Mike Shinoda Reveals ‘Inverse’ Writing Process Behind Linkin Park’s ‘Heavy’

By Sarah Carroll

Linkin Park formed more than 20 years ago, but they’re continuing to challenge themselves and their creative process.

The band dropped a brand new single today (Feb. 16). “Heavy” features Kiiara and guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist/producer Mike Shinoda revealed it was written unlike any other song they’ve produced.

Related: Linkin Park Debut New Song ‘Heavy’ Featuring Kiiara

“Most people when they think of a band, they think of guys sitting in a circle with drums and guitars jamming out a song. We’ve never written that way,” he explained to Carson Daly on 97.1 AMP Radio. “We actually write more like a hip hop production team. And that is to say a track comes first and then the track inspires a vocal, so music would come first. But on this album, it was actually the other way around.”

The inverse writing process was a real game changer for Linkin Park.

“Every song became about, like, this is on my mind or this is happening in my life.  And I mean, really, when it comes to writing a lyric, isn’t that what you want it to be about?”

That risk is already paying off in a major way. Response to the song has been overwhelming.

“There’s people from so many countries. Like, look at how many places in the world they’re tweeting at us from and they’re on our Facebook page and saying these things. Honestly, I don’t even think I know where Belarus is, but they were like on it!”

“Heavy” is the first single off their forthcoming seven studio album, One More Light, which drops May 19.

“[‘Heavy’] is an indicator of what this album sounds like, so this album isn’t a polka album and then there’s this song tacked on to the end like, ‘Yay! This’ll work on the radio!’” Shinoda said.

Linkin Park has experimented with diverse sounds and different genres, but through it all, they’ve remained a tight-knit group.

“We totally disagree on stuff sometimes, but it’s never like a disrespectful, mean-spirited fight,” Shinoda admitted. “We’ve got six guys with different points of view. If we can make stuff that all six of us think is great, we’re covering a lot of ground. And we can get on stage and feel proud of our stuff.”

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