackeyed Peas, maybe even JaRule on a good day, to harder and more alternative sounding rock bands like the Deftones, Sunny Day Real Estate... and then electronic sounding stuff like Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails. Dido. I'm all over the place.
Mike: Same here.
QUESTION: Have you guys ever been arrested? If so, why and when?
Brad: That would be a very exciting question if we weren't really unexciting guys. I think I got in trouble in 8th grade once for talking out of turn in class. I spent some time in detention.
Mike: I remember getting in trouble in third grade for trading Garbage Pail Kids in class, and we weren't supposed to do that until recess or lunch. But the teacher didn't actually find my stash of cards, so she couldn't take them away.
QUESTION: What band would you most love to be on tour with?
Brad: That's a great question. I said to my manager once, when he asked me that, that our goal as a band has always been to be as far-reaching as possible - in the sense that we would like to tour with as many different types of bands as possible. Our last tour with the Union Underground was pretty much a rock based tour. And currently, with the Cottonmouth Kings, the shows are more rap/hip-hop influenced.
Mike: But we would like to push even further in the hip-hop direction someday and possibly tour with groups like the Roots and Blackeyed Peas and De La Soul, just as we would hope to push in the electronic direction and tour with groups that do more electronic based music.
QUESTION: Why did you change your name from Hybrid Theory to Linkin Park?
Mike: It was basically a legal decision, but we definitely wanted to come up with a new name that was powerful and had the right tone or vibe, and Linkin Park just stood out to us. But the main reason we chose that [spelling of the] name is that we wanted the website, and obviously the presidential spelling would be pretty expensive, so we went with our more fun version. We've found that it's a great place on the web for people to get in touch and find out about the band and keep current with what we're up to.
Brad: And just so it's clear, that website is www.linkinpark.com and we update it as much as possible. We have all our show dates there, we're going to have merchandise available soon for purchase right from the site. We've got a message board where you can leave a message for the band - we read almost all our messages - also bios, lyrics, all kinds of cool stuff. Next year we'll have journal entries from the tour where you can hear directly from the band about what things have been most exciting on the tour.
QUESTION: What was it like going on tour the The Kottonmouth Kings?
Mike: Before the tour we didn't know them very well. We had never met them in person before and it turns out that we all get along extremely well. The entire tour has been a lot of fun. We're currently on tour with a group called Rehab as well. They start the show. After that Dogboy and Gypsy from Cottonmouth play an acoustic set from their Too Rude project, then we play, then Corporate Avenger, then Cottonmouth. Most of these groups have a lot of members, so the tour is just a big party all the time. And the kids get pretty riled up. Some shows are like riots.
QUESTION: For Halloween, you should go as a Priest and one of the other guys should go as a pregnant nun.
Brad: We can have a third guy go as the DNA lab guy to test the paternity.
Mike: I don't think that Halloween costume is going to impress our friends from POD, who we're touring with next month, and I don't want to offend them.
QUESTION: Is there any female influence in particular to any of your songs?
Mike: Musically, I'm a big fan of Dido. I also like a ton of female groups from Kitty to Madonna to Sneaker Pimps. Portishead. If you ask Brad, he'll tell you he loves his Britney Spears.
Brad: I love Britney Spears.
Mike: She's a big influence on his guitar playing, especially.
Brad: She drives me crazy.
QUESTION: Are you gonna do a video for "In The End" and/or "Pushing Me Away," because those songs just kick ass!!!
Brad: It's probably the most popular question we get, what our next single's going to be. We have no clue but we definitely love making videos, so look forward to more creative visual candy from Mr. Hahn and our visual production team of choice. I'm glad you like those two songs. Our approach to this record was to make each song a potential single, in the sense that each song is strong and stands on its own but also works within the context of the entire album. We wanted it to tell a story from beginning to end.
QUESTION: Why does Brad wear headphones in concert?
Brad: Brad cannot reveal his inspiration.
Mike: When Brad's being mysterious he speaks in the third person.
Mike: When Mike speaks in the third person he makes himself crazy.
Brad: Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich.
QUESTION: What was the hardest part about making the album?
Mike: Sitting in the same room with Brad for two months. But then we got on tour and it just got worse.
Brad: I didn't shower a lot then.
Mike: He showers less now.
QUESTION: Do you plan on touring a lot? Or being in the studio more?
Brad: We plan on touring extensively for probably the next year before we go back into the studio. We like touring.
QUESTION: What's the wildest thing a fan has ever done to get your attention. Also, what's the most outrageous gift you have gotten from a fan?
Mike: As far as gifts, we (Brad and I) have collected a pretty large grouping of bracelets and little jewelry and gifts like that, and usually at the shows we'll wear some of them for fun. We enjoy stuff like that.
Brad: I'm wearing two now and they're jingling.
Mike: As far as getting our attention, actually, at our last show in Arizona there was a big painting of our album cover and our name by some of the kids who worked at Tower Records. They took the time to paint up a version of our album cover on a six foot tall piece of wood. That probably took a lot of time. I was really impressed.
Brad: We've also gotten a lot of cool fan art via the web.
Mike: And we hope to get more.
QUESTION: Where were you the first time you heard your song on the radio?
Mike: I was in Arizona. Brad, was that the first time you heard it too?
Brad: It wasn't the full song, it was a clip of the song on a radio spot, and we were all in the van together. It was a pretty exciting feeling.
Brad: I still haven't seen the video yet on MTV.
Mike: Neither have I.
Brad: And I think it'll be a big kick... that expression makes it sound like I'm 48.
Mike: Most of the things you say make you sound like you're 48.
QUESTION: Brad, be a big-ass Gumby for Halloween.
Brad: Actually, that would be good idea, but before Mike had red hair he actually once had green hair and he looked like Gumby, so that would be more appropriate for him.
Mike: I have red hair now that can work around it.
QUESTION: Is it weird to have fans in L.A. that call you at breakfast in Seattle, or that you're definitely starting to get recognized?
Brad: We were at a restaurant in Seattle and one of the hosts asked who we are, because we're extremely conspicuous anywhere other than L.A. We look like a band. They asked what band we were, we said Linkin Park. About 5 minutes later a waiter came by and asked if Chester wouldn't mind speaking to his friend back home. Word had gotten around that we were there, and the staff had called their friends and there was a call that came in from someone who called in for Chester. And since the only people who know about [the call] are the band and the person who called, I'm guessing that the person that called asked the question. So, what's up!?
QUESTION: Is the song "Pushing Me Away" about anyone specific?
Mike: In general, when we write a song we write it from the inspiration of whatever emotion we're trying to capture and put it in a way that somebody else can take it and relate their own story to it. I definitely wanted to give somebody a starting point that was descriptive but not overwhelming.
QUESTION: You should go as Fat Fred Durst and the other guys can go dressed up like the Bizkit chicks. But then everyone would hate you!!
QUESTION: Hey guys... this is Rob from www.linkinparkweb.com. What do you think of all the fan sites?
Brad: We started out on the Internet, and we started out with our street teams, and we've grown from there. We've always taken a grass roots approach to building our fan base. They have really made us who we are, and putting up stickers around the neighborhood really inspires us to work hard at what we do. And I'm really proud of what our street team and fans have done in terms of publicizing us through the Internet.
Brad: Every kid on a street team is rad. I worship them.
Mike: My favorite part about the existence of fan sites is that they have photos and fan art that we've never even seen, and it's fun for me to go browsing in those sites and find new artwork, drawings, or photos or any kind of creative material.
Mike: Basically, some of our fans know more about us than we do.
QUESTION: Brad, it seems you love to use a lot of harmonics when playing. Do you use harmonics, and how come you like them so much?
Brad: Excellent question. Bonus points! There are a number of things I do in my playing that I do to try and define my own sound, one of which is using harmonics. The reason I like harmonics is because oftentimes they don't even sound like traditional guitar playing. With the right effects and the right performance harmonics on, a guitar can sound like a keyboard, or strings, and more rooted in an approach that works well with the hip-hop and electronic influences in our songs.
Mike: And when we've suggested things to Brad about what we've heard that we thought was interesting, he usually leans to something that's more playing-oriented than effects-oriented. He wants to be able to make the sounds on the guitar.
QUESTION: How did the Dust Brothers help with track #3, "With You"?
Mike: We met the Dust Brothers when we were looking for somebody to produce the album, and we decided after meeting that we'd try a song together. They gave us a track with drum loops and different Moog and synth sounds, and we ended up mostly centering in on those Moog and synth sounds, coupling them with guitar and live drum.
QUESTION: What are your favorite songs on the album?
Brad: "Paper Cut" is my favorite right now because I think it best integrates all our influences into one song and does it in a way that's tasteful and cohesive. In other words, one criticism that people have leveled at existing bands is that their songs don't always sound organic, that some of the songs might sound forced.
Mike: Or pasted together.
Brad: And our goal has always been to integrate these influences in the most seamless way, and I think Paper Cut does that really well.
Mike: Brad's answer was well put-together because we've had this conversation a number of times and we both agree that "Paper Cut" is our favorite at the moment, and I agree with everything he just said about it.
QUESTION: Does Joe Hahn have a split personality?
Mike: Absolutely. Joe Hahn keeps inventing new personalities daily. We're not sure how many he has, but at this point he's keeping us on our toes.
Brad: I think my favorite Mr. Hahn personality is the practical joking Mr. Hahn that probably doesn't have a name yet, but he's constantly inventing things in conversations with new fans who don't know us very well. He'll make up things about us that are totally untrue. So beware.
QUESTION: How is it touring with POD and Project 86 who are all Christians? Has it been a good example to you guys as to what Christians are really like?
Brad: The tour hasn't started yet, it actually starts 11/7. All the dates are visible on our website www.linkinpark.com. But we're fans of POD's music and also (hed) p.e., Product 86. In terms of their personal beliefs, they're their personal beliefs. Not necessarily anything else. The only thing I can say as a band - in terms of extra things that go beyond the music for us, because we all have different personal beliefs in the band - is that we try to make our music as positive as possible for us and for all our fans.
Mike: And I think that may be one reason why POD invited us to tour with them, and I see that positivity in their music as well.
QUESTION: What is the biggest audience you have played in front of?
Brad: We played an Atlanta radio festival show with a number of really great huge bands like Stone Temple Pilots, Green Day, Deftones, Incubus, Papa Roach among others. And the official crowd number at that show was 18,000. There were two stages, so we probably ended up playing for close to 10,000 people, and that was a pretty amazing feeling. The most incredible rush I've gotten onstage, however, actually occurred at Roseland ballroom in NY because there were probably 4,000 people packed into a club and the entire crowd was reacting to our music. Or at least that's how it felt. Someone might have been talking in the back, but onstage it was pretty amazing.
Mike: My favorite shows have actually been the smaller venues that are a little more intimate because you can see everybody's faces in the room.
QUESTION: How do you guys find ways to write when you're touring, or do you?
Brad: We're supposed to be writing? I don't even have room to sleep or go to the bathroom in our RV.
QUESTION: Are you guys available or are you hooked up?
Brad: We're all pretty much married to our music at this point. Mike just stuck out his tongue in disgust. But there are single guys in the band.
QUESTION: Linkin park has been scheduled to be here in Norfolk, Virginia twice, and each time they have chosen to play a radio show instead. This is happening again on November 11th. I told the band when I met them in Richmond to come to Norfolk, but each chance they've had they've played somewhere else. What do you have against Norfolk?
Mike: I've never been to Norfolk but I hope to play there someday. The unfortunate thing is that when our label or our management hears of a radio event where we can play in front of a large number of people, they'll usually pull us out of a smaller show so that we can play there. It's just a coincidence that it's happened a couple times in Norfolk. We have nothing against it, we have a bunch of street teamers from there, in fact. We hope to play there at some point.
QUESTION: Any way a street-teamer such as myself can get hooked up with backstage passes? :)
Mike: What backstage? In the clubs we're playing, there isn't much of a backstage area.
Brad: But one thing we try to do at each show is talk with as many people as possible.
Mike: So, usually, going backstage would mean that you're not hanging out with our band because we're usually in the crowd or at our merchandise booth where the people are.
Mike: We figure that if a club is going to make it difficult for people to get backstage, then why have a backstage at all? Let's just bring everybody out in the same place.
QUESTION: Where can I get the song "Carousel"?
Mike: Your best bet is to try finding the MP3 on the web, because the limited CDs we printed up are out in circulation. We don't have it anymore. So you can look on eBay for one of the Hybrid Theory EPs or look on Napster.
QUESTION: How do you feel about Napster?
Brad: I think it's only helped us at this point. Almost everyone who had downloaded songs from the Hybrid Theory record before it came out said that they were going to buy the album, and I'm sure they did. So I think it's just a way for more people to find out about the band.
QUESTION: What's the one thing you miss while you're on tour?
Brad: My own toilet.
Mike: That's difficult. I miss everything about home, all my friends and family, my dog. I have a little mutt dog, a little half-pointer, half-basset hound named Bessie that lives with my parents. I didn't give her the name. I would have probably named her something else, but we got her from the pound and we didn't want to rename the dog and confuse her.
Brad: How come our fans are so dope?
Mike: I know, they should be doing the interview instead of us. They're way more interesting, probably.
QUESTION: I was at Live 105's Halloween Freak Show on Friday, and I was wondering which band there (Orgy, Dust For Life) did you think was the coolest, as artists and as people?
Brad: I got to see both bands and I was really stoked on both of their sets and also really grateful that Orgy, the headliner, included us in the show. We're looking forward to playing more with those guys.
Mike: It's kind of unfair, which group we liked more, because we already had established some sort of a relationship with Orgy because they recorded in the same studio we did (NRG in Hollywood). So being that we're friends of some sort or another, I enjoyed their set a lot
QUESTION: Did you have a lot of songs you had to cut from the album?
Brad: We spent at least two years songwriting for the record, so there are songs that didn't make the record. But more importantly, the songs that did make the record we put a ton of care into.
Mike: Don't you think that, usually, if a song is going to be cut, we usually decide [to do] so right after we write it?
Brad: Yeah, sometimes we write a song, and we'll be really excited about it, and [then] we're totally over it. We send it to the song graveyard.
QUESTION: Do you guys support a lot of the underground hardcore and rapcore bands out there?
Brad: It's rumored that we'll be doing a headlining tour in 2001. So we've always got our eye out for cool new bands to take out and support.
QUESTION: If you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring a CD player, a guitar, a lifetime supply of moonpies or Jennifer Lopez, which one would you bring and why?
Brad: That's a joke. I'd bring Jennifer Lopez in a second.
Mike: I can bring the moonpies. We'll have both.
Brad: Instead of playing guitar, I would construct a new instrument out of bamboo and coconuts and serenade Jennifer.
Mike: And we'd write a song called "Little Buddy" just like Gilligan's Island.
QUESTION: Were you able to maintain a high level of creative control while making your album?
Mike: I think so. I think that in any writing process with a lot of people involved everybody wants to have their say, and when you are signed to a major label there are a lot of people to give input. So lucky for us all of us were on the same page and all our ideas were received really well.
Brad: As artists, it's always important to have creative control over your work. You know best what your art should look like. So while it's important to entertain input, it's my opinion, for me as an artist, that it's important to always maintain and have control over your final vision.
QUESTION: The lead singer of (hed) p.e. was just arrested for possesion of pot. Do you have any opinion on that? Do you think it will affect the tour?
Brad: I hope not, because they're a rad band and we're looking forward to playing with them.
QUESTION: There is a rumor that the EP is going to be re-released on the official site sometime in the future. Is it true?
Brad: I started that rumor. So it's still a rumor. Let's not ruin the rumor by giving a definite answer. But in all seriousness, I hope it becomes availablee so that people can go back and see what we were working on before we recorded our LP.
QUESTION: So I hear there was this girl in Portland that got on the stage and flashed everyone... is this true? Ahahahahaahhahahahah!
Mike: I feel like we're on a game show and I have to buzz in as fast as possible. Unfortunately for me, I don't put together dates and places and venues very well - I'll tell a story about something that happened and get the date and the venue and the person mixed up. So this probably happened somewhere, maybe, but I wouldn't remember
Brad: Besides, when we're playing we're so busy drooling on ourselves and thrashing around that a fire truck could run across the stage and we wouldn't notice.
Brad: Thanks to everyone for logging on and hanging out with us. Try and go to our website www.linkinpark.com Find out when we're coming to your town We love to come out and meet folks
Mike: Thanks also to House of Blues' HOB.com for hosting the chat. I think it's a great way to interact with our listeners, who I think are the coolest, smartest, most fun, raddest, dopest people in the universe.