With the Summer Sanitarium Tour behind them, Linkin Park are heading to Europe for a headlining tour with Adema. Their absence probably won't be felt much in America, since their presence is likely to remain ubiquitous.
Their latest single, "Faint," continues to top radio charts, and once it has run its course the band will issue a third single from Meteora, "Numb," which will probably hit next month.
"Numb" is a slow burner with plinking keyboards that builds with yearning vocals and a roaring chorus. Like most Linkin Park tunes, the lyrics aren't specific but touch on universal teenage feelings of frustration with authority figures.
"One of the things that sparked the idea for the lyrics was how every 15-year-old kid feels when they want to be different from what their parents expect them to be," singer Chester Bennington explained. "When you're born, your parents have certain expectations of what they imagine you becoming, and 99 percent of the time it's completely different from your own goals. So the song is about finding your own self rather than living your life through the eyes of someone else."
Linkin Park shot a video for "Numb" before embarking on Summer Sanitarium, again with DJ Joseph Hahn in the director's chair. Hahn, who also shot "Somewhere I Belong" and "Pts.Of.Athrty," hopes his continued success as a director will allow him to continue shooting videos for Linkin Park and other artists, but his ultimate dream is to become a Hollywood filmmaker.
"Directing, for me, is more of what I like to do, and doing the music is more of an extra thing," he said. "My first love is film, and that's what I was doing before the band took off. I was involved in special effects. And these guys kind of dragged me into this whole music thing. If everything keeps going in the right direction, hopefully I'll have my name up at the front of a movie."
And Hahn is taking steps to make that happen. He's working with a writer to get the film rights to a book he loves, and he's in discussions for other projects. But for now, the latest entry in his filmography revolves around a girl with an overbearing mother.
"It's kind of gothic, but it's not dark," rapper Mike Shinoda said of the "Numb" clip. "There's no father in the picture, and the girl is an artist. She draws and paints and [the video examines] how she interacts with people at school and whatnot."
Footage for "Numb" was shot in Prague in the Czech Republic, where the entire video originally was to be have been shot until plans changed due to Bennington's stomach and back problems (see "Linkin Park's Chester Bennington Hospitalized"). The video was completed in Los Angeles after the singer left the hospital (see "Linkin Park Singer Recovers, Speaks For First Time Since Hospital Admittance").
"Prague is just a beautiful country, which is why I wanted to shoot there," Hahn said. "All the streets are cobblestone, and the architecture is amazing. Every inch you walk, there's some cool molding or sculpture, and there's a different cathedral every other block. But you can't tell that we finished in up in America."
Although Bennington rested for three weeks before the "Numb" shoot, he was still feeling shaky on the set (see "Surgery May Stop Linkin Park Singer From Vomiting While Singing"). Fortunately, the script required mostly tight head shots, so he didn't have to move around when he sang.
"It really captures the emotional aspect of being in the studio rather than the live performance like you see in 'Faint,' " Bennington said.
"To me, the emotions are more in our faces and the expressions rather than the body movement," Shinoda said. "When we're playing live, we're freaking out and it's a really energetic show. When we're recording, we're trying to hold still so we can hit all the notes, so [in the video] you see it more in our faces."