Linkin Park has been getting huge media attention for the band's latest video, "Lost in the Echo," which is being described as a breakthrough in interactivity. Contrary to some previous interactive music videos, where you had to take the initiative of uploading imagery to become part of the clip, this "personalized film experience" does all the work for you, as long as you allow it to connect to your Facebook account and borrow imagery from what you have stockpiled there.
Of course, when Linkin Park plays the iHeartRadio Festival—a multi-superstar show in Las Vegas that will be streamed live over Yahoo!—home viewers won't have to worry about seeing themselves in the footage, unless it's in the reflective glare of the laptop or smartphone screen. For those of us who'd rather see prettier and/or more talented people than ourselves on-screen, this may be cause for a sigh of relief.
Linkin Park's rapper and multi-instrumentalist Mike Shinoda took time out from the band's tour to talk about the innovative new video—and their latest album, Living Things—in addition to plans for their iHeartRadio Fest appearance Sept. 22.
YAHOO!: What kind of set will you be doing for the iHeartRadio Festival? Does the production necessitate any change-ups from what you usually do on the road?
SHINODA: We're always on tour, and play a mix of festivals and headline shows all year, but this is our first iHeartRadio Festival. We've already started planning the set, and it's going to be unlike anything we've done in the past. Normally, our shows are 90-plus minutes, and we're slotted for only 30 minutes at iHeartRadio. We wanted to play all our singles, but they wouldn't all fit into such a short amount of time—a great problem to have. So it has forced us to get creative with the set. Working within constraints sometimes challenges us to make something really special.
YAHOO!: Are there any ways in which being out on tour this time feels different from your last time out on the road?
SHINODA: We're playing a lot of music from our new album, Living Things. Each time we put out a new album, it's a chance to breathe life into our concert. And this album is really high-energy, so the new songs have been keeping the momentum really high at the concert.
YAHOO!: Tell me about the "Lost in the Echo" video interactive experience. It's been said you were the band member who was most involved in collaborating with Jason Zada and Jason Nickel on the video.
SHINODA: Music videos in general haven't really evolved much in the past decade or two. There have been a few standouts, but in general, videos are just a song with a performance or story laid over top. We wanted to do something interactive, that pulled people in more. The song is a personal one, and we wanted the viewer to have a personal kind of experience. So we worked with the Jasons on the treatment through many revisions, until we came up with the one we liked. This video takes your personal images—and in many cases, your memories—and plants them in the visuals of this story. A lot of the credit is due to the Jasons, who worked some technological wonders on "Lost in the Echo."
YAHOO!: You told Wired that "this album ended up being very much about 'you' and 'me'." Can you elaborate at all on the personal implications of that?
SHINODA: Our last album, A Thousand Suns, was more of a concept album. Its themes included larger world issues like nuclear danger and the environment. The personal element on that album was more of a reaction to the fear of what we might be doing to ourselves. In contrast, Living Things is much more personal. "Lost in the Echo" is a good example, I guess. That song is about letting go of personal baggage, like refusing to forgive someone.
YAHOO!: I saw Chester Bennington say in an interview that this album was "less bonkers" than A Thousand Suns. And some fans have definitely commented on it being a return to the kind of form they've expected from Hybrid Theory. Were you looking to go for more of a signature thing this time around?
SHINODA: I guess it depends on how you define "bonkers!" It's clearly—and intentionally—inclusive of the thing that people imagine when they think of "Linkin Park." But it's not any kind of apology; we're proud of all our albums, and this album contains elements of it all, while not looking back. It's rooted in the past, but looking toward the future.
YAHOO!:Hybrid Theory just got certified for 10 million in sales last month. Did it mean anything to you in particular to join the diamond club?
SHINODA: We were very lucky to have released that album right before the final wave of physical album sales. There aren't going to be many diamond-selling albums anymore. It's definitely a pretty exclusive club. At the same time, our band's legacy won't be solely defined by that one album--it was the thing that got us started, but luckily, we've been able to keep things interesting in the years since.
-------------------------------------------------------------- Linkin Park, Brad Paisley, Aerosmith, Taylor Swift, Mary J. Blige and six other superstar artists will perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on Saturday, September 22. Green Day, Lil Wayne, Rihanna and Miranda Lambert are among the acts playing Friday, September 21, the event's opening night. The shows begin at 7 p.m. PST and will be streamed exclusively on Yahoo! Music.