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Linkin Park Reveals Major Change for Minutes To Midnight

Linkin Park are getting ready to release 'Minutes to Midnight' and in many ways this new album is far different than anything the band has released in the past. With 'Minutes to Midnight' they wanted to break free from their sound on 'Hybrid Theory' and 'Meteora' and go in a completely new direction; yet still stay true to the integrity of the band. A few things that are notably different for Linkin Park is a rawer, more stripped down sound to the music as the band spent close to a year and a half in the studio working with the legendary Rick Rubin perfecting their sound and different approach to songwriting.

We caught up with vocalist and keyboardist Mike Shinoda and bassist Phoenix to discuss reinventing the band's sound.

"I'd love to be able to say that we went into this album with it all figured out and we achieved what we wanted to do, but we didn't when we started. We just wanted to change the sound but retain the parts of our band's personality that we like. We thought it was time to close a chapter on Meteora and Hybrid Theory, and we didn't know what that meant. So we went into the studio for a year and a half and experimented until we figured out what that was."

We asked if the band got any pressure from their label, Warner Brothers Records to not change their sound, which has been so successful in selling millions of albums in the past.

[Phoenix] "I think for the most part the label was pretty supportive with what we were doing. They kind of had that real hands off feel of, 'We trust you guys to a point. You guys have done things that were great in the past. Go ahead and do your thing, and we'll see what we can do at the end of that process. We'll go from there.' So for the most part they just let us go off with Rick and work." [Shinoda] "I think we're pretty lucky to be in that situation where they do trust us, you know, where people around us will let us do what we need to do to make the record we wanna make. Obviously if this was our first record, not only would we not be making this kind of music, but we wouldn't be afforded the opportunity to use this kind of gear, have this kind of studio time, work with Rick, all these things come with the success the band's had, so we're really lucky."

For 'Minutes to Midnight' the band also enlisted the producing skills of Rick Rubin who shares the producing credits with Mike Shinoda. Since this is the first time the band has worked with the often hands off approach of Rubin, we wanted to know how their working relationship was during the recording process.

"He was definitely like the big picture kind of guy. He's taken bands in the past who have had a sound and had a thing that was successful and helped them, when they wanted to, help them reinvent their sound, and that's where we were at. As far as for my... for what I wanted to do as a producer: I know these guys better than Rick does, better than a lot of people do, and I know what we've gone through as a group of friends on the other records, and I wanted to make sure that this was one of the most fun records we've ever worked on. I wanna make sure that everybody was more involved than they ever have been, because those were some things that I felt like maybe they were missing a little bit on the other records. Not everybody always got to put in their two cents, so I tried to make that happen."

'Minutes to Midnight' will be released world wide on May 14th and in the US on May 15th. Linkin Park will also be releasing a special edition of 'Minutes to Midnight' which includes a bonus DVD which features behind the scenes footage of the recording sessions and the complete series of LPTV, which is the band’s on-going documentary series. As of press time the only US Tour date is May 5th at The Bamboozle Festival in New Jersey. Look for the band to announce some big tour news in the next few days with a full slate of World Tour dates as the band looks to begin the touring cycle for 'Minutes to Midnight.

Artisan News - April 04, 2007



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