Linkin Park: Back on the Front

13.05.2008
Rapper Mike Shinoda already told us that a new album was on its way a year ago, and it is finally here! Singer Chester Bennington tells us everything about it!

Finally a new Linkin Park album!
“It is extremely exciting. We've been working on it for more than a year and I'm very proud of the end result.”

Why did it take so long?
“When we made the last two albums, we started with 30 songs and now we started with more than 130 songs. This was because we decided to look at how it was going to go and that we would write everything down that came into our heads. When it was sounding like our old sound, we deleted it.”

So we can expect something totally different?
“Oh yeah! I've let a few friends of mine listen to a couple of songs and they did not think it sounds like Linkin Park at all. They all said that we've taken a step further with this album. There are less heavy guitars on the new album.”

Do you also write about different subjects?
“The songs are still about what we experience in everyday life. We've all grown more older and more mature over the years. Also a lot of things changed in our lives.”

Like?
“In the last couple of years, I've been divorced, married another woman and had another kid. I lost all my money due to the divorce, but it is going better with me right at this moment. It seemed like I was on a rollercoaster: one day you are married, and then all of a sudden you are alone. One day you are rich, the next you are broke. I am happy now, but there were days that I thought I was being tortured. I was pulled to all kinds of different directions.

Was it difficult to use that for Minutes to Midnight?
“Yes, but I really wanted to write about the things I experienced. Mike helped me with that. He has the talent to write things down in a very poetical way. Each time, we would start out by ourselves, but eventually we ended up together, improving the stuff we wrote. I am more vulnerable in my songs now than a few years back.”

How will the fans feel about the change?
“That's really difficult to predict. The kids who bought Hybrid Theory, were then 15 and now they are 23. I think that they can recognize themselves in a lot of songs and that they will appreciate it. We are now showing that we know more than one trick and that is a good thing.”

On the first single, we do not hear Mike rap. Is that on purpose?
“Mike thought he wrote himself off the record already. It is true that you don't hear him that often on the record. He raps a few songs, he sings and he plays a lot of guitar, and he produced Minutes to Midnight. I asked him why he did not want to rap, but he thought that I should sing. After a while we did not pay attention to it anymore, we were just writing new songs.”

What is Mike doing on stage, when he does not rap?
“Playing guitar of course, since he is doing that on the record as well. But he is not the only one with not much to do. Joe Hahn, our dj, he did less for Minutes to Midnight. So I'm guessing that he will be either sleeping or checking is e-mail on stage.”

You are going to tour with My Chemical Romance. Does this mean that you are switching to eyeliner?
“Haha, to tell you the truth, I wear eyeliner since high school. I think you will never see Mike with make-up though, but I still do it sometimes. It's just fun!

And now you are starting your own clothing line?
“Ve-cel is a the sort of clothing that other rockstars like to wear. It exists of the clothing I wear and what the guys in the band wear. The music that you make, influences the way you dress, and I wanted to do more with that. That is why I started Ve-cel.

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