Looking For An Answer

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"Looking For An Answer" is an unreleased song written by Mike Shinoda intending to be a Linkin Park song. It was performed once - at the Celebration of Life concert for Chester in October 2017.


Before debuting the song live at the 2017 Hollywood Bowl show, Mike Shinoda said:

"There were some fans that we met outside last night. We were rehearsing really late and they were here the whole time. It was like most of the day and into the night and we went out there and they gave me hugs and they gave me reassurance and they told us that it’s gonna be ok. And it’s not one emotion that we’re feeling, I have to imagine you guys are feeling the same, it’s a rollercoaster of everything, one after the other, and you can’t predict when it’s gonna go left on you. And the thing that helps us get through it is each other and I’m very grateful for that, so thank you.

I was at... I was at like a... we were doing like a photo thing when I found out about Chester and the first, for hours, I was just in disbelief, it didn’t... I wouldn’t believe anybody, what anybody had to say about anything. And fast forward, you know, you go through a whole rollercoaster of things and eventually I realized that one of the things that always helps me get through something is actually not only listening to music, but actually playing music. And I sat down, I don’t think at the time when I did this, I don’t think I had even had the courage to like listen to our music yet. Like, I hadn’t even listened to one of our songs yet. But I sat down in my studio and I wrote something. It was about eight days after and I want to share it with you guys tonight, if that’s ok? I don’t know what’s gonna happen with this song, it could just be this, you know, for tonight and whatever, whoever else is watching, the Internet and the rest of the world who might be watching. But if we do continue, I want to continue to build on this song and keep writing it and keep working on it. And it’ll be a really unique time for you guys, for us to be able to share with you guys a glimpse into how a song gets made. So this is literally the first piece, and then after this, you know, on our Instagram and Twitter and everything else, we’ll show you guys how it goes, assuming it goes. This song is called Looking for an Answer."

When questioned about the song during the listening party of One More Light Live, Mike said, "I don't know. I haven't really worked on that song. Actually, believe it or not, I was thinking of working on that song today or this week. So, we'll see what happens. I haven't really done it. I talked to the guys about it, like, on Monday. I sent them a copy, like I have a recorded version. I sent them a copy of that. And I know Rob downloaded it, so that means he'll be working on some drums to it. We will see."[1] He went live on Instagram once again on December 19 while working on the song, giving fans the first preview of its studio version.[2]

On January 25, 2018, he gave another update on the song saying, "It still exists, I just want to figure out the right presentation! I made a version of it with lots of cool sounds, but that seemed to take away from the power of the song. Maybe I restart with piano only...?"[3]

On May 12, 2018 before his debut solo show at the KROQ Weenie Roast, Mike went live on Instagram to chat with fans backstage. He sang the melody and several lines of the song as a part of his vocal warmup before saying that he was not going to perform the song that day.[4]

During the promotional campaign for Post Traumatic, Mike told GQ, "The only things I left off the record were things that I felt were redundant. I had a few songs that were kind of about the same thing, I just chose the one that was better. And there was one—early, early on—I think it was only a couple of weeks after Chester had passed away, and I wrote a song called "Looking For an Answer." And we played that, later on in October at the tribute show that we held at the Hollywood Bowl for him. After we played it, in the weeks that followed, I tried to capture a good studio recording of it, and it just never kind of came together. That was one of those elusive moments that maybe, at some point, we’ll revisit."[5]

In a livestream on April 13, 2020, Mike said that "Looking For An Answer" probably wouldn't be released. "Looking For An Answer will probably not be released at this point. I felt like it was a special moment in the celebration show. I don't know if we could put out a version that would do it more justice than that."[6]

On July 3, 2020, Mike said, "I tried to develop it a little bit and I never felt like it did the song justice. The best version to me, even though my voice was too shaky and the performance was.... what it was... the Hollywood Bowl performance to me was more special than any other version so we didn't release it. Plus I played the version for the guys and the guys were like, so uncomfortable. It was not a good vibe. So, yeah, it was just a... it gives us bad vibes."[7]


"Looking For An Answer" was played live for the first time at Linkin Park and Friends Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington.


External Links

  • Looking For An Answer (Live from the Hollywood Bowl 2017): LPTV