As I’ve grown up, moved away, and seen more of the world, things that I thought would never changed, have changed.
When I was in uni, I was probably one of the first people in my circle of friends on the Linkin Park bandwagon and I never thought that I would get off. The combination of their unique sound, personal lyrics, and charisma made them instantly my favorite band. I have all their albums and all but one of their DVDs and I’ve actually seen them live on three different continents, regardless of price. And none of my feelings towards Linkin Park had anything to do with the DJ being Korean. But I’ve noticed over the last couple of years, Linkin Park has become more and more commercial, the Summer Sanitorium tour with Metallica and Limp Bizkit, the repackaging of old material, etc. I really didn’t mind it so much in the past, even when they did a deal with CSI to score the episode that Sara Siddle left CSI, partly because my favorite band (at the time) was scoring my favorite TV show.
One thing that they’ve touted for most of their career is that it is possible to make music that doesn’t use curse words and still make art. And then in Mike Shinoda’s solo project, Fort Minor’s The Rising Tied, one of the songs has a line or two about supporting the troops even when no one else is. On the next Linkin Park album, Minutes to Midnight, there’s a song (“Hands Held High”) that blasts everyone that has a part in the Iraq war, talking about how the war is only for the rich people. Ummm, excuse me, you’re rich…you’re constantly on the top money making bands list of the year…you don’t get to complain about you’re just a poor musician when you’re not.
And that has turned me off, far more than Minutes to Midnight being an very un-Linkin Park album and attempt to make everyone happy while taking illogical potshots at everyone around them. I want to say them that you do realize that many people that listen to your music, especially amongst Americans overseas are service members, right? And that you know that you’re rich right, when you have more than two cars and a mansion, you’re rich. You’re no longer starving artists when you can sell out STADIUMS and farming lands (Novarock – which is the best rock festival that I have ever been to) around the world.
As tax paying Americans, they have every right to their opinion and every right to say it. But at the same time as celebrities and as people who make things that are somewhat preserved for the rest of eternity, they have a responsibility to what they say, especially in their lyrics, because the world and the young listen. Be honest in what you’re expressing, and be true, don’t jump on the bandwagon just because that’s what your contemporaries are doing.