Dropped Frames, Vol. 3
|Dropped Frames, Vol. 3|
|Studio album by Mike Shinoda|
|Released||September 18, 2020|
|Label||Kenji Kobayashi Productions|
|Mike Shinoda chronology|
Dropped Frames, Vol. 3 is an instrumental album by Mike Shinoda from his CoronaJams music in his series of "Dropped Frames" albums. It was originally scheduled for release on August 21, 2020, but was postponed once Mike Shinoda went on vacation. Nonetheless, it was available for half a day on the original date in a few digital stores. Pre-orders started on September 9th with "License To Waltz" as an instant gratification track ahead of the album's official release on September 18th.
In March 2020, the global pandemic created by the COVID-19 coronavirus caused communities to quarantine at home. During this time, Mike Shinoda decided to start live streaming online and inviting fans to watch him create new instrumental music.
Mike began on March 17, 2020 when he did an Instagram Live about a song he was working on titled "Open Door. In this stream, Mike recorded guitar for the song and shared updates on the track. The next day he went online again and a fan in the chat asked him to create a song from scratch. He accepted and created what would become the first CoronaJam. So he decided to quickly mix the "Open Door" demo and text it to fans via the Community app, along with instrumental and stems but also the track he did earlier.
The streams were originally called "Beat Making Demos" but then Mike shifted to the tag "CoronaJams." In early June, he said that he stopped calling them CoronaJams, saying that he intended to keep releasing them after the coronavirus period eventually comes to an end. He did not give a new name for what he is calling them, so we will wait for the first official release before we rename the jams.
March 25th was the last stream via Instagram Live as on March 27th Mike shifted to Twitch, using Restream to also broadcast on YouTube, Facebook and Periscope. When he shifted to Twitch, he started using a Streamlab extension which allowed fans to collect points during the stream, called "Shinodabucks", that can be redeemed to ask questions or request a style for the jam. When he got too many requests he started writing all of them on sheets he put in the "Bowl of Destiny", picking randomly the themes and sometimes choosing to mashup some of them in the same track. Other prizes were gradually added like the chance to request an art theme, get a Twitch follow or an Animal Crossing visite by Mike himself, choose a Twitch channel to raid or a sound/loop to use in the tracks.
At times, Mike has streamed calls with other musicians, such as Jason Butler from Fever333, Phoenix, Dan Mayo and grandson.
The stream on April 21st was a drawing stream done from Mike's iPad. He encouraged fans to color in his drawing and then tweet it back at him using the hashtag #CoronaDrawing. He later started doing more art streams, also drawing the album cover for the release.
On May 5th he added another stream category, doing for the first time an Animal Crossing livestream.
Mike's "CoronaJams" were based on unique themes or ideas that Mike is inspired by, or fan requests. The first theme-based jam was a "Hybrid Theory" style track, followed by the first fan request, a "Reanimation" style song. Another Linkin Park album was a theme, "A Thousand Suns". A lot of different genres were experimented, 90s hip-hop, electronic and pop from the 80's, symphonic metal, grunge, doo wop, pop punk, reggae, industrial, k-pop, traditional styles as well, like Indian or Mexican music, dabke or Italian neomelodic.
When asked about his process for this album, Mike said, "I've been letting a current of chance and curiosity guide me for the past few years. Those things were important to me forever, but even more so right now. And that plays into the interconnectedness of creating things on the fly. For example, on my channel, I let fans submit song style suggestions into a bowl, and I'll pick a few of them to mash up together. Often times, they'll submit things I don’t know anything about or things I actually don't like. On the stream, I've mashed up Kpop, melodic metal, horrorcore rap, video game music, country, and "a song in the style of the Pokemon Mew." Keeping an open mind to the styles and finding a way to make them sound cool to my ear is often a challenge, but it's almost always entertaining. And I learn a lot."
Sometimes Mike started with loops from other artists, like a jam from a Money Mark's Instagram post, some drums recorded with Dan Mayo or a beat created by Elise Trouw.
On April 29th, Mike revisited earlier CoronaJams from the original Instagram Live streams. As he began working through them, the recent files on his computer showed that he started giving names to some of the tracks. One of them, "King Paprika" was mentioned by a fan in the comments on June 5, Mike noticed it saying that he changed the title.
Throughout April, May, and June, Mike continuously went live on Twitch to work on songs. On June 26, 2020, it was revealed that he had already composed at least 47 jams.
On June 30, 2020 when announcing Dropped Frames, Vol. 1, Mike said on his Twitch stream, "Here's what's going on and what happens from here. I originally had this song and I said, "I want to put out this song." And then I started doing streams here on Twitch where I make a beat every day starting at 10am. And then I had all of these beats, so I was like, "Man I want to put these beats out. It seems like just fun." When I was in art school I used to listen to a lot of instrumental music when I was drawing or when I was hanging out. I was like, "Let me just put out this instrumental music." And there was a little bit of a moment where I was like, "Ah man should I put Open Door on it? If I put out instrumental music, should it only be instrumental on it, should I not put Open Door on it?" But I feel like Open Door really started the whole process. It went from making this track live to asking fans to participate on it to jumping over to Twitch and then making more stuff live and having the fans suggest themes and suggest genres and challenge me and all of this stuff. So it kind of all went together. So Open Door is the only track with vocals on my upcoming album. It's going to be an album in parts, in a bunch of volumes. Dropped Frames is the name of the album. Dropped Frames is a reference not only to the bad Internet connection that I've had but also the idea of like dropping music. So Dropped Frames comes out a week from Friday. Open Door will be on it. Other than that, it's an instrumental album. And then every so often, hopefully regularly, hopefully every month or so, if we can pull it off, I'll just continue to drop more Dropped Frames album. So the stuff I make on Twitch here every weekday, I'll mix it and I'll put it together, put it into an album, and this is volume one."
He added, "People have thrown together... I'll mash them up. One person redeemed horror movie hip hop and it's things like that with like Warped Tour, alternative, video game music, and my favorite was a song in the style of the Pokemon Mew. K-pop, emo, Michael Jackson, mariachi, Bollywood hip hop, I got a track from Money Mark who you guys know worked with the Beastie Boys. That one turned into a song that sounded like it was being sung by a chicken. We've done so many crazy things. And a lot of those inspired cool stuff that is going to end up on these albums. The first Dropped Frames on it next Friday is going to have twelve songs."
When asked if some songs take longer than others to mix, he said, "I've got better at getting them ready at the end of the session. On these tracks, some of them took a while. "A Thousand Jams", I really did have to clean it up a lot to make it presentable. Some of them I barely touched at all. It just depends. Some of them have a good shape. I wouldn't look at any of them and say, "That's amazing." If I was to get detail-oriented on these mixes, I would probably change of a bunch of things. But because of the volume and getting them out to you guys, I'm not being precious about them. They are a good snapshot of what's happening on the channel."
In March and April, Mike released several CoronaJams to fans for free - the "Open Door" demo, instrumental, and stems via the Community app (through WeTransfer links), a "Hybrid Theory-style" CoronaJam to the LP Underground, and a "CoronaVirus Jam 3.18.20."
On May 5th, Mike said he was going to release the CoronaJams on streaming services soon, but he has to go back and clean some of them up first.
On May 15th, Mike started drawing the album cover, putting a lot of references and inside jokes regarding the songs. He continued to work on the cover off-screen, saying that he didn't want to spoil the final result. He confirmed the release will be all instrumentals and he asked fans which CoronaJams should make the album.
On the May 28th stream, Mike gave an update about the status of the jams saying, "I am working on mixing and putting out some of these instrumentals from the live streams. It's been kind of going back and forth. I just want to set it up right so I can regularly put them out to you guys. There's like a lag time... I have to make them presentable and we have to deliver them, and then we can put them out. I'm trying to take that time and crunch it as fast we can do it. It's starting to look like around a month, or less... three weeks-ish to a month, maybe shorter. But we'll see how that works out. It's going well, you're going to hear Open Door, like a final version of that, you're going to hear some songs from the streams. And if in the first batch you don't hear one that you really love or whatever, it's gonna come later. I may not put them all out, 'cause they aren't all awesome, but I do want to put out the jams that have been created here on the streams. I'll put them out so you can listen to them on Spotify and Apple and all of that. You can make TikToks to them, or put into them in your Instagram. All that stuff, it'll be in the system. So there's that."
On June 10th he confirmed to have delivered the final master for the "first volume", saying, the next day, that he won't reveal how many tracks (and which ones) will be released. He said, "I'm not going to tell you which ones either. This is part of the artistic decisions that have to be made, this is what makes me happy is choosing the right ones and transitioning them and making a mix from one to the next, making a presentation out of it. You've gotta leave some of it to me. I'm not going to tell you which ones." He also did a poll asking the fans to pick one song to be released first on the second volume. The options were "Party Meow" (from the May 18th stream) and "Waltz" (from the June 11th stream).
On June 30, 2020, Mike announced the first series for release, titled Dropped Frames, Vol. 1, being released on July 10, 2020.
In his stream on Twitch announcing "Dropped Frames, Vol. 1", he said, "I feel like people are going to listen to it in a different way, right? While you're doing your work, while you're doing your homework, while you're working out, while you're eating dinner, while you're having a party, like it's a different kind of vibe. The two places I listen to instrumental music the most are when I'm drawing and when I'm cooking. Some of my favorite instrumental records are J Dilla's Donuts, one of my favorite ones is DJ Shadow's Private Press. I love Introducing as well, which is the previous record or two records before but people don't know about Private Press. A lot of you guys don't know about any of his records but DJ Shadow's Private Press is amazing. Ratatat, Flying Lotus, Prodigy, a lot of stuff that Liam's done that's been instrumental. I was excited to make an instrumental record especially because it seems to fit what we've been making here on Twitch."
When asked on July 1, 2020 if he was going to release "Dropped Frames, Vol. 1" in a physical format, Mike replied at length and said, "So here's the story with Dropped Frames. So Open Door started it and when I started putting everything together and realizing, "oh I've got all of these tracks that I made on the live stream", I realized that I wanted to put these out on streaming services juts for everybody to like enjoy them whenever they want. So I hope to have a volume two of this out a month after this one. So Volume 1 comes out a week from Friday, nine days from now. If you guys want to sing and rap over them, go ahead. I was going to put Open Door on its own and then I decided it should be part of the album and then I was worried since it's all instrumental, to put on a vocal song on it, I was back and forth and back and forth. But we decided at the end of the day with management and everybody to put it all together. And then probably the next release will be just instrumental. Super weird. I went to Warner basically, I looked at the metrics of how... this isn't going to be a number one album. This is a passion project, a fan project, something interesting to do. I don't know how many people are going to stream it. But what I do know is it's not going to be like a Linkin Park thing, even a Fort Minor or my thing, probably it's just a fraction as big as that. I don't know. But with that said, I went to Warner Records, actually my manager did to be totally honest, and asked, "Mike wants to just release this independently, can we just get an exemption and do that?" And when you sign a record deal, you have a commitment to a certain amount of releases. I'm not a free agent. And they said, "yeah, go ahead, this is just an instrumental release, it's fine." So I went and basically did a thing to just do streaming. I did a deal just to streaming. Let me put it this way, if I have some kind of sign from you guys, if Dropped Frames comes out next Friday and it does good enough then I'll think about doing physical CDs, vinyl, stuff like that. I've already done some merch, I love the merch, if you haven't seen that, head over to mikeshinoda.com to check out the new merch. I've got some tie-die shirts and hoodies with the dragon on it, with the mariachi on it. Dude you've gotta go check out the merch. Thank you for buying the merch, you guys are so great. But it came out great, that's one thing that's so cool about our art day but the stuff lends itself to a fun tshirt. It just looks good on a tshirt, that's cool. It's all about support, the more you guys support, the more you guys spread the word, get other people interested... treat me this is my first project, treat it like I've never put out an album before. I've never done an instrumental record, I've never done an independent record, so for all intents and purposes, this is a very different release."
On July 8, 2020, Mike told SPIN, "I'm already working on Vol. 3, actually! I make so much music on the channel, there's a lot of material to get out there. I feel like, when I get bored of doing it this way, it'll force me to adapt."
|1||Dream Fragment||Freestyle||Shinoda Michael Kenji||02:47|
|2||Sound Collector||Linkin Park/Fort Minor Sounds + Nobody Can Save Me/Battle Symphony||Shinoda||02:58|
|5||Robot Yodel||Country + Folk Alternative Rock + Bavarian Yodeling||Shinoda||02:24|
|7||Mike's Gonna Mike||Nirvana + Tools Of The Trade + Giorgio Moroder + Italian Neomelodic||Shinoda||02:01|
|8||Shoreline||Freestyle w/ samples requested by fans||Shinoda||03:04|
|10||Genesis Supernova||Dead Or Alive + Tron Legacy/Daft Punk/M83 + Pokémon Mew||Shinoda||01:09|
|11||Sidechain Gang||Freestyle w/ samples requested by fans||Shinoda||02:35|
|13||A Thousand Jams||A Thousand Suns||Shinoda||02:53|
|14||License To Waltz||Tchaikovsky's Flower Waltz + Beastie Boys + Reggaeton + ASMR||Shinoda||02:27|
- Mike Shinoda
- Mike Shinoda on Twitter: "Dropped Frames Volume 3 comes out on September 18th. Right now, you can listen to "License to Waltz" and pre-save the full album at https://t.co/Du8ZVZDcvs https://t.co/Et2SsxetY2" / Twitter, September 09, 2020
- Instagram: Mike Shinoda - Checking in / Bowl Of Destiny, June 5, 2020
- Spin: Mike Shinoda Talks Making an Album on Twitch and Life After Quarantine, July 7, 2020
- LPLive: "Buckle up... because Mike Shinoda already has 47 CoronaJams!", June 26, 2020
- Mike Q&A Summary 6/30/2020: "Dropped Frames", June 30, 2020
- Twitch: Mike Shinoda - 9.22 / A little more DF3 art, then maybe a track?, September 22, 2020
- YouTube: Mike Shinoda - Art day today-attempting to draw fans, pets, pandas and 90s graffiti, June 10, 2020
- YouTube: Mike Shinoda - Today's Mashup: License To Ill + Reggaeton + Tchaikovsky + ASMR! pt 2, June 11, 2020]
- Straw Poll: Mike Shinoda - Which Song?, June 11, 2020
- LPLive: Mike Q&A Summary 6/30/2020, June 30, 2020
- LPLive: Mike Q&A Summary 7/1/2020, July 1, 2020
- SPIN: Mike Shinoda Talks Making an Album on Twitch and Life After Quarantine, July 7, 2020