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Published:February 19th, 2008 16:38 EST
Interview with Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park

Interview with Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park

By Jessica Baird

Innovation is nothing new for Linkin Park, the hard rock band behind such mega-selling albums as 2000`s Hybrid Theory, and 2003`s Meteora. Currently, the band is on the road in support of their most recent release, Minutes to Midnight. In a phone interview with band members Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda, it`s clear that the genre-bending band is ready to rock an arena near you.

It`s going to be fun for us to get back into arenas and really take advantage of our production elements and the sound quality that that brings, " said Bennington, the band`s frontman.

A majority of the performances are going to be performed in the round, with fans surrounding the band on all sides.  This set-up is new for the band, and will bring them even closer to their rabid fans.

In addition to this more intimate set-up, fans will have the added bonus of retrieving their concert experience in their e-mail inbox. The band is offering a digital souvenir package which fans can purchase while buying their tickets. Bennington and Shinoda each discussed their excitement for this new take-home-concert concept.

You go to the show, enjoy that, come home, and in your inbox you`ll have a link to the MP3s of our set from the show you went to, " Bennington said.

We actually put a lot of attention on our live show this time around, ever since we came out of the studio, we were really excited about different ways we could keep the show fresh, " said Shinoda, backing vocalist and multi-instrumentalist in the band.

The digital souvenir package isn`t the only thing that`s got Linkin Park ready to rock. The band is also excited about playing songs off their newest album. An album, which Bennington explained, was not only a labor of love, but also a time for the band to venture into uncharted territory with legendary producer Rick Rubin.

We had a lot of records sold behind us, [and] we kind of knew that we were in a special position, " Bennington said. This was our chance. We saw that moment and we seized it. We took the time, and we exhausted every avenue. We blazed new paths and tried new things. I think Minutes to Midnight speaks for itself because of that. "

The band`s desire to "blaze new paths` helped launch Minutes to Midnight to No. 1 on Billboard`s Top 200. The album also reached No. 1 in 32 other countries, and has since been certified platinum in 19 countries. The band`s staggering success is not lost on Bennington.

I think people are opening up to the idea that we are a band that`s not afraid of extending ourselves and spreading our wings and pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable for us, " Bennington said. Our fans, they stick with us through this process, and it`s pretty awesome. "

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