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Interview with Mike Shinoda

Linkin Park has sold more records than there are people in Scotland, Greenland and Disneyland combined. Well, nobody actually sat down and did the math, but it's a pretty good guess. The clean-living Los Angeles rap-metal act plays Feb. 16 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, once again attempting to shatter its image as a clean-living Los Angeles rap-metal act. Or not. We spoke with the band's MC Mike Shinoda..

PQ: Does it bother you that people think you act more like CEOs than rock stars?
Mike Shinoda:Yeah. When people say that it just shows they don't know us very well.

PQ: What, are you going to be on "Behind the Music" in 10 years talking about how you blew it all on cocaine and chicks?
Mike Shinoda: If we're ever on "Behind the Music" talking about how we blew it, it's not going to be about substance abuse. It's just going to be that we tried some creative stuff people weren't feeling -- those are usually the biggest risks we take.

PQ: You can't be perfect. Who has the most embarrassing iPod?
Mike Shinoda: It depends on what you consider bad.

PQ: Nickelback, Seal, Norah Jones.
Mike Shinoda: If that's what you consider bad, then half the band would be that guy. But at the same time, we'll have Metallica, Tool and Jay-Z. All the guys have very diverse taste in music, and each guy has little things he's into that the other guys aren't into.

PQ: Who has the biggest porn stash hidden in his bunk?
Mike Shinoda: I don't think anybody has one, but we used to have a bus driver who was an aspiring porn director, and apparently when we were gone he was driving around with other porn characters and making movies on the bus.

PQ: That's terrible.
Mike Shinoda: I don't know if it would have been worse if we walked in and saw it or just having the knowledge that it had been there and was sitting on the seat next to you. But with that said, there are three buses on this tour, so I'm not totally sure about the porn thing.

PQ: Are there any prima donnas in the band who need an hour to get ready just before they go to Denny's?
Mike Shinoda: It's not me. I'm going to plead the Fifth.

PQ: You haven't given me a single name yet.
Mike Shinoda: It's tough. I think the guys, on most of the things you mentioned, are pretty similar. I think on the porn thing we see enough girls flashing during the show that we don't really need it. You know how if you ever watch one of those "Girls Gone Wild" videos, at the end of the first 15 minutes you never want to see another (topless woman) again?

PQ: I don't believe I've ever experienced that problem.
Mike Shinoda: We have spent, in the last two days, about seven hours at the Mac store. If that's any kind of indicator, we're pretty huge computer geeks.

Pop Quiz - February 9, 2004



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