When [artist id="960856"]Linkin Park[/artist]'s A Thousand Suns debuted at #1 on the Billboard albums chart earlier this month, the band told MTV News that they were "deeply grateful" to their fans for helping them return to the top.
A #1 debut is a #1 debut. But Suns sold just over 240,000 copies in its first week, a far cry from the eye-popping debuts of 2003's Meteora (810,000 copies) or '07's Minutes to Midnight (623,000), which made a few people wonder: Had Linkin Park alienated their audience with their ultra-ambitious new album?
According to LP's Chester Bennington, the answer is no. The way he sees it, the days of the blockbuster album are coming to a close. A Thousand Suns could never match the first-week might of Meteora, or even the prolonged chart-busting success of their debut, Hybrid Theory, in large part because it was released in 2010.
"Trying to compare anything to Hybrid Theory in terms of sales is an exercise in futility: It's not gonna happen. That's the reality of the situation," Bennington told MTV News on Wednesday (September 29) in Los Angeles, where he was promoting his role in the upcoming splatterfest "Saw 3-D."
"With Meteora, that came out, [did] huge numbers the first week, it was like 800,000. Minutes to Midnight was in the 600,000 mark, and this one's at the 240,000 mark; that's a sign of the times. So, given that, the fact that it's #1 is cool, but people get their music in different ways now ... I don't really pay a lot of attention, because there's probably 10 million people out there who have the record that we don't know about."
And, while Bennington could care less about numbers, there is one area of the business that he's positively obsessed with: touring.
Currently, Linkin Park don't have a single U.S. date scheduled (they'll instead hit up South America, and will spend the next two months crossing Europe, the UK, Israel and Australia) ... but that is going to change. Very soon.
"We'll be touring in the U.S. come the end of January; we'll most likely be touring from the end of January until probably the middle of March or into April," Bennington said. "[It's] interesting because we've always kicked off our touring cycles playing in the U.S., but, crazily enough, we've kind of become a worldwide band ... but we're coming back, and it's going to be pretty bad-ass."