New sound for linkin park

The new sound for Linkin Park re­flects a band more in­ter­ested in grow­ing creatively.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - by Mes­fin Fekadu

THE day af­ter Linkin Park’s lat­est al­bum was re­leased, its lead singer, Ch­ester Ben­ning­ton, logged on to iTunes to check some of the re­views. Though the re­sponses weren’t all pos­i­tive, he liked what he read.

“This time around, it’s like they ei­ther love it and it’s five-stars across the board or they hate the record so much that ... if they could, they would throw it at us,” said Ben­ning­ton. “And I think that’s great.”

While there’s still heavy metal-fused hiphop on A Thou­sand Suns, there’s also psy­che­delic, in­stru­men­tal mo­ments that are a de­par­ture for the Los An­ge­les-based rap-rock­ers.

Mike Shin­oda says Suns is an al­bum that “asks a lot of at­ten­tion from peo­ple.”

“It’s more of a 48-minute ex­pe­ri­ence than it is just a col­lec­tion of sin­gles,” said Shin­oda, the group’s lead lyri­cist.

“We re­ally tried to make an al­bum that took you out of your head a lit­tle bit ... and we wanted to take peo­ple on this jour­ney,” added Ben­ning­ton. “It’s a mu­si­cal drug type of thing.”

The new sound wasn’t in­ten­tional for the guys. They say while cre­at­ing 2007’s Min­utes To Mid­night, they de­cided to head in a di­rec­tion dif­fer­ent from their first two al­bums: The 2003 multi-plat­inum ef­fort Me­te­ora and their 10 mil­lion-sell­ing début, 2000’s Hy­brid The­ory.

But be­fore cre­at­ing Suns, the six-mem­ber band got busy work­ing on mu­sic for their video game Linkin Park Re­venge, an app for iPhones. Rick Ru­bin, who co-pro­duced the new al­bum and also Min­utes To Mid­night, says mak­ing mu­sic for the game was the “ini­tial thrust” for the band’s lat­est sound.

“It was in­ter­est­ing the way it came about be­cause orig­i­nally they didn’t know that they were start­ing the al­bum ... and it just like, kind, of took on a life of its own,” said Ru­bin. “Then we talked about well maybe (if) this is the mu­sic that you’re pas­sion­ate about mak­ing, maybe this is where it’s sup­posed to go.”

The vet­eran mu­sic pro­ducer says tak­ing a new ap­proach was best for the band.

“They came out sort of at the tail end of the wave of the rap-rock move­ment ... and then when sort of the world of al­ter­na­tive mu­sic changed away from that kind of mu­sic, they were in kind of a dan­ger­ous spot,” said Ru­bin.

Though some fans may not ap­pre­ci­ate the new disc, oth­ers have. Suns débuted at No.1 on the Bill­board Top 200 al­bum charts last month. It also hit the top spot in Europe and Canada.

Ben­ning­ton says be­cause of the sound the band is known for – a mix of rap and heavy metal – it’s vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to sat­isfy their many kinds of fans.

“As artistes (mak­ing mu­sic is) a com­pletely self­ish en­deav­our,” he said. “We’re mak­ing mu­sic for us, that we like. We’re not mak­ing mu­sic for other peo­ple ... we’re not think­ing, ‘Let’s make a pie-graph of all our fans and find out how many peo­ple fit in what­ever cat­e­gory and then make the per­fect al­bum for them.’ Like, that would be ab­so­lutely ridicu­lous.”

Ben­ning­ton says the band is more in­ter­ested in grow­ing creatively: “We like putting (our­selves) on the line so to speak and re­ally take chances with the mu­sic that we’re mak­ing and we’re be­com­ing more and more com­fort­able do­ing that.”

One main artis­tic de­par­ture for the band on Suns is the use of po­lit­i­cal speeches. There are in­ter­ludes that take from an in­ter­view with physi­cist J. Robert Op­pen­heimer re­gard­ing the Man­hat­tan Project and an­other from Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s 1967 anti-war speech Be­yond Viet­nam: A Time For Break­ing Si­lence.

“They’re hear­ing hope, they’re hear­ing anger, they’re hear­ing stuff about, you know, hu­man­ity de­stroy­ing it­self,” said Shin­oda of the al­bum’s mes­sages. “You talk to your friends, you see things on the news, you read things on­line and all this stuff just hap­pens, and we wanted to find a way to kind of put all that stuff to­gether.” – AP n Linkin Park’s A Thou­sandSuns is re­leased by Warner Mu­sic Malaysia.

That’s how they like it: Linkin Park’s AT­hou­sandSuns al­bum came about by chance, while writ­ing mu­sic for their video game.

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