November 20, 2007
The New Straits Times
Radin Sri Ghazali speaks to the lads of Linkin Park before their mega concert in Singapore.
RAP-metal sextet Linkin Park entertained reporters from across the globe in Singapore for an hour, giving a taste of their highly anticipated concert in the region.
Group members Mike Shinoda (MC/keyboardist/guitarist), Chester Bennington (vocalist), Brad Delson (guitar), Dave Phoenix Farrell (bassist), Joe Hahn (turntables) and Rod Bourdon (drummer) may have looked tired from their travels but there were plenty of jokes and laughs during the interview.
“It is impolite to refuse drinks from the band,” joked Farrell as this reporter declined his offer to eat and drink.
Only after accepting a bottle of mineral water did the interview proceed. Clearly Farrel and Delson were not in a serious mode to answer any technical question regarding their third studio album Minutes To Midnight.
Questions regarding the major evolution of their music (from nu metal/rap rock to mainstream rock and even some rap) went unanswered.
“We do not choose the music, the music chooses us,” answered Farrel with a laugh.
“We want our fans to like our music and hopefully what we have done in Minutes To Midnight will be accepted by our fans,” he said. The album sold 600,000 copies in its first week of release.
Nevertheless, the band's latest offering received mixed reviews from fans and critics.
“Our fans are like a box of chocolates. There will be different reactions, we anticipated that. But one thing's for certain — we don’t make the same music twice. We tend to look for something challenging for us,” said Farell.
Both Farell and Delson simply could not help themselves from sharing lead vocalist Bennington's drama the day before the concert.
“We were playing tennis yesterday. I was serving the ball to Chester. Somehow the ball and his racquet hit his face,” said Delson (laughter from Farrell).
Bennington who suffered a wrist injury during their concert in Australia, suffered mild injuries to the hand and lips.
“We sent him to the emergency ward and he received four stitches on his lips. As soon as we get back to the States, he is planning to see the orthodontist to fix his teeth,” said Delson.
The accident-prone Bennington worries his band mates all the time.
“Every time he recovers from one injury, he suffers another. At times, we feel like putting him in a bubble ball,” Delson piped.
Later, an estimated 11,000 fans, mostly adolescents, filled the Singapore Indoor Stadium and enjoyed an unforgettable night. The concert began with No More Sorrow and Lying On You. As the momentum increased, Bennington’s showmanship skyrocketed.
Security became a concern for the band and Shinoda tried to persuade the fans to back away from the barricade.
“We want to avoid any injuries, please,” said Shinoda, during intervals.
As the night progressed, the band's familiar tunes were played — Somewhere I Belong, Papercut and Points Of Authority. Indeed, Shinoda’s rhythmic flow glued the performances that night.
The band also rearranged a few of their tracks.
Breaking The Habit started off mellow, accompanied by Shinoda on the keyboards before bursting into an energetic nu metal sound from the rest of the boys. Bennington and Shinoda gave a gratifying closure with three major hits — OSC, In The End and Bleed It Out.
The band did not need to rely heavily on special effects or the mind-blowing backdrop. Each member exuded their unique individuality and charisma to make the whole concert a dynamic event.
Regardless of what people have to say about the band or its music, Linkin Park has ruled as the biggest-selling rock band since the first album Hybrid Theory in 2000, and its sold-out tours have proved that the band still has a strong legion of fans throughout the world.