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Fort Minor
At The Record we have a wish list of international superstars that we would love to interview. We’ve had a pretty good track record so far when it comes to making our wishes come true and this month one more name gets crossed off that ‘to do’ list.

We were lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with Mike Shinoda ~ yes, the very same talented rapper/songwriter/producer/graphic artist from Linkin Park, one of the most hardworking bands on the scene today. Along with his LP duties, Shinoda takes on another project ~ his solo effort under the name Fort Minor.

Here he is talking exclusively to The Record about the philosophy of Fort Minor, the inspiration behind his hit Where’d You Go, the one surprising thing about him that you might not know, and for all you impatient fans ~ a timeline for the new Linkin Park record.

The Record: Which track off the album would be the best introduction to Fort Minor and why?
Mike: If I could name a few, I would say Remember The Name, Where’d You Go, and High Road give a nice cross-section of the album. The album is very diverse, so it takes a few songs to get to know the different sides of it.

TR: What is the philosophy of Fort Minor?
Mike: Fort Minor started as a project to get back to my roots, back to the style of music I used to make before starting Linkin Park.

TR: Who is the one person you think of when you listen to Where’d You Go?
Mike: My wife. I wrote the song for her. It’s not entirely based on our relationship, but I think the aspect of missing someone when they’re gone away to do an important job is something a lot of us can relate to.

TR: Tell us about the video for Where’d You Go.
Mike: We wanted to make the video as authentic as we could. None of the people in the video are actors. None of the homes are Hollywood sets. Everything is real. The people’s stories ~ the young kid whose parents are separated and work all day, the young man fighting as a soldier, the aspiring professional baseball player ~ their stories are all real and are great versions of what the song is about.

TR: What was the biggest challenge you faced while creating this album?
Mike: I was responsible for everything, so every day was a challenge. I wrote and played almost every note on the album. I wrote all my lyrics, plus all the singing parts. I even did the majority of the artwork ~ I did a series of 10 paintings that I used for the foundation of the album art.

TR: What do you get to explore with Fort Minor that you could not with Linkin Park?
Mike: There is a level of individuality that this album has that might be new to some of the LP fans, simply because the majority of it came from me and not a group.

TR: Themes of loneliness and disaffection run through a lot of Linkin Park’s material and also in Fort Minor’s Where’d You Go ~ as popular, globe-trotting and successful as you are, how familiar are you now with loneliness?
Mike: I think that everyone, no matter where you are or what your situation is, has good days and bad days. You see everything in contrast to what you’re used to seeing. As far as loneliness, I would guess that’s one emotion that I’m very familiar with ~ I miss my family and friends when I’m on tour or when my work schedule becomes busy enough that I can’t spend time with all the people I want to see.

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Fort Minor the July 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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