Linkin Park’s ‘The Catalyst’ Video All About Contradiction

The clip conveys 'something can be beautiful or it can be destructive,' Mike Shinoda tells MTV News.

Linkin Park’s much-discussed A Thousand Suns will finally see the, uh, light of day on September 14, bringing to close a nearly two-year process that saw the band push themselves in ways they never thought possible.

And, as is the case with most grand projects, things were still being worked out up until the very last minute. Case in point: The video for the album’s first single, “The Catalyst,” which the band shot back in June. In keeping with tradition, the clip was directed by the band’s DJ, Joseph Hahn, but aside from who would be sitting in the director’s chair, there were still plenty of details to sort out including just what they were going to call the song itself.

“We are deciding the title as we speak,” LP’s Mike Shinoda told MTV News on the set of the video back in June. “We came in with a title in mind, and changed our minds, and probably by the end of the day, we’ll have a new name for the song.”

And while they were still unsure of the song’s title a few months ago, the boys knew exactly the kind of emotions they wanted to convey in its video. Much like the album itself, they were gunning for big, often-contradictory themes: power and grace, destruction and salvation, ugliness and beauty.

“The concept to the video: It kind of comes from the idea of, like, if you could imagine when nuclear fission was invented, or a moment in time when something can be used for positive or negative,” Shinoda said. “Something can be beautiful or it can be destructive. Or even, you know, if you’ve ever seen a dangerous fire from far away, it’s devastating up close, but from far away, it can be beautiful. Those are the kind of themes that run throughout the album, and they’re also themes that you see in the video.”

“The Catalyst” video premieres at midnight August 25 (technically, the 26th) on MTV.com and VH1.com, and then on MTV, VH1, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits, MTV Tr3s and all MTV international territories at 8 p.m. ET/PT on August 26.

Are you looking forward to seeing what kind of video Linkin Park created? Tell us in the comments!