Someone Who Isn’t Me | Episode 25: Mike Shinoda

Mike Shinoda and Daniel P. Carter talking about creative process, ‘Post Traumatic’ music and art, and life after loss

📅 September 2018

🎧 Someone Who Isn’t Me

📖 29 min read

Daniel: All right, how’s it going! Welcome to Someone Who Isn’t Me, episode number 25. My guest on SWIM this time is musician, songwriter and artist Mike Shinoda, and aside from being the driving force behind Linkin Park and Fort Minor, he recently put out his awesome debut solo album Post Traumatic, which is incredible, you should definitely check it out. It’s out now on Warners. It’s a great work and it’s firmly rooted in hip-hop, and there’s a real pop sensibility running through it as well, and there’s some amazing guests like Chino Moreno, and blackbear, and Grandson, and K.Flay, etc. But the theme that runs through the record or, I think, to be more honest, the theme that appears to run through the record for any listener that is going to be viewing it through the lens of the passing of Chester Bennington, his bandmate and friend. Yeah, it feels like it hangs quite heavy on the album, and it sounds like there’s things in there where he’s struggling, and coming to terms with the passing of his friend. Maybe that is, as I said, just the way that anyone is going to view it, and we kind of discussed that within the podcast. There was a little bit less time than we normally spend to do these sort of things because he had quite a full promo schedule. So it’s a little shorter than they normally are, but I did catch up with him a bit later on in the day as well and we recorded a bit more. So there is a definite change in the audio quality, you will hear that. I have tried to fit it in within context of the conversation that we were having, so that it keeps its flow, but if the change in audio quality is a little off-putting and it feels like it jumps, then I apologize. Just be a little bit kind with it. Also, with that in mind, obviously I’ve met Mike and Chester a bunch of times and I found talking about some of this quite tough with him. It’s something that he has obviously come to terms with and he can talk quite freely about it, but I didn’t want to appear to be insensitive. So, again, be caring when you listen and don’t judge me too hard. Anyways, all this aside, I hope you enjoy, I think it’s a great conversation. Mike is an amazing artist, both visual and as a musician and songwriter, so check it out. Mike Shinoda. 

Mike: You’re very color-coordinated today. You’re even color-coordinated with your microphone!

D: See? And I’m glad that you noticed!

M: Do you always do that? Is that a thing now?

D: [laughs] No!

M: You’ve gotten very fancy, you know?

D: In my old age. You can say it! It’s fine! [smiles]

M: Yeah. It’s just, like… he’s showing up color-coordinated with his microphones and his shirt...

D: Right.

M: And this little…

D: Little number on my neckerchief. All right! I have notes, but I’ll probably won’t refer to them and then afterwards go, “Ah, I meant to ask you about this!” 

M: I mean, you can check your notes if you like. It’s not bad.

D: If this feels a little boring and standard, I apologize, but you also know the score, as you’ve got a new record out and it will be…

M: Oh, I was just saying to somebody - that’s my job. I got to tell the story.

D: Yeah. We should start with it being your first record as a solo artist. And we’ll get into the whole impetus for that in a moment, but I was curious first and foremost, because this is mainly about creativity, or that’s something that often gets focused on. It’s mainly the more sort of creativity and the slightly more... I don’t want to say mystical, but say spiritual elements within making art.

M: Yeah.

D: This is what I’d like to talk about in this.

M: Great!

D: So, I wanted to know about the creative process with this as your mindset is stepping out as a solo artist. Because, for me, it’s like… as I said, situation and impetus for that side, when somebody steps out of a band environment and makes a solo record, people always say like, “Tentative steps as a solo artist,” but these aren’t. 

M: Right. 

D: These are fully bold strides, and I wondered about the mindset for the creative process for that. 

M: Well, I was thinking about that. I think, when I was doing it, I had less awareness of what I was doing. So, having some space between making the record and now, I was thinking recently that… you know, isn’t it a thing that so many artists make really great stuff early on? Do you think about that?

D: Yeah.

M: Think about the first System of a Down record, or the first Rage record, or the first, like… I feel Public Enemy did on their second record that was like, “Wow, holy shit!” And part of that, to me, is at a certain point you begin to know too much about how to make a record, and there’s the pressures of keeping up with what your legacy is and all that stuff. I feel like I haven’t really been super competitive with myself, in terms of like… It’s not a commercial thing. With this conversation, let’s just say, unless I say otherwise, we’re talking about the creative effort, not commerce.

D: Yeah. 

M: Because I don’t focus on that a ton anyway. When I’m making a record, the commerce of it comes later. When I’m making the record, the record is about the point, the art of it, the story, or conceptual through line, and that’s been the way since the beginning. 

D: Do you feel like there are points where career... I don’t want to say commerce, because that would make it sound, not dirty, but you know I mean, like...

M: Yeah! No, it’s always a balance!

D: Where career comes into things and it does tip the balance occasionally...

M: Well, it just makes you aware of things. Like, you would never, as an eighteen year old who’s never set foot in any kind of music industry office, you would never be thinking to yourself, sitting in your parents’ house on your laptop, “Oh, I really should change the snare sound because it’s a little passé.” 

D: [laughs] Yeah.

M: You wouldn’t do that. You’re just making stuff and figuring your way out. You’re figuring your way through it instinctively, and it’s just based on what are you listening to. The other thing is you’ve only listened to music for so many years at that point. You know, as you get to be thirty and beyond, you’ve listened to a lot of fucking music.

D: And your taste widen, hopefully.

M: Yeah, hopefully. My taste is all over the place. So yeah, in making Post Traumatic I was hyper-focused on the lyrical content. That was number one. And then, the chords and melodies were second to that, that was the close second. And the tracks were very... like, the things, the skins that would give it an indication of genre - that was almost peripheral. And a lot of people asked me about the stylistic choices on the record in terms of sounds, and samples, and keyboards, and drum machines, and blah blah blah. And honestly, as I was making it, that was not a primary focus, it was just intuitive. And I probably didn’t use as many things as I normally would. A couple of songs started as demos in my phone. I could literally, if you want, I could play it for you. And you can tell the song’s there, and I just made a thing on my phone and I went, “That’s cool,” and I looped it, and I started singing or rapping over that, and then I’d focus just on what I had to say.

D: Yeah. Well, I mean, you put a lot to say and it seems like hip-hop is your first love as well as far as music goes, and it’s such a lyrical art form that is going to take precedence. And I think, as well, that with the subject matter of the album… See, this is the thing for me - when I first listened to it... It’s interesting, when you tweeted something recently about a concert and somebody had reviewed it or said that there was a tribute, or that you didn’t want everything to be sad, and I replied to you that I think everything is going to be viewed through that lens for a certain time, right? 

M: [laughs] Well, I mean, yeah. And it’s subjective. [smiles] 

D: Yeah.

M: Right? So for him it was that way. And for other people it’s not. And they’re all watching the same show.

D: Yeah, of course! It’s like, when I came out to the show at the Hollywood Bowl, and I came back and spoke to you all afterwards, and you were all...

M: What was that like? I don’t even remember. I remember speaking to you, but I know that we were all… It was an out-of-body experience at that point. We didn’t even know where we were.

D: [laughs] That’s the thing! It did feel like I was kind of watching it happen and now you say that. It’s funny because it must have been for you, and it was like these disembodied people that all came together and had a conversation. That was very surreal.

M: [laughs] So weird. Yeah.

D: It was! It was a surreal experience for me. And it was a beautiful one. But… yeah, it was a tough one as well.

M: Yeah.

D: But it felts really celebratory. But, anyway, I think people are going to view things through that lens, and what I perceived to be a narrative of the record touches on those things. But then there’s points like… Like, “About You” is the perfect kind of counter to that, I think.

M: Yeah. That’s where I started to become aware of it. And the song I could have written would have been one that was more... sarcastic? I didn’t. That’s not what I felt like. Everything just kind of came together in this song that was a little darker. But in that moment I was realizing that people - I mean, we can talk about it in terms of life, not just music - people would see me at my kids’ school event or just see me at a restaurant or something, and start to put their own narrative on me. I could be having any kind of day imaginable, but to them everything was through the lens of super sad and all this shit. And sometimes it was, yeah! But chances were I wasn’t going to be out and about in a restaurant, if that was the case. I mean, unless I was sitting in the restaurant having a perfectly good time and then one of our songs came on and I’m like, “Fuck!” You know? That would happen.

D: Did that happen a lot? Or just once?

M: In the beginning a lot! Oh my God! Because everybody was playing the songs. It was all tribute, everything was like - you go into the shopping mall and they’re playing our songs in a bunch of the stores. So I didn’t go. I just didn’t go.

[...]

M: On the new record there’s a few different moments where I go, “Oh, I’m so glad that those words came to me,” like, I don’t know where they came from. For me, when I write certain lines… and it’s usually when I feel that about a line I’ve written, it’s the same line that other people ask me about. It’s not just me that goes, “Oh, that was a good one. There’s something special about that line.” So that’s a thing. Because, what it is, is when you write a line like that where, for example, a lot of people point out in my new stuff, there’s a part where I talk about being at a six-year-old birthday and people are asking me, “Are you okay?” and whatever.

D: In “Hold it Together,” yeah?

M: Yeah, “Hold it Together.” And what I want to say is, “You’re totally fucking up my vibe,” because I go to a party, a kid’s birthday party, why bring this up now? And that is just very real for anybody who’s gone through it. You know, I have a friend who was engaged to be married, and had an engagement party and everything. Everything was set to have a wedding. And it fell apart, and all of a sudden he had to literally un-invite a list of guests, and tell them all that they’re not getting married. And it wasn’t because of anything like… nobody cheated on each other or whatever, it was just like, “No, we’re just not getting married anymore.” And everyone started to know and he had to keep answering the questions. As if it wasn’t hard enough, he had to just keep answering it. It’s stuff like that. When that happens to you for whatever reason...

D: Are you able to see that...? ...yeah.

M: And, by the way, I would never condemn any of my friends or acquaintances for being nervous and having just bad timing with something like that. I had a friend, who is actually a comedian. And we were talking about something, complaining about something, I don’t remember even what it was. And I had said that I was dealing with this thing that was just such a pain in the butt, and she’s like, “Oh man, I don’t even know how you deal with that, I’d just kill myself,” and she looked at me and her face went white, and I started laughing hysterically, and she’s like, “Oh my God, I’m a fucking horrible person. I am the worst person.” I’m like, “I’m so glad you’re the first person to have made that mistake with me in this period of time.” She was the first person to say those words the way everybody always says them. I was like, “You’re the first person to make that mistake,” and it couldn’t have been a better person. Because she’s hilarious, that’s her job. She’s like a really funny person and we’re good friends. So, you just get through it. It’s messy business. It’s always messy. Whatever.

D: But then, Mike, you know it’s the perfect way to go though those things, right?

M: Yeah.

D: It’s an interesting one, isn’t it? I wanted to know as well, firstly, I know that you kind of threw yourself into painting as well as writing songs. Well, what came first in that process? Did you start painting? Because I really struggle with doing both simultaneously. I can’t, it’s so much focus… 

M: Oh… I like the variety. So, I think I painted first. Because painting is a little more separate from the band. To me. Like, in my mind. So, I was probably painting and drawing right away after Chester passed. And then, you know…

D: Did it become a body of work that you were making?

M: I mean, I did ten pieces. The biggest one is probably, I don’t remember... I want to say like four or five feet by three or four feet? Could be three by four, could be five by four. 

D: Wow. I can’t even comprehend working on that scale. 

M: Honestly, the ones that I did in the earliest days were just abstractions, they were texture and color. The album cover is one. So, if you take my signature off the album cover, that’s just splotches of paint. And you know, it’s probably like five or six layers thick. It’s pretty thick, on the actual canvas. I want to actually show them in person. I want fans and I want people to be able to see them because there’s a texture and… you can see the hand, you know? On these pieces.

D: Yeah. I think the palette is amazing as well. Particularly on the front cover one. 

M: Oh cool! That’s actually affected by the darkness of the room that I shot the picture in. The painting itself is brighter than that, and less yellow. And the room that I was painting in was a little bit dark, just a little darker. And I shot that picture of it while I was working on it to see how it reproduced, and it was yellowed nicely. I didn’t paint on it much after that. I may have touched it a couple times but didn’t really change it. And then I took it outside, and got a nice bright picture of it. So the picture in the art book of the album, which is the limited edition version of the album, that book has pictures of all the pieces that I did, all ten or whatever, and they’re all nice and bright professional pictures of the pieces. And that picture you can tell that the whites are whiter.

D: At what point do you walk away from things? 

M: I mean, I’ve been dealing with “when is something finished?” - I’ve been dealing with that forever. Like, my whole life. 

D: But that’s the creative process, isn’t it?

M: Yeah. And I think everybody who makes something creative, for as long as you’ve been doing it, you’ve been dealing with the question of “when is it done?” And I’ve had some really great paintings that I fucked up...

D: Oh yes, me too!

M: ...because I kept going and added a couple things, and was like, “Ugh, that’s not quite right,” and then I tried to do things to fix the things that I had, and it made it even worse.

D: Do you think songwriting is a help in that sense? Because with songwriting, obviously you can pass stuff back, but you also get to a point when you have a maturity with songwriting, and you instinctively know that this does everything it needs to do...

M: Right!

D: ...in this minimal quality, and can you then apply that into other art forms?

M: On the specific subject, songwriting is easier than painting because you can undo and you can create options. Digital painting is nice because you’ve got the same ability, right? But that’s one of the difficulties in physically putting paint on a canvas or whatever, that once you screw it up, it’s there. You just gotta...

D: Leave it, yeah.

M: Or it’s going to take a lot of work and magic to get back a step. And maybe you make it even better, I don’t know. Whatever. And sometimes, actually, for me, more often than the scenario we were just talking about, more often I make a little mistake, sometimes a big mistake, and look at it and go, “Oh, that’s nice! What’s that?” People often ask me, do I have a favorite Linkin Park album that we’ve done, and the truth is that usually my brain goes to A Thousand Suns, and that’s because that album was just packed with happy accidents. And it wasn’t like, “Oh I didn’t know what I’m doing and all of a sudden I made a cool thing.” It was, “I need to make this song more interesting. Let’s just start randomly plugging things in and creating weird sounds.” And once a keyboard has gone through five guitar pedals, and a cabinet, out in a room, with a microphone that’s not meant for it, that is across the room. You turn that microphone on and you go, “Wow! Don’t touch anything. Just hit record.” That’s the way your ears tell you it’s right and you’ve created the thing. But just the path to getting there was filled with a bunch of chance.

D: Yeah. I don’t know if this is me interpreting it that way, but I feel like this record has lots of that. Like “Place to Start” where it starts with the slice waves of silence. Like, just a hiss. And then where they cut into these clean sections?

M: Those were the room mics in the studio during One More Light.

D: Oh, wow!

M: There’s room mics on and just turned way up, so that hiss is just the lack of sound. And then on that like a sidechain compressor. Actually, if I just fed the 808 into the compressor, then it wouldn’t have compressed right, so I fed a MIDI note into the compressor, which controlled the decay. And that was on the hiss. So, each time the 808 hits the hiss, it kind of sucks in and then comes back.

D: Yeah, there’s loads of elements like that in textures that I think are fantastic. Because, aside from the lyrical content in this record, it’s just impeccable.

M: Oh, thank you!

D: Sonically, you smashed it!

M: [laughs] Thanks, man!

D: There’s little things for me, as a kind of a musical nerd, like the second verse in “Place To Start,” that vocal is just…

M: Yeah.

D: Things like that, I think... I mean, obviously, we know this accentuates everything that is being told within a song but... Yeah, it’s brilliant work, man.

M: Thanks. Well, you know, on things like that - for example, on vocals - there are chains of plugins that I like, that I know I kind of use, and mix and match them. But it’s not infinite, I’m not just grabbing any plugin I see and go, “What does that sound like?” I know what a lot of these plugins sound like, so I tend to use a smaller batch in different combinations. And on this record, one thing that I did is: when I knew that I had the vocal that I wanted, like the words were the right words, the performance was the right performance, I did go back in later and really think about the aesthetic of how the words and the track played together. There’s a lot of little moments of where experimentation, in terms of the effects on the vocals, and the effects on sounds and stuff… It’s a very “headphone” record, you know?

D: Yeah. For real.

M: It’s wide, and there’s a lot of action in the three-dimensional space.

D: There’s a lot to take in sonically, and lyrically, and emotionally.

M: Yeah, I wonder if it’s too much? [laughs] 

D: [laughs] I don’t think so. It’s tough to listen at times.

M: Yeah. Manny (Marroquin), who mixed most of the record, when he was mixing the first three songs, he was playing them back for me, and... Our process is: I mix as I go, I send him something that sounds already pretty good, and he gets it, and then he spends some time with it, sweetening it, and then, like ebbing between my mix and his mix to make sure... if there’s anything about mine that he liked, he keeps it, and if not, then he, hopefully, improved on it. He does that for like a day, and then I’ll come in with him for a day, and listen to his version, and if it’s better, then we just work from that, and I’ll change things to taste. And if it’s not better, then sometimes we’ll send him back to the drawing board, and tell him specifically to do certain things, and then we’ll work on it. On this record, there were moments on the first three tracks when we were doing the process, we were working on it, and I hear his mix and I go, “Yes, the mix is great but what are you doing to the vocal? Because I feel like I’m missing a lot of words now. And the words are important, I want to hear them more,” and he was starting to fix that and he’s like, “You know what’s happening? The words make me uncomfortable.”

D: Wow!

M: He’s like, “Unconsciously, I wasn’t thinking that but, subconsciously, when I turned them up, I have to face what you’re saying, and so my instinct was to turn them down, and to put effects on them.” I was like, “Okay. Now we know. And let’s not do that. I know it’s kind of rough to hear these words but the words are what it’s all about, so we can’t miss any words.” So we did go through some times and on certain words where it was a little less audible or you couldn’t quite tell what the word was, we’d spot-check even words that were in the track.

D: Wow.

M: [laughs] That’s not totally unusual for me.

D: No! It’s not!  

M: We do that! That happens.

D: Yeah. I think, within the subject matter, that’s wild.

M: Yeah, it was tough. Well, I think harder for him than me. I was living with the songs. He was, you know… 

D: ...because he mixed the songs and that was the process of working through it.

M: Yeah.

[...]

M: When Chester passed away, and what happens often when somebody passes away, is people, when they’re not talking about the heavy stuff, they’re kind of like playfully throwing around ghost stories. It’s a weird phenomenon. It’s because some people actually firmly believe in that stuff. And in other parts it’s just great stories.

D: How do you sit on that?

M: So, I don’t sit on one side or the other. Actually, I just love hearing the stories and I’m neither a believer nor non-believer. I’m just kind of in the middle. And I’ve heard amazing stories that are a hundred percent convincing. They sound so amazing. Like, somebody talking to a medium and the medium tells them that, “You’re looking for this specific item. It looks like this. Is that correct?” And they go, “Oh my God! Yeah!” And then they say, “You’ve looked for it for weeks and you can’t find it,” and they say, “That’s right,” and they say, “It is in this closet in a pair of pants hanging out of the pocket, just like that.” And they go in there and it’s there. So, that type of thing when you hear that story and you’re like, “Wow! That couldn’t be more convincing, right?”

D: I could direct you to a book I just finished as well.

M: [laughs] So, the point is, I heard stories like that. And I wanted to write a song about it. I had this song going and it kind of started to point in that direction. It just seemed like it wanted to be about that. But I was like, “Well how do I write a song about something that I do and don’t believe in? That other people feel a certain way. How do I make it without it being about Chester? How do I do that with it being playful and not sad?” So, as I was doing it, I was like, “This is going to fall apart. This song is not going to work.” And then I finished it and I went, “Oh my God! It actually came together. It has that tone. All those things I just said they’re kind of just in the song.” So, it’s not a masterpiece of a song, it’s just, I can’t believe I walked that tightrope, and got to the end, and looked back, and went like, “Huh, didn’t fall off.” [laughs] 

D: There’s one lyric in that song in particular that jumped out for me though.

M: What is that?

D: Which was “I’ve been having dreams that after I’m awake play out in reality the very next day.” 

M: Yeah. Yeah.

D: Is that..? I mean...

M: So, the first line on the song is “She said.” 

D: Oh, okay. That’s a girl, of course.

M: It is. But that’s the truth. The thing was, specifically, a couple people were telling me these stories. And in that case, my wife had this thing where she had a dream about lavender. And then that day she was walking through our friend’s yard to go say hi, and whatever, and they have lavender in the front yard. She’s like, “Oh, I just dreamed about this. It smells so good,” and her friend was like, “Well, grab a little bit of it. We’ve got tons. Take some with you.” And so, I think she said, “Take a couple stalks with you.” And normally my wife, when you say that, she would take two. But she took four, and she got in the car, and put it in like a cup holder, and was like, “That’s weird. Why did I do that?” And then drove down to see Chester’s wife, Talinda, because they had plan to have lunch or something that day. And long story short, in the course of the whole thing, another person showed up and, as Anna was leaving, she’s like, “Oh, I grabbed this from my friend’s house this morning. I don’t know why I grabbed it but there’s four of us and there’s four pieces.” And she handed it to everybody, and one of the people was sitting there staring at her with a white face, and she’s like, “Why are you looking at me like that?” And they’re like, “Because I had a dream that this was going to happen. And I didn’t realize it until you just did that, and this is what it said in my dream, like a whole thing.” So, that was one of those moments where she came home and she’s like, “This just happened. How crazy is that?”

D: I find these things happen a lot. And the more you accept them, they appear even more.

M: [laughs] Okay!

D: But that sounds very “wooh-wooh.”

M: Hey! And my wife says “wooh-wooh,” That’s her word for it. 

D: There you go. 

M: It’s very “whoo-whoo.” Yeah, I don’t know, man. I don’t know. It always happens to somebody else. [smiles]

D: Well, does it though?

M: Not for me!

D: Yeah, but maybe, I don’t know, man. I find that making visual art or making music... There’s a thing there.

M: Yeah. 

D: There’s definitely a thing.

M: Alright, we’ll see!

D: Do you not find that yourself? Do you not find that it’s like we were saying earlier about time being an elastic thing?

M: Oh, yeah!

D: In the creative process, time changes. 

M: It does, and I do feel sometimes that things are… like, I often talk about “riding the wave” meaning it’s not “going with the flow.” That’s different. “Going with the flow” is being easy, and when somebody says, “Hey, where do you want to go to lunch?” and you’re like, “I don’t care,” and then you say, “You pick.” That’s “go with the flow.” “Riding the wave” is noticing coincidence, noticing repetitions of ideas, or phrases, or feelings, or whatever, and you go, “Huh, that’s weird. I feel like I’ve heard that word four times this week,” or “Somebody keeps mentioning that thing. Maybe I should look that up.” I think I did actually write some of the songs on this record because it was like - a theme came up in a conversation three times and I was like, “There’s a reason that weird little theme is showing up. I’m just going to write a song about it.”

D: Yeah, sure. 

[...]

D: How have you been with the reaction to the record? Because, as you said, this was you working through the songs, and I think that’s what we discussed when I spoke to you after the concert. For me, it was just… I was just so overwhelmed and you guys had been working on it and...

M: Oh, yeah! I mean, that’s why on the record, the second song on my album - I wrote and recorded the first verse the day of that show and I wrote and recorded the second verse the day after that show. And the song is called “Over Again.” It’s all about reliving this thing that has happened, every time we rehearsed a song. We had to rehearse that set, it’s three hours of music. We had to rehearse it for months. It was like over a month, maybe it was like six weeks of rehearsals. Going through those songs, and just smashing ourselves over the head with a hammer, and then taking an Advil, and smashing ourselves over the head with a hammer again. [laughs] That was what rehearsal was like.

D: Yeah. I can imagine. So tough.

M: Yeah, so crazy.

D: I think there’s a couple of moments on there like, “Thank you genius, you think it’ll be a challenge.”

M: [laughs] Yeah. 

D: It’s amazing.

M: There are moments when I write something and I go, “Oh! That’s it!” That’s the core of either what I’m feeling or what the song is about.” I wanna feel like I was really finding those moments as I was making the record. I know that nobody who’s listening to the album and getting started down the path of what this record is about is thinking about my career. Like, I’m thinking about that, they’re not thinking about that. But I’m thinking about it from the context of like: I am an artist who has a body of work, a legacy, in terms of multiple albums of songs that I’ve spent thousands of hours creating, and talking about, and playing on stage... and maybe even millions, I don’t know how many hours. How many hours are in 15 years? I don’t know. And it’s all in question, right? In one way or another. So, when somebody walks up to you and says, “How is it going? How are you doing?” That’s a loaded question. They probably don’t want to hear the real answer, right? So, the album was a chance to give them answers that...

D: I like when people do realize that and do actually tell you exactly though.

M: Yeah, but it’s...

D: You could say it’s very real.

M: I think it feels good to be aware of that. When somebody says, “How are you doing?” and you can actually think about an answer. But it’s also kind of exhausting, because then you have to get into it. But, for sure with this album, I’ve been making a point to be really straightforward about that and I think...

D: I don’t think you can’t. You couldn’t be...

M: Because I think it’s good. It helps me, it feels good to do it. And it also helps the fans and helps people who are going through heavy stuff to know that it’s me too. That I’m going through this thing and I’m doing pretty well. Like, today is a good day. When we talk about this stuff and it’s like… I don’t find it hard to talk about this stuff right now. It’s very natural, so yeah.

D: Yeah, I think everyone that’s sitting in front of you, asking about stuff, they’re the ones that are feeling it. I know I am.

M: [laughs] 

D: In all honesty. 

M: Yeah.

D: Yeah. 

M: I mean, I’ve had a couple that they were like… I had a Japanese journalist cry in the middle of the interview.

D: Wow!

M: That’s crazy. That’s really hard.

D: Yeah. How do you deal with that?

M: Thankfully it was print. [laughs] It wasn’t on TV, like on camera. That would be so bad.

D: Wow.

M: The more history the band has with somebody and all that… it’s very natural and human, and that’s… you know? Of course!

D: Yeah because I think the thing is it’s those periods of time between when I see you are vast.

M: Yeah.

D: But they’re “concertina,” don’t they? Time does that. I mean that’s one of the beautiful things about the creative process. That time just becomes so elastic.

M: It is. Yeah.

D: We could get into that another time. I think we’re going to wind this up.

M: [laughs] Yeah. Yeah, I think we have to go.

D: Alright, thanks man!

M: Awesome talking you as always! 

D: Cool! Thank you for doing that.

M: For sure. Am I going to see you later? 

D: Yes.

[...]

Thank you for checking out episode number 25 of Someone Who Isn’t Me. Also thank you to Mike, obviously, for squeezing this into his schedule essentially, because, as I said, we were going to be meeting, and we did actually meet up, and we did an interview for Radio 1, for my show, but we kind of squeezed this one in  in the morning as well, which is really good of him. Make sure you check out the album Post Traumatic, it’s awesome. As I said there’s some brilliant guest contributions as well. You can find Mike online, he’s mikeshinoda on Twitter and m_shinoda on Instagram as well. Follow him on Instagram, there’s good stuff about his touring, also a lot of his visual art, and some of the videos that he’s made as well for this record. And I think the approach he’s had on this record is brilliant, it feels very organic and I like the fact that he’s doing everything within it. He’s writing the songs, he’s performing the songs, he’s making the artwork with his friend Frank as well, who’s doing all the graphic design. Big Ups to him as well because he’s a great designer. He’s making the videos himself. I think it’s a very true process of dealing with something, which is incredibly heavy, and he’s excelled in doing it. So, fair play to him. Alright, next episode will be: who knows? I have got one in the bag, which I’ve kind of been putting off but there’s a couple of others that I want to get done as well. So, we’ll just see what happens with it. I know that these are very infrequent. I apologize, as I said many times before, I’d like to think that it might be quality over quantity. That’s not casting aspersions on anyone else’s podcast because they seem to manage to do both but I don’t. So, sorry about that but thank you for checking it out. Please leave a nice review on iTunes. If you give us a five star rating that would be wicked. Spread the love, tell your friends about it, check it out next time. Peace.