Posted August, 2012
Linkin Park Photo by James Minchin
Concert season is well upon us and offering up many great entertainment possibilities. One of the best and most value laden concert offerings for the money is the 2012 Honda Civic Tour featuring two headline bands for the price of one: Linkin Park and Incubus. In addition to giving the fans of both bands a chance to see them, the tour also is supporting Power the World to fund cleaner energy solutions and to raise awareness about people who have no access to energy.
In addition to the performances by both bands, each tour stop will feature displays of a 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe and a CBR250R motorcycle, both Linkin Park customized and designed. As the old Ronco commercials used to say: But wait! There’s more! Fans can enter to win these one-of-a-kind vehicles at www.HondaCivicTour.com. How cool is that?
In order to help get the word out about the tour and it’s causes, the front men from both bands – Chester Bennington and Brandon Boyd – were kind enough to submit themselves to ninety minutes of questions from a gaggle of us writer types via a conference call.
As we settled into the call and introductions made, the first question right out of the chute asked about what fans of both bands can expect from the shows during this tour. Bennington responded first by saying, “Well, I think that for us, I mean, really, I think the most special thing about this tour is the fact that you have two headlining bands singing together on one bill, which typically can be kind of hard to do, specifically, because usually when you’re in a position to headline a tour of this kind, you know, there’s only room for one headlining band usually.
“So the fact that Incubus gets to come out and perform a full headlining set and Soul Production and Linkin Park gets to come out and perform our full headlining set with personal production and everything is kind of special. But also, we kind of don’t really look at what the other artists have done on these tours and kind of go, ‘OK, what do we think we should do?’ You know, we’re just going to go out and do what our fans want from us which is, you know, play songs that they’re familiar with and catch up on some on the new music and become familiar with that.
“So really I think from Linkin Park’s standpoint, we’re just going to come out and put on the highest-energy show we can. And incorporate as much of the new music as possible. And I’m expecting that Incubus will probably do the same.”
Incubus Photo by Brantley Gutierrez
Brandon Boyd chimed in by adding, “I think that, I just think it’s a good moment and a great opportunity to have kind of just a, you know, two big giant rock & roll bands sharing a stage. I just think that’s going to be better than either of us would do in our own show. It’s two headlining sets, including Mutemath, which is going to be a good time as well. So it’s almost like a minifestival, which is amazing.
“And Incubus has done a Honda Civic-sponsored tour before. It may have been one of Honda Civic’s first ones, I’m not sure, but that was like, over 10 years ago. And I remember it being really, really great. And I think the listeners and friends and fans and family who came out to those shows had a really great experience, too. So I know that we as a band are really looking forward to doing it again this year. And personally, this will be the end of our touring cycle for our newest record and so we’re looking forward to just making some music and I’m very much looking forward to seeing Linkin Park . . .”
With the tour being focused on green energy use and taking place while the current presidential campaigns are getting underway, it was only natural for the guys to be asked if they wear their political feelings and affiliations “on their sleeves”. Chester answered the question first.
“Well, I know that, within Linkin Park, I’ve honestly never heard anyone talk about who they want to vote for, for example. I think it’s something that we kind of take very personally. It’s so funny, I was watching some comedy show the other day and they were making fun of how Americans won’t talk about who they’re going to vote for. It’s such a secretive process. Whereas if you go overseas or something, people are talking about who they’re going to vote for and who they don’t like all the time. It’s no big deal.
“But here in the United States it’s a little different for us. It’s such a private and personal moment to kind of choose who you think is going to be the best leader. And the last thing you want to do is influence somebody else to vote based on what they think of you as opposed to what they think of the politician they’re voting for.
“So we definitely don’t really kind of brag about who we’re going to vote for, but we do talk about the things that are important to us. And the things that are very important to us at this point are really making sure that our tours are as environmentally friendly as possible and also giving back to our local community as well as the world community that has been so good to us. So those are the things that matter to us.
“And in terms of the green movement and other things, one of the reasons why we’re so keen on that is because (Indiscernible) and the tie between natural disasters and what we’re doing as a society to the planet. So if we can counterbalance some things or offset some things that we’re doing just naturally through the way that we (Indiscernible) things on a daily basis, if we can make that more efficient and less wasteful, then we can provide families with renewable energy sources, so they don’t have to burn garbage, they don’t have to burn dung.
“Those things actually go a really long way in terms of helping with the recovery process of a natural disaster. So for example if a community is deforesting the areas around their villages, and let’s say a hurricane hits, OK, now all of a sudden not only did the wind destroy the homes that so many people are living in, but it’s also now created flooding and mudslides and all of that kind of stuff.
Those things become very difficult and very costly and time-consuming in terms of the recovery project. So if we can encourage people to use the solar-powered light bulbs, for example, that we’re giving out, via Power the World, instead of chopping down trees, when that hurricane does hit, it’s amazing how roots hold the soil together.
So those are the kind of things that we’re interested in. I don’t necessarily know that either of the future presidential candidates are really thinking that way. So that’s where it’s kind of like I’m not sure exactly how political our green movement is . . . it’s more of a purpose-driven green movement in terms of just wanting to be more clean and efficient with our tours so we leave less of a footprint when we’re out there. But the big picture really is the tie between, you know, the effect that it causes in terms of the natural disasters that hit. So if we plant more trees and put more oxygen in the atmosphere, hopefully the storm systems aren’t so tough every year.
“If we, you know, could help people have clean water and have access to renewable energy sources then they can focus on agriculture and they can focus on getting jobs and stuff and making money as opposed to hunting down water. Or moving a village because it’s been destroyed and there’s mudslides and all sorts of stuff happening.”
Boyd chimed in by adding, “Chester makes a lot of wonderful points, you know, and, um, I think that any type of meaningful movement and/or meaningful change that’s going to occur if you were to measure it based on who people were voting for and/or who even gets elected, it’s like watching water boil. It’s infuriating to try and hang anything worthwhile or legitimate upon that process even though it is a valuable process and an essential one.
“My point is, I truly believe that most of the meaningful change - if not all - is going to come from the ground. And I think it’s wonderful that Linkin Park has the Music for Relief Foundation, and is able to make waves and make moves on the ground there.
“We’ve been trying very hard and very joyfully with the Make Yourself Foundation for many years to do the same thing - both with environmental causes, but also with humanitarian efforts - to inspire people as opposed to hang our hat on a politician or, you know, stuff like that. It’s like I said, it’s an infuriating, fascinating but infuriating process. So I think that we’re just in a very blessed position to be able to have even, you know, a remote influence on the ground here. I think that’s where the most meaningful change is coming from.”
The fellas were asked why they wanted to team up for this tour. Brandon eagerly offered up his answer first.
“I personally think it’s an occasion that’s kind of long overdue. We have a lot of mutual listeners, our bands, and I think that it’s one of those things that once the idea was floated and we really kind of caught onto it, that it seemed like, ‘Why haven’t we done this yet’, type of a thing.
“Linkin Park has a considerably larger reach than Incubus has had and I think it’s going to be wonderful for us as a band to play in front of more people. So we definitely appreciate the opportunity there. But I personally think that it’s just going to be great because of that sort of, because of the carryover between the listeners, you know there are a lot of Linkin Park listeners who are also Incubus listeners and vice versa. But we’ve never done something like this before. So as far as the feedback is concerned from people around the world-—Incubus has been on tour for the past year—once this tour was announced it’s been overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. So I’m really excited for it to get started.”
Bennington added, “I think that it’s funny because in Linkin Park we all have the things that we do better than other guys do, so for example I’m really bad at reading long-form legal documents. Like I just don’t, like, get it, and most of it doesn’t make any sense to me anyways. You know, there are guys in the band who are much better and more qualified to kind of go through that process than me.
“So, one of the places that I actually can contribute some skill or input that matters is on touring. Typically I’ve been pretty, even in my loosest form, I’ve been involved in figuring out who we tour with for a long time. And so, I swear, it feels like I’ve probably tried to figure out a way to get Linkin Park and Incubus on the road together at least once per cycle since probably Meteora . It just goes to show how difficult it can be to actually get two headlining groups together.
“Kind of going back to that first question, you know, it was surprising to me that we haven’t actually done more touring with Incubus than we have in the last 15 years. Fourteen years. So, for the fact that we do share such a big, I think, group of fans that kind of listen to both bands, I still feel like there’s a large number of people that are Incubus fans that never really got into Linkin Park, or kind of vice versa. But I think that there’s a common interest there.
“And so I feel like that’s one of the things that’s been so positive, overwhelmingly positive, about everyone’s response to our bands going on tour together is that I think it gives both of our fans something that they’ve wanted for a long time, which is to see Incubus and go see Linkin Park, because I think they’ve had to choose a lot of times on which band they’re going to go see because we’ve both been on tour. Or when we’re on tour in the U.S., Incubus is off in the Pacific Rim, hopping all over Asia or somewhere in Europe and we’re down in Asia. It just never works out.
“So, I think the fact that they’re ending their cycle and we’re kind of beginning ours and this is a very specific time in our career that things have lined up for us to be able to do a tour like this together. We get to go out and just fully express ourselves as artists and really do whatever we want to do this energy we feel our fans are going to want. I think that that’s something that’s really special. And so I’m very appreciative to the people on the Civic tour. You know, having the vision to kind of understand, that this is something that is rare and is something that, um, you know, people are going to be excited to go see. You know, you never get to go see Bon Jovi and Kiss at the same time. This, to me, feels as exciting as a lot of the concerts that I would be excited to go to when I was a kid.
“That was I think one of the reasons why Lollapalooza when I was young became so important so quickly. It was because it was the only place that you could go see, you know, the Chili Peppers and Ministry and, you know, Pearl Jam and all these bands play together. And Ice Cube. But there’s no way you were going to see all these bands together, you know? And that’s been the inspiration for modern festivals and I think that the fact that this does kind of feel like a little mini-festival even though there are only three bands. It does have that feeling of something that’s going to be a show that you wanna go see, cuz it’s got something special. I’m excited.
“Honestly I think that, I also hope that our bands can walk away inspired from each other. You know? I’ve always appreciated Incubus for their music. And they’re also very good live. I’ve had the chance to pop over and watch them play a couple songs onstage here and there at some festivals throughout our career and they’re a great live band. So I think the energy is going to be really amazing out in the crowd. So I would actually like to be down there to watch the show but I don’t know if that’s going to be possible.
Since earlier in the interview Brandon Boyd indicated that Incubus was at the end of their current touring cycle, it begged the question as what the guys are planning next. His response was thought out and measured.
“Ummm… as far as that’s concerned, we have no plans, to tell you the truth at the moment. We are, for the first time since 1996, we are free agents again. We’re without a record label. So what we’re kind of doing is trying to get our bearings as to what we should do next, just as a band but also as a band that is kind of off in new territory again.
“So I have been tinkering around potentially with a second solo record. That’s probably the most likely scenario. But as far as Incubus right now, we’ll probably take another break. Hopefully it won’t be as long. But what we like to do is arrive with the best of intentions and try and create music from a sense of urgency as well as purity and not necessarily based on a schedule. I know that that can be a little bit frustrating for our listeners and stuff. But I think that we’ll make better music as a result. So the plan is to have no plan.
“We definitely got a taste of what it’s going to be like without a record label on this latest album cycle with If Not Now, When? Though we were still signed to Epic Records there was a lot of sort of changing of the guards going on with L.A. Reid being the new president and he wasn’t quite there yet, even though he was technically the guy on the TV show and there was a real lack of direction and leadership when we kind of needed it the most. So it was hard and it was frustrating but it was also very telling for us and perhaps educational.
“Because what we were forced to do was we were forced into ingenuity. And so we came up with this idea to set up shop in this art gallery in Los Angeles and do the Incubus HQ and fly listeners in from different corners of the world and do these live broadcasts on the Internet. And so we started getting these ideas about subscription-based live concerts online and it ended up being a really scary and stressful project, but the fruits of it are still kind of revealing themselves. We have this HQ box set that we’re putting out and the DVD set comes out. I think August 14 is the release date. There’s like the super fan all six nights on DVD mixed in 5.1 with the CDs and pieces of canvases that people were drawing on in the room while we were playing music.
“Like I said, it’s forced us to think outside of that normal music industry paradigm that we had gotten so accustomed to. And so in that sense the lack of attention from our record label and the end days of our record label relationship were really good and very beneficial for us as a band because it gave us a sense of what we might be doing in the coming years. So I’m personally very excited about being in complete control, of being able to be a total control freak. It doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t sign with another record label at some point but it would definitely have to be very, very specific. Not get into just a good old-fashioned record deal again, if they even exist. ”
Counter to how Incubus works, Linkin Park has the habit of their albums starting when they’re on the road. Naturally, we were all curious if the band has already started to work on their next album.
Bennington answered by saying, “Um, usually in the beginning of the touring cycle we kind of focus on what we’re going to be doing with the new music. You know, touring at this point, for us, is pretty awesome and at the same time it works against you to a certain degree. Because I realized the other day, I was thinking about it, why is it more difficult to get casual fans into new music? I think it’s because when we started touring it was just Hybrid Theory and Hybrid Theory was like 36 minutes long.
So basically, you know when you’re headlining a tour, we started out opening shows which was great because we played for 15 minutes and then leave, 25 minutes and leave. So when we got to the point where people fell in love with what we were doing and were listening to us and we were the headlining band, we were forced to play our entire record. Like, every single night. And so people were, I think, falling in love with the record in a different way.
“And even with Meteora, like, um, once we had that record it was like, OK, we basically have enough music to fill a proper headlining set. And so we’ve essentially played both records all the way through for our entire first five years, six years of touring. And so once you get to that point where you have a bunch of songs that people have heard on the radio, and it becomes more, you know, less about playing everything you have and more about playing the songs that people are familiar with. We’re at that point now where it’s like, we’ve been around for over a decade, that makes it sound more important, I think. We’ve been around for over 10 years and we’ve been, this is our fifth record, we’ve been fortunate to have a lot of songs that do really well off of our records and so, you know, a lot of people come there to hear the songs that they know. And adding in new material becomes something that is a little bit more difficult for us over the last few records because most of the songs that are really great are like, mid-tempo songs.
“And Linkin Park isn’t the band that you go to see, you know, chairs on the floor in the arena. That’s, no one wants to come to a Linkin Park show and stand there and look at the band and listen to beautiful music. People want that but they also want to be kicked in the face and they want to, you know, run into each other and they want to jump up and down and sing and have a really great, high-energy time. And so being able to incorporate a lot of new material into our set just felt like it was bringing too much of the energy down. So I think what we’re doing on this tour is, like with the new record, the new record has so much energy that we feel like we could add a bunch of new music to the set and people will be stoked about it. Casual fans are there to hear the three songs that they love, and go ‘Oh yeah, I didn’t know they did this song too!’ Those fans will actually enjoy hearing the new music at these shows.
“Right now at this point we’re focused on making sure the new material is up to speed and that we’re familiar with it enough to go and play it live. And then at that point, you know, once that kind of calms down that’s usually when the creative process starts to kick in. Because now we’re not creating a show and we’re working on learning new music. Cuz that’s something we don’t do, we don’t sit and jam, we don’t hang out as a band and write music together. That’s just not what we do. So a lot of our connection time and what you would think would be stereotypical band moment time really comes from when we’re learning these new songs and rehearsing and going out and playing these new songs as a set for the first time. And then everything’s new and fresh and I think because we’re adding so much of the new record over the next few months to our live set, that’s what we’re focused on.
“But once that calms down, that creative hunger is going to turn itself on and we’re going to start writing new music. So I would imagine by the time we’re done touring this record, we’ll be in a similar position to what we were with A Thousand Suns. Going into Living Things, we’ll be able to just kind of go right into the studio, make another record and put it out and kind of keep that cycle going.
“We’ve really got ourselves in a position now where we kind of feel like we’re touring less as an idea of ‘Let’s go tour really hard for nine months and then come home’ and tour really hard for nine months and then come home, and hopefully have enough energy to want to do anything. It’s like touring for a few weeks and coming home for a month and going out and touring for a few weeks and coming home for a month. So we’re really spending as much time home as we are on the road and I think that also caters to, encourages a creative process because we kind of feel energized more, more often. So I think that kind of answers all of your questions into one ginormous ongoing answer.”
Both bands have been around for 16 to 21 years (Linkin Park and Incubus, respectively) and have experienced the go-go years when CD sales were exploding and bands still received tour support from their labels as well as the brutally tough economic times currently being experienced. Both men were asked how the managed to navigate through those different kinds of waters. Brandon took the question.
“Hmm. That’s a really interesting notion actually. It’s something that I talk about with friends and people in different industries and everything, but it’s been really interesting to me, I’m sure it’s been interesting from Linkin Park’s perspective as well, because they as well were kind of - Linkin Park and Incubus were two of the very few bands who kind of like got a gust of wind out of the old paradigm of the music industry. But like survived out of it. There are so many bands that, bands in a traditional sense, bands who write their own music, and perform their music, that didn’t survive that transition. That fell by the wayside with the industry.
“So it’s been frightening to watch something that you for a very brief moment almost learned to rely on, because we learned the ins and outs of how the industry worked, you know you poured your heart out into making an album and then the label puts the record out and you go out on tour in support of the album, and we even started doing it in the van and trailer. We’d make a record and get in the van with our gear and the trailer and we’d drive ourselves around the country and sell albums and T-shirts out of the back of the trailer. That was sort of our education and then once things started going really well, thankfully, we got a sense of what it looks like when all of the, when the engine is nicely greased and things are working the way they’re supposed to.
“And then it’s like the millennium turns and the technology changed. And all of that became old. It became an antiquated model. And it was frightening at first but I actually have come to appreciate it. I’m going to actually use the pun, a living thing. It’s a living system. Our technologies are a living system just like we are and our communities as human beings, and for us to expect them to remain constant is really just quite foolish. I mean anybody that’s going to come to rely on the way that our music consumption is looking now is going to have the same hard lesson in less time than you think. I think that the technology is going to shift probably sooner than any of us really realize. And that’s a really cool thing, because it keeps everyone on their toes. It levels the playing field, too. It’s allowing for a really wonderful democratization of the music writing process and the music presenting and performing process. So what it’s doing is it’s making us try harder and it’s making us expect the best of ourselves and the people that we work with. You know, do more with less.
“I was talking to my friend this morning about the notion of the music video. Incubus has made a music video. We’ve paid like $500,000 to make a music video that MTV just didn’t play. And that was considered like, “Oh, OK. That’s a bummer, but, you know, next?” But now? Are you kidding me? It’s like if we can get a fraction, a spittle of that amount of money to make a music video, that’s amazing. But the cool thing is, is that the intention is exactly the same. And in fact it’s even better, because now we have to think even further out of the box. We still have to make a music video but we don’t have any money. So we have to have a better idea than we did before. You know what I mean? I personally, when all is said and done, I really welcome these changes. And they excite me. And they scare me at the same time, but I’m choosing to focus on the excitement.”
Both Bennington and Boyd were asked how do they both stay loyal to, and inspired to produce, the style of music on both the record and in concert that their most loyal and long-term fans both love and expect.
Chester responded by saying, “Um, well, I think that’s a good question. I kind of wonder, you know people ask me questions like, you see the Rolling Stones or guys who have been doing this for 50 years, do you see yourself doing this at their age? And in my mind I know that however long I live until the day I die, I’m probably going to feel mentally immature and physically old. But my brain’s not going to be calculating, ‘Oh, I’m 70 years old.’ It’s like, ‘What do you mean I’m almost done? Aagh! I just got started.’
“And so uh I think that it will become a bit more difficult for me to perform a few songs on a roster that I did so easily through my twenties and thirties. You know? When I’m 70 I don’t know if I’ll be, um, screaming Victimized at anybody. Hopefully that will be the case, but I doubt it.
“That’s one of the things that’s so interesting about our business anyways. None of us are guaranteed that anyone can come to one of our shows or care about the last record we put out. I personally, throughout my own career, every record that we go into, I look at like, this is our very first album and this is the best representation of what we are. And either people are going to love it or they’re going to hate it. Or not care. And so you know, that’s what happens. We take the creative gamble and we write music that we feel passionate about and that we feel is important and that we feel is, um, um, what’s the word I’m looking for, uh, damn it! Giving something to the people who are going to hear it. It’s basically like when you create a song and people hear it and they connect with it, you’re giving that person a sense of inspiration.”
Brandon added, “You made me think of something though when you were saying like, um, will you be screaming some of your most demanding lyrics when you’re 70. You can’t really imagine yourself doing that. I agree with you, we have so many songs that we wrote when we were in our young twenties. Some of them we wrote when we were teenagers and we still perform some of them. It occurs to me now at 36, ‘damn, what was I thinking? This is hard! I have to really concentrate and sit still in order to do it.’
“Two things occur to me. One was that somehow the guys in the Stones still look really cool doing it. And I think that really is a testament to, number one, their talent, as well as their tenacity. If you write good songs and if you write songs that have a potentially timeless quality, yeah, I think that you’ll be able to sing them long into your sunset years.
“I think that’s really one of our intentions as a band. I know for me as a lyricist and as a singer, my deepest intention beyond just trying to express myself with a sense of purity is to hopefully achieve a sense of timelessness. You want to touch on subjects that are potentially universal and that don’t really need to be tied to the 90s. Or the 2000s. Or the 2030s. Whatever. You want to essentially be able to make music that will essentially transcend time.”
Their answers were followed up with being asked how do they connect that to the style of music that is - as they both admitted - very rooted in a much younger Chad and Brandon.
Boyd answered in his typical straightforward manner by saying, “Well you know, actually, it’s been a real struggle, challenge, I don’t know what the right exact word is. But being so identified with a particular style and a particular time, I know that there are certain parts of the world where certain journalism music reviewers will literally have not looked beyond Incubus’s very first album, Science, which we wrote and recorded when we were just freshly out of high school. And it came out in 1997. And we toured a lot on that record, we toured for a little over two years. And we were on tour with bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit and we ended up doing a lot of touring, which was amazing, with Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath and Pantera and all these great tours.
“But what’s wild to me is that it’s been that long and there are still these holdouts that are like, ‘How’s it going, being a nu-metal band?’ And that’s been a real challenge, not to make music that has transcended a genre, because I do believe that we’ve accomplished that and we continue to accomplish that, if I could be so bold, but to sort of shift people’s perceptions and get people to take a second glance at an established artist.
“That’s really the most challenging thing. Once people feel like they have you categorized on the… they’ve put the milk on the milk shelf in the refrigerator, it’s almost like it can never live anywhere else in the refrigerator. I personally am interested in music. I’m not interested in making a kind of music. And I think that’s why Incubus records have changed sometimes dramatically over the years.
“Our newest record, If Not Now, When?, is really a good example of that. It’s different. It’s more different than any of our records than we’ve ever done before and I personally am really inspired by that. I’m proud of that. I want to make music that continues to evolve and challenge people and surprise people. But getting people to let go of a predetermined notion of what you are and what you’re supposed to be is really probably the largest challenge. What I’ve had to do is really let go of perceptions altogether and just make music.”
Bennington chimed right in.
“I agree with Brandon. I think for us, we’ve kind of had the advantage to cross a bunch of different styles of music and bring them together, and we worked very hard from Minutes to Midnight on to change what we felt was the perception of what Linkin Park is, and by people outside of the band.
“I think that Incubus and Linkin Park share a lot of similarities in terms of when we became popular. In a time when selling tons of records was what people did, and the Internet wasn’t really a strong force in the world. And then transitioning into a time where no one’s buying records. And yet people are spending more money on music base than any time before. So I think that going through all that and transitioning and getting older and having all these experiences definitely shapes the way you think about how you do business. But the things that inspire are all the same kind of things that inspired me when I was 15.
“You know, life is very complicated and there’s so much stuff that happens in your life that are so precious and so beautiful and so specific to our individual story. Each person has such a beautiful story to tell and some are horrific and scary but yet there’s still something beautiful happening there. Those are things that inspire me creatively and I think that the older I get the more savvy I become in business and how you view your business. I think it’s because you have more experience.
“The music business is a very tricky business to be in, and so making a transition from focusing on selling records . . . there’s a million versions of our songs out there anyways, good to bad. People can videotape every performance that we do and everything’s out there. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t think it’s the way musicians would have thought 10 years ago. I wouldn’t have even have thought that 10 years ago. I would have thought, no way, we have to sell records. I think that age brings wisdom and age brings experience.
“But the things that inspire me are the same. Those are the moments that you kind of catch in your web as you go through life. You kind of grab the tastier parts of life and we get to write songs about them, we get to write music about those experiences and then go perform them for people just as often. A lot is different and the same though, at the same time.
Both bands have pretty much kept the core members of each group. The question was asked as to how do they all stand each other after such a long time.
Brandon responded first by saying, “It’s a saying that rings true for me all the time. Being in a band is hard. You are essentially traveling in very small steel tubes, confined steel tubes with family members for extended periods of time - kind of like inhuman periods of time. You love your mom, but how much flight time do you want to spend with her? You know, how long do you want to sit in the car with your dad and your mom and your brothers, you know what I mean? There’s that, but there’s also the understanding that it’s family, and it’s very much a familial thing. That even though there are times when they hurt your feelings or they might get on your nerves, essentially the majority of your experience with them is rooted in love.
“So as long as we can hold on to that sort of transcendent notion, everything usually is OK. And it’s OK to be angry at your family members sometime, and it’s OK for them to get on your nerves. The best thing to do, I think, is just to remember who you are and understand the difference between a need to express frustrations and the difference between that and potentially your own ego, and little moments when your ego flares up for usually ridiculous reasons. Which usually, uh, I know for men, I speak for myself and for the guys in my band, them being my family, most of the times we ever have problems are when someone has under slept or underfed. So as long as we have enough sleep and enough to eat, everyone’s usually hunky-dory. And that’s the honest-to-God truth. Just get enough food and enough to eat, or enough sleep, and you’ll be fine.”
“I think it’s funny. But that is actually the truth. I mean, we all have the - I think that within Linkin Park we all have similar aspects of our personality that we share with each other. We all are very driven. We all like to work really hard. We all like to do whatever it takes and be involved in every aspect of what we do. But it takes all of us. And I think that when we learned very early on, like there’s a few guys in the studio working on every song, so it’s a whole record, when you look at the business side of things, or you look at like the marketing side of things, the artistic side of things, and what each member brings collectively to the whole, is worth far more than what - together, the band is worth far more than each of us is as an individual. And I think that that’s something we learned about our band very early. It’s not just about one guy or two guys or whatever, three guys. It’s about all six of us.
“And so, having six creative people who are totally different personality-wise around each other all the time, we have to be very realistic about what we expect from each other. And it is a family thing. And once you cross that line of being a friend and then it turns into, ‘Well, now we’re family,’ I mean, life gets real, really fast. You know? I mean you’re now exposing yourself. I mean there’s the dating phase, which is like, ‘Oh, you’re so awesome,’ and everybody is so great, and then when you move in together it’s like, “Oh shit. Who am I actually, like, getting myself involved with?” You know, it’s like you get to see all the dirty parts and you get to be around all the unsavory things about each other’s personalities and so we just basically treat each other with respect. We give each other the space that we need. And I think that being in my band is an example of the most functional relationship I’ve ever had in my life. But I’ve been in band scenarios where it’s just chaos. There’s no leadership and there’s too much ego and there’s too much pride and there’s too much opinion.
“All those things are very important, so I think what makes it work for my band, for Linkin Park is that, you know, we focus on things that are important for the band. And we don’t really focus on what’s the most important thing for me. It’s really about what’s the most important thing for us. And I think that’s something that we carry not only in our professional world but we try to carry into our personal lives as well. We share both of those things together.”
And what both bands will be sharing together from August 11th through September 10th will be great stages in venues all across America. To find out if Linkin Park and Incubus are come to your city – or to register to win the customize Honda Civic or CBR250R motorcycle, visit www.HondaCivicTour.com.
Oh, and you may also enter the Linkin Park Fly-Away Sweepstakes, which includes round trip tickets to Los Angeles and a visit to a Linkin Park video shoot. To get further info and to enter go to: www.HFSGrad.com.