Finalists for the Billboard Music Awards 2011
LINKIN PARK IS A FINALIST IN 6 CATEGORIES
Top Duo/Group, Top Rock Artist, Top Alternative Artist, Top Alternative Song, Top Rock Album, Top Alternative Album

Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington has revealed that the rockers are not only hard at work on a new record, but that he'd be "shocked" if it was not released in 2012.

The album will follow-up "A Thousand Suns," which debuted at No. 1 upon its September 2010 release and has sold 784,000 copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

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"I can tell you that we have a lot of good music, a lot of quality songs," Bennington recently told Rolling Stone, adding that Rick Rubin will return again as producer.

"Typically we'll have a once-a-week meeting to go listen to the songs that they're coming up with and talk about them," Rubin told Billboard.com of Linkin Park back in June. "For so early in the project, they are much further along than they have been on the last two albums we did. On ['A Thousand Suns'] there were still a lot of irons in the fire. We knew, 'OK, we can't do this forever. Let's leave this batch and we'll come back and address it when we start up again.' "

In his Rolling Stone interview, Bennington also mentioned that he hopes the band would be able to release an album every 18 months (exciting news for an act that has released three studio albums over the course of ten years), a process simplified by both shortening touring cycles and also recording while on the road.

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"Mike [Shinoda] and I are out there with our studios," Bennington said, "technology, thank God, has gotten to the point when what used to be three refrigerator-sized racks of equipment and a full board the size of a king bed can now fit in my back pack -- and we're working on new music as we're driving in the car to a venue or in our hotel room, and when we come home, everybody works in their homes."

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