Though technology has allowed for the execution of hologram tours to be sharper than ever — with performances from late legends like Tupac and Amy Winehouse — some of the existential aspects of those showcases are still a major turn-off to many musicians. Most recently, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda shut down the idea of performing with a hologram of the band’s late vocalist Chester Bennington, who died by suicide in 2017.
Chatting with 94.5 The Buzz, Shinoda said he wasn’t interested in a Bennington hologram after the radio host said she’d pay “good money” to see it.
“Those are creepy,” he interjected. “Even if we weren’t talking about [Linkin Park], if we weren’t talking about Chester, which is…that’s a very sensitive subject, and we would have our feelings about how we would represent that. For me, that’s a clear no. I’m not into that.”
Shinoda also approached the topic from the lens of a fan, referencing ABBA’s computer-generated ‘Voyage’ tour. “They’re all still here, and yet they wanna do it this way because they wanna transport you back to that moment in time where those songs were new and it was whatever era it was,” he explained, noting the drab differences in having to portray his deceased bandmate. “I get that. I see that. I’m not positive, even under those circumstances, I’m not positive I personally would buy a ticket to the show.”
Understanding the demand of grieving fans, the multi-instrumentalist said “the problem with the internet now is that everybody thinks that everything is for everybody.”
He continued, “What I mean is everyone feels like they need to chime in, like, ‘Well, here’s my opinion. This is what I have to say. And if it’s not for me, like if I don’t like it, then nobody should like it.’ That’s not the way the world works…If you like a thing and I don’t like the thing, then you go see the thing, you go buy the thing. So please go see your thing. The only problem with that is, we’re not going to do a hologram show.”
Linkin Park last released an album in 2017 (“One More Light”) and has since repeatedly shut down the idea of tours and new albums. Instead, the group is focused on reissuing the 20th anniversary of their second studio album “Meteora,” which is said to include unreleased songs and video footage. It arrives April 7, and was preceded by a new single that included the voice of Bennington titled “Lost.”
“It’s like an old photo,” Shinoda said of the project during an appearance on the Howard Stern Show in February. “It can be bittersweet but to have forgotten that it existed and then to hear it and be teleported back there, that’s a gift.”