Linkin Park singer/guitarist Mike Shinoda was recently interviewed by Alt 92.3, and he was asked to single out “the craziest thing you heard about yourself online.” Shinoda addressed the crazy conspiracy theory that he is part of the Illuminati (transcribed by Ultimate-Guitar).
“I heard so many things. Well, the Illuminati thing was the thing for one moment. There was one moment when somebody said that, and I was like, first I had to look it up.
“When I was like in junior high, and maybe early high-school – when we talked about Illuminati, ‘Oh yeah, secret societies that run the planet.’ And we forgot about that, but somebody brought it up again.
“Somebody was like, ‘Linkin Park is the Illuminati.’ And then I looked it up: ‘Is Illuminati the same thing it was back then?’. And the answer is, ‘Yes, it is.’
“I was like, ‘Dude, if I was Illuminati, I would be balling right now. Why would I be a musician running around doing shows?'”
What would you do if you were Illuminati?
“Um, Facebook? I would like, own Facebook or something way bigger than Linkin Park. I would be Jeff Bezos, I would own Virgin or something. Why would I be in Linkin Park? That would be a stupid thing.”
You know what I love? I don’t know if this is intentional but at your shows, there’s so many emotional moments when the crowd sings back to you and sings Chester’s parts. Was this a surprise for you or did you kind of expect it?
“I expected that. I mean, I started the process of my solo record – ‘Post Traumatic’ came out earlier this year, and in the process of making that record and deciding to start, I had to make a lot of decisions. I had to really think about the next steps and steps after those.
“So in other words ‘So, okay, I put out a bunch of songs. Should I put out an album? If I put out an album, people are going to ask me what the songs mean. If I do that, I probably should go on tour. I will see fans who will cry, I will see fans who will tell me really, you know, their personal stories and probably bring up stuff that makes me uncomfortable, but also tell me stories about their own lives that are hard to listen to. Can I listen to lots of those every single night?’
“I did a few signings, I did a few little things, and I realized, ‘I’m okay with this.’ I was out there to thank the fans for their support, to thank them for the way they were celebrating Chester.
“It’s the way that I would want them to, and also go out there and kind of guide that, let people know, ‘I want to see people remembering how great his voice was, the wonderful things he did.'”