Band members' musical abilities compared to other artists

Discussion in 'Linkin Park Chat' started by SmallCapybara, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. #1
    SmallCapybara

    SmallCapybara Member

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    As someone who is not very knowledgeable about music I thought it would be interesting to hear the opinions of people who do know about music regarding the band members' expertise on their own instruments/vocals.

    The tribute show highlighted how talented Chester was - not many of the guest vocalists pulled Chester's parts off to Chester's standards. This was understandable as they are singing songs that are not their own songs, but it was also a nice way to illustrate just how much Chester was bringing to the shows, which as a non-musical person I hadn't necessarily realised.

    Regarding the other members of the band - I saw someone mention on another thread that Rob's drumming has continued to improve over time. I'm also interested in the difficulty of what Mike plays on the keyboard and guitar - could he play lead guitar for example? If it's possible to compare band members based on their expertise in their own area, is there anyone who particularly stands out, or are they all similar? For example are there members whose ability in their own area is especially good compared to other non-LP musicians who play the same instrument?
     
  2. #2
    Sasuke

    Sasuke Purity Ring fanboy LPA Super Member

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    Mike is a great producer for sure, his sound is pretty diverse! he can do metal, electronic and soundtracks stuff and even EDM remixes.
     
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  3. #3
    Atticus

    Atticus Bullets lance the bravest lungs

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    I would definitely say Chester was the most talented in a single category compared to the rest of the band. However the fact that Mike can sing and play so many different instruments so well is impressive in its own right. Rob's had some monstrous drum solos but other than that everyone else is rather average. I will say that Brad's guitar work while sometimes unimpressive technically, he always finds a guitar tone that is pleasing to the ear.
     
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  4. #4
    Crankshaft

    Crankshaft Je m'appelle Baguette

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    Well, here's my take on this:

    Chester - One of the best vocalists there has ever been, there's no doubt about it. Like you said, the celebration show proved that.
    Mike - Easily one of the best producers/songwriters out there and a jack of all trades with his best instrument being piano/keyboard. I like his voice, but he could use a vocal coach.
    Brad - Honestly, he isn't really that good of a guitarist in terms of technique but the simplicity in his playing is a huge part of the LP sound and i wouldn't have it any other way. He's also a good producer
    Rob - I'm not really knowledgeable on drummers, but it seems to me he is very talented and truly is in the top tier of drummers.
    Dave - His bass parts aren't that hard to be honest but that's also the skill in playing bass. Knowing when and what to play and be reliable.
    Joe - He's actually a pretty good singer. As far as the DJ/samples go, i don't know enough about that to judge his talents there. I feel like his talents are more in the direction of illustrations and directing.
     
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  5. #5
    SmallCapybara

    SmallCapybara Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts. I was a bit cautious about posting this thread as I didn't want to invite any negative opinions about my favourite musicians(!). But it's clear that irrespective of their different strengths they all bring important elements to the band as a whole. They're also very tight when playing together and play the songs well - to my untrained ears the music itself doesn't sound hugely different to the 'perfect' studio versions when played live (except in cases where they deliberately alter songs).
     
  6. #6
    Minus

    Minus ohai LPA Addicted VIP

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    Chester - Very versatile vocalist. Had a rough spot for a few touring cycles where his life performances weren't the best, but what can you do.
    Mike - A VERY Trent Reznor-lite talent. Note I said "lite", not "like". He can play most all instruments decently well and has proven that he is the primary driving force behind LP songs. Like Trent Reznor, he lacks in vocals but is a great songwriter.
    Brad - Not that great of a guitar player. See any of his live solos, and most of his studio ones. Started coming into a less metal/more Brad-like guitar style on OML.
    Rob - Decent drummer. Doesn't fuck up live like Lars Ulrich, isn't insanely talented like Josh Freese.
    Dave - Very obviously more of a guitar player than a bass player. His bass parts are fairly run of the mill "play the root of each chord", which is pretty disappointing. Then again most of my favorite bands have ridiculously talented bass players.
    Joe - Needs to learn how to consistently quantize and correctly trigger his samples. Probably doesn't help that he changes his pads nearly every touring cycle.
     
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  7. #7
    TV

    TV tov LPA Super VIP

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    Like a member said earlier, Chester was the best in a single skillset. Mike is a really intelligent and prolific musician but I haven't really seen him be a virtuoso at any one thing. He is still amazing at what he does though, all the while being the leader of the group. I think in terms of instrumental skills, Rob is the best.. though I don't really have anyone to compare him to. He is probably the one that stands out the most if you have all the members play their instruments to their best abilities in a showcase or something. Brad is the butt of jokes as a guitarist but he's always said he has little interest in being a rock guitarist. His role in the band seems to mostly be Mike's right hand in the studio and second song writer. I can't really say much about Joe and Dave. They are mostly supporting roles in the band's sound and have never hindered the music in any way. I think what Joe did in the band early on was really interesting and sophisticated.
     
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  8. #8
    Iopia

    Iopia Well-Known Member

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    I think it's fair to say that none of the band members are particularly technically proficient instrument-wise. Rob is probably the only one who stands out as being consistently good (especially seeing as the band doesn't exactly need a jazz virtuoso behind the kit), whereas Brad seems to struggle with anything particularily technical, Dave rarely plays anything even remotely difficult, and Joe is... Joe. And while I have a lot of respect for Mike for his versatility, he's a pretty weak singer outside of the studio, he's a weaker guitarist than Brad, and his piano parts are almost universally very basic.

    Of course this has nothing to do with their songwriting; Mike is an incredible writer and producer, Brad has a great ear for what's needed on guitar (and of course is a big part of the writing/production process), and Rob/Dave/Joe each bring exactly what's needed to round off the band's sound (although I would like to hear some more interesting bass parts at some point). But yeah, on a technical level, none of them are particularly virtuosic.
     
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  9. #9
    Brandon

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

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    Straight technical proficiency would either be Rob (obvious choice) or Dave (dark-horse choice). Dave's guitar work with his previous band (Tasty Snax for those who didn't know) was less chord-heavy than Linkin Park.

    Mike is also a renaissance man so he deserves some recognition.

    Brad and Joe aren't great from a technical perspective (not taking away their contributions in the studio, which are hard for us to measure without being there).

    And of course, Chester was a great vocalist. Although his performances could be all over the place, the talent was undeniable.
     
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  10. #10
    Deliveranze

    Deliveranze Well-Known Member

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    Chester is definitely the best at what the respective parts the band contributes. He is a versatile singer and has a very distinct voice.

    Mike is definitely the best rounded artist though. The other five contribute their piece to the whole but Mike is the one who makes sure it all comes together. He's a pretty mediocre instrumentalist, but he's a phenomenal producer especially in hip hop. As a singer, he's pleasing for sure, and as a rapper? Well, it's hard to dictate what makes a good rapper as there is a lot of criteria. I would say he's, at some point in 20 years of rapping, has hit high marks technically, songwriting wise, and conceptually at some point. At the very least, you can tell his style is hip hop centric compared to other rap rock bands and that's really what makes Mike the most respected rapper in a rock band.

    Rob- Definitely the best instrumentalist in the band. Not outstanding, but he's definitely shown technical proficiency in his career.

    Brad- As someone said, he's not a technically interesting guitarist but he definitely has an ear for pleasant tones. At this point, I much prefer that.

    Dave and Joe are the least musically interesting of the band but they do their parts.
     
  11. #11
    SmallCapybara

    SmallCapybara Member

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    Came back to this thread as I heard an interview where Mike was talking about when they wrote the music for The Hunting Party - he wrote the songs on his computer but made sure he wasn't putting in e.g. 3 drums at the same time, so that they could be played by people in real life. He made a throwaway comment saying that he was writing stuff for Brad that he (Mike) couldn't play himself. That made me think about how usually Mike would write stuff for Brad that he (Mike) could play, so maybe Mike is at least as good as Brad guitar wise?
     

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