Mike Shinoda Says ‘No New Linkin Park Album In 2006 After All’

Despite his pre-summer announcement, band still in studio with Rick Rubin narrowing down 30-50 songs.

Remember back in May, when Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda told MTV News that his band was well on the way to being finished with its new album, and that the LP would definitely hit stores this year?

Well, it looks like he may have gotten a bit ahead of himself (see “Mike Shinoda Says Linkin Park Halfway Done With New Album” ), because Shinoda is now telling fans that there will definitely not be a new Linkin Park album in 2006.

“We’re still working on it. We’ve narrowed it down to about 30-50 songs,” Shinoda informed LP fan club members last week. “Originally, we thought we’d have an album out by the end of this year, but at this point we don’t see that happening. We’re doing really well, but we just need a little more time.”

Shinoda went on to say that the new album, which he is co-producing with famed (and epically bearded) knob twiddler Rick Rubin (see “Linkin Park Say They’re Going To ‘Break Outside The Box’ With Rick Rubin” ), sounds “older, but not vintage,” includes a few songs recorded without samples and boasts a variety of up- and down-tempo numbers. He said there are no plans to collaborate with any outside artists on the project, unlike 2004′s Grammy-winning “mash-up” project with Jay-Z, Collision Course.

Shinoda also added that neither he nor Rubin have any idea just how many of those songs will make the final cut. Which is part of the fun, apparently.

“This is the most fun I have ever had recording an LP album,” Shinoda said. “Rick Rubin is a great coach — he just keeps us pointed in the right direction, and we push as hard as we can. Our music tastes are so eclectic, it’s fun to work together. The styles we’re mixing right now are all over the place. We’ve really been pushing things outside the box. But like my Fort Minor album — it’s a hip-hop album, but a lot of the stuff isn’t conventional — the LP album has its own unique sound that still sounds like LP, just different.”

Linkin Park may have already premiered one track from the new album — a barkingly loud number they’ve tentatively dubbed “QWERTY” — at Japan’s massive Summer Sonic festival earlier this month. And despite the fact that footage of the performance is already making its way around YouTube, Shinoda won’t budge on whether or not the song will be included on the album.

“We thought we’d play the new song live to give you a little insight into how things are going,” he said. “But ‘QWERTY’ is actually still in progress. We [wrote] those lyrics on the plane on the way to Japan! I’m not sure if it’ll make the album, but we liked the song enough to play it!”