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Steve Aoki On Linkin Park Collab: ‘They’re The Rage Against The Machine Of Their Sound’

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Scott T. Sterling
Scott T. Sterling Scott is the rock associate producer for Radio.com....
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If it’s been said once, it’s been said a million times: kids just want to dance.

It’s an adage Steve Aoki knows well, as the Los Angeles-based DJ/producer has been at the forefront of the new dance music revival since the mid-‘00s. Among the most popular DJs on the global rave circuit, Aoki has worked with a wide range of marquee collaborators for his original productions, including Kid Cudi, Travis Barker and Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, all of whom appear on Aoki’s debut album, 2012’s Wonderland.

During an interview with Radio.com during this year’s Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, Aoki talked about what he’s got in store for his second artist album, Neon Future, which is still without a release date.

“I’ve got collaborations with Knife Party, R3hab, Flux Pavilion,” Aoki said regarding Neon Future before taking the stage for his Lollapalooza set. “In like a week or two, I’m going to perform with this band, one of my favorite bands ever, growing up. We’ve been writing like four or five songs together,” he added mysteriously, declining to name the band at the time.

We now know that band to be Linkin Park, with Aoki revealing the collaboration “A Light That Never Comes” during the DJs’ show during the Summer Sonic festival in Tokyo, Japan, over the weekend (August 10-11). Linkin Park members Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda joined Aoki onstage to sing the song live over the DJ’s beats (see video above).

“They’re literally one of the biggest bands in the world, at least for me,” Aoki raved. “They’re like, literally one of the top 10 biggest bands in the world. I swear to God. Working with them is incredible.

“At least like, as far as influence in their culture, they’re to me like the Rage Against the Machine of their sound,” Aoki continued. “Rage Against the Machine is my favorite band, so…”

Aoki went on to ponder the chances of RATM ever reuniting again, heaping praise on the band’s reclusive frontman, Zack de la Rocha.

“I feel like Zack’s a very eccentric guy, and only works a certain way. At the same time, I have no idea who Zach is,” Aoki mused. “I just have like an idea of who Zack is, and I love that idea. He’s such a f***ing cool motherf*****. He’s always going to be like a living legend to me. If there’s one guy I look up to, it’s Zack de la Rocha.”

Upcoming appearances for Steve Aoki includes stops at New York’s Electric Zoo Festival 2013 scheduled for Labor Day weekend alongside such dance music heavyweights as Avicii, Tiesto, and David Guetta.

Aoki and other RATM fans might have something exciting to look forward to in 2014: early indications points towards the Rage-curated festival L.A. Rising gearing up for a return next summer. If Rage Against the Machine will headline the event (like they did in 2011) remains to be seen.

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