Talk about a clash of the titans. When Linkin Park kicks off its joint Carnivores Tour with Thirty Seconds to Mars on August 8 it will be an epic meet-up between LP's rabid Underground fan club and 30STM's notoriously intense Echelon. And, to celebrate, they have an equally epic new video to help get things off the ground (more on that later).
If you ask LP producer/songwriter/rapper Mike Shinoda, the bands' first road trip together should be pretty epic. "Their fans are similar, but also a bit different because our style, especially on the new record, tends to be a bit heavier and more aggressive because of the mindspace we were in [when we were] writing it, which carries over to the show," said Shinoda of the group's guitar-heavy The Hunting Party album.
Is This Even Going To Work?
The two bands have shared a bill before and Shinoda said he learned a lesson about underestimating Thirty Seconds frontman Jared Leto's chops. "I walked in a little skeptical, figuring he’s an actor and he's got this new album and band," Shinoda said of a gig LP played when 30STM were touring on their self-titled 2002 debut. "I didn't take it very seriously and then I saw Jared singing and watched some of his show and realized that they're very talented and passionate about it."
That passion stuck with him and when the idea came up to tour together Shinoda thought the pairing was perfect. While LP took a bit of a turn away from their hip-hop-inspired sound on The Hunting Party, Shinoda promised fans that they would get the full experience during the shows. "We're really excited to play the new material," he said. "The show is simultaneously more technologically advanced and also more raw than any live show we've ever done... There's so much deep integration of the sampled elements... but there's also a freedom to be more improvisational."
Trust Me And Just Go With It, Okay?
Speaking of freestyling, Shinoda said the just-released video for "Final Masquerade" definitely pushed the group out of their comfort zone. "On our last few videos [turntablist] Joe Hahn has directed them, but Joe wanted to take a break and the idea of working with [acclaimed director] Mark [Pellington] was Joe's suggestion," he said.
And though they are used to Hahn's clearly laid-out video treatments, like the atypically loose, jamming vibe in the studio during the The Hunting Party sessions, Pellington came to the dusty Los Angeles set of the "Masquerade" video with a more abstract mindset. "Mark's spectacular and the body of work he's created speaks for itself," said Shinoda of such landmark videos as Pearl Jam's "Jeremy." "When we sat down with him he said he'd just gone through some personal stuff and the song really connected with him."
But, because Shinoda is a stickler for concrete ideas, when Pellington came back with 10 pages of abstract thoughts and notes for the clip, it required a serious leap of faith to just go with it. "There was nothing concrete in the treatment and you could have picked any one or a handful of the ideas and made a video," he said of the moody video with a series of ominous, post-apocalyptic scenes. "When we were shooting on that day he said he was going to follow his gut and find the best stuff."
In the end, Shinoda said he really connected with what Pellington came up with, especially the shots featuring a crying baby, since many of the band's members are now parents. In fact, one of the most striking images -- a band of figures wearing white Hazmat-style suits who leap off a ledge and lay motionless on the ground -- was made up of production assistants hired to man the smoke machines and fans who Pellington pressed into action on the fly. "I really ended up connecting with some of the imagery," Shinoda said.