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SuicideGirls.com interview with Chester

09 27, 2010 | C的访谈收录

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SuicideGirls.com interview with Chester


Nicole Powers: Congratulations on the new album.
Chester Bennington: Thank you.


SuicideGirls.com interview with Chester


Nicole Powers: Congratulations on the new album.
Chester Bennington: Thank you.
NP:It’s kind of weird, because when you came on the scene you were known as this pop/rock/rap hybrid combo, but you’ve gone somewhere very different with this album.
CB:We decided that we were not comfortable falling back on the things that were obvious in terms of the way that we write music. Stylistically and creatively when the natural obvious thing is to go with big heavy guitars on the chorus, then let’s not do that. Let’s go do something else and see if we can still achieve that energy without using all of our old tricks.
NP:In 2008 you announced that this fourth release was going to be a concept album. Is that still the case for you?
CB:We kicked around the idea of making a concept record and that was something that seemed like it would be challenging and it would create an album that could be recognized as something that should be listened to as a whole. That was something that was interesting to us.

When we started writing, we went into the studio and we were like, okay, let’s not think about song structures. Let’s not think about things that we always think about. Let’s not run it through our song mill, so to speak. Let’s just let things flow and be free. So when we threw the rule book out, then the idea of the concept record now felt like we put ourselves creatively in a box.

The appealing thought of making a concept record became unappealing, because now all of a sudden we have to write all these songs about one specific story. That limited us in our minds too much creatively. So what we did is we decided to focus on creating sounds that were interesting to us, that were different…and just let the songs become the songs that they want to become.

Interestingly enough, lyrically and sonically, we started noticing that there was a very political, very social, very spiritual theme happening in all these songs. They all seemed to work really well together and something was happening. When we started putting the album together at the end, finding the right line-up for the album, all of a sudden we found the magical sequence…It really felt like we had created the concept record that we had intended to do in the first place but without forcing ourselves to write it about a specific theme or story.

And there’s definitely a clear visual and creative purpose behind this album. I actually wanted to only put it out as one track, and not separate the album into segments, or into different songs or whatever. I thought it would be fun to put it out as one 48-minute track.
NP:Right. I was chatting to one of your bandmates backstage, and he was saying that you got to a point where if you made a change on the record, you’d actually listen to the whole thing again from the start, so it made the production process very laborious. He was joking that it would have been great if you’d been on drugs.
CB:Yeah. That was one of our conversations early on in the album’s process; Let’s look at records from the past that we feel are conceptually sound. Maybe not necessarily thematically, for example, not like Tommy. Not a rock opera. But, albums that gave you a clear vision of what the band is about, and [albums that make you want] to listen from beginning to end because it’s an experience. [Music that] takes you out of the real world, takes you to a different place, and sounds like the band is taking the best drugs ever. We were like, how do we make a record that makes you feel like you’re escaping? Like you’re getting out of yourself, almost like being on drugs for example. We wanted to make a record that did that. We wanted to make a record that was a multi-sensory experience.
NP:What do you hope people take away from this?
CB:What I really hope that people come away from this record feeling about the band is that we’re not afraid to take chances. We’re not afraid to push ourselves. We’re not afraid to challenge our fans by doing something different. You know, we’re willing to put our balls on the line and really try to make art, and, not make hit radio songs that are catchy and jingle-y. That’s all great too, but we don’t want to repeat ourselves and we don’t want to continue to just write music for the sake of writing music because we can be successful at it. We want to make music that feels like it’s important and is artistic and substantial. Whether we do that or not, that’s for other people who listen to it to decide.
NP:Well I honestly think that you’ve achieved that - absolutely and categorically. I was blown away by the show the other night (see photo gallery). The laser show that you did, you could almost tour with that and not even get up on stage. It was that damn good.
CB:We actually joked about that. We were like, that was fun, let’s just send the record out with that, and we could stay home with the kids. I think ultimately, where I’d like to go, is to take things like that experience and incorporate them into our live show. For the past 10 years, the energy of the band and the music has been what people come to see. It’s not the big, grand light show, or the circus act that’s happening around us. We definitely want to up the ante this time. We want to really bring a show that feels good and looks great. And these kinds of things, like the laser light show with our album, are just little things that we do to help inspire us to take our live performances to another level. I would love to bring some type of prism glasses and lasers to our show and really give people a chance to get out of their selves and experience the record in a three-dimensional kind of way.
NP:Well I definitely hope people get to experience what I got to experience the other night. That was just phenomenal. How did the concept for it come about?
CB:Well interestingly enough, no one in the band had seen any of that stuff before we got there that night. It was just as much a surprise to us as it was to anybody there. I was talking to our manager, and I said I would really like to do something special for this album. He came back with, “You know those Pink Floyd laser light shows? What if we did something like that? I said, “Make it fuckin’ happen dude.”
NP:So, what’s in the immediate future for Linkin Park?
CB:We’re going to be going to South America, performing five shows down there. And we’re off to Europe and Australia, New Zealand until the end of the year. Then, after the holidays are over, we’re coming back to do the US and Canada, and then out to Asia, then back to Europe and then back to the US, and, hopefully hit some other places as well.
NP:How dare you drop the album and then make us wait for the shows. You tease!
CB:I know, it’s hard. One of the things that’s a blessing and curse is that we’ve become a band that has a lot of fans all over the world, and the world is a really big place. The United States has had a lot of Linkin Park, and there’s a lot of places outside the US that really haven’t had us very much, South America is one of those places. We’re playing Abu Dhabi - we’ve never been there. We’re playing in Tel Aviv, we’ve never played there. We’d like to get down to South Africa, play there. There’s a lot of places that we haven’t gone. We haven’t even really played Canada very often. There’s a lot of places that we want to hit on this round. I think by the time we come back to the US with our show, we’ll be in a really good place in terms of visually and how we’re going to be incorporating more of the new album. And people will be more familiar with the album at that time, so I think it will be better for us to hold off a little bit and come back when we’re just kickin’ ass and ready to go.
NP:With this record I kind of want you to do one of those tours where you do the album in it’s entirety.
CB:Oh totally. I’m with you 100%…I think that’s something that could happen in the future for sure. I think once people listen to the album and they can absorb it for a little while, and really feel what it’s all about and where it could go, then I think at that at that point we could definitely come back and say, “Okay, we’re going to put together a really beautiful show, visually, that encapsulates the vibe of the record, that really captures the energy of the record, and come out and do that, and maybe come back for the encore and play eight or nine hits.
NP:I can’t believe that I’m actually encouraging an artist to do a tour without playing the hits, but this album is that good.
CB:Thank you. But, you’re right. You’re right on. You’re preaching to the converted. I’m with you 100%. Like, I only want to play the new stuff. I love it. I think that it’s going to push us as a band to become better live and challenge ourselves in that way. But at the same time, it is a new record and it is going to be challenging for a lot of our fans to wrap their heads around going from Hybrid Theory…
NP:To The Dark Side of the Moon.
CB:Exactly. I think once people can live with it, and digest it, and process it in a way that gives them the time they’re going to need, there will be a time when we can come back and do something special with this album and play it in it’s entirety.
NP:When you’re out on the road, what are the essential things that you take out with you to kill the time and make it work?
CB:Well for the first six or seven years of our career it was a huge bag of weed, some cigarettes, Jack Daniels and a barbeque. That was what I needed to get myself through. Now that I’m getting older and I’m falling apart, piece by piece, the things that make the biggest difference are bringing my family out with me and having my connection with my kids and my wife. The really important things in life like that - not missing out on those milestones in my kid’s lives. I think that’s important. I like to stay connected that way.

I have a very mundane routine. I wake up, I eat breakfast, I work out, I go run. I get on a plane to fly to the show, do an interview, rock my ass off, come back, and get stretched out and worked out before I go to bed. I do that every day. Then I get up early and do fun things with my kids when they come out. When they’re not there, I just kind of go into ‘take care of myself so that I can play the best show I can’ mode - which is no more big bags of weed and no more Jack Daniels. I quit smoking four years ago, and now I work out and run. I feel like I kind of flipped the role of what it means to be a rock star on myself.
NP:In the same way that the album is more than the sum of it’s parts, I always think that a band is more than the sum of the individual members. You’ve had a fairly stable line up since ‘99. What do you do to preserve the relationships within the band and keep it all working?
CB:I think that we’re all pretty sensitive guys. I think there’s a good golden rule kind of vibe in our band. We don’t treat each other with disrespect. At least we try not to, for the most part. I think 98 percent of the time we’re very respectful of each other. We can take criticism. If somebody doesn’t like something, rather than yelling, “This fucking sucks! Get rid of it,” we can talk about what it needs to be better. Communication is key.

We respect each other’s private lives and we try to encourage family, children, wives, and girlfriends to be around and be involved. We need the road to be the place for the family or else we’re not going to make it, because we need that as people. We need that connection with ourselves for our souls and our hearts and our minds to be able to withstand the 22-hours a day that we don’t like about touring. We want to be able to be creative and work with each other, and write, and tour, and find balance with family. We’re all on the same page in terms of that. I think that’s the key. We know that we can push ourselves because we like to work. But we also know that it’s important sometimes to pull the reigns back and give a little bit back to the people that support us most.
NP:Aside from playing new and different places on this tour, are there any outstanding goals that you have for this band?
CB:Yes. We definitely want to put more records out, quicker. We would like to put a record out every year. But, given the nature of the business, touring is the business now, so you can’t sit in the studio all year round.

We’re going to basically take the studio on the road with us, and we’ll be working on new music as we’re touring. And during our down time between tours we’ll be popping in and out of the studio, working on the next record. I think that by doing so, hopefully we can get records out within every couple of years rather than every three to four years like we have been. That’s something that I’d like to see happen.

Also, with A Thousand Suns being the way it is, I really feel like its time for us to jump into the visually appealing shows, that aesthetically and artistically are much more intricate and involved than our past ‘let’s put a video screen behind us with some art and a Linkin Park backdrop.’ That’s cool, and it’s worked very well for us until now. I think we’ve done a good job live. It’s what we’re known for. Now it’s time to take that to a whole new level. I’d like to see us accomplish that too.

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