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Linus of Hollywood is one of those guys.
Episode 408 - Linus of Hollywood
Linus of Hollywood (Linus Dotson) is one of those guys that’s great at everything.
He’s a great songwriter, can shred on guitar, and is a great producer whose skills allow him to traverse genres across a large musical landscape. From Ol’ Dirty Bastard to Jennifer Lopez and all points in between, Linus has worked with them.
AND he’s created an impressive catalog of solo albums in addition to his work as a member of a couple of bands.
AND he’s a nice guy.
We’ve been lucky to talk with artists who have created some of the music we love and shaped key moments in our lives. Linus is one of those artists. He’s left an indelible mark on culture and music, and he continues to do so by expanding his already large musical palate as both artist and producer.
After leaving the hellscape of Florida for the left side of America - California, he kicked his musical career into gear with the punk-pop/power-punk/power-pop/punk/pop, Size 14.
WTF is in a genre anyway? There is good and bad music, which is wildly subjective - these labels either establish a preconceived notion about a sound or they’re a marketing tool… but I digress.
Size 14 was a band of the moment.
Guns-n-Roses producer Mike Clink was behind the boards for the band’s 1997 self-titled debut. However, the band drew on the influence of bands like Weezer and had much more in common with the then-white-hot Green Day than the harder-edged Guns-n-Roses.
That collaboration was a creative success… but not so much commercially.
Their song “Claire Danes Poster” got them some traction on MTV, and it, along with some other songs, found a home on more than a few TV and movie soundtracks. But despite the push and their solid-sounding debut, Size 14 failed to get any traction and split in 1998.
At this point, Linus of Hollywood did what any good artist does; he pivoted.
In 1999, he released his first solo album, Your Favorite Record. On this debut, Linus ripped a page from the Prince playbook and, because he’s one of those guys, he did everything himself.
It’s this first solo album where Linus begins to flex his creative muscle. A move away from the more “punky” elements of Size 14, on Your Favorite Record, you can hear The Beatles, ELO, The Beach Boys, and bits of his contemporaries like David Poe, Matthew Sweet, and Elliot Smith.
Your Favorite Record put Linus on the map. While the album may not end up being your favorite, you will find that it is catchy af and undeniably great - how’s that for subjectivity?
To date, Linus of Hollywood has released four more solo albums: Let Yourself Be Happy, Triangle, Attractive Singles, Reheat & Serve, and Something Good.
In between recording his work, Linus has worked with the following artists:
5 Seconds of Summer
Bowling for Soup
Jennifer Love Hewitt
The Smashing Pumpkins
Well, you get the idea.
Because that wasn’t enough, Linus has toured with (and produced) guitar legend Paul Gilbert.
But wait, there’s more; Linus co-wrote the theme song for Nickelodeon's School of Rock, and his solo music has been included in the TV shows Weeds, Californication, and The New Normal.
But wait, there’s more; he created Jarinus with Jaret Ray Reddick of Bowling for Soup.
But wait, there’s more; he’s a member of 90s indie favorites, Nerf Herder.
Well, you get the idea.
His new project, the electro-pop able machines is a collaboration with Tay Côlieé. Between full-lengths, EP’s, and singles, the duo has been churning out music for a few years now. But it was their song “Narcissist” that got some attention from the streamers and pushed the duo out of the studio and onto the road.
Linus of Hollywood was packing for able machines’ first live dates in Japan and was kind enough to take a little time to chat with Geoff and me.
He was very generous with his stories as we talked about his career (so far), and we had more than a few.
Linus did not disappoint here either, he’s great to chat with.
You can check it out wherever you get your favorite podcasts.
Here is me and Geoff chatting with Linus of Hollywood.