LINKIN PARK's MIKE SHINODA: 'I Had Terrible Days, And Now I Have Less Bad Days'

LINKIN PARK's MIKE SHINODA: 'I Had Terrible Days, And Now I Have Less Bad Days'

LINKIN PARK vocalist Mike Shinoda will release his debut solo album, "Post Traumatic", on June 15.

The singer/producer released three new solo tracks as a digital EP in late January. Also titled "Post Traumatic", the set directly addressed the death of LINKIN PARK bandmate Chester Bennington and Shinoda's own anxiety over what would come next.

Speaking with ET Canada's Matte Babel, Shinoda stated about the songwriting process for "Post Traumatic" (see video below): "It started in a really dark place. In the beginning, I wasn't leaving my house. It felt very claustrophobic, having lost one of my closest friends and collaborators. We associate who we are, to some degree, with what we do, so I felt very lost."

He continued: "The experience of this last year has been crazy, and I wanted to put it into music, not only to just put a stamp on it and say, 'This happened,' but also to allow the fans and the people who have been along for the ride, to guide them on that journey in terms of keeping up with my narrative or understanding where I'm at."

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Asked how difficult the emotional process was of making the music and writing those kinds of songs, Mike said: "Life was difficult; music was easy. The music made things easier. We started talking about, 'What about mental health? Do you wanna get involved with, for example, suicide prevention? Do you wanna get involved with organizations that deal with depression and so on, even addiction?' And I thought, number one, some of those things I just don't have very much experience with. You'd think I do, because one of my best friends dealt with them, but I don't personally suffer from those things, and I think that the most powerful thing that I can do for people is to actually take the things that I've learned and share them with people. So, for example, with mental health, I've learned that mental health we should treat it like physical health. So if you say, 'I'm feeling unhealthy,' or if you wake up and say, 'I'm feeling sick,' then what would you do? You'd stay home from work, you might take medication, and if it's really bad, you might say, 'Oh, I need to go see a doctor. This is really bad.' But for some reason, we don't do that when it comes to mental health."

Shinoda also touched upon his own grief over the loss of his friend and bandmate and his desire to move forward with the next chapter of his life.

"Sometimes you have to just feel sad and you have to just wait until it kind of stops happening," he said. "I had terrible days, and now I have less bad days. And eventually, I will find a new 'normal,' like a new stasis. And that is the journey that I'm on. In this album, you'll see it happening. As I go out and start touring and talking to fans and doing different conversations with different people, it'll evolve."

Shinoda will make his first solo appearance since Bennington's death at this spring's Identity LA festival. The free event will take place in downtown Los Angeles on May 12.

Mike addressed LINKIN PARK's future in two new interviews last month. In the first, with Los Angeles radio station KROQ, he said: "I'll say just for me, I'm waiting to see what kind of reveals itself, because I've looked at it number one first and foremost let's not forget that Chester was one of the greatest rock singers of all time, period."

Shinoda continued: "That's not just me as a friend, this dude, his voice, there is just nothing like it... Looking forward into what is the band, those questions have to get answered, and I don't have the answers."

He also discussed the band's future in a Vulture article, saying: "I'm unable to say what will happen with the band... Believe me, I want to know what the answer is. But there just isn't one. What I do know is that, for the immediate future, this thing I'm doing couldn't be more important for me personally."

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