Linkin Park learns to sharpen its tour de force

13.05.2008
For the past four years, Linkin Park has been one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Combining elements of hip-hop, electronica, and rock, its 2000 debut "Hybrid Theory" was the best-selling record of 2001, and its latest release, "Meteora," was the biggest rock album of 2003. Vocalist/MC Mike Shinoda took a break from the band's third Projekt Revolution Tour (also featuring Korn, Snoop Dogg, the Used, and Less Than Jake), to talk about low ticket prices and why he and his Grammy-winning bandmates hate the `rap-rock' label.

How's the tour going?
It's going great. We just did our third show last night [Monday], and it's going really well. And I got chance yesterday to see all of the second-stage acts, and we got to watch everybody. We're really proud of how everything has come out, and we thank the bands every night because this is the biggest Projekt Revolution has ever been.

This is the third year for the Projekt Revolution Tour. How has this tour evolved?
When we first started out, there were fewer acts on the bill, and with the support of the fans, the tour has been able to grow into something bigger and more exciting. There are more acts, more variety, and more entertainment out in the festival area. We have a village out by the second stage, which has everything from basic food and drink and merchandise for the groups to batting cages.

It's been a slow summer tour season, and some tours, such as Lollapalooza, fell apart before they began. How have you guys managed to keep this tour viable?
It's all in the support of the fans. This is a really diverse bill - from M.O.P. and Ghostface to the likes of Funeral for a Friend, the Used, and Less Than Jake. It's a well-rounded tour, and it's a lot of fun for people. I think Snoop, Korn, and Linkin Park are kind of middle of the road in that with these three acts, everybody knows some of our songs, so it's a cool thing that the kids are there to help us sing along.

With most ticket prices spiraling upward, how have you managed to keep yours low?
The sponsors are a big help in doing that. Major League Baseball helped us out with the tour, and therefore made the tickets less expensive; we agreed to let them put up some stuff of their own, and they turned that into a real positive vibe, bringing the batting cage where kids can mess around between sets or when they have some free time. All the bands on the bill do want to give the fans a good deal for their money, and they don't want to overcharge the fans. We're trying to do things so you can put 10 bands on a bill, and with the help of other people, hopefully give the kids a ticket price under $50, under $40.

When you released ``Hybrid Theory'' in 2000, it was right in the middle of this surge of `rap-metal' bands.
I hate that label.

Why?
It's trivializing. I mean, it is an accurate description of a lot of things that were going on, a lot of types of music that people were making. There's such capabilities and potential for doing really cool stuff in combining different types of music, and I think `rap-metal,' `nu-metal,' or any of those labels just don't cut it for me. If you come to our show, we're playing everything from `One Step Closer' to `Crawling' to `Nobody's Listening' to `Breaking the Habit.' Would you call `Breaking the Habit' a rap-rock song? I don't think so. We're just trying to make good music, stuff we think is cutting edge. All we're trying to do is continue to surprise our fans in a good way.

Do you see a natural life span for Linkin Park?
We want to play and make music as long as our fans will have it, but I don't know what the future holds for the band. I know the guys are all very talented in many different ways, and if it were to end tomorrow, I think everyone would be capable of keeping themselves very happy doing creative things that people will like.

Projekt Revolution Tour, featuring Linkin Park, Korn, Snoop Dogg, the Used, and Less Than Jake, comes to the Tweeter Center tomorrow. Show begins at 2:30. Tickets $38.50-$53. Call 617-228-6000 or 617-931-2000.


Bostone Globe - July 29, 2004


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