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Interview with Rob Bourdon

OLD habits die hard, but Linkin Park's latest single proves it can get with the programme.
Fans addicted to the Southern California band's infectious rap-metal repertoire may cry foul at its poppish, melodious sound, sans rap or loud rock riffs. In short, very un-Linkin Park.

But in fact, Breaking The Habit is the sextet's favourite track on the Meteora album.
Drummer Rob Bourdon told The New Paper over the phone from London: 'It was the first song on the album that was finished, and it set the standard for every other to be as good.

'It's a little different than anything we've done, but all the guys love it.'
They even plan to use it as a model when they start working on their next album in October, which may be released in the first half of 2005.



Just as ground-breaking is the video for Breaking The Habit, conceived by Linkin Park's turntablist Joe Hahn and hand-drawn and directed by Japanese anime master Kazuto Nakazawa (who was behind the animated O-Ren Ishii sequence in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol 1).

Bourdon, 25, recalled: 'When we found out we were working with him, it was really great because the anime in the movie was so cool, stylistically and visually. It was months and months of hard work, and it turned out incredible. It's nothing you've seen on MTV.'
However, Bourdon - who confessed that he's the 'most mellow' of the guys - has mixed feelings about the cartoon version of himself.
'It was amazing how accurately they captured our natural movements when we're playing our instruments. But I looked really big and tough animated. I had a beard and looked like a lumberjack!'
said the soft-spoken teetotaller, who revealed his worst habits used to be eating too much fried and fast food, and playing video games for hours on end.
Meanwhile, we'll finally be seeing some real images of Linkin Park when its coffee-table book hits shelves in a few months' time.
It will feature exclusive studio photos and live concert snaps by Mr Greg Waterman, who travelled with the band during its international touring cycle over the last two years.

Bourdon said of his own shots: 'I tend to look like I'm really into the songs, looking really angry and destroying my drums, when actually I'm really tired and struggling. It's a real workout!
'The rest are mainly fly-on-the-wall, random, spur-of-the-moment pictures which show our personalities and a side of the band you don't normally see.'
Oooh, you mean like the handsome, heart-throb side?

Bourdon chuckled: 'No, we're not GQ guys, but thank you.'



WILL the boys be on their best behaviour at the Padang come Jun 22, or will they be rocking their hearts out?
After all, when the group performed in Kuala Lumpur last October, the Malaysian authorities had issued codes of conduct which disapproved of any rowdy onstage antics.
Bourdon was quick to insist: 'We put on the same show everywhere in the world. Yes, there were some slight guidelines saying we couldn't wear shorts or spit on stage, but it didn't affect or change the show, and we respected them.'

He added that he's looking forward to visiting Singapore as part of their Asian tour - which also includes Indonesia, Philippines and Hong Kong - because he has heard of the many 'dedicated' and 'passionate' Linkin Park fans here.
So even though many big-name US rock bands usually give this part of the world a miss, Bourdon said that their Asian fans are just as 'important'.
'It's not just about putting out records, but to get to as many areas where we have fans and do as many shows as we can. For that, it's worth it to travel - we don't care how long the airplane flight is.
'When we went to Kuala Lumpur, it was a big surprise to see more than 20,000 fans show up. They were grateful, appreciative and happy, which makes us feel good for doing what we do, and so we want to do something nice back for them.'


WHAT: Linkin Park - Live In Singapore
WHERE: The Padang
WHEN: Jun 22, 8pm
TICKETS: $85 and $105 (standing) from Sistic (6348-5555,

The New Paper - June 9, 2004



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