We Moved! WE MOVED

Daily Telegraph Article

Friday, February 11, 2005

Out of The Park
February 2006
IN the cliquey world of rock'n'roll, success isn't a badge of honour - it's a black mark that distinguishes the commercial from the cool.

Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas has spoken of how rock peers look down their noses at his popularity. But he noted an opposite reaction when he mixed with rap royalty – the hip-hoppers respected "the numbers".

Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park – a band that has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide in five years – knows exactly what Thomas was getting at.

"Some countries, the metal scene or the rock scene, they're very picky, they take shots at anybody who's had any success at all," Shinoda says. "You're cool until everybody says you're cool, then you're not cool.

"As far as hip-hop and respecting 'big' goes, that is pretty true, they do."

So no one should be the least bit surprised that, after mashing up each other's songs to create 2004's Collision Course album, Shinoda and hip-hop impressario Jay-Z are still working happily side by side.
But rather than swapping rhymes, Jay-Z has this time offered advice, acting as executive producer on The Rising Tied, the first album from Shinoda's Fort Minor project.

Fort Minor is Shinoda's return to hip-hop, a project between Linkin Park albums that has been taking on a life of its own.

"This is what I do naturally," Shinoda says of Fort Minor. "I grew up listening to hip-hop and this album is getting back to those roots."

After dipping his toes back into hip-hop with Collision Course – and around the same time reconnecting with his old mates in LA rap combo Styles Of Beyond – Fort Minor quickly became an inevitability.
"It's been however many years since I did straight up hip-hop songs, and in that time I've learned so much about writing and producing, and also just about the world, travelling around, meeting people," he says. "So I started wondering, if I took all those things I've learned from my experiences with Linkin Park, and applied them to the hip hop I used to do, what would that sound like?"

The Rising Tied is a diverse and credible album that "doesn't sound like a traditional hip-hop record, but is obviously still a hip-hop record", Shinoda says. "It's also not what people would expect hearing Linkin Park either.

"If you've heard the hip-hop side of what I do with Linkin Park, you wouldn't have expected this."
Shinoda played 95 per cent of what you hear on The Rising Tied, drafting in outside talent only when he realised it might be more enjoyable to mess about with some mates rather than do it all himself.

So Styles Of Beyond – rappers Tak and Ryu, and DJ Cheapshot – join Shinoda front and centre on the album and in the impressive Fort Minor live show, which is coming to Australia next month.

The Rising Tied also features the Roots' Black Thought, John Legend, Common and singer Holly Brook (whose album is due for release on Linkin Park's Machine Shop label later this year).
And with the friends came a sense of fun.

"I don't know about you, but when I listen to Linkin Park records I hear it being very serious," Shinoda says.

"When I listen to the Fort Minor record, there are times when it is very serious, but there are times when it's totally messing around too."

His next challenge? Remembering how to compromise when Linkin Park reunite for an album, expected before the end of this year.
"We already started writing a little and I'm happy to say I'm OK with leaving the ego at the door," Shinoda says.

"I don't think any of us were worried about anybody getting a big head and acting like an idiot,'cos the music is the most important thing in what we do."
The Rising Tied is out now. Fort Minor, Enmore Theatre, March 4, tickets on sale through Ticketek 

thanks to lptimes.com