Mike Shinoda on the challenge of stepping up as a solo artist: “This is not the hand that any of us wanted to be dealt”

The Linkin Park musician played solo sets at Reading & Leeds Festivals over the weekend

Mike Shinoda has spoken further about meeting the challenge of stepping up as a solo artist this year – watch NME‘s latest interview with the musician above.

The Linkin Park musician has embarked on a solo career in 2018, with his debut album ‘Post Traumatic’ emerging in June. The conception and writing of that record emerged in the months following the tragic death of Shinoda’s bandmate Chester Bennington, who died at the age of 41 in July 2017.

Speaking to NME ahead of his set at Reading Festival this weekend, Shinoda reflected on how he’s adapted to becoming a solo artist in the wake of Bennington’s passing.


“It was [a step up],” he said. “There are a lot of elements of putting out the music, getting on stage, doing certain songs. Some things are harder than others, y’know? I always make at least one moment during the set to pay tribute to Chester, and to give the fans – who, you know, were so touched by our songs with him – that moment of celebration.

“I never want my show to be a sad thing at all, but it feels totally appropriate and healthy to have that moment. And some fans really need that.”

Shinoda later added that he has been keen to instil a “celebratory” tone to his music and shows.

“After I put out the album, started playing some shows and seeing the fans in person – like I said before, the tone is much more celebratory,” he said. “You know, this is not the hand that any of us would have wanted to be dealt, but if this is what I’m dealing with, then I’m going to make the most of it.”

During his set at Reading, Shinoda paid tribute to Bennington during a special moment in his set.