Linkin Park singer/guitarist Mike Shinoda was recently interviewed by Alt 92.3, and he discussed creating his own collaborations with Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails with mashups when he was younger (transcribed by Ultimate-Guitar).
I got to ask you about a connection with another artist. We just recently celebrated the 14th anniversary of ‘Collision Course.’ What are your memories of that project coming together with Jay-Z?
“You know, it was originally started by the MTV. They went to Jay, and they said, ‘You know, this mash-up thing… It kind of started with Danger Mouse mashing you up with The Beatles. Wo do you want to do this mash-up show?’
“Originally they wanted to do a series. So he said ‘Linkin Park,’ and they called us, and the first thing I did was, I actually sent back three songs.
“The reason that played out that way was – they did what they didn’t know, mash-ups. It was how I learned to make music. I would sit all weekend every weekend, putting little mashups of my favorite stuff together when I was in high school.
“I learned how to use the sampler by mashing stuff up. It would be like Wu-Tang Clan and The Smashing Pumpkins, and Nine Inch Nails and Jackson Brown, and James Brown with something weird.”
What was the strangest thing you ever sampled? You are a creative guy…
“I did a really dope mashup one time, there was an N.Y. rapper named Nine, and I took his a cappella and the track I built underneath it was PYT by Michael Jackson with Audio2’s Top Bill underneath it. So those are the three pieces.”
Did you rap Jay’s verses on that album? Did he give you any piece of advice in terms of cadence or flow – what did he say to you?
“My attitude was like, ‘We’re going to do this thing.’ I just did them and put them on the track, and if Jay doesn’t like them, he’ll ask me to take them off. When I’m doing something creative like that, I try to find the boundary where it’s like uncomfortable, or ‘You don’t go past that line.
“And that was me pushing that line of what’s acceptable and what’s not. He never said, ‘Let me do this’ or, ‘Let me do that.’ He just let me be, which I thought was cool.”