While I drove to work in the morning, a Live 105 interview with Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park caught my ear for a number of reasons. First, Shinoda talked about his efforts to raise funds for Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief. In 2005, he and other Linkin Park members set up Music For Relief, an organization to help with disaster relief. They have already raised funds for the Haiti Earthquake, and people can donate online here for the Japanese survivors of the earthquake and tsunami.
Second, with a degree in Illustration and as an artist who had a number of museum showings, Shinoda designed T-Shirts that he would sell for the relief efforts. He asked his fans to pick from two choices. People liked both designs, and so they both are available for sale, and proceeds will go to Japan relief efforts.
Third, he talked a lot about being Japanese American, and that is something I don’t hear on the radio or TV much at all. The interviewer asked him if he was Japanese American and where his family was from in Japan. Shinoda calmly said while his family had origins in Southern Japan, far from the disaster, his grandfather came over in the 1930’s. He said the butterfly design came from his doing a lot of origami growing up, and when the interviewer said that he must have had a nerdy childhood, he said that it wasn’t nerdiness, but a Japanese American thing. He talked about other things Japanese American things, like spam musubi (the interviewer had never heard of it), which Shinoda said was Japanese American not Japanese.
After the interview, I was pretty impressed with Mike Shinoda. Not only is he in one of my favorite bands, but he is an artist in other areas, does notable charity work, and educates people about being Asian American. Go here to donate through Music for Relief, and you can buy the T-Shirts here.