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Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda Says Metal Was “Too White” Before Nu Metal Began

Linkin Park‘s Mike Shinoda has shared his thoughts on nu-metal’s impact on the metal genre as a whole in a recent interview, saying he believes metal was “too white”.

In a new interview with Metal Hammer, Shinoda talked about the impact he believed Linkin Park’s debut album Hybrid Theory had on music across the board.

“At the time, if you asked somebody what they were listening to they’d say… ‘Rock. I listen to hip hop. I listen to jazz.’ It wasn’t until five years later they’d say, ‘Everything’,” Shinoda said.

Hybrid Theory did some of that work. It was part of the progression towards breaking down boundaries between styles of music.”

“I listened to 90% rap music then I’d look at a lot of rock bands and I’d be like, ‘There’s something too white’,” he continued.

“That was one of the things that turned me off, especially hair metal. Hair metal felt like very white music and I was growing up in a very diverse city so I didn’t gravitate to it. That didn’t resonate with me. And it wasn’t just about race. I don’t mean the colour of skin. I just mean the culture of it. When nu metal started at the very beginning, it was a very diverse place.”

Shinoda also spoke about some of the other bands that also helped bridge those genre gaps.

“I remember when Korn first came out and when Deftones’ first couple of albums came out, and whatever you think about a group like Limp Bizkit, their first album was really raw…it wasn’t smart music, but there was something really visceral and culture blending that was important.”

Hybrid Theory is on the cusp of its 20th anniversary, with the band celebrating it by giving it a 20th anniversary reissue. With the reissue, Hybrid Theory  finally hit #1 on the ARIA Albums chart.

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