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Linkin Park Helms Haiti Relief Compilation Album


Grammy-winning band Linkin Park is joining the ranks of celebrities on a mission to support relief efforts in Haiti; they've released a charity album thrown together with lightning speed. We spoke to Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda about Download to Donate, a compilation of unreleased songs from artists like Peter Gabriel, Alanis Morissette and the Dave Matthews Band. Shinoda tells PopEater exclusively, "I saw the images on the news, and I knew that Music for Relief had to do something. Our organization was started for the purpose of providing relief to people who had been hit by natural disaster. We started it after the tsunami in South Asia in 2005, and when we heard about the earthquake in Haiti, it was obvious to my band mates and me that we had a responsibility to do something."

Linkin Park - and their charity organization Music For Relief - channeled their energy into creating a widget with free, downloadable music. "We put it in yours hands to donate," Shinoda says. "You can donate a dollar, you can donate a thousand dollars, you can donate a hundred thousand dollars."

Linkin Park's own contribution to the project is a song called 'Not Alone,' a track they created from start to finish in less than two days. "I wish I could say we did the entire thing, from start to finished mix, in 24 hours. But that'd be fibbing," Shinoda says. "We actually had the bed of music and the melody in place. Once we picked the song, the lyrics came easily. It was a rough
demo that was unfinished, and we finished it - the guys all said that it felt almost like fate that the song had never been finished. Once we decided that we were going to do this Donate to Download project and we needed to contribute a new song, Chester [Bennington] and I started working on lyrics. The lyrics just flowed out and they came really easily. We shot emails back and forth - 'hey, what do you think about this line? what do you think about that line?' - and within a day, we had the lyrics to the song."

Shinoda believes technology will help organizations like his accomplish things that the 'We Are the World's of yesterday couldn't achieve. "This project, I feel like it's a game-changing moment in terms of music charity, made possible by the technology of today," he explains. "Only a few years ago, you wouldn't have been able to get a song done as quickly as these songs can be done now. Only a few years ago, you wouldn't have been able to spread the word about a widget like this, because you wouldn't have had Facebook and Twitter - you wouldn't even have had widgets. The point is that right now, we're able to do this for the first time in history, and we really hope that we can get it right, and raise a lot of money and awareness for the people in Haiti who need it."

"We intend to do multiple releases of music; in fact a new song by Lupe Fiasco that I produced [just went up]. We're adding more songs as we go ... artists are hearing about it and they're calling our management company and saying 'Can I participate, can I donate a song?' And the answer is yes."

Shinoda is counting on Linkin Park fans to do the right thing with the free tunes. "You can go at any time and donate," he says. "If you feel like you've donated enough, then just download the songs. If you feel like you didn't donate anything and you listen to the songs and feel guilty - come back and donate!"

He adds, "The money's going to some great organizations. 100% of the money goes directly to the efforts in Haiti. We're working with the UN Foundation, Habitat For Humanity and Dave Matthews Band's Bama Works' Haitian Relief Effort. In broad strokes, the goal for Music For Relief is to provide immediate and long-term recovery, with focuses on clean water and shelter." - January 20, 2010


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