The inspiration behind Mike Shinoda’s ‘Running from my Shadow’

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Mike Shinoda is a very popular figure in the area of music. Being a crucial member of one of the most popular bands of all time ‘Linkin Park’, he has a huge fan base of his own.

In 2018, he released a song called ‘Running from my Shadow’ which features grandson.

Song Meaning

Note: This is my interpretation of the song. I could be wrong about it or it may not be what the artist had in mind.

Running From My Shadow is about denial as Mike himself said. Many times people are afraid to face their problems or address things that are wrong with them. A lot of times, there will be things that will be staring at them in the face yet they will prefer to walk away from them.

In this song, Mike is talking about things that were wrong in his life or probably with him and he was hesitant to address those issues. Mike spoke about how it was not just a particular thing, but several things that had accumulated over the years.

A lot of times people are aware of their flaws and shortcomings yet they choose to ignore them. Many times, people don’t even have an idea as to things that could be wrong with them.

There is a concept called Shadow work in which people confront their problems, fears, issues, beliefs etc. Shadow work is essential to understand if one wants to develop oneself further.

Mike is talking about how running away from the shadow does not help as it is always present. There are certain things that you have to correct so that they don’t bother you again.

Denial is a funny thing. When you’re in denial, you don’t realize it while it’s happening. Maybe everyone else knows, maybe nobody. Maybe you figure it out later, maybe you never do. This song isn’t about one particular moment of denial for me, it’s a blur of a few things, going back many years. Sometimes writing a song helps to make me more aware of things that I actually think — the writing actually forces self-reflection, and the self-reflection leads to realizations.

Mike Shinoda

Also, as no one ever achieves total perfection, there are always certain flaws that are present all the time. Hence, when you think you have it figured out, life throws another curve ball and it feels like one is back to square one.

Song Facts

Mike talked about how he invited grandson to work on the video.

grandson is probably the only vocalist who is a guest on my record that I didn’t already know. I had just heard a couple of his songs and then followed him on Instagram. And then we just got to talking and eventually hung out and eventually I invited him over to work on the song. He’s great, I think he’s really part of a new wave of artists and is kind of like mixed… it’s like people want to say “oh it’s a rock genre or alternative”, it leans into that but a lot of stuff I like is hip hop and his stuff has a lot of hip hop in it.

His friend Boonn who does guitars for him, they write a lot together, the two of those guys came over and Boonn helped on that one.

Mike Shinoda

Mike spoke about how he was in process of writing the song along with Linkin Park band members like Brad Delson. They were toying around trying to get the song out but couldn’t finish it and it didn’t sound very good. However, later he ended up releasing the song, so Brad does have some credit in writing the song.

Yeah but we were starting to work on “Running From My Shadow” during One More Light. It was one of the demos that we screwed around with a little bit during One More Light that just sucked, it just wasn’t a song. So that’s why Brad has a writing credit on “Running From My Shadow” because we like, toyed around with it with Ross Golan and it didn’t come together. So I was like, “Oh no, that’s not a good song.” So when I was making Post Traumatic, I had this beat and I sang “Running From My Shadow” over it and I was like, “Oh fuck, that is really a jam.” And thematically, it felt like it was a part of the album. I loved the concept of “Running From My Shadow.” And then I wrote the verses, and I wrote all the rest of it, and we had grandson in, and Kevin, and they did the bridge part. So that’s a long way of saying, “That’s a song.

Mike Shinoda

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