David Marchese of recently conducted an interview with Mike Shinoda, LINKIN PARK's resident rapper and sonic mastermind. An excerpt from the chat follows below. Tell us about the new album.

Shinoda: Well, Rick Rubin is producing it. I'd say we're about halfway done. I'm really happy with what we have so far. We're having a ton of fun in the studio. We really want to do something special and unique for the next record — we want to redefine the band. I feel like on "Hybrid Theory" we wanted to introduce ourselves to the world with a certain sound. Then on [2003's] "Meteora" we were trying to show that we weren't a fluke and we could do the sound that made us successful a second time. By the time we got to [2007's] "Minutes to Midnight", we wanted to break down that sound and go outside its confines. Now that we've done that, we feel like we can do anything. Can you describe any of the songs?

Shinoda: That would be really hard for me to do. I have a tough time doing that. But I can say that it sounds brand new. The thing is, there are so many different ways to make music these days with virtual instruments, software applications, physical instruments, and computer programs. Then when you get in the position of being able to use almost any of it — that's what we did on "Minutes to Midnight". We wanted to play with as many instruments and sounds as we could. But on the new record, now that we have a sense of everything that's available to us, we can reel it in a bit and focus on just the things that we like, which so far is turning out to mean music that is more beat-driven and has a keyboard and drum machine kind of feel.

Read the entire interview at


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