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Mike Shinoda

Mike Shinoda Recently Heard Slayer’s “Reign In Blood” For The First Time, Says “Raining Blood” Helped Linkin Park Win Over ‘Ozzfest’ Audiences


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Noisey put Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, etc. fame in the hot seat for their latest ‘Blind Spots’ feature. That series aims to introduce a musician to a crucial album they missed during their own musical journey.

This latest entry finds Noisey giving Shinoda his thoughts on his first full listen to Slayer‘s 1986 gold certified masterpiece, “Reign In Blood“. During the feature he also shared his thoughts and some of his experiences with Slayer over the years. Some excerpts from that include:

“I’ve played on festivals with Slayer. That’s one thing that’s really weird is that I’m loosely familiar with their stuff, but I don’t know it very well. I remember watching them and thinking that’s the reason they’re so respected. Like look at that fucking band! They just kill it onstage. They’re so tight and so aggressive. I remember being super impressed.”

During “Altar Of Sacrifice” he commented on the band’s apparent lack of humor, offering:

“…There’s no wink! There’s nothing to let me know that they’re having fun with these lyrics. I know there’s a humor or lightness or satire to the genre. I came into this feeling like there should be a little bit of a wink like Gwar or something. When I listen to this or music like this, I listen to it through this lens of like, “Oh, this is kind of funny.” But then I remember that there are actual horrible people who listen to this and yelling “Fuck yeah, dude. Murder!” Like, what the fuck?”

He also went on to tell the tale of how Slayer indirectly helped Linkin Park begin to win over crowds on the 2001 edition of the then annual ‘Ozzfest‘ tour:

“I definitely heard it [‘Reign in Blood‘] when I was in high school. Funny story about this song [“Raining Blood“] though. When Linkin Park were playing Ozzfest, we were mid-to-early main stage. At the time, we had just put out our first album and we hadn’t played in front of many metal fans yet.

We were on the bill with Crazy Town and Papa Roach who, Sharon Osbourne admitted in an interview before the tour even started that she put all those bands on the bill, including us, for girls. That was her statement, not mine. And we were like, ‘what the fuck Sharon? You screwed us!’ We started the tour the first week and we played immediately after Crazy Town.

So the fans were booing unforgivably before we even got to the stage. So the beginning of our set was a like an understated electronic intro with Massive Attack. We thought that this would let the ‘Ozzfest‘ fans know that we weren’t Crazy Town. But the metal fans didn’t know the difference between Massive Attack and Crazy Town so they were booing from the start. We had a 40 minute set and it took most of it to win the fans back.

The next week, we were in Philly and our DJ Joe Hahn found this album in a record store and said, ‘Instead of our intro, I’m going to play ‘Raining Blood‘ at the beginning of our set.’ We thought that it couldn’t be any worse than what we’ve been dealing with. Why the fuck not? He played the first 60 seconds of that song and the crowd was booing before but when it started happening they went apeshit and cheered the whole set. It changed the whole tour. All we needed to do was extend an olive branch and say, ‘We get you.'”

You can find out his final thoughts on the album and more over at Noisey.

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