CHVRCHES

Chvrches and Linkin Park have exchanged shots in what Australia’s Faster Louder has dubbed “the great indie-pop vs nu-metal battle of 2014.” As Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry admits, “It’s not the world’s coolest musical feud.” Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda initiated the conflict by calling Chvrches (as well as Haim and Vampire Weekend) “Disney commercial music” in a recent Faster Louder interview. He also had this to say about the state of rock music:

It’s like everything that’s going on out there is like some combination of Mumford & Sons, M83, MGMT, Arcade Fire and maybe like four or five other bands. I feel like every time I hear a new — quote, unquote, “new” — rock band it’s just some derivative version of that stuff. And that’s the thing that annoys me. I like those bands that it’s coming from, all those bands I just named I will listen to their album, but the stuff that rips them off just makes me bored. I get tired of hearing this watered-down imitation of the originator.

Chvrches responded in a video interview with the Swiss TV network joiz. Mayberry’s take: It’s not a coincidence that his band has a record to sell and he mentions several bands that people are writing about. But if you’re going to go into it I don’t really like being called a sell-out by the guy who wrote the music for the MTV VMA’s. Just saying.” She added, “Live and let live. I will continue to probably not buy Linkin Park albums … I just think it’s really tacky when bands slag off other bands. If you don’t like it just don’t talk about it.” Keyboardist Iain Cook also seemed to call Shinoda a “pointless dick,” but he actually described Shinoda’s comments as a “pointless dig.” Here’s the interview, which also covers lots of other topics over 14 minutes:

In a blog post, Shinoda said his comments were taken out of context and pointed out that he was not slagging groups like Chvrches but rather pointing out a need for aggressive groups like Refused and At The Drive-In to balance out the indie rock scene. Apparently he hasn’t heard Savages, Cloud Nothings, METZ, etc., but still, his assessment seems at least somewhat fair. Unfortunately, he then undercut his case by ending the blog post with another apparent insult:

And a big thank you goes out to CHVRCHES and all the bands whose names I’ve mentioned, for helping us find direction with this album. Because sometimes, knowing where you don’t want to go is all the direction you need.

Alas, it seems no Collision Course-style Linkin Park/Chvrches collab is on the way.

Comments (62)
  1. “and that’s the thing that annoys me. I like those bands that it’s coming from, all those bands I just named I will listen to their album, but the stuff that rips them off just makes me bored.”

    Key quote that is missing. Shinoda is obviously a fan of these bands and a wide variety of music. I think it’s more of the fact that we are in a soft rock resurgence that bothers him.

    • Except there are plenty of bands out there that aren’t part of the “soft-rock resurgence” and it’s foolish to blame artists for what the market decides is popular. He’s still being a prick.

      • I agree that the market decides what’s popular, but, would so many of these bands even exist if it wasn’t for the popularity of this new sound? Molding your style to fit in with a scene is incredibly lame. Shinoda’s mistake was accusing specific bands of doing that, which you just can’t do without coming off like an asshole.

    • Then he should have said something to the effect of, “I don’t like how soft rock music has gotten, despite the fact that a lot of the artists making softer rock are very good.” Instead, he vaguely lumps a bunch of artists together in a way that definitely sounds like an insult. He knew what he was doing.

  2. Savages, Cloud Nothings, and METZ are the same agressive than Refused or ATDI? oh well…if you said so.

  3. marko  |   Posted on Jul 2nd +5

    But we will be getting a Scott Walker/SunnO))) collaboration.

  4. it’s actually a Swiss TV network

  5. I’ve bought music by CHVRCHES but not Linkin Park, so there’s my commentary on Mike Shinoda’s music.

  6. Didn’t this guy’s band ride the wave of rap-metal that was big in the early aughts? They were part of a deluge, too, they just survived it.

  7. Linkin Park is metal for high school kids. They are Disney metal.

  8. Writes songs for Michael Bay movies / Accuses others of being Disney rock

    • ha I was thinking the same thing.

      I have never heard a Linkin Park song that I liked and I have no interest in Mike Shinoda, but “It’s like everything that’s going on out there is like some combination of Mumford & Sons, M83, MGMT, Arcade Fire and maybe like four or five other bands. I feel like every time I hear a new — quote, unquote, “new” — rock band it’s just some derivative version of that stuff. ” does have some truth to it. There’s too much derivative shit being elevated in the music press and not enough people getting points for being original.

  9. Lol Linkin Park just called an Indie band sellouts. No one cares about you anymore Linkin “Prerecorded live track” Park.

  10. TO BE FAIR, Linkin Park were the first band that I know of to change the spelling of their name for searchability/domain name reasons.

    Sooooo… yea.

  11. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  12. stacy z  |   Posted on Jul 2nd +13

    Can he be any more ignorant? There are plenty of “aggressive” bands out there, but apparently, he is just really bad at finding them and new music in general. It’s the same as people living in the past and claiming that all new music is “crap.” With all the outlets to find new music nowadays, I just find it baffling that people can still have this argument.

  13. As if I needed another reason to dislike Linkin Park.

  14. Love them or hate them, Chvrches, Haim and Vampire Weekend are now hugely popular and relevant. When was the last time Linkin Park was relevant? The 2000s, the worst period in popular rock music when every band sounded angry and pissed like Linkin Park? Shinoda sounds cranky.

    • Ok, well maybe bands nowadays need to a little angrier/crankier? I feel like though he articulated it poorly, he’s spot on with the whimsical, twee state of music right now. The Disney comment probably refers to how safe and happy all music is now (upbeat and in a major key), even the more rock-oriented bands.

      Like sure Cloud Nothings and Parquet Courts use guitars, but the subject matter they sing about is still lighthearted. Nobody is sad or angry anymore, and they should be because the world is getting worse and worse. For some reason music isn’t reflecting that, and instead diametrically opposing that. At a time when climate change, tanking economies, and corporate corruption are rampant, we’re getting songs about sunbathing animals.

      Also why is everyone jumping on his back- the bands he’s referring to are the same clones Stereogum avoids. Is everyone here secretly a fan of American Authors, Bastille, Atlas Genius, Bear Hands, Vance Joy, The Lumineers, Neon Trees, and a million other bottom-of-the-bargain-bin knockoffs?

      • Uh yeah

      • Not even secretly. I just like liking things. And being happy.

      • We have more access in 2014 to the plethora of “angry/cranky” bands than ever before in the history of music. In a few clicks you can download a sea of Metal, Hardcore, Punk, Noise, Doom, Death, Crust, No Wave, Black metal, Emo, Industrial, Goth and Grind bands. Hell, you can probably find 200 bands that are a mix of all the genres i listed. People just need to learn how to use this website called Google. It’s wicked awesome, i promise. I assure you, Cloud Nothings and Parquet Courts are not the only rock bands around. It’s literally a joke that you would actually think that “nobody is sad or angry anymore”… Really? You’re really surprised that The Lumineers last record sold more than To Be Kind? Same as it ever was for the punks and metalheads, if you ask me.

        • I should have been more specific. I meant mainstream, “angry white guy” angst hard rock and bands of the 2000s: Disturbed, Linkin Park, Drowning Pool, Breaking Benjamins, Staind, Godsmack, Papa Roach, Chevelle, and the dozen of other bands that all sounded the fucking same, angry and depressed. Shit is played out like Tapout and Affliction shirts.

          • my post was directed towards Elvis vs. Shark.. pretty much every really famous rock band getting radio play in that era sounded pissed though. I do agree with that.

      • Savages seems pretty angry in general… You don’t even need to listen to the music to know that. Just look at their debut album cover. Not to mention, I don’t see Bastille as knockoffs, particularly. You may not like them, and many people on here might not like them. You may think they are boring trash. That is O.K. But, who are they knocking off with their sound?
        I’ll agree that American Authors and Bear Hands are riding the Imagine Dragons wave in a way. The Lumineers are blatantly copying Mumford (they’re a little more minimalist, and a lot more boring though). Vance Joy is in the Mumford territory. Atlas Genius is on that Two Door Cinema Club/Capital Cities wave. Neon Trees is basically throwing it back to the 80′s with a 2000′s rock kick. But, I don’t see Bastille as a knockoff. Could you make an argument for them as a bit derivative? Yes, certainly. Maybe I am just biased, as I have been watching them from the start (I’m sure you’ve felt that way about a band before). My affections blind me, possibly. Regardless, I don’t see it.

  15. I always think that Chvrches sounds like Ellie Goulding actually.

    • I have always thought Chvrches’ sound is extremely derivative. They sound a lot like Purity Ring, who aren’t exactly reinventing the musical wheel either.

  16. Carrie Brownstein was complaining about all the lame soft rock about 5 years ago during the depths of Bon Iver mania, but since then I think there’s been a lot of great heavy music like Coathangers, Jeff the Brotherhood, etc.

  17. It seems like Shinoda’s knowledge of contemporary independent music is severely lacking, which I guess you can’t fault him for because I’m sure he’s a pretty busy guy.

    Maybe if he heard bands (and artists) like Parquet Courts, Cloud Nothings, White Lung, Ty Segall, etc. he’d think differently. But then again, is anyone really losing sleep wondering whether those guys from a Transformers soundtrack approve of what you’re doing?

  18. Why the hell are people mentioning the words ‘soft rock’ and CHVRCHES in the same paragraph? CHVRCHES are an electronic pop band in the same vein as Depeche Mode.

    I’m a huge Linkin Park fan and I love CHVCHES too. I’ve seen them both live multiple times and enjoyed every minute. All of you saying that LP knock out songs about angry teen angst haven’t heard A Thousand Suns, which was a truly excellent album. However, LP’s last two albums have sucked as they sounded generic, instantly forgetable and lacking a cohesive direction. In contrast, CHVRCHES sound bright, new and fresh. I must have listened to Bones of What You Believe dozens of times compared to about single figures for LP’s last two albums combined.

    I used to have huge respect for Mike Shinoda and his talents, so his comments leave me feeling pretty dissappoined.

  19. If all you listen to is the rock station in LA, you might think every band sounds like the bands he mentioned because we live in a very indie friendly city nowadays. But when I visit family in Atlanta quite frequently and turn on the rock station, it’s generally much harder stuff (no Chvrches or whatever other bands he’s digging at). Not to mention there are music scenes outside of the radio which I honestly don’t think he knows.

  20. Hate to get all existential, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter.

  21. I’ve become so numb from all of this arguing.

  22. Oh look, Nickelback has a dumb opinion, so now Stereogum has a headline. yawn

  23. ferns  |   Posted on Jul 2nd +4

    Whoever would consider any of the bands Shinoda listed as “rock” music are probably sticking to a music store method of categorization (“Pop/Pop Rock”, “Metal”, “Hip-Hop/Rap/R&B”, “Soundtracks”, “World/Jazz”). And NOT being a rock band is not a bad thing.

    Shinoda sounds bitter that no one cares about his band using samplers and shit when other bands that use samplers and shit are much more interesting to more people.

    I’m a drunken plant though, so what do I know.

    • To be fair though, those kind of bands are the bands being advertised and pushed by “alternative rock” radio stations and what not. They might not fit into your definiton of rock, or most peoples for that matter, but the industry considers those bands rock bands.

  24. Sounds like Shinoda needs to listen to the new Ringo Deathstarr album, it’s fucking stellar.

  25. and Shinoda sounds like a passive aggressive. He even ended his statement meant to clarify the situation with another veiled insult. “And a big thank you goes out to CHVRCHES and all the bands whose names I’ve mentioned, for helping us find direction with this album. Because sometimes, knowing where you don’t want to go is all the direction you need.” What a passive aggressive loser, just keep your mouth shut and make your own music.

  26. Totally to the side, but has anybody else noticed that DJ Hahn from Linkin Park seems to do very little other than get really excited about repeatedly pressing one button in the big choruses?

  27. beatbox  |   Posted on Jul 3rd +12

    “In my day, we had the Bizkits and the Korns, and the Kid Rocks. Now you’ve got all these new bands, with their Vampire Weekends and the Haims, and it just ain’t the same anymore. Where’s the rap-rock? Where’s the Jay-Z collaborations? Where’s the TRL?” – Mike Shinoda

    Actually Mike, this is just karmic retribution for having to put up with the many years your insanely shitty music dominated modern rock radio formats. Enjoy.

    • beatbox…DAMN YOU. I was gonna write a pithy little commentary…….and then I read yours. And I simply cannot do a better job that you did. Kudos.

  28. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • I will never respect an opinion that includes the term ‘meh’.

      • I will never respect an opinion that genuinely thinks the 1st Vampire Weekend album is their only good record. Oh, and that ‘meh” thing as well….

  29. Linkin Park make commercialized pop metal, so this is pretty silly coming from them.

    On the other hand, I honestly believe Chvrches are the most overrated “big” indie band to come around in quite a while. And I think Shinoda does have a point with his statement, even if it is a bit hypocritical.

    I don’t know who to side with.

  30. They should follow their own advice.
    also USE DRUMS NOT FINGERS

  31. He needs to listen to Swans

  32. When mediocrity and mediocrity combine surely something approaching negligible can be produced.

  33. Mike Shinoda is not in any position to be criticizing anybody for being “too soft”. Linkin Park were the whiniest, wimpiest nu-metal band except for maybe Staind.

  34. I guess what he’s saying is that the direction of his music is heavily influenced by what everyone else is doing, albeit as a reaction against it. That’s a pretty clear sign that he’s running out of ideas.

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