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Post Traumatic EP

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On January 24, 2018, Mike Shinoda took to his social media accounts to announce the surprise release of three new songs, complete with visuals, the following day. His three track EP, titled Post Traumatic, dropped the next morning on January 25, 2018. The entire EP was created to help Mike deal with his grief following the surprising loss of bandmate Chester Bennington on July 20, 2017 to suicide. He was very careful to mention of the release that "this is not Linkin Park, nor is it Fort Minor - it's just me." As such, the lyrics are raw, painful at times, showcasing Mike's journey in the grieving process. They allow a view into the wide range of emotions that suicide loss survivors feel: sadness, anger, frustration, confusion, loss, and helplessness. Each track was released with an accompanying self-made video to give each song a visceral punch that otherwise might not be felt without the visuals.

Place to Start

The shortest of all three tracks, the opening song is full of the questions Mike has faced repeatedly in the past six months. Mike's feelings of hopelessness in the days following Chester's passing, all the draining uncertainties and insecurities, the questions and despair of the past several months are on display in this track, easily summarized by the line, "I'm tired of being scared what I built might break apart." The idea that the evolution of Linkin Park has been cut short, as well as the idea that Chester alone had defined what Linkin Park had always been, are too heavy to comprehend as he worries that he's lost the ability to determine his own future and how to move on. Musically, melodically minimalist synth production further drives home the feeling of confusion and loss of direction. Visually, the video is hazy and we only see half of Mike's face, with sunlight coming in the window over Mike's shoulder. When the music suddenly cuts away to still shots of Mike's kid's belongings and voicemails left for Shinoda in the days immediately following Bennington's death, it's hard not to feel disoriented.

Over Again

On the surface, this track deals with Mike's emotions surrounding the tribute show, Linkin Park and Friends, performed at the Hollywood Bowl on October 27, 2017. However, looking past the obvious references to that particular night, this song is about how unexpected things can trigger memories that must be embraced in order to move forward. It's the most personal narrative of the three songs on the EP.

The first verse, written and recorded on the day of the tribute show, finds Mike wondering if he can be professional enough to follow through with the commitment he made to perform without emotionally falling apart. The video painfully begins inside Mike's home studio vocal booth, a location Chester has been videoed in many times, and not coincidentally, Mike is wearing the same clothes he wore at the tribute show. His voice is hoarse and emotional as he seems overwhelmed with the burden he's taken on of being both himself and Chester for the performance, and explores his own fears and anxieties of being able to perform without Chester for the first time in almost twenty years.

Written and recorded the day after the tribute show, the second verse is bitter and aggressive, lashing out at people for their insensitivity and those accusing him of insincerity. Critics dared to comment that because Mike was a consummate professional during the show, he wasn't mourning. As he raps all the questions he heard in the hours after the show, there is pain, frustration, and desperation evident in his broken voice. Performing the tribute show should have brought a degree of closure to the tragedy, but instead Mike finds just how entwined his life has become with Chester's and wonders if he will ever reach a point where he is not being assaulted by the memories, where he won't be saying goodbye to his friend and bandmate every single day.

Watching as I Fall

The heaviest track musically of the three, this song is a lyrical middle finger to everyone who doubts that Mike Shinoda can continue to make music without Chester. It's easily the most "public consumption" ready of the three tracks, touching on the judgement of the media, the awful reality of mourning in the public eye, and how hurtful it is to not be allowed to mourn a close friend without a constant barrage of questions. As Mike is trying to sort out and come to terms with his feelings about the nature of Chester's death, and the future of his own career, he's being asked at every turn how he's doing and how he feels about both. He's trapped by his celebrity status as people wait for his actions and reactions. All he's trying to do is the messy work of sorting through his own feelings and desire for closure, but everything he does is dissected and reacted to, whether the interpretation of what he is doing is accurate or not. It's easy to see in the accompanying video that he's looking for ways to cope with his grief and anger.

Aftermath

This EP takes Mike's lyrical brilliance to the next level. It is an extremely real, close up, intimate look into his grief and his headspace in the past six months, and it is beautiful and tragic, vulnerable and honest. If this is the place that Mike Shinoda is going to start rebuilding, it's incredibly exciting to see what is next for him, as well as Linkin Park.

The outpouring of fan love and support has been tremendous following the release, and has even sparked a fan movement to bring Mike Shinoda to play solo shows in their cities. If you'd like to vote for Mike to play his Post Traumatic songs live near you, go to WeDemand! and vote, and share information on how to bring Mike to your city via your own social media. Watch the Post Traumatic videos at mikeshinoda.com

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Member Guest

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In late 2017, Dave Farrell joined friends Mark Fiore and professional golfer Brendan Steele to start a podcast called Member Guest. The lighthearted show features topics ranging from music to golf to everyday life. Each session features a new guest as the members - aka hosts - lead the way on subjects that range from side-splitting laughter to life lesson moments and exploring the passions of professions, history, family, and friends.

The first show was recorded on January 11, 2018. Their opening guest was front man M. Shadows from the band Avenged Sevenfold. All three hosts took turns asking questions and sharing their own stories as they played off of M. Shadows' answers and charismatic attitude. While most of the interview consisted of crazy and hilarious golf stories, the subjects of music, creative pathways, fans, social media, life on tour, and album releases were peppered in to create a balanced atmosphere for those listening who aren't head over heels for golf.

Toward the end of the show, the subject of late singer Chester Bennington came up, and the Hollywood Bowl show, which members of Avenged Sevenfold were a part of. It was a touching few moments as M. Shadows and Dave both reminisced about Chester and the light and talent he brought to the stage and to those around him. Both men shared their thoughts and experiences when it comes to grief and dealing with the passing of a loved one, friend, and bandmate.

So far Member Guest has had a handful of shows featuring Green Day drummer Tre Cool, professional golfers John Mallinger and Charley Hoffman, and Toronto Maple Leafs' player Joffrey Lupul. Check out the backlist of shows on their website and stay tuned for more exciting interviews about music, golf, and less important things, led by our very own Dave "Phoenix" Farrell.

Go to Member-Guest.com to listen for free. You can also head over to iTunes to listen and leave a review of the show.




One More Light & Chester's Passing

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On May 19th, 2017 Linkin Park released their seventh studio album One More Light. The first single Heavy was released on February 16th, 2017 with an accompanying video featuring guest vocalist Kiiara. While this first single initially got mixed reviews from fans, most praised the band for releasing something so personal and dynamic, especially with the video representing just how deep the lyrics ran.

Battle Symphony, Good Goodbye and Invisible all followed as pre-released tracks. Each one showed a unique side to the upcoming album. Invisible let Mike Shinoda take the spotlight with his heartfelt singing abilities, Battle Symphony showcased Chester Bennington's well-tuned voice, and Good Goodbye brought in the old-school rap we all love.

The ten track album was shaping up to be like no other in the Linkin Park catalog, however, the mixed reviews kept coming with each pre-release offering from the band. Statements such as "selling out" and "doing it just for the money" were thrown around on social media, a situation that found the band defending their creative choices this time around. But through it all, they stood behind their music, and the very personal nature of each track. Fans, too, who had previously stood arm-in-arm for the band, were now being divided by the album's softer touch and lack of angst-driven screaming from Chester Bennington.

After the album's release, the LP fanbase seem to be at opposing sides - some loved it, and others hated it. The band, however, pressed on. As interviews were released, they opened up about their process on this album, even sharing videos from the studio. They talked about the meaning behind the tracks and revealed that depression, death, and family problems were all present in the last year or two for them all, which ultimately turned into the themes for the songs on One More Light. A tour was scheduled, and despite the split in opinion about the new album, tickets were selling.

No one knew this would be the last album featuring Chester Bennington.


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On July 20th, 2017 Chester was found dead in his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California, from suicide by hanging. Once again the Linkin Park fanbase came together arm-in-arm to mourn the loss of this beautiful human being, whom we all miss so much. Our hearts go with the surviving members of the band - Mike, Rob, Dave, Brad, and Joe - as they move forward in the best way they see fit for Linkin Park. Many tributes for Chester have been held around the world by the fans, and Linkin Park will join in that sentiment. On October 27th, 2017 at the Hollywood Bowl they will be preforming a tribute concert in his memory. Friends, family, and guest vocalists will be in attendance. All proceeds will be donated to Music For Relief's One More Light Fund.

You can donate to the One More Light fund in honor of Chester here One More Light

Older News


"Nothing succeeds like excess." - Oscar Wilde

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Being one sixth of one of the most talked about rock bands of the twenty first century isn't enough for Mike Shinoda, proved by the opening of part one of his art show Glorious Excess. Part one, Born, will be on display at the Japanese American National Museum in LA from July12th until August 3rd and all proceeds go toward the Michael K. Shinoda Endowed Scholarship at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California

Born is the story of a nameless celebrity famous for doing nothing in particular and his decadent lifestyle. It is a nod toward the growing obsession with the celebrity and the ease with which people become famous.

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The exhibit is partly based on Shinoda's own experiences as a celebrity and a member of a band that have spent a lot of time in the spot light over the last decade, positively and negatively. In 2007 lead singer Chester Bennington's life was turned upside down by a fan who stalked him, interfering with his emails and phone calls as well as contacting his friends and family. She is now doing time in jail, but it would hardly be surprising if this was at least some inspiration to Shinoda.

In an interview with ultimate-guitar.com Shinoda described the main character as "super rich, kind of dangerous and does not give a crap and he's got this sex, drugs and rock n roll and he's not really talented at anything except being a celebrity. He's great at being famous."

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It would be easy to call the exhibit condescending - for Shinoda to base an exhibit on the rock star lifestyle of somebody who was boosted to fame by love from the public would be ironic at best but it's hard not to admire Shinoda for his work.

Shinoda has kept fans updated on all things to do with Glorious Excess on his blog www.mikeshinoda.com, where he also posts updates about his up-and-coming DC Remix shoe release. The release of the shoes coincide with the art show and are based on pieces featured. They are available to purchase on August 1st.

Check out the Art section of the website for a sneak peak at the making of Glorious Excess and the Video section to watch an exclusive video, Sirens and Silence, which was shot by Shinoda himself and goes hand in hand with the story behind his art work.

Shinoda will return to the National Museum on January 24th with the second part of the exhibit, Dies.

by Roz

Music For Relief


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Music for Relief, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, is dedicated to providing aid to survivors and communities affected by natural disasters to help them recover and rebuild. Founded by the band Linkin Park in 2005, the program aims to support immediate and long-term disaster relief with a primary goal of making a powerful and sustainable impact in highly affected areas..
Music For Relief

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