Linkin Park's New Record Is Going to Confuse Some Fans

Saturday Night Live has just come back from a commercial break, and tonight's host, former longtime cast member Dana Carvey, smiles, looks into the camera and says, "Ladies and gentleman, Linkin Park." It's the second time that the band has played the show and, tonight, they're there to play two tracks off their latest record, A Thousand Suns.

The first song the band plays on SNL is "Waiting for the End," a song that clearly shows the band's evolving sound. It's obvious from the beginning that this is not the same nu-metal band that helped popularize the rap-rock genre in the early '00s. There is no record scratching from Joseph "Mr. Hahn" Hahn, Mike Shinoda's raps are sparse and subdued, and Chester Bennington has gone from shouting into the microphone to showing signs of becoming a real crooner. It's a far cry from the band we met a little over 10 years ago upon the release of Hybrid Theory

For Linkin Park's second song, "When They Come for Me," things get even crazier. The sirens, cricket noises, tribal drums, and industrial-music backdrop no doubt cause some longtime fans to scratch their heads and wonder what happened to the band they thought they knew. It's a feeling that occurs a lot listening to A Thousand Suns, the band's second album produced by Rick Rubin, and clearly the group's most experimental and ambitious record yet. But as is usually the case, that combination doesn't always lead to immediate acceptance.

Linkin Park
Linkin Park

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Linkin Park is scheduled to perform Monday, February 28, at US Airways Center.

A few weeks before their SNL appearance, I spoke with Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington on the phone. Despite the record's mixed reviews, Bennington says he's happy with the direction the band is headed and looks forward to getting back in the studio. 

"I think that I'm really stoked. I'm really happy where things are right now, and I'm kind of enjoying the ride I'm on," Bennington says. "So I'm just looking forward to making the next Linkin Park record. I'm looking forward to finishing this tour and getting back into the studio. All I want to do is sit in the studio and make new records. That's all I want to do. That's my goal."

The Phoenix native lives in the Valley and owns Club Tattoo. When Linkin Park performs at US Airways Center, it will be the first time the band has played the downtown arena. It seems most musicians would be excited to play such a venue in their hometown, but Bennington says that returning home isn't without its downside.

"In some ways, it's kind of a pain in the ass — the same way that playing in L.A. is a pain in the ass. I know a lot of people, I have a lot of friends and acquaintances, and everybody wants to go to the show, so I kinda just want to hide," he says. "When you have a guest list that's a thousand people deep in L.A. or Arizona, it kind of becomes a job. It becomes a second job that I have to do to wrangle all of the guests or say 'no' to a lot of people."

After the tour, the band plans on heading back into the studio to begin working on the another Linkin Park album. According to Bennington, the band never really turned the creative faucet off and is eager to flesh out some of the ideas they've been kicking around. But touring and being one of the biggest bands in the country doesn't leave much time for anything else.

"I've got a lot of stuff going on," he says. "Between the five kids I have at my house and my wife and Linkin Park, I barely had enough time to squeeze out a Dead by Sunrise album."

So what about plans to continue his acting career? (Bennington appeared in both Crank movies as well as last year's Saw 3D.)  

"I don't know, man; that was a pretty bad movie."

Glad to see he's got some perspective.

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Central Scrutinizer
Central Scrutinizer

This explains all the easy listening crap I've been hearing on KUPD lately.

Fan In Waiting!!
Fan In Waiting!!

Well it kinda reminds me of the left over food particle that gets stuck in your nasal cavity after violently heaving rocket propelled chunks out of your nose. Not so easy to handle at first but uplifting after knowing that the pain is coming to an end once the piece is dislodged and flushed.

or this comes to mind

Their music once was a delicious feast served by hungry artists to soothe ones soul, now its just few moments away from being turned into exclusive elevator music piped into the asylum to calm the souls of the insanely deaf...

The need to journey into other musical genres is necessary in all of life's travels. I appreciate their attempt, Its just that I connected with the band at an earlier time and I am hoping they will discover in their journey that most super groups get back to their basic roots to really find themselves...


um okay for one thing ya know so what if chaz, joe, and mike dont do much of what they ust too there just as good of performers today buddy chaz still screams mike still raps. Just as awsome and joe still does spins not as much ya but he still does it very well. And what u sayin the new record is goin to confuse fans well um i dont think so okay so what if there changen the sound and the way they make a new album. they have always been doin that like chaz said it bores them to make a album the same as the other its called tryin new things okay. So dont say that cause ya some fans might not like the new way right away and some might. But some say they wont be there fan anymore or wishes they go back to the old sound well they dont care if ppl do that. But i care if ppl are say the same shit over and over again there just band continueing what they love to do and wanna make a succesful record and be a successful band. Do what they think is good and hopin we like it but they dont care if we do or not. They say find a type of music u do like if u dont care for us anymore or never did. All im sayin is ya it could confuse some fans but not all of them are goin to be im a big have been for yrs im sayin ill never bee confused cause i dont judge there music i lisin and grow to love it sometimes love it right now does that sound like ill be confused i think no cause theres not one record i didn't like the 5th one will be no differnt............


chelsey - you're an idiot. =)

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