Mike Shinoda On Being Forced To Sound Like Linkin Park

In a recent interview with Kerrang!, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park discussed his journey with his side project, Fort Minor. He reflected on feeling ‘pigeonholed’ by the success of Linkin Park’s first two albums, leading him to explore his hip-hop roots through Fort Minor. Shinoda expressed discomfort with being forced into a specific sound with Linkin Park, which motivated him to create rap songs that were true to his artistic identity. This exploration resulted in the Fort Minor album, allowing him to express a core part of himself that wasn’t showcased in Linkin Park. He said:

“I remember how naturally it came up. At the time when I did Fort Minor, we were coming off the first two Linkin Park albums, and we were getting pigeonholed a little bit. We felt like we were being forced into a box that said, ‘This is what Linkin Park sounds like, you make this type of music.’ None of us felt like that was good, but I, in particular, was really uncomfortable with that.”

Then he talked about his musical roots. He continued:

“I grew up on hip-hop, and Linkin Park wasn’t hip-hop, so I felt like I wasn’t expressing a part of me that’s a core part of my DNA, so I started making a bunch of rap songs to get it out of my system and feel that feeling. And the more I made them, the more it became obvious that I should put it out. That became the Fort Minor album.”

Shinoda On Releasing A Song For Fort Minor After 10 Years

Fort Minor released a single called ‘Welcome’ 10 years after their debut album, ‘The Rising Tied.’ In 2015, Mike Shinoda spoke to Chorus.fm about this surprise single and his songwriting process in Fort Minor. He said:

“Whenever I put out anything, I just want to make sure I’m happy with what I’m putting out. It has more to do with before I even pull the trigger on whether or not a song is going to go out, or go on an album or whatever, it’s a little bit about context. When I made the demo and listened to it, I just felt like it was so close to being done. It didn’t benefit from all that stuff and the pressure of it being on a Linkin Park album with other Linkin Park songs. It takes it away from being a hip-hop track, and I just wanted it to be a hip-hop track.”

A few days ago, eight years after this interview, he released another song for Fort Minor.

Shinoda’s Latest Fort Minor Remix

After Linkin Park disbanded following the death of Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda focused on his solo career and released new music under his own name. He has reinterpreted his recently released an alternative single ‘Already Over’ and remixed it with his Fort Minor side project. The updated version of the song features rapper Don McLennon. This remixed version, along with the original studio track, was featured on Shinoda’s new EP titled ‘The Crimson Chapter.’

In a new interview with TheMusic, he spoke about ‘Already Over.’ He said:

“I just felt like it wanted to be this kind of punk/alternative thing. And so, I just went with it. I mean, it’s been a minute since I did something like that. The first thing it reminded me of was how I felt writing some of the things for Minutes To Midnight. Like, I don’t even know, 15 years ago.”

You can listen to Fort Minor’s first release in 8 years ‘Already Over (Fort Minor Mix)’ below.