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.
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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.


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Linkin Park

Earlier this week Rob and Phoenix attended the Social Good Summit in New York City.

They spoke about LP RECHARGE and Music For Relief initiatives along with UNDP Specialist Bahareh Seyedi and Pete Cashmore, CEO ofMashable.

Watch the video here:


Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda has penned an essay for Pigeons and Planes in response to writer Ernest Baker’s recent article ‘Rock Music Sucks Now and It’s Depressing.’ Instead of blindly rallying in the defense of the genre, Shinoda gives an even-handed, clear-eyed take on the struggles rock musicians face.

One of Shinoda’s most salient points lies in the factor of music being a numbers game. If an artist wants to grow as a hip hop artist or DJ, much of the software that is needed can be found on one’s laptop. From Shinoda’s vantage point, starting a rock band is a much harder journey. “Do the math,” said Shinoda. “If you want to start a rock band, you need more than proficiency and/or exceptional talent at your instruments. You also need some kind of production or recording experience, or access to it. You need chemistry. You need a group of individuals who are all aligned on their vision of what kind of music they want to make. You want to be the Yeah Yeah YeahsRage Against the MachineMGMT? Your band has to come to a general consensus about what ‘credibility’ and ‘integrity’ mean.”

Shinoda also adds that rock music needs to take more chances and find more avenues for innovation, and he believes that the genre doesn’t have the “vibrancy it could — and ought to — have.” The musician adds that rock needs a bit more meat and substance in its world, and that risk takers who are “carnivores” are needed to make that very change. “At the end of the day, it will never be about one song, one album, or one band,” said Shinoda. “A movement requires leaders who are restless, brave, and f–king disruptive. I’m in the studio right now. I’m looking for ways to do it myself.”

Linkin Park’s Facebook game ‘LP Recharge’ debuts Sept. 12, and it features the band’s new song ‘A Light That Never Comes,’ which is a collaboration with EDM artist Steve Aoki.

What do you think? Are you satisfied with the state of rock or are you waiting for that next big “carnivore” risk taker to shake things up? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: NoiseCreep

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 took a decade to return to Malaysia, but its Monday night concert was well worth the wait.

THE show was supposed to start at 8pm and 40 minutes later, Linkin Park was still nowhere to be seen on stage. (I know, I checked my watch. Twice.)

It was cold, the venue was wet from the evening’s downpour, and somebody thought that it would be a great idea to place an industrial-sized fan blowing directly towards the area which accommodated the media.

I was shivering like a Chihuahua, my hair was all frizzy and my shoulder was acting up but no, none of it had anything to do with Linkin Park’s Living Things World Tour. I was just annoyed … really annoyed.

But all that changed the moment Tinfoil blared from the speakers at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur and the music slowly faded into the intro for fan favourite Faint.

Annoyed, who … me? Never happened.

The earlier atmosphere, which was creepily quiet for a nu metal and rap rock hybrid concert, disappeared as the 20,000 fans in the arena made their presence felt and whoa, they were loud.

In his usual cool demeanour, turntablist Joe Hahn got the party started and the band’s lead vocalist Chester Bennington, rapper Mike Shinoda, guitarist Brad Delson, bass guitarist Dave Farrell and drummer Rob Bourdon kept it going throughout the concert.

The band didn’t waste any more time and cruised through three songs, includingPapercut and Given Up before Bennington stopped to take a breath and greet the fans.

Sama-sama, thank you for being here,” he said, not realising that his Bahasa Malaysia wasn’t up to snuff, but seriously, with the kind of talent and stage presence Bennington possesses, he could’ve spoken in an alien language for all the crowd cared.


You know, sometimes, when an artiste performs live, and you kind of wish that they didn’t? Well, no one could wish that for Linkin Park as the band sounded incredible in a live setting and performed their tracks with nary a glitch. The last time the sextet was in Malaysia was a decade ago, and although many fans had claimed that the 2003 concert was awesome, there’s no denying that Monday’s show was just as good … or even better.

Maybe that is how this crew always rolls, or maybe it’s because Kuala Lumpur is the final stop in the Living Things World Tour. Still, the boys gave their all throughout the concert like it was their last show … ever. Even as the band reached the end of its set, Bennington’s voice never once cracked after screaming his lungs out for almost every track. Drenched in sweat and soaked by Malaysia’s humidity, it’s a wonder he didn’t fall flat dehydrated on stage.

Shinoda alternated playing the guitar, sampling pad and keyboard as the band performed most of its hit tracks such as Somewhere I Belong, Points Of Authority, Numb, One Step Closer, In The End and Bleed It Out and as he had told The Starin a telephone interview last month, the band used this as an opportunity to road-test their new material off their latest album, Living Things.

“This is the last show for the rest of the year. We’ll be working on new material and playing games on Facebook. We want to say thank you to those who have been with us all these years,” he told the screaming fans.

If there was one thing that was more awesome than the band that night, it had to be the crowd. Maybe it was the effect Linkin Park had on them, or they just wanted to get rid of their Monday blues by screaming their hearts out, but simply said, the fans were downright fantastic.

It was amazing to see them jump and sing along to the songs and the band definitely fed off their infectious energy.

Even when the band did the whole “we’ll disappear from the stage and let you guys scream for an encore” jig, the crowd knew what to do – call out the band’s name until they re-appeared. Seriously, you have no idea how many bands have seen the crowd disperse when the lights go off at a concert’s final minutes without knowing how the “encore jig” works. It’s pretty embarrassing and I’ve witnessed similar incidents with international acts here.

Anyway, the band was awesome and the crowd was perfect and together, it was a concert that was worth the 10-year wait.

Now that I think about it, maybe Bennington wasn’t wrong in saying “Sama-sama” (You’re welcome) instead of “Terima kasih” at the beginning of the concert. I guess its us who have to thank the band for choosing Malaysia as its final stop in the Tour and giving us a Monday night we’ll remember for a long time. So, here we go – thank you Linkin Park.

Source: TheStar

There has been plenty of reportage over the past few months about Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington joining Stone Temple Pilots, but little has been written about how his main band remains in full swing — on not just one album project, but two.

“While I was working with Stone Temple Pilots on their new EP there were some times I was actually recording with Linkin Park the same day,” Bennington told Yahoo! Music. “Writing for both was crazy — but it was fun, too, because both bands have their own distinct character.”

On August 10 Linkin Park debuted the new song “A Light That Never Comes,” a collaboration with turntablist Steve Aoki, who took the stage with them during the performance. “Steve and I met up like a year ago, maybe more,” Linkin Park co-vocalist Mike Shinoda said during a Q&A with fans. “[The song] happened pretty organically, just shooting ideas back and forth.”

“A Light That Never Comes” will not be on the upcoming Linkin Park album. Nor will it be featured on the soundtrack to the film Mall, which is being directed by Linkin Park keyboardist Joseph Hahn.

The movie stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Gina Gershon, Peter Stormage, James Frecheville, and Cameron Monaghan, and is based on the Eric Bogosian novel about five unhappy suburbanites who become inextricably entwined one night when Frecheville goes on a shooting spree in a shopping mall.

Hahn has started shooting the film, but there is no scheduled release date. Linkin Park are creating the soundtrack with help from Deadsy drummer Alec Püre. While a few songs will feature Bennington’s recognizable vocals, much of the material is instrumental.

“There’s a different mindset going into scoring a movie than making a record because you’re trying to capture the scene without having the music distract you from what you’re looking at,” Bennington said. “We’re trying to capture the emotional quality of the film, so there’s a lack of structure and there aren’t very many parts when compared to radio songs. Also, there are different characters in the movie that require different threads of sounds. So there’s a lot of cool elements we’re working with.”

In early August, Bennington finished recording vocals for a five-song Stone Temple Pilots EP that will come out in the fall. There is no scheduled release date for the follow-up to Linkin Park‘s 2012 album Living Things.

But Bennington insists that regardless of how much fun he has with STP, Linkin Park will remain his main gig. “I love Stone Temple Pilots, but I’m in love with Linkin Park, and that’s a great position to be in,” he said.

Source: Yahoo Music

Linkin Park just joined Steve Aoki onstage during his set at Summer Sonic, they performed a new song, A LIGHT THAT NEVER COMES, fans will be able to unlock the song once they get to a certain level on LP RECHARGE.

Mike answered a few questions about the song “A LIGHT THAT NEVER COMES” (ALTNC) on twitter, I’ve put a few notes below and embedded a few of his tweets see Mike’s twitter feed for the full conversation.
- ALTNC will not be available through iTunes
- ALTNC includes Mike rapping (see the videos above) and an EDM drop
- ALTNC will be available sometime in the future, but not tonight
- ALTNC will not be a part of the next album.



Credits: Mike Shinoda Clan & Linkin Park Mexico

Mike Shinoda recalls band’s early days in the clubs.

Linkin Park‘s attention of late has been on new music, with a new album, LPU 13, reportedly due later this year. The band revealed some of the details in announcing a contest exclusively for LP Underground members, in which the winner can submit a track that could wind up on LPU 13.

Before that, Linkin will take a break from the studio to headline the Sunset Strip Music Fest in L.A. on Saturday. The band will close out a day of music on the iconic part of Sunset that includes the Roxy, the Whisky A Go Go and more bastions of L.A. music lore.

Linkin Park have their own history with those clubs, and Mike Shinoda reflected on that recently with Rolling Stone. “More than three-quarters of our early shows were on Sunset at the Roxy and Whisky,” he said. “I have such vivid memories of playing those shows, promoting those shows, walking around the street handing out fliers or posters or, at that point, giving people cassettes.”

In the spirit of those days, the band went old-school to promote this show, which will see them top a bill that also includes Wale, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Asher Roth, Warren G., Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh, the Last Internationale, Orgy and many more.

“I hand-drew four flyers and went down to Kinko’s myself with Brad [Delson, guitarist] and Dave ["Phoenix" Farrell, bassist],” said Shinoda. “We photocopied them ourselves, cut them up, walked around Hollywood and on campus at UCLA and handed them out to people. We tweeted about it and got some funny reactions – people who thought we were some baby band trying to promote the show, and they were like, ‘Oh yeah, man. You really should go down to the tattoo shop and hand out some flyers.” Others were already diehard fans: “There were people who literally drove up from Anaheim and tracked us down just to say hello and grab a couple of flyers. They’re handmade and hand-copied, and we only made a couple of hundred of them.”

It all takes the band back to the very beginning, like their memorable first set at the Whisky. “Our very first show there we opened up for SX-10, with Sen Dog from Cypress Hill, and System of a Down,” Shinoda recalled. “I remember really vividly that I had seen System play there before.

“It was the era where Incubus played there all the time, System played there quite a bit. And we played our set, which was probably 30 minutes at the time, and it was all friends. Nobody had even heard our music – they were there just to support friends.”

After SX-10 performed, System of a Down’s set was memorable for other reasons, he said. “It turned out that a couple of the guys had smoked weed with Sen backstage and got laid out. They were incapacitated. They were two hours late to start their set because some of them were just, like, unable to function.” On the Strip? We’ll have to take his word for it

Source: Rolling Stone.com

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

A message from Chester from the official mailing list:

Hey guys,

On August 10th I’ll be in Tokyo, with the rest of Linkin Park, headlining the Summer Sonic Festival and you have the chance to meet us there.

To enter, go HERE and COMPLETE ANY ACTION to support Power The World between now and July 31.

Prize Package includes:

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  • Meet & greet experience with Linkin Park

For more info, click HERE.

Take action to help Power The World, and you might win a larger than life experience to meet us in Tokyo.

Good luck,