MYX Headliner: Mike Shinoda Talks About His Rituals Before the Shows

Mike Shinoda for MYX Philippines - about graffiti and his rituals before performing on stage

📅 September 2019

📺 MYX Philippines

📖 2 min read

Coloring or drawing?

Coloring is easier for me but that’s usually because a lot of the styles that I work in, most of the guesswork happens in the initial stages. So the sketching stage is when things can fall apart, and by the time I get to filling things in and I know what I’m doing. Same thing with music.

Ever been caught vandalizing?

I’ve never been caught vandalizing. I don’t think so. I was never a graffiti artist, I have friends who were so I would never pretend to be a legit graffiti artist. I was obsessed with graffiti, I had a blackbook. If you have ever seen a real tagger - you keep a blackbook with all your tags and all of your sketches and stuff. And I never illegally put one of my things on a wall, I only did it a few times and it was always when somebody was like, “Oh! Yo! Will you paint my thing?” So it was never like... I wasn’t necessarily scared of it, I was just busy with other stuff. Outside of school, I was always doing art - I was doing art classes, or I was working on something for myself or something that I was going to turn in in school, or I was playing music and making music with my friends. I played basketball too, so I didn’t have time to run around and do dumb stuff, you know what I mean? [laughs] Like, what am I gonna do - I’m going to tag on somebody’s walls, and get in trouble, and get grounded, and I won’t be allowed to do any of my stuff? I had a good family, it was all good. [smiles]

Recording or performing?

I like them both the same. I mean, recording and performing, I think it’s like yin and yang, they serve a purpose and they flow into one another. So it’s almost like different parts of the same coin.

Ritual before performing?

For sure before shows I usually do a little vocal warmup thing. I have these recordings in my phone that I sing along to, just to warm up. Most times, usually, whether it’s been Linkin Park or Fort Minor or solo stuff, I usually do some kind of huddle, or some kind of get together before the show, just to get physically in the same space as everybody - the band, sometimes the crew, sometimes our friends who are in town, just to kind of get focused.