CAMDEN, New Jersey — An hour before Less Than Jake are scheduled to take the Projekt Revolution main stage, the second stage is rocking hard. Canadian punk band No Warning are blasting through songs like "Over My Shoulder" and "Short Fuse" with no time to waste and no energy to spare. As one melodic pile driver segues into the next, the crowd grows and grows until several hundred people are watching the band and bouncing along.
Originally, No Warning were booked for the first three weeks of the tour, but they've been so well-received that Linkin Park have asked them to stay on for the rest of the trek, which ends September 5 in Mountain View, California. Of course, being the first band signed to Linkin Park's Machine Shop label might have played a small role in that decision.
Bringing No Warning on Projekt Revolution is part of Linkin Park's strategy to build a buzz for the band before releasing its yet-untitled new disc on August 28, and it epitomizes the Park's strategy for supporting the groups they sign in a grass-roots fashion before their records hit the streets.
"We love these guys," Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda said. "The rock world needs something that's as heavy, melodic and passionate as they are. They come from the hardcore world, and they're not f---ing around. They're serious about what they do, and they can be really angry with their music, which is so heavy. But at the same time, there's something that sticks with you about it, whether it be the riffs or the lyrics."
Linkin Park discovered No Warning after some mutual friends handed DJ Joseph Hahn a demo of the band. After playing it for his bandmates, everyone agreed that releasing the explosive punk outfit's new album would be a great way to introduce the world to Machine Shop, which will be distributed through the label's parent company, Warner Bros.
Unlike many established artists who are given vanity labels so they can go play A&R man, Linkin Park's members are taking their roles as record-label execs very seriously. In addition to signing acts, Shinoda says his band has recruited artists for development deals, in which Linkin Park finance and coordinate the recording of an act's demo before putting it in the studio to record a proper album.
"Our label is geared more toward the artists' interests, not [the interests of] a bunch of suits sitting behind desks telling artists how they should sell records," Shinoda said. "Although we want to be able to get their music out to a mass audience, we definitely want to focus on the creative first and foremost to make sure that it's an art-driven label."