Mike Shinoda Hated Linkin Park Being Called a Nu Metal Band

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Mike Shinoda photo via his Twitter
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The age of nu metal was never really known as one big happy metal family. Ever since bands like Korn emerged on the scene playing heavy-as-hell riffs with a down-tuned bounce, there were just as many bands that were coming forward to sing about some of the darkest stuff imaginable.

From Coal Chamber getting their big break around this time to Limp Bizkit emerging on the scene in the next few years with Fred Durst’s more adolescent brand of rap rock, this new scene was quickly flooded with talented bands.

Linkin Park may have come out right as the genre was reaching its peak, but Mike Shinoda was never quite comfortable with the label they were tagged with.

Well after the fact, Mike had mentioned that he always resented being called a nu metal band at the time, saying:

I never wanted to be part of nu metal. There was a moment when that term, and what it meant, was actually pretty cool. It’s almost impossible to imagine! Even now, that whole nu metal tag is still there.

We never held the flag for nu metal. It was associated with frat rock. Arrogant, misogynistic, and full of testosterone; we were reacting against that.”

Then again, it’s hard to deny how much albums like Hybrid Theory fit into the nu metal aesthetic, making songs that blended rap and rock in a compact fashion and turning these songs about angst into classics for the next generation.

Even if he’s not as comfortable with the tag though, Mike has been able to appreciate where the label has gotten him over the years, reflecting to Kerrang that:

“Nu-metal went from the biggest thing on the planet to the corniest thing on the planet to the coolest thing again – and you’re just like, ‘Wait, what?!

The point is, this stuff is cyclical, and we have a new generation of artists – not just rappers – but artists in general who are infusing lots of rock and other styles into their music. It’s exciting – I don’t hate on that.

Regardless of where you want to place them though, Linkin Park still hold a unique place in the world of nu metal, bringing it to the masses in a way that bands like Korn couldn’t in the early ‘00s.

It may sound corny to some these days, but there’s a hell of a lot of kids who found refuge in this music back in the day.

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