Linkin Park's newest 'Projekt' coming to DTE
13.05.2008Its Hybrid Theory in 2000 proved one idea: Linkin Park would be a hard rock force in the new millennium.
The debut, which sold over eight million copies, spawned the hits "One Step Closer" and "Drowning" (among others), and introduced an intense, sonic metal sound highlighted by the voices of MC Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington. Its follow-up Meteroa was an enhanced effort creatively, and was sandwiched between a spot on the 2002 Family Values Tour as well as the return of Metallica on last year's Summer Sanitarium tour. Linkin Park's latest construction is Projekt Revolution, which sees the sextet share the stage with Korn, Snoop Dogg, The Used, Less Than Jake and others. The show hits DTE Energy Music Theatre on Monday, July 26.
Nick Brandon spoke with Linkin Park bassist Dave "Phoenix" Ferrell and Branden Steineckert, drummer for The Used, to preview the blockbuster outing.
Nick Brandon: These package tours seem to be something that you guys dig doing. Tell me the appeal of why you guys have done a few of these things.
Phoenix: Any tour you go on you're going to bring out other groups. What we really wanted to do with this one is to make it more of an event. We wanted to bring out the second stage, and we've been friends with the Korn guys for a long time, we wanted to tour with them and the timing finally worked out. We contacted Snoop about doing it, he was excited and wanted to bring out a live band and kind of do something special, so it just kept growing and growing and growing. It turned into more of a summer festival style tour.
Nick Brandon: Tell me a little about the experience of doing the Sanitarium tour last summer.
Phoenix: I think, for me, it was one of my favorite tours we've been able to do - the principle reason being that Metallica is a band that I really loved and respected for a long time. To be able to go on tour with them was an honor, and also to be able to meet them and have them be such great guys, so respectful to us, humble and helpful, I think blew all of us away. You learn a lot from that.
Nick Brandon: Since Hybrid Theory you guys have done so much touring. When I saw your show, it was obvious that you guys are definitely one of those bands people would refer to as a "live band." You seem to be not only super comfortable on-stage, but your show is special from other bands. Is that how you guys see yourself?
Phoenix: For us, we see what we do in two different lights. There's a light of what we do that's involved with the writing, that creative aspect. That part of what we do is really fun and enjoyable. To have the opportunity to create something and grow it from an infant idea into an album track is something pretty unique. Then there's the other gear of going on tour and playing your show, and I think for us at that point the songs take on a different life. They're more energetic live. I think one of the things for me I love about the band is the fact that Chester can do amazing things vocally on an album, then take them in a live situation and kind of throw it to the next level. I think that adds a ton to what we do - actually both Mike and Chester's ability to carry the vocals from an album into a live setting with a lot of power.
Nick Brandon: I thought Meteroa was such a great follow-up to Hybrid Theory - especially with all the success that Hybrid had, what was it like to create Meteora and try to follow something that had so many hits and found so many new listeners?
Phoenix: It was a big challenge, and it was daunting at times if you actually sat down and really started thinking about what Hybrid Theory's done, it would almost be crippling because you realize that you could make the best record in the world (and) it doesn't mean it's going to attain that kind of success - not even to mention what'll happen if you write a record and it's crap. So early on, we kind of just took the attitude of we need to make sure that we released something that we're happy with first. We wanted to make sure the six of us were really on the same page and excited about what we created. When it came time to do Meterora, that mentality prevailed a second time.
Nick Brandon: How are your plans going for the next recording? What are your thoughts on now going back to the studio, probably pretty soon, and following up Meteora?
Phoenix: We've started to get basic ideas down. We plan in September, after this tour's finished, to change gears and really go into the writing and recording mode at that point, and just see what comes out. At that point, (you) start to see or understand a direction that you might be leaning towards for the third record.
Nick Brandon: Overall, what would you say fans can expect from this day of music? You've already compared it to other summer festivals.
Phoenix: We want this tour to be an event that people remember, that you leave and you have a feeling of excitement that you can't wait until the next time. We want this to be the end of the Meteroa touring cycle that ends off, what we feel, has been a really successful album run on a really high note.
Nick Brandon: Lastly, returning to Detroit - how do you look forward to coming back here?
Phoenix: I love Detroit. It's one thing to be touring in the U.S. - that's always nice. We just finished a run where we were in Europe and Southeast Asia for about a month, and that's great, but it's always nice to be able to come home and tour in the states. But on top of that, to be able to do major markets, that's the most fun you can have. I am disappointed that you guys took my Lakers. I do feel you deserved it - you definitely outplayed us, but my disappointed lies with the Lakers.
Nick Brandon: How do you feel about Shaq being gone? I think it's ridiculous.
Phoenix: I was saying all season that Kobe wanted to leave - I thought he was going to get traded. I think the Shaq trade came as a dagger. That hurts. But we'll see what happens, hopefully this won't be the rebuilding year that sees the Lakers sitting at .500 basketball, but who knows.
Nick Brandon: I apologize. We're pretty happy here in Detroit about it.
Phoenix: You guys destroyed my team! I hold you personally responsible.
Nick Brandon: I'll take the responsibility.
Nick Brandon: I want to get to the tour, but let's talk about the new album a bit. How are you looking forward to the release, and what can people expect compared to the debut?
Branden Steineckert: We're super excited. I think anyone that's heard this record so far has been really excited at the fact that it's definitely in the same vein as the first record, it's not so different that kids won't get it that are already Used fans. It's kind of like the last record on steroids: The harder songs are that much harder and the poppier and melodic songs are that much poppier and melodic.
Nick Brandon: As far as this Projekt Revolution goes … how are you looking forward to this outing?
Branden Steineckert: We're all excited just to see what this crowd's even like. With such a crazy line-up, who knows how this is going to go over. We play after Less Than Jake and before Snoop Dogg, so we don't know what the hell to expect. It's always fun to play new crowds that have never heard us, 'cause it's always interesting to see how much they like or hate you.
Nick Brandon: How did you guys get involved with this tour? I know Linkin Park was responsible for putting it together.
Branden Steineckert: It's one of those things where we had an interest, and they had an interest in us, and it all kind of grew. From what we hear they're super great guys, they're awesome to tour with and it's a lot of fun, good company. So we're really excited to be up there, and have that opportunity. And then to be able to tour with people like Snoop and Korn, that's crazy - that's awesome.
Nick Brandon: I hear Snoop's going to have a full live band too, which is pretty sweet.
Branden Steineckert: Is he really?
Nick Brandon: Yeah, that's what I heard.
Branden Steineckert: That'll be sick!
Nick Brandon: The thing that stuck out to me about your set was the energy, it seems like you guys come out with a ton of it. Is that your approach?
Branden Steineckert: That's just always been how each one of us has played our instruments. We were never into playing half-ass I guess, and if we're not exhausted at the end of the set then it's kind of a bum out. The songs, even though we've been playing them for years, still mean just as much as when you're first playing them.
Nick Brandon: You're going to be back in Detroit next week - how are you looking forward to coming back here?
Branden Steineckert: I think it's going to be awesome, Detroit's always been one of our best areas for sure and the crowds at the shows always go off there - whether we're playing a tiny basement in a ghetto club or we're playing an amphitheatre. I'm excited; it's going to be sick.