In a new interview with Metal Hammer magazine, LINKIN PARK's Mike Shinoda spoke about how the band's debut album, "Hybrid Theory", which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, defied easy categorization and helped diversify metal's appeal beyond its core audience with its blend of hip-hop swagger, screaming, irresistible pop hooks and circuit-bending.
"At the time, if you asked somebody what they were listening to, they'd say... 'Rock. I listen to hip-hop. I listen to jazz,'" Shinoda said. "It wasn't until five years later they'd say, 'Everything.' 'Hybrid Theory' did some of that work. It was part of the progression towards breaking down boundaries between styles of music.
"I listened to 90% rap music, then I'd look at a lot of rock bands and I'd be like, 'There's something too white [about it],'" he continued. "That was one of the things that turned me off, especially hair metal. Hair metal felt like very white music, and I was growing up in a very diverse city, so I didn't gravitate to it. That didn't resonate with me. And it wasn't just about race. I don't mean the color of skin. I just mean the culture of it. When nu metal started at the very beginning, it was a very diverse place."
One musician who quickly reacted to Shinoda's comments is Stephen Pearcy, frontman for 1980s California rockers RATT, widely considered one of the most successful acts of the Sunset Strip glam metal scene. Pearcy tweeted out a link to Mike's "Hair metal felt like very white music" quote, and he included the following message: "Lol, Didnt know rock music had a race. wtf, I didn't know what hair metal felt like. Thanks. all music to me"
The term "hair metal" was coined in the late 1990s as a way to disparage acts thought to have been all flash and no substance. Its use became widespread after grunge gained popularity at the expense of 1980s metal.
This past July, former SKID ROW frontman Sebastian Bach took issue with being called "hair metal," saying that "being labeled something that I never set out to be labeled gets under my skin. It's a pain when people try to rewrite history," he tweeted. "Believe me none of us ever set out to be in a hair metal band that did not exist in the 80s".
That was not the first time Bach reacted negatively to the term "hair metal." In a 2012 interview with The New York Times, he famously said: "I am the man who put the hair in hair metal. I also headlined Broadway musicals. I acted in millions of TV shows. I didn't get to star in 'Jekyll And Hyde' on Broadway because of my haircut. My voice has gotten me everything in my life, not my hair."
Lol, Didnt know rock music had a race. wtf, I didn’t know what hair metal felt like. Thanks ?? all music to me☠️???☠??
— STEPHEN E PEARCY (@StephenEPearcy) October 20, 2020
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).