After 14 months in the studio, Linkin Park has set a May 15 release date for its new Warner Bros. album, “Minutes to Midnight.” First single “What I’ve Done” hits radio on April 2; the band recently shot a video for the track in the California desert, directed by DJ Joseph Hahn.
“This was a year-and-a-half long process of really hard work and experimentation in the studio that yielded about 150 rough songs,” guitarist Brad Delson tells Billboard.com. The band recorded 17 tracks and is now whittling down which ones will make the final cut. “Not only is this album incredibly diverse, but the depth of the material is really strong,” Delson says.
Delson is particularly high on “The Little Things Give You Away,” which he says is “the song of which I’m probably most proud that we’ve ever done.” Another cut, “Bleed It Out,” sports “Motown drums, almost ’80s rock guitar, rapping and an early hip-hop influence in terms of how it was recorded. I think it will be really fun to play live,” he says.
“Minutes to Midnight” will also include a track with two current working titles (“When My Time Comes” or “Leave Out All the Rest”) that Delson describes as “a really moody, almost electronic-based song. Lyrically, I can definitively say this is our strongest record, and in particular, this song I really connect to personally. I think it’s a really touching song.”
The new album was co-produced by group member Mike Shinoda and Rick Rubin. “He can hear a rough idea, then point you in a direction like, ‘Check out this score by Ennio Morricone,'” Delson says of Rubin. “You’ll listen to it and you’ll go, ‘That totally jarred my imagination.’ He was an incredibly helpful guy throughout the whole process.”
With “Minutes to Midnight” finally complete, Linkin Park is already in rehearsals for an extensive tour slate, beginning with a May 6 appearance at New Jersey’s Bamboozle Festival. Delson declined to reveal specifics, but Billboard.com has learned the band will reprise its Projekt Revolution tour later this summer, likely alongside My Chemical Romance.
“I always get into this fight with Mike in the studio, where it’s like, ‘Oh, just add another guitar part,'” Delson says with a laugh. “And he’ll be like, ‘But we’re not going to be able to play that live.’ I say, ‘Dude, don’t worry about it. It sounds good.’ But now we’re in rehearsal and we’re stuck with these stupid decisions we’ve made, where parts are almost impossible to play. Some songs, Mike is literally moving back and forth between an acoustic guitar, an organ, an electric guitar, and singing. We have our work cut out for us but they’ve been sounding great.”