"Run DMC made me want to rap." These are the albums that mean the most to Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda

Mike Shinoda
(Image credit: Press)

With Linkin Park and his own side project Fort Minor, Mike Shinoda was one of the leading lights of nu metal. Weaned as a teenager on a diet of rock, metal, hip hop and the music of some of the world's most foundational songwriters, Shinoda's vast array of tastes would be something that would influence his work for decades to come. Back in 2010, Metal Hammer interviewed Shinoda about the albums that changed his life. These are the ones that impacted him the most.

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Run DMC – Raising Hell (1986)

“I got it on vinyl when it first came out and my favourite track that I’d play over and over was It’s Tricky. That made me want to rap, for sure. That and Yo! MTV Raps. Me and my friends used to swap cassettes and Run DMC changed my life. It was the most hard rock rap album at that time.”

Ministry – The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste (1989)

“When driving fast, this is 100 per cent the album to do it to! If it was a road trip, I’d say Bjork or Glitch Mob, but when you’re talking pedal to the metal, this is the album you have to pick.”

Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced (1967)

“I love Axis: Bold As Love too but Are You Experienced is beyond comprehension. You can’t improve on it. The title-track, Purple HazeHey Joe… those are some of my favourite songs ever.”

The Doors – The Doors (1967)

“I’d heard a few songs by The Doors growing up, but I was never a fan. When I met my wife, her favourite band was The Doors and she asked if I listened to them. I was trying to impress her, so I totally lied. The truth came out and she eventually got me interested in their music, and now I like a lot of their stuff. Their first record is probably my favourite.”

Metallica – Ride The Lightning (1984)

“I heard this album in high school and I hated metal when I was 12 or 13, but I’d inadvertently heard them through Brad [Delson, Linkin Park guitarist]. Ride The Lightning always defines metal to me.”

Simon & Garfunkel – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme (1966)

“I love Simon & Garfunkel. I like Cat Stevens too. The lyrics on those records are really good and those records set a really high bar for what can be done with simple songs and using storytelling and lyrics within a song. They’re masters at that.”

Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon (1973)

“I’m probably just attracted to [the album cover] because of my mind state right now. There’s something really powerful going on on that album cover and it’s iconic and it says a lot about the album itself. I really like the type too. I’m just into minimalist stuff now.”

Sunny Day Real Estate – How It Feels To Be Something On (1998)

“I listened to Sunny Day Real Estate when I first started college. I was on my own, away from my brother and family, and the reality of being alone was scary, as it is for most people when they first make that transition. It’s a beautiful album, perfect for times like those.”

With contributions from