LINKIN PARK’s Mike Shinoda recently sat down with Metal Hammer and spoke about how the band’s debut album, “Hybrid Theory”, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, broke the mold of what was categorized as ‘metal’ and appealed the genre to a wider audience.
“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,'” Shinoda said. “It wasn’t until five years later they’d say, ‘Everything.’ ‘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 [about it],'” 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 color of skin. I just mean the culture of it. When nu metal started at the very beginning, it was a very diverse place.”
Well RATT singer Stephen Pearcy tweeted out a link to Mike’s “Hair metal felt like very white music” quote, which included: “Lol, Didnt know rock music had a race. wtf, I didn’t know what hair metal felt like. Thanks. all music to me”
The term “hair metal” was coined in the late 1990s as a way to disparage acts thought to have been all flash and no substance. Its use became widespread after grunge gained popularity at the expense of 1980s metal.
Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda: ‘Hair metal felt like very white music’: https://t.co/mdQ6oMAs04
— Loudwire (@Loudwire) October 20, 2020