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we bought some heavy metal wigs and outfits at a costume shop and played onstage like that. From then on we were the band everyone was talking about.” “Don’t let difficulties get you down. Shift into a different gear and re-adjust your course. The amazing things in life work like a good band: the interplay has to be simply perfect,” philosophizes Joe, as he looks out the window of his Mars-red design from Affalterbach. Joe prizes the art of comic drawing even more highly, so our next stop is Meltdown Comics on Sunset Boulevard. He reveals to us that comic style greatly influenced his own artistic development. “I began drawing at an early age,” recounts the 39-year-old. “And became aware of comics because the covers fascinated me. I love the colorful explosion. Then at some point I began to draw the characters.” Alongside art, his interest in hip-hop music was awakened by the gangsta rap of N.W.A. and The 2 Live Crew. During his time in high school, Joe began to performing as a DJ. After that, he studied illustration at the ArtCenter College of Design, where he met Mike Shinoda, with whom he would later form Linkin Park. “Back then, Shinoda played classical piano and laid down beats. We became fast friends, in a short period of time, and started making recordings from home with a four-track machine,” says Joe. We sit down for lunch at a Korean grill, and as the food disappears into our mouths, Joe tells me how the evolution of Linkin Park continued. Because he ran out of money for his studies, Hahn left college and started taking odd jobs in the field of special effects for film and television. L The Director Joe Hahn is DJ Linkin Park began to officially form in 1996. Originally spelled as ‘Lincoln Park’ (after a space in Santa Monica where the then homeless Chester Bennington frequently had to spend the night), they found the .com domain name was already taken. By changing the spelling from Lincoln to Linkin, the band was able to establish their own domain since day one, and have been early adapters of new technology every since. “Today you could call what we did back then a start-up,” says Joe. Joe recounts the first time Linkin Park performed at OzzFest in the mid-1990s (a music festival founded by Ozzy Osbourne). On the first three days, they were booed and pelted with water bottles. “I was a Korean kid from L.A., and we didn’t look like the rest of the bands on the bill. The audience was there for Marilyn Manson or Black Sabbath, but we decided to just keep playing and have fun. One day for the Grammy Award winning rock band Linkin Park. Hahn began DJing in high school, and met his future bandmate, Mike Shinoda while attending ArtCenter College of Design. Hahn has directed more than 30 of Linkin Park’s music videos, and made his feature film debut with Mall in 2014. Linkin Park is currently working on their seventh studio album. 49


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