An Open Letter To Linkin Park

Discussion in 'Linkin Park Chat' started by Luke, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. #1
    Luke

    Luke Mind Your Manners. LPA Addicted VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Messages:
    15,206
    Likes Received:
    107



    Dear Brad, Chester, Dave, Joe, Mike and Rob,

    Since I was 11 years old, when Hybrid Theory became the first CD I ever bought, I have adored your music. The musical and lyrical content of a Linkin Park CD has always, to me, made for a unique and interesting listening experience that has instantly captivated me and drawn my undivided attention upon the first listen. Hell, the first few listens of an LP record seem to always send me back to state of mind I can only compare to waking up on Christmas day in 2001 and finding a brand new Playstation 2 and completely losing my mind (ok, comparing art to receiving a PS2 might seem a bit silly, but my family was poor growing up, it was only then I realized that my mother had worked her ass off to be able to afford nice stuff for me and my brother…besides I was just a kid).

    I’ve seen you guys play live on five different occasions and the performance has always been nothing other than ridiculously good. I say ridiculously good because I’ve seen bands that have released amazing albums but completely suck live. You guys always seem to set the bar really high. In short, listening to a new LP record and seeing an LP live show are two of my very favorite things, and that really puts the whole phrase “good things come to those who wait” in to perspective because there is literally no possible way of doing those things on a regular consistent basis.

    In a weird way it’s like we’ve grown up together. I have grown from a little brat wearing wallet chains on my baggy cargos, and exclusively wearing nothing but band t-shirts and hoodies, whilst talking without a shred of any actual knowledge whatsoever about how I hate the mainstream and how all my favorite bands are anti-establishment (particularly funny when I was wearing my Metallica hoodies). I am 23 now and, although I still probably don’t know a lot about the industry looking from an outsider perspective, I have matured enough to know that A) I was talking about a load of bullshit back then and B) you can hate the mainstream but still like a lot of mainstream bands. I compare the broadening of my horizons to the progression of your career because upon looking back on five Linkin Park records, two remix albums, an album with a hip-hop icon and various other side projects, the band has changed so much that it is barely recognizable from its first incarnations (you guys have also dropped the baggy cargos…)

    It’s weird because around the time you guys came out with Minutes To Midnight and you were going through that period of transition, trying to find a different sound whilst remaining Linkin Park. I was 17 and, as you know, that’s an age where reality starts to seriously kick in. You know that your childhood is ending and soon you will have various new responsibilities. Essentially speaking, you’re being thrown in to the world head-first. It’s a daunting prospect but a pleasant fear that motivates you to excel and make that next step in life. It’s weird because Minutes To Midnight sounded like that to me. It sounded like all these new things I was experiencing because it sounded like an album that was going to be the bridge between the old Linkin Park and the new. I will say that just like any other transition, it had its hiccups and moments where it felt like it was struggling to let go or got lost trying to find something new, but after two albums of very similar style it was a welcome change.

    Three years later the Linkin Park community found itself receiving ominous messages and codes being thrown at them in the build up to a new album. Enter: A Thousand Suns. I will try my best to remain neutral in my observation of ATS; I do have to say that it is by some distance my favorite LP record. When I first heard that album I simply could not believe what I was hearing: Where are the guitars?! Why does Chester only scream on one track?! Martin Luther King??? Robots?????? It’s too much!...I FUCKING LOVE IT!!!!! (Sorry, that was the only way I could describe in words my exact feelings when I first heard the album…). ATS was daring. Far more daring than MTM. Hell, one could even say it was ballsier than all other records you’ve released combined. ATS was the sound of a band who wanted nothing further to do with their previous incarnations. It broke down all boundaries previously put in place and killed any concept of anyone who had thought of Linkin Park followed trends. It was reinvention laced with innovation. It was a whole new direction that not only changed the band’s sound but created a whole new genre. To this day, I have no idea what genre I’d call that album. It flowed meticulously; each song complimenting the next and combining with a complete overhaul of the traditional style of Linkin Park lyrics to generate an array of different feelings and emotions. It was catchy, without the catchy hooks. It was heavy, without the need of drop-tuned guitars. It was melancholy without being whiney. It was different – But it was still Linkin Park. Suddenly my hatred for the mainstream had momentarily returned as Linkin Park had said fuck the mainstream! They’re not Robots! They’re not Monkeys! They will not dance unless…well you know. This was experimentation and art in its purest form. This was “you either like it or you don’t”.

    My question is: what on earth happened? Two years later, my fellow LP nerds and I are anxiously awaiting whatever the fuck it was that was going to proceed A Thousand Suns and we are greeted with a line used in so many different songs it’s lost all significant meaning: “We’re building it up, to break it back down”…No disrespect intended, I actually like Burn It Down quite a bit, but that’s coming from my aforementioned feeling of being able to like something despite it being mainstream. We were back to the catchy hooks, cliché lyrics and radio friendly jams. I never had a problem with any of that shit until ATS came out. Seriously, I was more than happy to indulge. So it’s your fault. If you didn’t want me to feel this way you should have just canned that album before it’s 09/14/10 release date because honestly I don’t understand how you could follow up the goliath album that was ATS with Living Things. I actually really enjoy the majority of the album, but part of me can’t help but think at times that this is the sound of regression. There are still moments of brilliance and, of course experimentation, but to me it feels like a record made by artists who are unsure of which direction to go. It feels like an album that could have replaced Minutes To Midnight in the chronological order of things. Simply put, without trying to come across as ungrateful or spoiled, it’s not good enough, guys.

    Then… Recharged. I like EDM as much as the next guy, and we’ve all flirted with dubstep at some point, but honestly speaking I think this is probably the worst career move you’ve made. Especially considering the fact that you released an album called Reanimation over ten years ago. Why follow the trend of EDM remixes? Why have anything to do with dubstep when it’s now far more overdone and overplayed than Nu-Metal ever was? I don’t quite understand. Okay, Linkin Park x Steve Aoki is just pure undiluted fun. You get that sense when you listen to it; even if the lyrics are traditionally dark, it’s bouncy. Recharged has some stellar remixes and again is enjoyable for the most part, but I don’t want it. I don’t say that is in I don’t want it in my collection; I’m saying I want you to get back on track.

    No, I don’t want another ATS either. Fuck that. I want you to get back in to the mindset you were in when you were creating that album. Get back to the experimentation. Stop writing pop-rock and create another genre. You’ve done it before and you can do it again. There’s a lot of people out there who will disagree with me entirely and will feel that ATS was your weakest effort, however no one (and I mean no one) can disagree with it being your most unique effort. Let me reiterate that I don’t want LP6 to sound like ATS. Do what you want but do it without following trends, without pressure and without caring what people think. Have fun doing it. Fuck the casual listeners, fuck the radio and fuck anyone who tells you different. You’re artists not puppets.

    Which leads me to my next point: Stop feeling to obligated to play a set list of singles at your live shows. Surprise people and throw in some oldies and the lesser known stuff. People will appreciate it all the same. Can you imagine the look on peoples’ faces if you suddenly broke out in to Forgotten or Figure.09? Aren’t you sick of playing Numb or In the End yet? Those are great tracks and certainly nothing to be ashamed of, but mix it up. Or if you’re going to play those tracks, screw around with them like adding on the live version of The Radiance or break in to the Reanimation version. You’ll learn after Download Festival next year that the demand for those lesser known tracks is ripe amongst 90% of the people who attend your concerts. Also, play the tracks you haven't played live yet. Too difficult to transcend Robot Boy in to a live track? Play a different variation of it.

    In conclusion, despite some of my criticisms in this message, I am proud to still call you my favorite band after 13 years of listening to your music. I respect you all as artists and people and will follow all of your efforts both collectively and individually. You’ve created some of the best music I’ve ever heard and I can’t thank you enough for that. But please, let go of all tethers and leashes and just go out there and create some art. Do what you feel like doing and fuck the rest. This is your careers and when you look back on them, you’re going to want to ensure you did everything you could to create the best art you could. No more trends, no more temporary indulgences. Be proud of what you’ve done whilst always wanting to improve. Remember your roots but strive for change. Remember: you’re not robots, you’re not monkeys, you will not dance etc. etc.

    - Luke WL Morrison
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  2. #2
    jare0674

    jare0674 There's a seat here along side me...

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    0



    Dear Luke:

    Quit your bitchin; they can do whatever the fuck they want.

    Yours truly:
    jare0674
     
  3. #3
    Hans Muster

    Hans Muster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    21



    I wouldn't tell them what to do either but you got a point. Especially about Recharged. I mean Reanimation was genius, each track is enjoyable and completly different from the original. But Recharged is just so and average. Sure there are a few interesting tracks on it but it isn't an album, it's a random collection of remixes, some are good, some others less.
     
  4. #4
    Luke

    Luke Mind Your Manners. LPA Addicted VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Messages:
    15,206
    Likes Received:
    107



    I think you're mistaking constructive criticism for bitching.

    But thanks for your feedback nonetheless. ;)
     
  5. #5
    Anonymous Person

    Anonymous Person You promised me flesh!

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    0



    Agreed. I can dig that.
     
  6. #6
    Qwerty19

    Qwerty19 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    2,200
    Likes Received:
    185



    What the actual fuck :lol:

    And I though I was good at writing big post....Nevertheless, I'm intrigued. I'm gonna read this :)

    Edit: and....well, it seems like you don't enjoy LP current direction, to say the least! But yes, you can't force them to choose one career move instead of another. That's their business. If they feel like making more radio-friendly stuff or EDM-orientated stuff instead of more complex stuff, then that's their choice, weither you find it good or bad. Though, I'd say there's scope to be optimistic in regards to Mike's recent statements...It seems like he really wants to make some innovative shit for the next record, whatever it will sound like.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  7. #7
    Apop

    Apop LPA VIP LPA VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    1



    Very good read, Luke. I don't have the same connection to their older albums as you do, but I agree with most of your points. I only say "most of" because the fanboy in me won't let me brutally honest about Living Things or even Recharged.
     
  8. #8
    Maars

    Maars Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2013
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    0



    Well, Luke is entitled to his opinion. He's not hurting anyone, he's not insulting anyone, although, his criticism is quite direct and palpable. However, I must point out a few contradictory statements or sentences.

    On multiple occasions you write about, how "you want them to get back in to the mindset..." and "stop feeling too obligated to" or "you want them to get back on track". At the same time, you use sentences like, "do what you want...", "fuck the casual listeners, fuck the radio and fuck anyone who tells you different" and lastly "you’re not robots, you’re not monkeys, you will not dance".

    It seems like, you're trying to tell them that they shouldn't listen to anybody. So, why should they listen to you?

    I understand what you're trying to say. You're a long time fan of the band. You've put your time and your money in to them and you're not satisfied with their recent decisions and records. I agree that Living Things wasn't anything jaw-dropping and I don't have Recharged on loop, but I'm sure, I fully accept and respect their decisions, just as you. I still can fall asleep at night, I'm not thinking about suicide because of Recharged or anything. I'm just allright with it.

    Btw, I admire your courage to post this here, I'll give you that.
     
  9. #9
    Erica

    Erica Meh LPA Über VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    11,507
    Likes Received:
    40



    Very well written, couldn't agree with it more.
     
  10. #10
    Brandon

    Brandon I was Ree's 100th follower on Twitter.

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,361
    Likes Received:
    124



    Reading this makes me feel multiple things. On the one hand, I think a fan writing an open letter to a band on a forum is silly. On the other hand, I feel sad because I used to care about the band enough to write something like this myself. I don't anymore. I really just follow them/the fan sites out of habit at this point.

    And of course now they're back in the studio with Steve Aoki for what could possibly be work for Transformers 4. So I'm not sensing a change in direction that's going to interest me any time soon.
     
  11. #11
    Mitch

    Mitch YTB

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    36



    He definitely isn't bitching. Yes, they can do whatever they want; still doesn't mean they aren't open to criticism. I personally don't feel that strong about the topic, but I see nothing wrong with what was expressed here. Good read, Luke.
     
  12. #12
    jare0674

    jare0674 There's a seat here along side me...

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    0



    Sorry but I just think that people need to give the whole "LP sucks now" thing based off of Living Things alone a rest. It's just one album that was never billed as some big experiment in the first place. They constantly referred to it as an album to take a little bit of everything they've done, an album to recapture the energy of the old sound without going back to nu-metal, an album to bridge the gap between their older albums with the newer ones. People just had to big of expectations for it based off of ATS despite all of that. To be honest I also think that LT is a step back from ATS and in some cased even MTM but I don't see the need to write pointless letters to the band about it, I'm still happy with the music we got.

    On another note everybody judges LT based on the music but what everybody seems to ignore is the band's morale. In the making of ATS and some LPTV's from that era you can tell that the band was really stressed out and didn't seem happy. Chester's speech and Brad lashing out at a camera man are evidence of this. In the making of video for LT on the other hand the band you can tell that the band is much happier, Phoenix even flat out says how nice it is for them to be back in their comfort zone after so long. The guys in the band are people too not just music makers, they have every right to do want makes them happy and if playing it safe and just making a fun easy record does that for them there's nothing you can do about it.

    As for Recharged just be thankful that when Mike went through his EDM fad he opted for the remix album route instead of doing a full blown LP studio album.
     
  13. #13
    Apop

    Apop LPA VIP LPA VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    1



    In terms of the band's morale, it's difficult to use the "making of" videos as evidence. Those things are heavily edited. They probably have dozens of hours of footage, so they can make the environment feel however they want: stressed, care-free, funny, etc. I think the point of Meeting of A Thousand Suns was not to show how stressful the record was, but rather show a different side of Linkin Park you don't see on LPTV. I'll bet they get stressed over every album. That's just part of life.
     
  14. #14
    Blackee Dammet

    Blackee Dammet Feminism Is My God Now

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    152



    Look.


    And this is going to hurt.


    But Linkin Park were never, at any time, genuinely great.


    Always competent, always polished, sometimes even genuinely clever, never great. Ever. There's a reason most of the people here became fans are pre-teens. Remove the good times and nostalgia from Hybrid Theory, and listen to how fucking corny a lot of it actually is. Go check out how formulaic Meteora was even a decade ago. You, as an adult with what I imagine is nearly a decade of other genres of music floating around your head, is seeing Linkin Park for what they always were; an occasionally really good, but increasingly bandwagon hopping group that's never really excelled at one specific thing.

    And that's even necessarily bad. In fact realizing what the band is and always has been may make you even appreciate their later, "bad" material. Yeah, you're noticing them dropping the ball way more now with experienced eyes and ears, but recall when your older friends and family members casually disregarded the Linkin lads a decade ago, and ask yourself why that was.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  15. #15
    Lotus Flower

    Lotus Flower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0



    Harsh, but true. It's always interesting to see more fans that are in my boat of growing up listening to the band but ultimately developing more mature tastes.
     
  16. #16
    Qwerty19

    Qwerty19 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    2,200
    Likes Received:
    185



    Oh, developping what some people call "mature tastes" over the years never stopped me from thinking HT is a damn good record. And no, nostalgia has nothing or very little to do with it.

    It's funny because some people always told me that growing up would make me dislike those mediocre things I liked back then. I guess that their holy truth was not mine.
     
  17. #17
    Lotus Flower

    Lotus Flower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0



    Well I never said I was speaking for you. The fact is that Hybrid Theory appealed to the younger crowd whose tastes are bound to change as they get older. It doesn't mean the album is crap or that it's just a matter of time people realize it.
     
  18. #18
    Blackee Dammet

    Blackee Dammet Feminism Is My God Now

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    152



    Yeah, I want to follow up that I never said I did, or that most people would, grow out of it or stop liking it. But the cracks in the veneer become way more obvious when you're more familiar with different kinds of music. The biggest issue was that realizing they weren't this incredible, mind blowing, genre smashing ahead of their time band back then and that will help you enjoy their music more now. Getting away from the idealized version of Linkin Park that most people have built up in their heads from years of fandom will help the drastically different tunes be appreciated on their own merit.
     
  19. #19
    Filip

    Filip god break down the door LPA Contributor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    10,879
    Likes Received:
    630



    [​IMG]
     
  20. #20
    Hans Muster

    Hans Muster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    21



    Linkin Park haven't been great developping something completly new but what has been great is the way they smashed these already existing sounds together and created something absolutely enjoyable. Hybrid Theory isn't that much of a landmark in music history (regarding impact on other artists) but it will always be great for me.
     

Share This Page