AN INVITATION TO THE HUNTING PARTY – LINKIN PARK TALK NEW ALBUM AND THE CARNIVORES TOUR

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On August 8, Linkin Park will kick off a monumental late-summer tour with Thirty Seconds to Mars and special guests AFI. While the band is making their final preparations to hit the road in support of their new album The Hunting Party, The Rock Revival got on the phone with vocalist Chester Bennington and vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Mike Shinoda to talk about the band’s new record and what fans can expect from their upcoming summer trek.

Linkin Park Hunting PartyBack on June 17, the band released The Hunting Party. The disc debuted at #1 in 67 countries and peaked at #3 on the Billboard Top 200. “When we were making the album, I had a handful of demos that were a little more – they weren’t quite as heavy as this (The Hunting Party),” Shinoda said. “They were a little more electronic-driven, and there was just a day that I was listening; I was looking for something to listen to and I couldn’t find what it was that I wanted. I wanted something more aggressive and heavy and energetic and I just kept finding either stuff that was – you know, there’s another part to it, too.” The album, while containing all the classic Linkin Park elements, is definitely an overall heavier outing for the band. “I wanted it to be modern and progressive, and the only stuff I was finding was if it was modern and progressive, it tended to be a little more mellow. And if it was heavier, it tended to sound more – it tended to not be as progressive. And so, I think we all found that there was just a style that was kind of being under-served that we wanted to hear and that’s what we decided to make.”

Vocalist Chester Bennington adds, “I feel like we have accomplished our goal on this album. I think not only creatively, but personally for the band and also for a lot of our fans. They appreciate what we do, but they’ve kind of been waiting for us to rock out for awhile, and I think they appreciate not only that we did rock out, but in the manner in which we did. I think that they can see that it was crafted in the same manner that we craft everything that we do.” Fans will be getting a good amount of exposure to the new album on The Carnivores Tour. “There’s a healthy dose of the new record in there (the setlist),” Chester said. “I think we’re playing “Final Masquerade”, “Rebellion”. Those are the two that we haven’t played yet. So, there’s a lot of the new record in this upcoming tour, for sure.”

The new album was Linkin Park’s first self-produced studio effort, as well as their first to be recorded in analog. “It’s really great in that it does give the feel of the song,” Bennington says about recording in analog. “It’s like a more live feel. There’s this raw, kind of more prompt and in-your-face attitude about the band when you see us live. Even like our mellower songs; there’s an edge to them that you get in a live performance that kind of Carnivores Tour Linkin parkgets lost in the studio and I think that with this record we’ve captured a lot more of what we’re like live in the sound of the record. And I think that that’s exciting.”

Linkin Park have always been a visually epic band, and that legacy is especially evident in their brand new music video for “Final Masquerade”. The video was helmed by award-winning director Mark Pellington (Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, U2). With this kind of creative display in a music video, the stage show that the band could unleash live on this tour could be unprecedented. “The visuals on The Hunting Party were rooted in a handful of drawings, artwork by an incredible painter named James Jean,” Shinoda states. “I don’t even know where to start as far as how important this guy is or how incredible he is. So, he drew a bunch of stuff for us. In talking with him, we wanted to do something that has never been done with his artwork before and landed on the idea of converting each piece into a 3D sculpture. So, although the sculptures live in the computer, they don’t exist physically yet. Maybe someday they would, but at this point, we’ve got them rendered in 3D art. Our amazing group at Ghost Town did those renders with James and then those built out the basic foundation of the artwork for the album. And that stuff you’ll find that on the t-shirts and the website and you’ll find that in the live visuals as well.”

The live production for this upcoming tour has been very carefully planned by the band and their production team. “It’s not enough to just throw the stuff up there,” Shinoda elaborates. “I mean, you can, but I think that in the context of a live show, it’s really important to have something that lives and breathes with the show. And to some degree, one of the challenges that I posed to the production team was that based on what we decide to do with the show every night, if we decide to play something differently, if we decide to expand the part or whatever we want to do, I want the artwork to change with the performance.” As far as what fans can expect at a show, Mike said, “I’m not going to spoil any surprises as far as how the LED stuff gets, what it’s actually being presented on, or as far as what the stuff actually looks like. You’re going to have to come to the show to see that stuff. We take the live show seriously. It is, in some part of it, it’s as much a piece of art as the music is, so we want it to be compelling and fit with the overall kind of aesthetic of what the band is up to right at this moment.”

Linkin Park exploded onto the nu metal scene in 2000 with the release of their debut LP, Hybrid Theory. The album produced four massive hit singles, and garnered the band their first Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Album. The band won the Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance for the single, “Crawling”. The disc Linkin Park bandwent on to be certified diamond in 2005, and is currently the best-selling debut album of of the 21st century. The band supported the album with relentless touring, including appearances on Ozzfest and Family Values Tour. The band avoided the sophomore slump when their second album, 2003′s Meteora, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. The album spawned an astounding five hit singles, and the band toured the world with support from P.O.D., Story of The Year, and Hoobastank. That summer, Metallica invited Linkin Park to take part in their Summer Sanitarium Tour. Over the next seven years, Linkin Park released two more studio LPs – 2007′s Minutes To Midnight and 2010′s A Thousand Suns. Both records debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and quickly went platinum. In 2012, the band released their latest effort, Living Things. Once again, the band took the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 200. They co-headlined the Honda Civic Tour with Incubus, and played Australia’s Soundwave Festival alongside Metallica, Paramore, Slayer, and others. In addition to the Carnivores Tour, the band is slated to play Download Festival, Rock am Ring, and Rock im Park in Europe. – by Matt Bishop

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Aug. 8 − West Palm Beach, FL (Cruzan Amphitheatre)
Aug. 9 − Tampa, FL (Steinbrenner Field)
Aug. 12 − Charlotte, NC (Verizon Wireless)
Aug. 13 − Bristow, VA (Jiffy Lube Live)
Aug. 15 − Camden, NJ (Susquehanna Bank Center)
Aug. 16 − Mansfield, MA (Comcast Center)
Aug. 18 − Holmdale, NJ (PNC Bank Arts Center)
Aug. 19 − Wantagh, NY (Jones Beach)
Aug. 21 − Buffalo, NY (Darien Lake)
Aug. 23 − Montreal, QC (Parc Jean Drepeau)
Aug. 24 − Toronto, ON (Air Canada Center)
Aug. 26 − St. Paul, MN (Minnesota St. Fair)
Aug. 27 − Winnipeg, SK (MTS Center)
Aug. 29 − Chicago, IL (First Midwest Bank Pavilion)
Aug. 30 − Detroit, MI (DTE Energy Music Theatre)
Sept. 5 − Houston, TX (Cynthia Woods Pavilion)
Sept. 6 − Dallas, TX (Geza Energy Pavilion)
Sept. 8 − Denver, CO (Fiddler’s Green)
Sept. 10 − Phoenix, AZ (US Airways Arena)
Sept. 11 − Irvine, CA (Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre)
Sept. 13 − Quincy, WA (The Gorge)
Sept. 15 − Hollywood, CA (Hollywood Bowl)
Sept. 16 − San Diego, CA (Sleep Train Amphitheatre)
Sept. 18 − Sacramento, CA (Sleep Train Amphitheatre)
Sept. 19 − Concord, CA (Concord Pavilion)

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About Matt Bishop

Welcome to the Revival of rock 'n' roll music. The way you used to hear rock, see rock, and feel rock is going to be shattered into a million pieces, reassembled, and revived. Dive into the realm of rock with interviews, concert coverage, and breaking news that make the music seem real again - in your ears, in your mind, and right in front of your very eyes. You'll feel the cool steel of the guitar strings and the smooth wood grain of the drum sticks right in your hands, all with the echoes of reverb in your head. This is the way rock was supposed to be experienced. Welcome to the Revival of rock 'n' roll music.
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