April 8, 2007

Jeff Vrabel of Billlboard magazine recently spoke to the members of LINKIN PARK about the group's new album, "Minutes to Midnight", due on May 15 via, Warner Bros.

"There's still a hip-hop element to us, and there'll always be," LINKIN PARK singer Chester Bennington told Billboard. "But we've really moved away from anything that sounds like nu-metal. I know that we kind of helped create, I guess, the sound of that genre, but I hate that genre. I'm not going to speak for everyone, but I can personally tell you that I am not a big fan of almost everybody in that category. There are a few bands that I don't really believe belong in there, and we're one of those bands."

"Minutes" was assembled during the past year in producer Rick Rubin's Laurel Canyon, California, mansion; you may remember it from such albums as the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS' "BloodSugarSexMagik".

"Rick said, right away, whatever we thought LINKIN PARK fans wanted to hear, whatever we thought we were labeled, whatever we thought we had to write, just to throw it all away. None of it mattered," Bennington recalled.

Rubin also dialed down the band's tendency toward what MC Mike Shinoda called "perfectionism," eschewing overdubs and polishing in favor of a rawer, more live sound. Drummer Rob Bourdon said that after spending weeks tweaking the drum production on one track, he was stunned when Rubin told him to scrap it all and use the demo version instead.

Bennington added, "Around Christmas of last year, I was getting impatient. Like, 'Man, is this thing ever going to end?' But it was definitely worth the time and energy we put into making the album."

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