Mike Shinoda continues breaking racial barriers in metal music, telling Metal Hammer the genre was “too white” before the emergence of nu metal bands like Linkin Park and Korn.
“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,” he tells the magazine.
Shinoda was born in Panorama City, California and raised by his Japanese-American father. He avoids equating taste in music to skin color. Mike believes most people experience a cultural osmosis when developing a proclivity towards certain music. “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,” he tells Metal Hammer.
“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.”
He credits nu metal pioneers of the late 1990’s for developing a melting pot of hip hop, alternative rock and grunge that built a foundation for this genre. “There were all these groups like Snot and Hed PE, and it wasn’t smart music, but there was something really visceral and culture blending that was important.”
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Questions also centered on Linkin Park’s release of a collectible Hybrid Theory box set that dropped earlier this month.