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Linkin Park interview: 'Technology has actually allowed us to be more of a band'

Excited for The Carnivores Tour
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Linkin Park is touring with 30 Seconds to Mars and AFI this summer. As it kicks off, many fans will finally get to experience their latest album live for the first time. The Hunting Party was made for Linkin Park's live-show.

Technology has allowed Linkin Park to bring the music they create to the live-stage with little ease and precision. In a roundtable interview with Examiner.com, Mike Shinoda, who is a lead vocalist for Linkin Park, spoke about The Hunting Party, which the band released back in June.

"I'd say, first and foremost, we have opportunities now that we obviously didn't have then, and just being in the studio, you have opportunities with knowing what you're doing. We have so many opportunities and the focus a lot of times is on what's the selection process, what choices do we make that keeps things focused and exciting.

"I feel like on this one the production that you'll see, for example, is it evolves over the course of the show really well. It's more video-based. The song selection and the technology we used to get the set into the form that it is right now. We've just finished the idea [and] that technology didn't really exist, even seven, eight years ago.

"So, what's funny about it is in our band, technology has actually allowed us to be more of a band, more of an organic free-thinking kind of group, because we are the kind of band that creates a lot of our stuff in the studio in layered forms," Shinoda said.

Given the nature of a lot of the tracks Linkin Park has made over the years, the studio is a perfect place for new songs to be born. Fans who have been to a live show will know how memorable their performances tend to be. With this album in particular, it'll be interesting to see how they translate The Hunting Party into an effectively executed live-show performance.

The Beatles are obviously an enormous influence for any musician, but some of the music they created was too advanced to ever play in a live-show. Continuing with the technology theme, Shinoda spoke about how technology has really freed Linkin Park when it comes to their live-shows.

"If you think back to when The Beatles made the decision to go off the road more and focus on the studio, one of things that they did was they made music that they physically couldn't play on stage. There was so many layered vocals and so many layered instruments and things that at that time, [would've been] virtually impossible for them to do on stage. As technology has progressed, all that stuff becomes more and more possible.

"For us, we create in the style where things get layered and there's a lot of different stuff going on in each song. Ten years ago, that stuff would be locked into a timeline with our sampler, keyboard, or whatever. In more modern stuff, we can actually react on the fly and say, 'Let's slow this part down. Let's speed it up. Let's pitch it. Let's up or down. Let's loop it,' and there's moments when we can just kind of jam out and enjoy it. It's the merging of the humanity, the technology and the set that allow us to do that," Shinoda said.

Technology has really helped Linkin Park embellish upon their live shows, perhaps more than they could in a recording environment. The venue most certainly plays a part in the approach the band takes to each show. With inherently different acoustic settings, the technology at Linkin Park's disposal has allowed them to really create a mesmerizing live-show.

Shinoda went on to talk about how they are very meticulous when it comes to creating a new song. When fans listen to a song on an album, they always want to make sure fans can see them playing that song live.

"I feel like we have a great deal of responsibility to be a live band. [When] we have the opportunity to put certain things in the computer, we're very careful about what we do because we want to be playing everything. We want the crowd to see us performing the song. I feel like in almost every case, if you were to remove that other stuff and just have what's being in played in front of you, you basically have the same song. So, that's an important difference or specific approach to note," Shinoda said.