While working under great pressure to complete a follow-up to their multiplatinum Hybrid Theory, studio shenanigans went straight to the Linkin Park's heads.
During the recording sessions for Meteora, due March 25, singers Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda, guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Darren "Phoenix" Farrell, DJ Joseph Hahn, and drummer Rob Bourdon had a competition to see who could grow the most convincing mullet. They documented their hair growth on the "Linkin Park TV" episodes on their Web site.
"We had $180 stashed away from a show we did a really long time ago," said Bourdon, who added that the mental anguish of the competition wasn't really worth the prize. "A few of us didn't make it to the end because we couldn't stand it so we cut it all off. But Brad and Phoenix actually made it to the end and Brad took the prize and the mullet contest."
The first single from Meteora, "Somewhere I Belong," goes to radio at the end of the month. The song features angst-riddled lyrics about not fitting in: "What do I have other than negativity/ I can't believe the way everyone is looking at me ... / I wanna heal, I wanna feel/ I got close to something real/ I wanna find something I wanted all along/ Somewhere I belong."
The mid-tempo song is driven by a pugnacious rap-rock verse and a layered melodic chorus — not a surprise from a band that's perfected the formula. But as with many songs on the disc, "Somewhere I Belong" hints at the band's desire to grow. It has a psychedelic intro that sounds like backward accordion fragments and builds to roaring guitar chords.
"The [origin of the] sample you hear in beginning [is really interesting]," Bourdon said. "Chester played that on acoustic guitar, then Mike took what he did and cut it up into four different pieces and kind of reversed it. Then he cut it up even more and changed the order of the chords."
Linkin Park shot a video for the song last month in Los Angeles. Hahn, who directed the clip for Reanimation's "Pts.Of.Athrty," was behind the camera again (see "Linkin Park Discuss Meteora, Plan Surreal Video"). Dreamy and surreal, the clip depicts what Bennington sees after he falls asleep and enters a bizarre dream world filled with images of mechanical robots and more flames than a barbecue pit.
"When we were filming it, there was a flame behind my back and I thought I was going to light on fire I was so hot," Bourdon said. "Before it was shot, they were telling me which way to go in case I caught on fire. They said I wasn't supposed to run, I was supposed to drop on the ground and they were gonna hose me off. Joe likes to put us in danger."
In early April, Linkin Park will launch the Projekt Revolution 2003 tour with Xzibit, Mudvayne and Blindside in tow. Last year's initial Projekt Revolution tour featured Linkin Park, Cypress Hill, Adema and DJ Z-Trip (see "Linkin Park Announce Dates For Projekt Revolution Tour"). On July 4, the band will start the Summer Sanitarium tour, which also features Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Deftones and Mudvayne (see "Metallica/ Limp Bizkit/ Linkin Park Tour Itinerary Takes Shape").
Confirmed cities for Project Revolution tour, according to Warner Bros.:
- Rochester, NY
- State College, PA
- Memphis, TN
- New Orleans, LA
- El Paso, TX
- Albuquerque, NM
- Tucson, AZ
- Phoenix, AZ
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Boise, ID
- Spokane, WA
- Billings, MO
- Rapid City, SD
- Omaha, NE
- Wichita, KS
- Little Rock, AK