Remixes are nothing new for Linkin Park ... "Reinterpretations" are. So that's what they're calling the songs on the upcoming RECHARGED album, a collection of dramatically re-worked tracks courtesy of Steve Aoki, Pusha T, Rick Rubin and Tom Swoon (to name just a few) that's exclusively streaming right now on MTV.com.
The new album is most definitely LP's most audacious and adventurous to date. Though, as frontman Chester Bennington explained, he and his bandmates see it as less of a reinvention, and more of a logical extension of the territory they've explored on their last two albums, A Thousand Suns and LIVING THINGS.
"I think any of our songs lend themselves well to being remixed; I think it just comes down to being inspired to do it. There were some moments on the last record, where we kind of felt like we had come full circle," he explained. "We've established this identity of being a genre-less band, and so we figured we could take that even a bit further. We decided to let other artists come in and see where their vibe comes from ... and once we started working with artists like Steve Aoki and some of these EDM guys, it felt like a natural progression."
Truth be told, that progression actually began when Linkin Park released LIVING THINGS, as they offered free remixes to fans who bought the album through their official site. After reaching out to a host of artists, they began stockpiling tracks, some of which finally see the light of day on RECHARGED.
"We were kicking around this idea for a while; there's so much stuff going on all the time, but we always have the desire to do really cool things with the songs, and people kind of expect it now, you know?" Bennington said. "We've encouraged our fans to remix our songs, too. Ever since the beginning of this band, we'd put out LPs that people could go buy and they could mess with Joe [Hahn's] samples; we'd put out A capellas and instrumentals too. We want our fans to play with our music; it's kind of normal for us."
And while Bennington wouldn't say if these "reinterpretations" represent a roadmap of where Linkin Park are headed on the follow-up to LIVING THINGS — they're currently writing songs for a new album — he did say that they the sheer variety of the tracks on RECHARGED do paint a pretty accurate portrait of just how the band creates their songs ... a process that seemingly changes by the minute.
"Writing music in this band is like having a very intimate relationship with a schizophrenic, manic, bi-polar person," he laughed. "One minute, you're having a conversation with a person, the next, everything's changed, and they're throwing knives at you. We skip around like that, you know? I have no f---ing clue where the band is going to go, but I can tell you writing is going very well, and it's a very inspired time right now."