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Linkin Park's Shinoda to Perform in Chengdu China

One year after the passing of Chester Bennington, the vocalist for the American rock band Linkin Park, Mike Shinoda, who used to share the band's vocal duties with the late musician, has embarked on a tour across Asia to promote his first solo album, Post Traumatic.

Shinoda is scheduled to perform on Aug 12 in Beijing, Aug 14 in Shanghai and Aug 18 in Chengdu, Sichuan province, before heading to Japan and Singapore. On June 21, Shinoda interacted with Chinese fans via online streaming service Tencent Video, attracting around 100,000 fans.

"It was a great success because the shows were packed and we had a wonderful time with the fans," says the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter in a phone interview with China Daily, adding that fans can expect to hear songs from Post Traumatic as well as other Linkin Park hits.

Linkin Park, the multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning rock band that has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide, first performed in China in 2007 in Shanghai. They returned to Shanghai in 2009 before touring five Chinese cities to promote their sixth album, The Hunting Party, in 2015.

Shinoda says he experienced a difficult period following Bennington's death. In a March interview with UK-based rock magazine Kerrang, Shinoda said "the idea of the studio was scary".

"It wasn't just the idea of attempting to make a song and being overwhelmed by those memories," the 41-year-old told Kerrang. "There's another layer of fear for artists in this situation that is, 'What if I can't make anything good (without that person)?'"

Shinoda chose to immerse himself in art as a way of healing. He turned to the writing, recording and painting in his Los Angeles home.

He describes the process of making Post Traumatic as "a kind of diary" and autobiographical. The process started with a three-song EP and was later developed into a 16-song album, including Place to Start, Watching As I Fall and Over Again.

"I'm always creating stuff. So that's just normal for me. I sat down with a song on this album, started with one verse, and one week later I tried to come back to that song," Shinoda says about the writing process.

"The past year was crazy, and my outlook on life was changing so often and so rapidly. I think you hear that on the album."

Besides writing songs, Shinoda, who started painting as a toddler, also designed the cover for the album.

"I wasn't forcing too many concepts into the work because I thought that the emotions behind the work were obvious. In the beginning, it was just very abstract. As time went on, characters started to materialize and became more figurative," he says of his paintings for the album.

Born and raised in southern California, Shinoda, who is half-Japanese, started learning classical piano at a young age before meeting his Linkin Park bandmates Brad Delson and Rob Bourdon in high school. They formed the band in 1996, and vocalist Bennington joined three years later.

Shinoda graduated in 1998 with a major in illustration and obtained a job as a graphic designer. When the band took off, painting became a background for him to express his thoughts.

When asked about some of his best moments with the band, Shinoda points to the performance with Jay-Z and Paul McCartney at the 48th Grammy Awards show in 2006, which he describes as "a defining moment", as well as the three-hour concert that Linkin Park gave at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in October last year to pay tribute to Bennington.

When asked about the future of Linkin Park, Shinoda says that "there's no timeline", noting that he keeps in close touch with the other band members.

"I just think that there's a lot of blue sky, and I'm willing to take my time in investigating where the path may lead," he says. "It's more about the journey than the destination."