Singer Mike Shinoda’s band, Linkin Park, is the best-selling group of the present decade, having sold more than 40 million records since releasing their debut, “Hybrid Theory,” in 2000. They’re also one of the most charitably prolific, having raised more than $2 million dollars over the last two years for climate issues and disaster assistance through their Music for Relief org. Linkin Park headlined the Tokyo leg of Live Earth and prepares to embark on a green summer tour July 25.
On the tour
We changed over the majority of our fleet of busses and trucks to biodiesel, and we’re donating a dollar per ticket to American Forests, so with those two together it adds up to about 350 tons of CO2 saved. It’s unbelievable how one change can make that big of a difference.
On Music for Relief
We had just toured in Southeast Asia, and our guitarist turned on the news a few months later and sees that places we had just played were totally destroyed by the tsunami. So we set up Music for Relief to assist the efforts there. Then when Hurricane Katrina came along, we helped to the best of our abilities.
We realized about a year ago that the things we were involved in were reactive measures. They were all climate related disasters, and our efforts were all on the cleanup end. And we thought, “wouldn’t it be better to do something on the preventative end?” And so that’s when we started switching all of our efforts over to more climate-conservation measures.
On activism from the stage
We think that our fans are smart enough to make their own decisions , so we give them the information, and they can do what they will with that. If someone thinks that the whole climate crisis thing is ridiculous, then that’s their prerogative. On our end, we’re just going to say, “well, how hard is it to change a light bulb?”
On his hybrid
I really enjoy it — it’s like a videogame on wheels. The GPS touch screen is one of the most entertaining things I’ve ever seen in a car. I still have a Range Rover that I don’t drive much anymore because I started feeling bad about it.
On Live Earth
It was a fun show. At one point the barricade in front of the stage gave way, which scared the concert promoters because they thought people were going to get hurt. So we had to stop the show for a while. That was funny… Although I guess only funny because no one got hurt.