"There are few directors I trust enough to do a Linkin Park video," the band's DJ and resident director, Joseph Hahn, said Thursday.
Mark Romanek is one of them. On the heels of Johnny Cash's "Hurt," the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Can't Stop" and Audioslave's "Cochise," the acclaimed director is handling Linkin Park's new single, "Faint."
The group shot the clip at the end of April with about 1,000 fans, Hahn said at the Music Video Production Association Awards. Romanek's treatment, based around the "I won't be ignored" portion of the song's chorus, features the band performing and ignoring the cameras and audience until the end of the video.
"We just saw a rough cut of it today and it looks great," rapper Mike Shinoda said at Wednesday's "The Matrix Reloaded" premiere (see "Durst, Bass, Zombie, 'Matrix' Cast Turn Out For 'Reloaded' Premiere"). "We really wanted to throw people a curve ball. ... I think it's different for us, and it's a lot of live action — very little [computer generated imaging] — and it's real exciting."
Hahn, who took a break from directing to focus on preparing for Linkin Park's Summer Sanitarium Tour show, said the "Faint" clip takes the opposite direction of his "Somewhere I Belong" and "In the End" videos, which portray a fantasy world based on the DJ's paintings. "But it's something that's going to be just as cool," he said.
Following in the footsteps of Romanek ("One Hour Photo"), Jonas Ackerland ("Spun") and other video-directors-turned-filmmakers, Hahn is reading scripts, searching for the right project to make his big screen debut. "I'll do fantasy, comedy, anything," he said. "As long as it's a good story."
While Hahn handles Linkin Park's videos, Shinoda oversees the band's music, particularly after songs are recorded. The MC orchestrated last year's Reanimation remix album, and while he's not sure if the entire Meteora will get the remix treatment, he's working on new versions of a few tracks.
"We do have collaborations," Hahn said. "We can't tell you what they are at this point, but we do have some coming up and they're going to be pretty darn yummy."
Reanimation featured new versions of Hybrid Theory tracks with veterans like Jonathan Davis, Aaron Lewis and Jurassic 5's Chali 2Na, along with contributions from Alchemist, Pharoahe Monch and Aceyalone.
"As always, we try to keep our ears out for new music, and whenever something really perks our attention, we want to make conscious efforts to get in touch with people and reach out and bring some new music out to the surface," Shinoda added.
Most important on Linkin Park's agenda, though, is putting together a good show for their traveling festival with Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Deftones and Mudvayne (see "Metallica/ Limp Bizkit/ Linkin Park Tour Itinerary Takes Shape").
"I think one thing that's gonna be great about the summer tour is that all five bands are looking to bring their A game," bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell said Wednesday. "And everyone's excited about the lineup and everyone's excited about trying to outdo the other bands on it. For us, it's growing up."
"It's kind of like a friendly competition kind of thing," Shinoda expanded. "I mean, we all love one another's bands and at the same time, we want to play better than everyone else, you know. And I know all the bands feel that way."
Linkin Park attended "The Matrix Reloaded" premiere to catch their song "Session" in the movie's ending credits (see " 'Matrix Reloaded' LP To Feature Dave Matthews Remix, Linkin Park, Manson").
"It's actually an instrumental song, which is really unusual," Shinoda said. "We were really excited to be able to put that kind of song in the movie, and it starts off the soundtrack as well, so it's a great thing."