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Interview with Rob Bourdon

In 2001 Hybrid Theory was the year's biggest selling roack album. In 2003 Linkin Parks second album Meteora has regained the title, shifting over 6.5 million copies worldwide. But they've worked hard for it: performing over 200 shows since february. In may the bands future looked uncertain when frontman Chester Bennington was hospitilised with a mystery illness. "It was a scary point in the year," says drummer Rob Bourdon. "We were worried about him and didnt know what was going to happen. He wasreally ill for 9 days and then got better. No one actually knows what it was." But the show went on.

What's been the highpoint of 2003?
Touring. It's been a really busy year for us. We started off doing a small tour for our fanclub in the US, then went to Europe, toured the US, Australia, Japan and the UK. It was the first time we had been to Malaysia and Korea. We didn't realise we had so many fans there. We did an arena show in Malaysia for 25 000 people, and it blew our minds.

What was the best thing about the Summer Sanitarium tour?
We are big Metallica fans, and were really excited to be invited to tour with them. We got to hang out, and they were such down to earth people. They showed us it is possible to stay in a band for that long and continue to improve live.

Who is your new best friend in Metallica?
Drummers have to stick together, so I'd say Lars [Ulrich].

Any wild post-gig parties?
Im not into going out after shows. I am kinda boring. I go back to the hotel room, go to sleep and get up in the morning and work out. I like to keep fit on the road, so I drink plenty of water, take vitamins, eat healthily and stay away from cigarette smoke.

How do you pass time on the road?
We play lots of board and video games: we're all addicted to Xbox Halo. A couple of days ago we went paint balling. It was the band versus our security team. We try to do stuff like that to keep it fun. It really comes down to having fun out here: playing shows and taking time to meet our fans. We do a meet and greet every night. We take 45 minutes from our day to talk to fans and sign stuff. That keeps us really grounded and makes us remember that our fans are the most important things. Without them, we couldn't do this.

Meteora has been a massive success, how does that impact on you?
It's really exciting because it means that we can continue with our career, making music and making albums. The quest for perfection was worth it. We need to set deadlines for ourselves, as we are such perfectionists that we can spend months changing tiny things. If we hadn't done that, we'd still be in the studio.

What were the most takes you did on one track?
My hardest work is actually before I go into the studio. I spend two and a half months practising for 12-13 hours a day, non stop. By the time I get in there I can pretty much play everything in my sleep.

What's the most extravagant thing you bought this year?
One of the coolest things I bought was an iPod. I used to take this huge bag of CDs with me but now I can literally carry it all in my pocket. There is every style of music on there: from Sarah McLachlan to Coldplay to Metallica to the Roots.

Sum up 2003 in 3 words
Perform. Fans. Adrenalin.

"Rolling Stone" Magazine - January 2004



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