Linkin Park Talk ‘Experimentation And Failure’ On New Album: ‘We Didn’t Take Easy Route’



Mike Shinoda and Brad Delson have given a new update in studio this week about their latest Linkin Park project. They answer some fan questions and discuss the recording processes. Linkin Park’s last release was The Hunting Party, their 6th album, released in 2014.


Transcribed from Linkin Park’s SoundCloud podcast:

Q: The biggest challenge of recording this album?

Mike: A challenge has been we approached the process differently.

Brad: Our process is backwards, or actually it’s right side up.

Mike: We usually do things backwards and this time we’re not doing it backwards.

Brad: There’s a certain discomfort in doing things the right way…for our band, we’ve talked to folks here a lot about our typical process and we really turned it on its head this time. Mike and I were talking yesterday…did we break down the fourth wall? To whom am I speaking here? Is there a fourth wall in podcasts?

Mike: I think you’re good. What were we talking about yesterday?

Brad: Well just that we took on a new challenge by flipping our script. There’s a certain amount of experimentation and failure, essentially trial and error that’s baked into this process. We’ve made so many records and we clearly know how to make a record and we definitely didn’t take the easy way out this time. I think that we just dove straight into the fray of inspiration and its yielded really interesting substance, finding the destination is definitely a journey. We kind of have a sense of the path and we’re finding our way there. We were just talking about the kind of stamina that goes along with that because the songs are shaping up so well, we just want them to be as phenomenal when we share them with you oh listeners out there in the podcast world as we imagine them in our heads.

Mike: [reads next question] What has been your favorite part of the process and why? You alluded to the difference to this and what we usually do. What we usually do is a little more like track-driven in the process, the track, like the music of the song comes together early and ultimately has to evoke the vocals. The music inspires the vocal to some degree and in this, in this process, doing it the other way around; vocals came first, and the chords and the tempos, but nothing else is there, it almost opens up this Pandora’s box of possibilities where you can make any kind of track you want.

Brad: It’s the ultimate paradox of choice right?

Mike: Yeah, I think of my favorite parts so far as been when you do find that sound, that stylistic presentation of a song, all it takes is maybe a sound or a couple of sounds when they come together-that’s really unique, that’s really different.

Brad: For me, it always jumps out as ‘it sounds like the song’, oh that was the thing that just revealed itself, and we’re on that journey now.

Excerpts about the large studio:

Mike: If you’re following us on Instagram or Snapchat or something you probably know we changed studios. The other control room was maybe 2, 300 feet, this one’s a gajillion feet.

Brad: We needed more studio space to explore.

Mike: It’s like working in an airplane hanger.

Mike: One thing that we’re doing now that was a driver into this decision to switch studios was that we wanted to get…I wanted to get a lot of live drums. We’d been doing a lot of programming, program-y based stuff and it was time to start outing some roomy sounding live instruments.

On songwriting:

Brad: We’ve had a lot of collaborators and as much as we know how to approach songwriting, everybody does it differently so being able to like sit with someone and kind of pour ourselves into their process has been really exciting.

Mike: The people that we’re collaborating with aren’t artists that you know, whose albums that you bought-they’re songwriters, often times they write songs for people like that. The idea, that at any point in any career, you can never know everything, so the idea of picking the brain of somebody whose done it for many years, whose done music that I personally like, and we get together and neither one of us takes the reigns and runs off with it, we all get together and generally you and I and a collaborator would get together…

Brad: Just reaching out to people whose work we love, and finding out, oh, there’s so many different ways to start a song, many of which were pretty unfamiliar to us. I mean the idea of starting a song, I mean just with a concept and words and have it flow from that, the music coming last is so different, and for me, it’s a totally valid way to write a song.

Within the 25-minute update, they also mention the album is still untitled.

Check out the podcast yourself:

Linkin Park also give album updates on Facebook: