Welcome to CHESTER-LAND!
Your source for everything Chester Bennington since 2007. Always updated with the latest news, videos, pictures and more about him, Linkin Park and his side projects such as Dead By Sunrise, Stone Temple Pilots, Ve'Cel, and much more. Founders of the annual Chester Birthday Projekt and other fan interactive activities. You can find us on Facebook, Tumblr, Ask.fm and Twitter. Thank you for your visit and constant support.
- ChesterDEAN


Welcome to CHESTERLAND, a fan site dedicated to Chester Bennington from Linkin Park. Here you will find news, videos, pictures and more about him, Linkin Park and his side projects such as Dead By Sunrise, Stone Temple Pilots, Ve'Cel, etc.


October 2018
« Jan    


Admin: ChesterDEAN
Since: July 17th, 2007 [with a little hiatus]


  • User Online: 2
  • Today Visitor: 9
  • Yesterday Visitor: 9
  • Total Visit: 50375
  • Total Visitor: 29047

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,211 other subscribers



In the Linkin Park world, multi-tasking is the norm. Even when the band is not on tour or working on an album, things are moving at a hectic pace behind the scenes. The band currently has a new video game,LP Recharge, which includes the hit single “A Light That Never Comes” (with Steve Aoki), and the upcoming remix albumRecharged.

Rolling Stone caught up with the band’s Joe Hahn at his L.A. store Suru recently, where he was celebrating the band’s limited edition Transformer, Soundwave. That conversation led to talk of the band’s new album, frontman Chester Bennington’s collaboration with Stone Temple Pilots and Hahn’s upcoming headphones launch with Skrillex.

How did this action figure come about?
We met with this guy from Division Agency and he’s working with Hasbro and working with cool collaborations. We always said if we ever did a Transformer collab we wanted to do it with Soundwaves. We grew up with Transformers, and the reason we worked with the movies was we had the nostalgia for all that stuff.

Are you working with Rick Rubin again on the album?
I think so. We’re just in the studio, we’re at the beginning.

How did the single with Steve Aoki come about?
Mike [Shinoda] has been on this EDM kick for the last year and he’s been hanging out with different EDM guys, like he did a day with Avicii, and he’s been sending stuff back and forth with Aoki. This is the one that really stuck. He fleshed it out, brought it to the guys and we were into it. And it coincided with the game and also the album we’re putting out, which is remixes of Living Things.

Are there any remixes on Recharged that really stood out to you?
Mike did one of my favorite ones, a hardcore version of “Victimized.” Then Money Mark did something pretty crazy with “Until It Breaks.” Rick Rubin actually did one ["A Light That Never Comes"].

Are you an EDM fan?
Yeah. The funny thing is today it’s called EDM, but back in the day it was house, and now there’s dubstep, which sounds nothing like what dubstep originally sounded like. Everything is crossing, which is cool, and now it’s being widely marketed. I think it’s interesting. We always combine styles of music and that’s what everyone is doing now. It’s fun to see.

Are there DJs you’d like to work with?
I would love to do something with Sonny [Skrillex]. I actually have a headphone I’m putting together, and the first edition is going to be a limited edition with Skrillex. That’s in the works right now – hopefully at the end of the year, but most likely beginning of next year. I’m more involved with the actual design and sound. I really want to work with cool people, musicians and non-musicians, and do collaborations and keep it tight. I’m not trying to use a record label to market or a headphone company. It’s just something cool I want to do. When you actually see it you’ll know where the inspirations came from, especially after today’s event. There’s a transforming element to it.

That’s another trademark of Linkin Park, everybody working in different areas.
The band is successful because it’s a culmination of the six of us. We all bring different things to the table. But it’s the life experiences that we have individually, and the more stuff we do individually the more it empowers the individual, which everyone benefits from. So when Chester did Dead by Sunrise and Mike did Fort Minor, they did really cool stuff which they wouldn’t be able to do with the band necessarily. They got a lot of stuff out of their systems. But then when they came to the studio, they were fresh and had new ideas.

But Chester fronting STP is a totally different thing – that band is so established. How do you feel about it?
In high school we grew up listening to Stone Temple Pilots. For us these are the deities of rock. They’re up there, so if someone asks you to do that, you just do it. Chester is such a great singer and for him to have the opportunity to go and sing with other people, we’re appreciative of them for asking Chester to do it. I think on a spiritual level it works in so many ways, where it’s not even about there being a benefit, it’s just something that feels right, especially for Chester.

From the benefit standpoint, he is getting to work with two great songwriters in Robert and Dean DeLeo. Are you seeing new skills in his songwriting?
Especially recently, Chester’s songwriting has been incredible. He’ll come to the studio with some stuff where we’re like, “How did that happen?” For him to flex that with Stone Temple Pilots or whoever, he’s definitely a person that has a lot of stuff inside of him, and you can tell by watching him perform it’s there and it needs to come out. You can’t do that on one album – those 12 songs in two years.

How is all this stuff keeping you excited?
Mike and I went to art school together, so from an early point we understood that the creativity is not just one thing. And I think even stylistically in our music, you see back when we started that was a little different, but now it’s normal. Everyone does it. Every genre is incorporating everything. When it comes to the visuals, I shot a film called Mall, and we’re shopping that to the festivals next year, and everyone was really supportive of that.

Who was in the film?
Vincent D’Onofrio, Cameron Monaghan played the lead – he’s from Shameless – this kid named James Frecheville, who was in Animal Kingdom, Gina Gershon. Mimi Rogers had a little cameo. A bunch of people – Peter Stormare.

What are your release plans?
We’re looking for one of the first quarter festivals. Let it find a home, and hopefully after that people will get to go to a theater and see it.

Source: Rolling Stone

Robert DeLeo: ‘It was a very difficult decision to terminate the face of the band’

Fellow Stone Temple Pilots Robert DeLeo and Chester Bennington, now pulling double duty as frontman for both Linkin Park and STP, sat down with Rolling Stone recently in North Hollywood. Before a revealing hour-long interview, DeLeo brought a reporter his laptop and a pair of headphones to hear the band’s forthcoming EP, High Rise.

Featuring five songs, the EP ranges from the straight-ahead hard rock of the lead single “Out of Time” and the planned second single, “Black Heart,” to “Cry, Cry,” a song written by Bennington, which segues nicely into the EP’s closer, the atmospheric long player “Tomorrow.”

With legal battles with Scott Weiland ongoing, DeLeo didn’t want to say too much about the band’s former singer, yet a lot emerged over the course of the interview. “Dean (DeLeo), Eric (Kretz) and I have been saddled by someone for a long time,” he said at one point. “We’ve always looked out for Scott’s best interests and tried to be a great friend to someone who really didn’t care to be friends with us.” That eventually led, he said, to “a very difficult decision.”

There is a freedom of collaborating in this day and age, and I’m sure that ties nicely into you guys being able to try something new.
Chester Bennington: I think that this is happening at the right time. From an outsider, this is something I expected was going to happen. For us the transition has been about as smooth creatively as a band as possible. And the fact that we all get along so well, we enjoy each other’s company, we have the same work ethic and we’re all enjoying what we’re doing, it’s a trip in a lot of ways. At the same time I have the chance to write songs with two of my favorite songwriters that have ever written, Robert and Dean. Writing songs with these guys, that’s something I can check off my list of shit to do.

Robert DeLeo: We’re all complementing each other very nicely.

I recall Slash and Duff McKagan admitting that after their experiences with Axl Rose and Scott, Velvet Revolver was a little gun-shy about bringing in a new singer. What were your thoughts on bringing Chester in?
DeLeo: I welcomed it because we’ve known each other for quite some time. I don’t think there was any other choice or options to make the band work. That’s the way it was. I remember I was producing a record over at Conway Studios and I saw Slash there, and I remember shaking his hand when I first found out about Velvet Revolver and I said, “Good luck with that.” [Laughs]

It’s like any relationship – you get burned and you’re hesitant to trust again.
Bennington: Part of the appeal of doing this, and part of the vibe that I bring, I’m just coming in here and doing the same things I would do normally, only I’m writing different music with different guys. It’s been interesting for me to see how the normal day-to-day stuff that I’m used to doing with the other guys that I work with is just a fucking complete shocker over here in this camp. It’s like, “Dude, you’re here?” Simple things like that, or, “Let’s play this song.” “OK, cool,” and I just start singing the song. Robert was like, “Are you sure you don’t need a teleprompter?” I was like, “I’m pretty positive I don’t need a teleprompter.” If I fuck up the words it just makes the show more human, and I’d rather fuck the words up than be latched to something that tells me what I’m supposed to do.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about this process is seeing these guys have a good time doing it, and everybody’s talking and we’re all smiling. I’ve seen this whole process become fun for these guys again and see the joy that everybody is having when we’re doing band-related stuff. So that, to me, is a really great reward . . . The depth or the length at which I think these guys have been operating for the last 10, 15 years, they’ve put their dues in and they’ve really tried to make it work. This was the choice they had to make, and if it wasn’t me it was going to be somebody else. STP is moving forward without Scott 100 percent, whether I say yes or no. So I’m just glad that it’s me, because I am such a big fan of the band – I know the songs as well as these guys know the songs, maybe even better than some guys know the songs. And I do my best to honor the legacy of the music. We just want to go out and fucking play and have fun doing it – play rock & roll really loud and smile.

DeLeo: Loud is allowed.

It feels like this is a situation that should have very little pressure.
DeLeo: There are our own pressures of making great music. That means a lot, and it always has, and I think Dean, Eric and myself have earned it to be in this situation. I don’t think any of us are getting any younger, and I certainly don’t want to spend the next 10 years of my life the way I spent the last 10 years of my life, or the last 15 years, for that matter. So I think this is humbly saying very [well-deserved] for me, Dean and Eric to be in this situation. I know what kind of human being this guy [Bennington] is. It’s not all about him sounding just like someone. I’m talking about the quality of the human being and that means a lot to me, Dean and Eric.

Using the relationship analogy again, you come out of a bad one and you just want to have fun.
DeLeo: I wake up every fucking day and I put my life in perspective. Here’s a perfect example: we were doing pre-production one day, we were working on “Out of Time,” and I had to stop. I just looked at the four of us down in my basement and I went, “Do you guys realize where we’re at right now?” We’re down in my basement right now, and 35 years ago that’s where I started using a tennis racket, which came to a guitar, which came to other people involved and playing other people’s music. That all developed in the basement. So to come around full-circle 35 years later, to be a grown man and have us all playing in the basement, that’s pretty fucking beautiful. It puts things in perspective, and my point is I don’t ever want to lose vision of how important it is that my childhood dream has become reality and that’s gonna continue for the four of us.

Bennington: The weird thing is, I come in and we sit down and we’re all telling the same fucking fart jokes in the same funny voice. Things just were going at hyperspeed all the way. We know each other, but we don’t know each other intimately. Now we’re all really great friends, and we know that the only way to justify this type of move is to be a band that feels like this is our thing and we’re creating our music and our vibe. There are gonna be a lot of expectations from fans, mostly from the Stone Temple Pilots crowd and in some way the Linkin Park crowd, because they’re gonna wonder what could possibly be cool enough to take your attention away. You want to be an astronaut, you’re already in fucking outer space with a whole different crew.

The thing is, for me, it’s an opportunity to write with these guys, play rock & roll music that I like to play, and the competitor in me is like I want the challenge. I get off on the challenge of making something this difficult work. This is coming into a very well-known group that has a legacy and musically has some of the best songs written of its time. So to maintain that identity and stay true to that, there’s the pressure. But then also to take the reins and create something new and create our own vibe still feels very true to what the fans expect musically. Those are challenges we take very seriously, so that’s why I think being independent right now, with no label, and we’re doing everything on our own, we are able to produce the songs the way we want them to be produced. We are able to put out music when we want to. We don’t have to follow an album kind of thing – we can make one song at a time and put it out. And people are going to be interested in coming out to see us play, and that’s where it all matters. We show up with good songs and let the music do the talking.

The whole thing has gone better than expected, and I think making the music has been the hardest part. But, dude, you listened to the EP, there’s a vibe going on there. There’s a consistent vibe throughout the tracks that I feel really represent who we are as a band.

It starts off as more straight-ahead rock & roll, but I feel like “Tomorrow” ventures off a bit – more epic – and “Cry, Cry” is a bridge between the tracks.

DeLeo: Chester wrote that one. You always have a bank of songs that are hanging out, but for this it really was a matter of erasing the board, starting over again. That was a really big inspiration for me, to have this chance to wipe the slate clean and really start over again with this new energy.

So while it’s STP, it feels like a new band.

DeLeo: It was a very difficult decision to terminate the face of your band. There are many paths to the history of certain bands and each one is a little different, but it all kind of turns out the same at the end. But it was a very difficult decision to do that. That’s as big as it gets. But we really didn’t have any other choice. I don’t want to get too into that right now because of legal things, but Dean, Eric and I have been saddled by someone for a long time. We’ve always looked out for Scott’s best interests and tried to be a great friend to someone who really didn’t care to be friends with us . . . And I don’t think we had any other choice. We knew that was what we wanted before we thought about getting another singer. I think Scott’s made it very clear, his path and his decisions on what he’s done with or to this band. So when you’re in that situation, Dean, Eric and myself would rather move ahead. I want to have fucking fun, man, making music. I have the complete luxury of making music for a living. If I’m around people that don’t fucking get that, then I want to be around people who get that.

Bennington: I really respect the decision these guys have made. I also understand how incredibly difficult having that conversation would be. At the same time, it isn’t a surprise. Everybody who knows the band understands why decisions have been made. This is something I don’t necessarily need – I have a great career with a great bunch of guys who I love deeply, and we make awesome music together. There’s no need for me to do this, but at the same time I do realize this is their life. This is how they’re gonna pay their bills and put their kids through college, this is how they’re gonna want to spend the rest of their lives. So by saying yes to that means I’m 100 percent in as well. I didn’t want to dick around with these guys and their future and put a year of time and work on something to go, “I don’t know if I really want to tour on my downtime.” You can’t do that, so for me I need to make sure that I’m honoring everybody that’s involved.

DeLeo: I had the complete gift, and so did Dean and Eric, of writing music with Scott, and I cherished that for as long as I could. I think now it’s time to embrace this and cherish this. I feel very humbled by the fact the guys in Linkin Park are cool with this. All these guys are great dudes. It’s not about music – it’s about the humanity of it. They’re the kind of human beings you want to be around at this point in life.


Stone Temple Pilots With Chester Bennington Tour

9/4 – Bethlehem, Pa. – Sands Bethlehem Events Center
9/6 – Sayreville, N.J. – Starland Ballroom
9/7 – Atlantic City, N.J. – House of Blues
9/9 – Boston, Mass. – House of Blues
9/10 – Huntington, N.Y. – Paramount
9/13 – Oklahoma City, Okla. – Downtown Airpark (w/ Motley Crue)
9/14 – Newkirk, Okla. – First Council Casino
9/17 – Sunrise, Fla. – BB & T Center (FLA Panthers Event)
9/18 – Orlando, Fla. – House of Blues
9/20 – Columbia, S.C. – Township Auditorium
9/21 – Ft Myers, Fla. – Shockwave Festival – Jet Blue Park
9/24 – Midland, Texas – La Hacienda Event Center
9/26 – Tempe, Ariz. – Marquee
9/27 – Las Vegas, N.V. – Fremont Street Experience
11/1 – Biloxi, Miss. – Hard Rock Live

Source: Rolling Stone

Chester Bennington and Stone Temple Pilots make for rock ‘n’ roll’s ultimate dream team. Not only can the Linkin Park and Dead by Sunrise singer pull off that classic Scott Weiland-style bravado characteristic of the band’s hits, but he’s adding his own decidedly personal flare to new material such as the swaggering single “Out of Time“. He locks in with guitarist Dean DeLeo, bassist Robert DeLeo, and drummer Eric Kretz as if he was meant to be there all along, and something much larger emerges. This is one of the most formidable and important rock bands in history reborn…

In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots opens up about “Out of Time”, the group’s new EP, and even takes a look back at Purple.

How did “Out of Time” come together?

It came together like no other we’ve ever done in the sense that it was pretty much conceived on bass. Robert was in the market for a new old P Bass. He was looking at some early sixties P Basses. He had like three or four of them sent to his house. He picked this one up, and it was one of those “antenna moments” where the guitar just spoke. He basically wrote those riffs on bass. That’s why the song is so riff-oriented because it was written on bass. We got together to do the song, and we all threw our two cents in and came up with the tune. Like no other song we’ve ever done, it was conceived on bass.

What does the song mean to you?

Oh my goodness, it is a new chapter. We changed our quarterback, man! There’s never really a concerted effort when we go into the studio that we have to do this or write that. We just do what we do. We want to make sure each of us are happy with it, and it resonates with us. Usually, when that happens, it does what it’s supposed to do, and other people are moved by it as well. Music is a place to dip our minds and our hearts, right?

Is this a good gateway into what’s to come from Stone Temple Pilots?

Well, you’re going to get to hear that. We just finished up the EP. I really do wish we were able to have the time to contribute an LP. For those kids out there, LP means “Long Play” [Laughs]. With everybody’s schedules and Chester having a huge responsibility to Linkin Park, we finished tracking everything on this one night. It was one of those dreaded last days in the studio where we were putting the finishing touches on something at about four in the morning and Chester had to leave at about 4:30am-quarter-to-5am in order to pack for Asia that day with Linkin Park. He’s still over there now. He’s been them for two-and-a-half weeks. He gets home, and we have rehearsals on the 29th. Then, we’re off on September 3 for a one-month run. Time was of the essence for this. We did manage to eek out four new songs, and we will include “Out of Time” on the EP. We’ll have a little five-song EP here, hopefully showing up in October.

What ties those five songs together? What completes the vision of the EP?

I think this where the vision lies. When you first write a song, the task at hand is really trying to get what’s going on in your head to come out in the speakers. It’s just that journey to get there. For me as a guitar player, my brush and palette is probably a little bit bigger than the others. It’s just a matter of completing the painting.

Chester’s an avowed fan…

It’s funny. When we first spoke, he was shocked at how long it took to get the call. I discovered this later after we decided to do this together. If you go on his Wikipedia right now and read it, he’s quoted as saying, “I one day dream of being in Stone Temple Pilots”. It gets a little crazier. He said, “When I was just dating my wife nine or so years ago, I said to her, ‘I’m one day going to get a call from them to be in the band’.” Chester’s bursting with ideas. He brought in so much. It’s almost like he was bringing in a song every day. It’s like, “Hey man, let’s just stick to these four!” [Laughs] There’s actually a song on here that Chester wrote musically, lyrically, and melodically.

What’s the first thing now that you think of when you think about Purple?

Well, there’s a lot that goes along with that. It was a very interesting time in life. We were down in Atlanta making that record. I knew we were tapping into something really special. We were actually on tour for the Core album. We played this club called Masquerade, which happens to be in Atlanta as well. We were in the parking lot of the hotel, and Robert was sitting on the bumper of the Winnebago we had and he said, “Check out this song I wrote!” He whistled me the melody. Robert wrote that entire song—guitar, bass, and melody. The only thing he didn’t write on that was the lyrics. We were in the parking lot of this shit hotel, and he played that song on an acoustic guitar and whistled the melody. I said, “That’s really special”. It was “Interstate Love Song”, of course. If I can fast-forward to 1994, I got a call from Danny Goldberg who was running Atlantic Records at the time, he had Gold Mountain Entertainment who managed Nirvana and stuff. Danny’s a brilliant guy. He’s great to be affiliated with. He called me and said, “Hey man, I want to congratulate you for ‘Interstate Love Song’ being seventeen weeks at number one”. I was like, “That’s great!” He went on, “I don’t know if you know the impact of this Dean. This is number one for seventeen weeks. This is like of all-time. You beat out ‘We Are The Champions’ by Queen and ‘Start Me Up’ by The Rolling Stones and an Elvis Presley track. This song was seventeen weeks at number one. It’s the longest run for a song at number one in the history of records!” Since then, it’s been surpassed. Getting a call and hearing that knocked me off of my feet. I thought, “Okay!” It takes me back to the day in that parking lot in Atlanta and Robert sitting on the bumper of the Winnebago playing and whistling that song to me.

Source: ArtistDirect

CODE caught up with the DJ and the band’s Mike Shinoda to talk about their unexpected collaboration.

For the millions of Linkin Park and Steve Aoki fans who weren’t in Tokyo for Summer Sonic this month, shaky smartphone video footage of “A Light That Never Comes” isn’t going to cut it. After testing a collaboration with a surprise performance in Japan, the cake-loving DJ and the rock major-leaguers are making the bromance official: On September 12, Linkin Park will release a free Facebook game, LP Recharge, through which players can work together to unlock the track, “A Light That Never Comes.” Watch the teaser video below, showing the guys at work and pogo-ing around the Summer Sonic stage.

The morning after a few thousand Japanese fans heard “A Light That Never Comes” for the first time — in between dancing, riding inflatable rafts and waving ‘CAKE ME!’ signs — CODE caught up with Aoki and Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda in the more serene surroundings of a five-star hotel. While the Los Angeles-based musicians can’t quite place where they first crossed paths (“Was it Twitter?” Shinoda wonders), they now have a familiar rapport.

When did you decide you had to work together on something?

Shinoda: The beginnings of this song was probably six months to a year ago.

Aoki: It was about building this bridge between our two worlds and doing it in an organic way. We’ve stayed true to both our elements. Our fans in the EDM space and the Linkin Park space can gravitate towards it naturally.

Shinoda: There was a balance aspect. In my process writing a song, I tend to add a lot of elements and sounds, remove them, then add more, until I get the vibe I like. On this, I don’t want to trample on some of the work Steve did. We found that out on our first two records. There are actually a lot of keyboard and sample-based sounds on “Hybrid Theory” and “Meteora,” but in the mix they got drowned out by the guitars. Since then, I think we’ve paid more attention to balance as we go through the whole process, from the writing to the engineering.

Aoki: I always add a lot. Mike’s the one to say, let’s take some layers out to make this work. For me, it was a major learning process. It’s hard for me to gauge certain things when I just work with other dance producers. Working with the band allowed this different color palette to come out that I would’ve never heard before. I took this one much differently than I would on any other record.

Mike, what’s been your take on EDM’s watershed moment in America right now?

Shinoda: It makes me sound old to say this, but I went raves when I was in high school and that was back when it was like, The Prodigy and Fatboy Slim had just come out. People were like, “Holy shit, this is amazing!” My best friend in college was a gabber, techno and jungle DJ. That’s how far back I go. Admittedly, I’m not immersed in it, so I just get little touches of it here and there.

I love what’s happening right now. It’s stepped into the spotlight and then gone in so many directions, like Avicii doing basically a folk song. I’ve spoken to other artists too who are taking it in almost a metal direction. That’s so dope. It’s co-mingling with so many other things. For me, what always transcends any genre or movement is songwriting. When these producers start to understand the craft of writing a song, that’s when they’re going to completely take over.

Aoki: There’s a big gaping hole in the EDM space for songwriting. It’s one thing to learn how to be a great sound designer, and become big just on sound design. Especially if you’re in the dubstep category, it’s like how much fatter and more interesting can you make those drops. Skrillex is the perfect example of an artist who can actually mix those two really well, with great songwriting and interesting sound design, that’s the next evolution of breaking down any sort of boundaries.

Shinoda: Talking about sound design, I had a chance to speak to [musician/producer] Amon Tobin. I was trying so hard to pick his brain. Like, how do you make those sounds? What are you using? The truth of the matter is, he’s using the most techy, nerdy shit that they literally use to design sound for film. It takes years to even comprehend. I was listening like, “OK, this tells me I will never have the patience or whatever it takes to do that.” That’s why collaboration to me is so much more interesting, because I realized there are guys out there who are thrilled to devote 24 hours on a weird thing I would never be able to focus on. I’m not going to try to imitate or recreate that. I brought that mentality to this project. Let’s let Steve be Steve, and preserve as much of that as possible.

LP Recharge drops September 12, but fans can pre-register now atlprecharge.com to get a jump on the game and receive a teaser snippet of “A Light That Never Comes.”

Source: Billboard

Linkin Park embraced the digital age early on. Even prior to changing the spelling of their name (becauseLincolnPark.com was already taken), founding members promoted their music in online chat rooms when most bands were still relying on street teams.

The eventually Grammy-winning, chart-topping alternative band, best known for such hits as “In the End,” “Numb,” “Breaking the Habit,” “What I’ve Done,” and “New Divide,” has used MySpace to promote the “A Thousand Suns” album and has topped 1 billion views on YouTube. Linkin Park remains the most followed band on Facebook (over 55 million users), and has already developed its own game – Linkin Park 8-Bit Rebellion.

The band isn’t letting up on the technological development — they’ve been working with software manufacturer OpenLabs on StageLight, an innovative, music-creation app for Windows 7 and 8. They’ve even released a special Linkin Park Edition of the software.

Download.com rapped with Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda about StageLight, video games, whether MySpace has a future, and what’s on the horizon for the band now that vocalist Chester Bennington is singing for Stone Temple Pilots.

How did you become involved with StageLight?
I’ve had a relationship with OpenLabs for years. I’ve used their software and hardware onstage. A few years ago I was transitioning from a more primitive setup and I realized that I needed a software solution that could play anything that I made in the studio that required a computer-based system. And once I met with OpenLabs and saw the gear that they had, they convinced me that this PC-based system would be the way to go. When I was using it onstage or in the studio, I’d be asking for additions or something specific that I might need in whatever situation, and over time it developed into a relationship that resulted in StageLight.

What sets StageLight apart?
StageLight is more like a music writing and music creation software, though it has roots in performance. But we started looking at it as there really isn’t great music-creation software for PCs. Apple obviously has GarageBand, but there isn’t an application that teaches and allows a brand-new user who’s never really done a song before to make something from scratch. StageLight is designed so that within five to ten minutes a user who’s never made a song before can create a song and share it on SoundCloud or Facebook, or any other place where they could interact with their friends and family online.

What distinguishes the Linkin Park Edition?
There’s a special edition called the “Linkin Park Edition,” which includes a library of sounds that we made in the studio; and if you buy that edition you could use sounds that are Linkin Park sounds and make your own songs. It’s almost like an expansion pack.

Going back a few years, Link Park released 8-Bit Rebellion, in 2010. Why did you decide to release a video game?
Well, we’re gamers to some extent. A lot of our older fans know that when Halo first came out, that was one of the things that people used to joke about our band, that we were super into that game, in the first three editions of it. We would play on the bus and challenge other bands and challenge fans and it was so funny how competitive we were.

8-bit Rebellion was created as a visual reference to the stuff that we grew up with, things like Nintendo. If you finished the game, you’d get a free song. At the time, it made us a little nervous to do, because it was something different from what others were doing. But I think, for us, it set the tone for what we’re doing now and what we can do in the future, because, as you know, the industry at large is moving in that direction, like the Jay-Z album with Samsung and other people putting out exclusives with various brands; so if it’s something that is done right, it doesn’t have to be this weird, corporate thing. It can be something that’s organic and good for the band and good for the fans, most importantly.

Do you have plans to release another game anytime soon?
We have 55 million plus fans on Facebook, and knowing that’s a strong place for us and knowing that a lot of those people are gamers, we wanted to make something again that we would enjoy playing, that they would enjoy playing, and that falls in line with the way we see our band — and also, in this case, that has a philanthropic component.

Recharge is going to be a Facebook game set in a future time where the world’s natural resources have almost run out and you, as a player, are part of a rebellion, because the bad guys have gotten their hands on the Earth’s remaining resources and are using them to enslave the rest of the planet. You’re going to fight the tyrannical bad guys; and on the way, any money generated from certain items that you might spend money on in the game would benefit Music For Relief, which is our organization to combat environmental crisis, climate change, and to provide relief to those who’ve suffered from natural disasters. That ties the theme of the game into something along the same lines in real life.

Linkin Park has done a lot of charity work over the last decade. How do you think apps have changed the philanthropic space?
I think two places where it’s been really apparent are the online component and being able to reach that via mobile and the text-to-donate component. When something happens and you really want to go to work and do some good for the people who need it, being able to do that in as few clicks as possible or reaching people in that moment of realization when they want to help — even if it’s a dollar — means a world of difference.

Forming in 1996, Linkin Park has really grown in popularity in tandem with the Internet. 
We had a really intentional focus on it from the beginning. Spelling our band name “Linkin” was to get the dot com and that just set the tone for us. And over time, everybody just started to switch. We were always a part of that and it’s always been a way for us to keep connected with each other and with our fans, to stay connected with families at home when we were on the road — and now it’s just second nature.

I’m personally very interested in technology. I love finding out about new apps and technology, and in some cases, if we can be a part of the innovation process that’s amazing and it’s one of my favorite things to do. When it comes back around to releasing music or entertaining our fans, or staying connected to our fans, that’s high on our list. For example, one of the places where we’ve put a lot of focus and made some headway is our direct-to-consumer campaigns where we try to spread the word every chance we get that if you want to buy a Linkin Park song or album, do it from LinkinPark.com. You don’t have to go to other places to buy it and we incentivize fans to make it interesting.

Along with most other bands, you’ve certainly minimized your MySpace promotional initiatives in recent years. Does MySpace have a future? 
I’m currently not using it very much, so I wouldn’t be the best person to ask. I don’t know, so that might be a function of it being totally lame, or maybe I’m just missing the boat.

What can you tell me about the new Linkin Park album? Will singer Chester Bennington be a part of it?
There’s not much I can say, at this point, but Chester has not left our band. He’s just doing Stone Temple Pilots when he’s got days off and it’s not a big deal as far as scheduling goes. We’re very supportive of him and he’s doing great with them and they’re having fun playing.

As far as we’re concerned, we’re going to have some interesting stuff going on in the future. I would say there are some surprises lined up in the coming months and I can’t tell anybody about them, but you’re definitely going to want to watch Linkin Park, be it on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, or YouTube, wherever you’re connected and want to stay in touch with the band. There’ll definitely be some cool stuff happening in the coming months.

Source: Download.com

Mike Ragogna: Mike, what brought The Urgency Network to your attention?

Mike Shinoda: That was brought to us by one of our staff members at Music For Relief. I’m sure you know Music For Relief is our non-profit. We established that back in the two thousands. Music For Relief was originally founded to provide relief for victims of natural disasters and then we also later included preventative efforts to try to mitigate natural disasters. So charity, helping people who are involved or affected by environmental problems, those types of things are always on our radar and The Urgency Network popped up as part of that effort.

MR: Many artists are involved with The Urgency Network’s efforts including Incubus and Paul McCartney. One of the things that you’re offering as a prize to help raise funds is a trip to Japan and hanging out with Linkin Park at the Summer Sonic Festival. How will all this work?

MS: The basic idea of Urgency Network is it’s an online platform where users get points for everything they do and they’re rewarded for their actions. The campaigns each have a big grand prize, and their focus has been on larger-than-life grand prizes. They really want to go big with the things they offer, so a flight out to Japan to see Summer Sonic–that’s not just to see us, Summer Sonic is the biggest festival in Japan. it’s one of the biggest festivals in the world, from Linkin Park to Metallica, and you’ve also got great indie bands like Alt-J. Just to go back to the relationship, Music For Relief is trying to create a “jackpot,” as they call it, of a million media placements, so that would be the top performing campaign between now and October. So if you go to the page, you can see ways to earn points and whoever gets the most points wins.

MR: One of the goals is to raise fifty thousand dollars to send socket-powered LED lamps to the families in need.

MS: Yeah, I believe that’s the case.

MR: It would be great to go over the goals some more, but before we do, what else do we need to know about the process?

MS: Well, to wrap that up, let me just say that the campaign with The Urgency Network is cool because anybody can participate but that’s not the only way you can help. You can watch videos or sign a pledge for sustainable energy or share things on Twitter and Facebook. Every action that you participate in gets you points and the points get you closer to the grand prize and other rewards. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about energy poverty because there are 1.3 billion people on the planet–that’s like a fifth of the planet who don’t have access to electricity or sustainable energy, and they’re using harmful pollutants like dung and kerosene to light their homes and heat their homes and cook their food. That’s what Power The World and Music For Relief are working to help people with, and that’s what by signing the pledge or watching videos, anything that gets you points, those points are helping combat this sustainable energy problem.

MR: Is global sustainable energy one of the things that you feel strongly about?

MS: Yeah, yeah. With Music For Relief, we caught the attention of the UN a couple of years ago and we were introduced to the “Sustainable Energy For All” effort by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. They set off on that path last year and we decided to do our own kind of branch-off from that, which is called Power The World. In other words, Power The World is kind of under the umbrella of the UN’s Sustainable Energy For All program and the reason we created our own branch was because we felt that by specializing or focusing on smaller areas rather than saying we’re just going to try and help everybody in the world–over a billion people need help with this sustainable energy problem–we decided our most effective efforts would be to focus on places where we knew we could make an impact and the first place that we did that was in Haiti, which is great. Being from LA and being from the US, it’s nearby.

They have massive, massive problems with not only sustainable energy but also deforestation and cholera, and a lot of this stuff can be traced back in one way or another to the living conditions there. So with the help of the UN and supporters of Power The World, delivering them solar light bulbs and solar lamps in a country where you’ve got a seventy-five percent unemployment rate and a fifty percent illiteracy rate, people need to feel safe after the earthquake. They were walking around in the dark and violence and stuff was happening, and they had nowhere to go and do the things they needed to do, maybe even just going to the bathroom. These things were helping keep people safe and keep their minds off those other concerns and get back to the things they needed to do to move their life to the next step.

MR: Mike, can you go more into when you and the group decided to become more hands on with global concerns and contributing in this way?

MS: Oh, I don’t know… It’s been an evolution over time. We started Music For Relief in the mid-2000s–I want to say ’05 or ’06–and it’s been an ongoing thing since probably before that.

MR: Normally, you have a lot of bands dealing with issues like climate change or hunger in a general way, but you’re digging in and getting specific.

MS: The way that I look at charity is that it’s something that I wish everybody would do in one way or another, and I think it’s an important part of being a member of the human race and it’s also something that you don’t have to spend money doing. You can spend time, you can give effort instead. For me, one of the more difficult things is choosing where to use that effort. So for us, we try and look at it in terms of where can we make a difference and what skills and connections do we have that afford us the best opportunity to make change. For example, one of the things that we know about Linkin Park is that we are the biggest band on Facebook. We have fifty-five million followers on Facebook and a large percent of those followers are gamers. They love to play games, especially action games. This year, we’re debuting a game called “Recharge,” which is a Facebook game. It’s an action-based puzzle game, so think third-person, three dimensional like an action game, but puzzle-based like “Field Runners.” This game, “Recharge,” is going to be available to Facebook players later on this year and you don’t have to be a Linkin Park fan to play it. The story of the game happens in a future where the Earth’s natural resources have basically run out and a small group of people are controlling those resources and using them to enslave the rest of the planet. You’re a part of the rebellion fighting them to take the resources back and save the human race. What we’ve done with the game that I’m really happy with is we’re tying in the charitable component so that whether or not you’re trying to do anything charitable, you’re just playing the game, right? Based on things where money’s involved, maybe it’ll be ads and we’re also hoping to include things like where you buy upgrades for your character. Certain upgrades will actually benefit Music For Relief. So let’s say you buy a Music For Relief t-shirt for your avatar, you’re actually making a difference to maybe a family in Haiti who get solar lights for their home.

MR: You’re thinking globally which is really a beautiful thing, but we also have a lot of issues in the United States. What are a couple of things Stateside that you have your eye on?

MS: In the US? I think everywhere sustainability, waste, recycling…these things are pretty global issues. I personally try and pay attention to my carbon footprint. I have solar panels at the house; I actually have an electric car as well. I read the other day when I was in London that they’ve created legislation that’s going to make it mandatory for all car companies to reduce emissions by a certain threshold by 2020 I think it is or in the next twenty years, I can’t remember which it was. But the idea was that because they passed that legislation in the country, the car companies were going to be forced to acknowledge the fact that they need to be producing hybrids and definitely electric cars as well. If they aren’t then they won’t meet the standards. So it makes it mandatory and I think sometimes that’s the thing that tough for people to deal with here in the States, but it’s something that in the bigger picture just needs to happen. We need to be more conscious about the amount of pollution and waste that we’re responsible for.

MR: How do we bring the United States more into the world family when it comes to these concerns?

MS: One of the things that bothers me and I think our generation to a large degree is the in-fighting that goes on in politics. It’s like people are playing for a team. When it comes to basketball, I’m happy to watch two teams fight it out. But when it comes to politics, I don’t like the idea of people putting their team over the good of the people. So that bothers me a bit and I think it bothers a lot of people, especially when it comes to things like environmental issues where they could be making a difference except they have a responsibility to their team to play a certain way, their team or their supporters, which is even scarier. For me, I wish that the US would lead when it comes to environmental issues. We don’t really lead in the world when it comes to environmental issues and I think that’s sad. I think Americans, as competitive as we can be–and Americans love to make fun of other countries, like the French, for whatever reason–but truth be told on this subject the French and the English are doing better than we are.

MR: Yeah, I have a feeling that we hit the reset button during the Bush years with things like abandoning the Kyoto agreement, the denial of climate change, and environmental issues. I feel like as a country, we may have lost our momentum with a lot of these concerns.

MS: I admit, I’m a musician, so I spend the majority of my time playing shows and making music and I am definitely not the most knowledgeable about the weekly goings-on with the legislature or the changes in that kind of landscape. But in general terms, I know that there are things that we can do on an individual basis that make a difference. When I talk to people who say, “Well what do you say to people who just don’t believe it’s even happening.” Let’s just humor that for a moment…I always say that if you walk around your house and you say, “My house is not a mess, so therefore I’m not going to clean it up or keep it clean,” guess what your house is going to look like in six months? If you say to me, “It’s not happening, so I’m not going to do anything about it,” it’s the exact same thing. If you’re not going to do anything about it I don’t give a crap about if it’s a mess right now or not, if you’re not doing anything, it’s going to be a mess sooner than you know it, so you might as well get on board and help out.

MR: Can you give an update as far as what’s going on with Linkin Park?

MS: Yeah. Other than the game, which we’re very excited about, we’re working on a new album, we’re about to go on a tour in Asia, and I can’t give you too many details about what we have going on, but I think in the next month, we have something very exciting for fans and I’m only allowed to pique your interest. That’s all I’m allowed to say. I promise something very exciting for Linkin Park fans in the next month.

MR: My traditional question. What advice do you have for new artists?

MS: I always tell new artists that the key to their success as they’re beginning is to not worry about other people helping them out. It’s really that they have the power to get their music to the next step completely on their own at this point in time, whether it’s talking about making the music, recording the music, playing the music live or just spreading the word about the music, there are so many tools out there, especially online, for people to just make amazing stuff and they don’t really need anybody’s help. That’s not a knock against the label, I think the label can be really useful once you’ve already established something but don’t look to some label or some producer or some deal to get you to the next step, especially if you’re doing it just to get famous. I never related to that. To me, it’s always been about making great art and being able to stand behind that at the end of the day.

MR: If somebody wants to jump in and do something socially conscious, where does one start?

MS: There are a couple of different ways I could go answering this question…

MR: Might it be simple things like recycling?

MS: Well, I always find that the way to get into charity is to choose things that are meaningful to you. For example, if you have a family member or family members who have passed away because of cancer, or if you have friends and family who have been affected by some kind of natural disaster or tragedy, I feel like that’s a place where you’ll be motivated to make it a habit. To me, the habitual nature of charity is the most important. If you’re only doing it every time something bad happens, then I think there’s an element of guilt that goes with it, and I don’t feel like people should be just doing charitable actions based on guilt. It should be a positive experience. It should be habitual. Challenge yourself to do it when you don’t feel guilty, so that it’s only a positive experience and you’re not doing something because something went wrong.

MR: If you were to become socially conscious today, if you were to look at one thing today that would get your attention, what would it be to get you motivated?

MS: One thing that I’m personally really excited about–and part of this is because I’ve got an interest in Haiti, especially in recycling down there–one of the things that’s going on right now that I think is really cool in the US and other places, too, is that people are starting to use recycled plastic and recycled material to make things like jeans and t-shirts. The recycling technology is always changing and developing. I found out just the other day that that styrofoam that everybody used to think was so bad for the environment because it “can’t” be recycled, that’s actually recyclable now, you just need to sort it. A lot of people don’t know that because, especially if you’re thirty years or older, you just grew up hearing that was bad stuff. But the super-super cheap styrofoam is now a recyclable. It’s come a long way and it’s going to continue to develop and hopefully stuff like that becomes a part of being able to just reuse and reuse instead of just making more crap and making more waste.

MR: Beautiful. I really appreciate your time Mike. Thank you very much.

MS: Awesome, thank you.

Source: Huffingtonpost.com

DellVlog posted these two amazing video’s from an Interview with Mike Shinoda on YouTube. Check them out because they’re really awesome!



Celebrating Personal Achievements with Mike Shinoda

The Phillipine Star released this interesting interview with Chester! He talks about the evolution of the band, studio time and what keeps him grounded! You can read the interview below, or here!




‘Throughout our career, we got some great reviews, we got some mediocre reviews, we got some bad reviews. Reality is what we (take into consideration) is the fans. Had we based the outlook on our career on the reviews that have been written about us, we could have quit. Although the longer we’ve been around, with each record that we make, the critics seem to like the band more and more.’ —Chester Bennington

 MANILA, Philippines – Linkin Park’s latest work Living Things speaks volumes of how much of a “living thing” the band is: “Always moving, moving, moving creatively,” to quote vocalist Chester Bennington, and staying strong and relevant as it comes close to being around for two decades already.

Has Linkin Park really been making music for 17 years now (counting in the years of toil before it finally struck a record deal and landed its big break in 2000 via its debut Hybrid Theory)? When reminded about it during a recent phone interview for The STAR, Chester sounded a little overwhelmed himself, reacting with a laugh, “It is a little crazy!”

Linkin Park, whose other members are Rob Bourdon (drummer), Brad Delson (lead guitarist), Dave Farrell (bassist), Joe Hahn (DJ and sampler) and Mike Shinoda (rhythm guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist), grouped in 1996 in California. It has since packed a punch in the subsequent years — released five records, sold 50 million albums worldwide, won Grammys, among other things worth-noting — and is showing no signs of slowing down.

“It’s great to be doing something for so long. It’s an honor and a privilege. It’s still fresh and fun and exciting,” Chester said.

When the band was new and younger, reaching the “pinnacle of success” wasn’t something it was preoccupied with. Sure, according to Chester, “you dream about stuff like that and kinda hope about it. I personally had goals on what we were going to reach. But our expectations were not that high.”

Because everything now has exceeded the band’s expectations, the success has become sweeter. And if there’s anything that any aspiring artist can learn from Linkin Park’s story, it’s never resting on your laurels.

Chester believes that you can’t make it if you’re thinking that your way — even if it’s validated by awards, amazing record sales and a solid global fan base — is the only right way to do things. “One thing we’re really good at is taking constructive criticism,” he said.

Does Linkin Park keep tab of what the critics say? “Critics’ reviews kind of matter but they also kind of not matter. There are reviews that do not speak of the general public. Throughout our career, we got some great reviews, we got some mediocre reviews, we got some bad reviews. Reality is what we (take into consideration) is the fans. Had we based the outlook on our career on the reviews that have been written about us, we could have quit (laughs). Honestly, we don’t really pay attention to what the critics say although the longer (we’ve) been around, with each record that we make, the critics seem to like the band more and more.”

In support of the release of its fifth album Living Things last year, the band has been on the road almost non-stop, and it’s now on the last leg of its world tour, which will bring Linkin Park back to the Philippines for the Aug. 13 show at the Mall of Asia Arena. The band performed here in 2004. “We had a wonderful time. (The Philippines is) a great place to be. It’s crazy that it’s been almost 10 years though (since we last went there).

At the time of our brief phone chat, Chester and the rest of the guys were in a recording studio. (The band’s sixth record is reportedly in the works.)

“We’re always moving, moving and moving creatively. It keeps things fresh and fun,” Chester said, “and the fact that we don’t put any limitations on what kind of songs we should be writing, that makes the potential for writing much greater than like, pigeonholing yourself into a specific sound or style.”

True, for its long-time fans, it’s not hard to notice that Linkin Park has unhinged itself from constricting labels (like the “rap-metal band” tag heavily bandied about during its early years is nowadays used less and less to strictly define the band’s music), making room for descriptions like “experimental,” “futuristic” or “multi-genre/concept.” Its latest album has generated adjectives like “hybridized” for fusing different music elements from its previous records.

It didn’t make everybody happy, Chester acknowledged, but they have to keep going.

“Once you get to a point where people know who you are, you kind of have to understand that there’s gonna be people who love your music, and people who hate it. But if you focus on the people that don’t like it, that’s gonna be a bit weird. Same time, we are making music that we want a lot of people to listen to. We know, as songwriters, what things would be appealing or what are not gonna be appealing to people because we’re fans of music as well…

“We have worked our entire career to get rid of certain sounds of the band that we found were not appealing and by doing so, a lot of our fans have felt like, ‘What happened to my band (laughs)?’ But that’s part of evolution… We have to keep going.”

And keep going the band did with Living Things, which debuted last year at No. 1 on Billboard 200. The album’s songwriting is descriptive of, as Chester put it, “the place we are in life emotionally. We’ve become happier people (laughs). We try to make the songs as inspirational as possible, even if some of the content of the songs are dark.”

“I think that’s important, generally speaking, as we want to write songs that are going to mean something to people — and that in itself is inspirational to me — we want to dig deep into what we’re saying and put it out there in a way that it can attach itself to someone else’s life experience,” he added.

When the band is not on tour or recording, the members maximize the time-out for home life, for charity or for side projects. “We enjoy our families. I have a lot of kids. If I’m not with Linkin Park, I’m working with other people. I’ve been working with Stone Temple Pilots and we’re making great music together.”

Told that we came across that bit of amusing trivia he gave to another interview that interestingly, they have wives, kids, families who don’t really care that they’re in a band, or that they are the Linkin Park, he mused, “My kids just care that they’re living with dad. They don’t care if they’re living with the guy from Linkin Park.”

Chester further shared, “There are times when we are doing things together and people come up to you and talk to you about Linkin Park. Sometimes, (my kids) think it’s cool. Sometimes, they wonder why people think it’s so cool. It’s funny! Does family make me feel grounded? I think so. It keeps things in perspective as to what’s important in life.”

(Living Things World Tour: Linkin Park World Tour on Aug. 13 at the MOA Arena is presented by Scala Events with ticket prices of P9,880 — VIP Standing, P9,880 — Patron Center Seated [reserved seating], P6,880 — Lower Box A [reserved seating], P5,880 — Lower Box B [reserved seating], P3,480 — Upper Box [reserved seating] and P880 — General Admission [reserved seating]. Call SM Tickets at (02) 470-2222 or visit www.smtickets.com. For details, visit linkinpark.comfacebook.com/scalaevents or twitter.com/scalaeventsph.)

Scale Event’s just uploaded a short video of Mike and Chester giving a quick message to all the people of the Philippines and inviting them to their show in Manila on August, 13 in the Mall of Asia Arena

You can ALSO win a Concert Poster of the event. More infos on that you can find here.


Here’s an interview with Chester by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

For Bennington in particular, 2013 appears to be a very busy year. Apart from gearing up for the “Living Things” world tour, he has his hands full with his latest stint as Stone Temple Pilots’ (STP) new lead singer. Following Scott Weiland’s controversial split from the ’90s band, Bennington made his surprise debut with STP at Los Angeles radio station krOQ’s Weenie Roast festival last May, performing a brand-new track, “Out of Time,” that he had written with the remaining STP members.

Fans need not worry, though, as Bennington won’t be leaving Linkin Park anytime soon. He will be recording and touring with both bands, as well as possibly writing new material for Dead by Sunrise, the supergroup he had formed with members of electronic rock outfits Julien-K and Orgy back in 2005. (In case you were wondering, Dead by Sunrise is still very much alive in spite of the apparent inactivity.) Musical multitasking is no small feat, but the vocalist seems perfectly happy with how things have been turning out so far.

Your debut as STP’s new frontman at Weenie Roast just came out of nowhere. How did that happen?

Well, unfortunately the band had to make some hard choices in order to move forward. After they’d let Scott go, I got a call from two of our crew who work with them as well, and they asked if that would be something I’d be interested in. Apparently, they’ve been talking to the other guys at STP about who would be a good replacement, and my name came up; I believe I was the only person that they asked. (Laughs) So that’s kind of how it came together. Once we decided to do that, within four weeks we had written a handful of songs and recorded “Out of Time,” and we played a couple of shows.  We turned that around really quickly.

Wow. Was it hard to keep it under wraps for that long?

It was. It was actually very difficult… We’d be playing and writing some music, and after about six to seven hours, we’d get hungry. We’d be like, “Let’s go get some food!” and when we’re ready to leave, we’d realize, “We can’t go, we have to order in because we can’t be seen together.” It was pretty hard for us not to tell anybody, to keep it a secret from our friends. But it was really worth it.

How much creative input or control did you have in writing “Out of Time” and your other songs?

It’s basically the same as Linkin Park. We all get in the room and write together; I have free rein to do and contribute as much as I wanted.

It’s inevitable that people will give you flak for filling in Scott’s shoes. How have you been dealing with the backlash so far?

I take it with a grain of salt. I understand that anytime something new [comes up], people are gonna have some reservations about it, especially with a band like STP because it’s really big and well-known and it has been around for a long time. And Scott is a great frontman…  In his time, he was arguably one of the best in the world; he is an inspiration for me and I have great respect for him. So, I wanna make sure we write music that’s good and lives up to what he’s done in the past.

But when it comes down to it, it’s kind of similar with Linkin Park. Every time we put a song out, there are people who will love it and hate it and talk about it, but it’s worked out for us so far. You try not to pay too much attention to outside influences when you’re creating something.

How does your new stint figure in the future of Linkin Park?

One thing that was really important to be clear when I decided to work with STP was that Linkin Park is my top priority, that the things we do in STP can’t change the course of what we do in Linkin Park. And the guys are fine with that. They’ve kind of been in positions where they have to work around certain things that they really don’t have much control over. (Laughs) With this kind of thing, there’s control over it. We understand when we could write and tour, and we understand when we couldn’t.

How about Dead by Sunrise, is it still alive? You’re gonna be juggling that, too, right?

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s gonna be another Dead by Sunrise record. That one’s a little trickier, ’cause there are a lot of moving parts in that one and we also don’t really have the same kind of freedom that we have in Linkin Park and STP. It takes a lot more to get that machine moving… I’ll figure it out. (Laughs)


You’ve described “Living Things” as feeling like you’re in more familiar territory. Do you think you’ve gone back to your “Hybrid Theory” roots, or are you still evolving or experimenting as a band?

We’re always experimenting and pushing ourselves creatively. I think, for us, on “Living Things,” we got to a point where we intentionally stopped doing some of the things that we felt were kind of putting us in a little box. We really wanted to get away from those things, and I think we all pushed that.

I really don’t think people see us as a nü-metal band anymore. Once we got past that, it was like, now we can go back to doing some of the things that we really liked. We now have the tools to make it, and we can make it the best that it can be. We were comfortable to go back to some of that a little bit, but we’re not comfortable to go back there all the way. We like the direction that we’ve been going. We enjoy the process that we have now. We’re just gonna play and make use of all the tools in the toolbox.

Do you think your sixth album will be more similar to “Living Things”?

I have no idea. (Laughs) Honestly, we don’t have an idea what the record is gonna sound like. We’re just in a direction where we’re inspired by what we’re creating. So I have no idea what the next record is gonna sound like at all. It’s impossible to say at this point. We won’t know until we have it done.