Welcome

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"Welcome"
Single by Fort Minor
Working title Last Straw
Recorded 2015
Released June 21, 2015
Format Digital, LP
Length 3:32
Live debut June 22, 2015 (Fort Minor)
June 23, 2015 (Linkin Park)
Last played September 8, 2015 (Fort Minor)
November 7, 2015 (Linkin Park)
Writer(s) Mike Shinoda
Producer(s) Mike Shinoda
Fort Minor singles chronology

Where'd You Go (2006) Welcome (2015)

Background

"Welcome" was released by surprise on June 21, 2015, information leaking on LPLive ahead of its release. Following the months before its release, on February 18, 2015, the Fort Minor social media accounts were blacked out (and in the case of their Instagram, newly created). The account began tweeting Mike Shinoda on June 18, 2015, tweeting, "Hello @mikeshinoda."[1] Mike interacted with the Twitter account and the two went back and forth for a few days, with Fort Minor even tweeting a snippet of "Welcome" out before Mike finally submitted and let Fort Minor "win", posting an image of the single cover on his Instagram.[2][3] The song was released later that day, available to download for free on Fort Minor's website.

The song features a main piano riff under choir-esque synths and a driving hip-hop beat. It climaxes after a synth solo in the bridge, with Shinoda kicking into the chorus a final time to take the song out. With the release of the song, Mike included a note going over the story behind the song and its meaning: "I didn’t intend to write a new Fort Minor song, it just kinda happened. It’s not part of a new album, it’s just a song that I knew I wanted people to hear right now. And to make it easy for all of you in the LPU, I thought I’d just send you the song directly. “Welcome” is an underdog song, an outsider’s song. Fort Minor has always been my outside outlet as a solo musician and painter, and a way for me to build confidence as an individual, though my individual voice. I played every note, wrote and sang every word, produced and mixed the song, and created all the artwork. I hope you enjoy “Welcome” as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it." Exclusive merch and vinyl with jackets from the mural seen in the music video were made available upon its release.

The song was titled "Last Straw" in its demo phase. It was recorded in Mike's personal studio in early February 2015 following the cancellation of Linkin Park's 2015 North American Tour. In an LPTV episode about the song, Mike talks about how the song had a personal place with him, and that he felt it was the first Fort Minor song in years. The band supported him, Rob Bourdon telling Mike that he should let the song live in the world he believes it should.[4]

Apparently, former Fort Minor member Ryu did a verse on the track in its recording phase. He went for over a week on social media stating that his verse had been cut from the song without his knowledge.[5] Over the next few days, it seems the two talked it out: as it turns out, the verse Ryu did for "Welcome" was for an as-of-now unreleased remix of the song, and the misunderstanding between them was squashed.[6][7]

Tracklist

Vinyl Single

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Welcome (Explicit) Mike Shinoda 3:32
2 Welcome (Clean) Shinoda 3:32
3 Welcome (Explicit A Cappella) Shinoda 3:08
4 Welcome (Clean A Cappella) Shinoda 3:08
5 Welcome (Instrumental) Shinoda 3:33

Music Video

The music video for "Welcome" became popular due to it being a 360 video. It was shot with a 360 camera, allowing viewers to use their device to look around the environment and have a full perspective of the scene, making it one of the first music videos, let alone videos on the Internet, to utilize 360 technology. The video shows various scenes from around Venice, California, primarily featuring Mike painting the 1,000 panel mural that would be taken apart, so that each panel could become an album jacket for the "Welcome" vinyls. Ryu made cameo appearances in the video. Mike: "The video, shot in Venice, CA, is a 360 experience. In it, I painted a (huge) mural made from 1,000 vinyl record jackets. After the video, I signed and/or drew on each one, and a vinyl single was placed inside with a print of the entire mural. Those are available now (until they are sold out)."

Versions

Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Welcome Welcome 3:32 2015 June 21, 2015
Welcome (Clean) Welcome 3:32 2015 June 21, 2015
Welcome (Instrumental) Welcome 3:33 2015 June 29, 2015
Welcome (Acapella) (Explicit) Welcome 3:08 2015 June 29, 2015
Welcome (Acapella) (Clean) Welcome 3:08 2015 June 29, 2015

Live

"Welcome" debuted when Mike performed it solo on Conan, live on TV. The song was made available just the day before, the video being released that day. Mike wore his own Fort Minor T-shirt at this show - a rare move from him. Before the performance, Mike said that fans could download the song for free at fortminor.com, welcoming "all the outsiders" and "all the underdogs" to go grab it. At full Fort Minor shows, "Welcome" was often used as the encore opener, or as the second-to-last song of the set. It (along with "Remember The Name") was not performed at Fort Minor's set at Rock im Sektor 2015 because Mike would perform it later that night with Linkin Park.

Mike performed "Welcome" during Linkin Park's sets after its debut, replacing his solo medley in order to be able to perform it to a wider audience. It saw its full band debut in Mexico City, Mexico, with an extended outro transition that went into "Numb", barring the performance at Blizzcon 2015, where "Numb" was dropped due to time constraints and "Welcome" went into "In The End" instead. Chester was not present during its first performances with the band, but eventually began joining Mike for the final chorus.

"Welcome" was used by Mike to open his solo shows, adding a long intro to song beginning with Identity LA.

Variations

Linkin Park

Last Updated: September 16, 2016

Type Description First Played Last Played
Outro Ext. Outro Transition intro "Numb" June 23, 2015 November 7, 2015

Mike Shinoda

Last Updated: July 18, 2018

Type Description First Played Last Played
Intro Synth Intro May 12, 2018 June 30, 2018

Live Guests

Last Updated: September 16, 2016

  • Brad Delson
  • Chester Bennington
  • Dave "Phoenix" Farrell
  • Joe Hahn
  • Rob Bourdon
  • Warren Willis (Replacing Joe Hahn)

Promotion

The 1,000 vinyls used to create the music video for the song were sold on the Fort Minor merch store. LPCatalog.com later created an online mural wall where fans could submit photos or scans of the vinyl they received, since all are unique, and match it up with the wall. As of 2018, they have collected photos of over 250 of the vinyls.

Personnel

Fort Minor

  • Mike Shinoda - Vocals, All instruments

Production

  • Brian "Big Bass" Gardner - Mastering
  • David Bottrill - Engineering
  • Mike Shinoda - Composer, Mixing, Producer

Lyrics

Gallery

External Links

References

  • @FortMinor: "Hello @mikeshinoda"June 18, 2015
  • @FortMinor: "Listen"June 21, 2015
  • Mike Shinoda on Instagram: "You win"June 21, 2015
  • Fort Minor - Welcome (Demo) | LPTV #131August 14, 2015
  • @Therealryu: "I coulda swore I did a verse on the welcome song. Hmm."June 21, 2016
  • @Therealryu: "Just talked to @mikeshinoda."June 25, 2015
  • @mikeshinoda "@TherealRyu is a stand-up dude."June 25, 2015