Mike Shinoda Just Heard Slayer’s ‘Reign in Blood’ in Full for the First Time
Even the most studious music fan is likely to have missed a few classics along the way, and that's the basis for Noisey's series "Blind Spots," which allows well-known musicians to take a listen to classic albums that have somehow escape their ears. For Mike Shinoda, he admits, knowing full well he might face some backlash, that he's never sat down with Slayer's Reign in Blood in full, though he has caught some of the songs over the years.
“I've played on festivals with Slayer,” he said. “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 the process of the exercise, Shinoda gets taken out of the process a bit by the lyrical content, questioning the Nazism in "Angel of Death" and calling out the irony of a song titled "Necrophobic" clearly showing that they are obsessed with death.
"I'm saying shock art does that to me a lot of times," says Shinoda. "I feel like this has got a lot of shock art to it. It's funny because like the delivery of the lyrics and I like the sound of the music 100 percent." Sure enough, by the time he gets to "Epidemic," he states, "My God, this record just sounds amazing."
The Linkin Park musician also shared his love of their presentation, likening the graphic nature early on and then pulling back and allowing the brain to fill in the blanks later on to how director David Fincher approached the film Se7en.
One of the more interesting moments of the exercise came when "Raining Blood" arrived, with Shinoda relaying a bit of how that track helped them win over the Ozzfest crowd in their early days.
"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," recalled Shinoda.
He revealed that they started their set with an understated electronic intro from Massive Attack, trying to differentiate themselves, but the metal fans didn't care for that either. "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," says Shinoda. "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.'"
To see Shinoda's reaction and insights into all of the songs and the full album, head on over to Noisey to view the full post.
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