Linkin Park: 'Mainstream Rock's Moved Into Pop and We're Just Not Comfortable Going There'

"Rock has moved away from loud, aggressive stuff," Mike Shinoda explains.

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Linkin Park singers Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington recently shared their thoughts on today's state of rock, stressing how the genre has heavily delved into the pop world in recent years.

"The rock genre has moved into this pop world, it's moved away from loud, aggressive, guitar-based stuff and it's gotten into this indie alternative pop thing. And we're just not comfortable going there right now," Mike said.

Shinoda explained how he told pretty much the same thing to Rakim, the guest rapper on Linkin Park's latest single "Guilty All the Same." "He said, 'That's exactly what I'm going through!' He said he wants to uphold a certain aesthetic and integrity. Rap's gotten into a different place, it's very poppy," Shinoda noted.

During the rest of the chat, the duo discussed how making guitar-heavy music is what fits them the most right now, sharing a great deal of excitement regarding "The Hunting Party." The record is due on June 17 and will be followed by the band's joint Carnivores Tour with 30 Seconds to Mars and AFI kicking off on August 8 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

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31 comments sorted by best / new / date

    rothvamplew
    Says the band that went pop.
    SstanN
    "we don't like poppy rock. So we made something else. Now we're going on tour with 30 seconds to mars."
    s7peterson
    exactly what I thought. It's almost like they don't know Living Things was a thing. (no pun intended)
    Karabiner07
    On the one side I agree with him 100% (looking at you Imagine Dragons), on the other he's being such a hypocrite.
    travismaxelboon
    Imagine Dragons is such an awesome moniker and its wasted on a band that makes sub-par radio rock. I saw a few videos of them performing songs live right before they became famous and they were very good. They sounded almost nothing like they do now. The almighty dollar will, in most cases, cripple artistic expression.
    Eissari
    They are not comfortable going there? But they EXACTLY did go there. My brain is melting?
    TwisterAce
    Seems like LP is trying to ignore their two previous albums. I liked A Thousand Suns and Living Things , but don't criticize rock for becoming poppier when your band is guilty all the same.
    Absurder22
    Okay 1, Hypocrites and 2, no rock hasn't gone soft, it just isn't there . If the definition of rock includes Imagine Dragons, than the definition in the eyes of the public is WRONG, that's why it's gone "soft", cos it's pop being called rock for some ****ed reason, of course it's soft!!!.
    KnotParkDay
    What bewilders me about all of this, in terms of both band and reactions is that LINKIN PARK HAVE ALWAYS BEEN POP. Hybrid Theory, as badass as it was, was a more melodic form of the most popular trend in rock at the time. They took nu metal in a far more pop direction than it had ever been previously.
    Minivirus2
    Yep, both genres have slowly crept closer and closer to the realm of pop to make more money and stay alive. However, I think the real problem is a culture shift. A lot of younger kids now adays just don't want to listen to rock and rap is slowly seeing the same results. Way of the times I suppose.
    Absurder22
    TBH the fact that we call shit like Imagien Dragon's rock is the real problem. I can't think of a less correct genre term to describe bands like that.
    SstanN
    He himself went to, and fortified that place he so scorns! The hypocrisy of men..
    Niiko
    "and it's gotten into this indie alternative pop thing. And we're just not comfortable going there right now," I wonder how many people noticed that part?
    EricSchC1
    They're not wrong, they're just really poor representatives of what "less poppy" rock music should sound like.
    UniformRecon
    To change up the old saying, it's the pot saying it doesn't want to be black like the kettle.