Brad Delson of Linkin Park on A Thousand Suns and the advice he'd give to his young self
Linkin Park does not need an introduction. From Hybrid Theory to their newest album, A Thousand Suns, LP has continued to progress and grow as a band, giving its eager fan-base something to look forward to with every new release. In advance of the band's show this Saturday, February 26 at the Pepsi Center, We snagged a few minutes with guitarist Brad Delson recently for a quick chat about the current tour, the impact of the new album and just what he would tell circa 1999 Brad Delson, if given the opportunity.
Westword: Where are you right now?
Brad Delson: I am in New York. We just did some shows here on the East Coast and now just waiting for the next one.
I read that a couple shows out there had to get cancelled? Is Chester doing alright now?
He got really sick, but I think he's doing better today. He was severely under the weather, and because of that, we had to cancel some shows. We hate cancelling shows, and it's a rare thing, but hopefully, we are on track now.
What is this tour all about and what is Projekt Revolution?
The tour is going great! It's a headlining tour promoting A Thousand Suns, and we kind of took it abroad for the better part of last year. So this is our first, proper state-side tour. Going abroad allowed us to work any kinks out and really get ready for a coast to coast tour. Projekt Revolution is more of a festival style music show, very eclectic and with a lot of bands. We just announced a Projekt Revolution for Helsinki in June. For the upcoming stops in the states, we only have one opening band, and that's The Prodigy.
What can be expected for this tour?
Some bands abandon older songs, but we feel like when people come to see us, we want to give them a broad range of everything we have in our catalog. We'll try to weave old stuff in with the new in a way that represents who we are today. With the transitions, its finding different ways to get into or out of songs. Also, video content is a big part of our show, so hopefully, it is all contextualized in a way that speaks to who we are in 2011. First and foremost, we are going to try rock.
A Thousand Suns has a much different sound, one referred to as "conceptual," compared to previous albums. What goal was in mind during production?
There were no preconceived notions with this record. It is meant to be represented as an album, not just a collection of songs. We've always been inspired by records from artists like Pink Floyd and The Who, that deliver the "album" feeling. I think A Thousand Suns grapples with technology and humanity. It is very technological in a sense, but with songs like "The Messenger," it's about as organic as it gets.
How do you think the album has been received by your fans?
Ultimately, when you put out a record, you can't control how people react because everyone brings their own experience. That's what cool about art, though, it's a connection between the persons that made it and the person enjoying it. The thing we can control is the quality of the work. We spent two years on this album, and everything that is included on it represents something from all six us. Seven including Rick Ruben. At that point, you put it out there and see what happens.
And how are things going with Music For Relief?
Music for Relief is an organization we helped start after the tsunami tragedy in South-Asia, and it's remained active in providing support and assistance to other catastrophes world-wide. They've been very active, and we are very satisfied, with the Haiti disaster, as well as their response to Hurricane Katrina.
On a personal note, what would 2011 Brad Delson say to 1999 UCLA graduate Brad Delson?
Expect the unexpected and hold on for the ride. When I finished college, I was geared towards a more traditional path, like law, or business. I played music as a hobby and never really had any professional aspirations for it, but when I saw where it could go, I took the risk and went with it. That risk has been rewarding, and I am very appreciative and grateful for to everyone who has helped me.
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