Months after Linkin Park took its contract renegotiation dispute with Warner Bros. public, the band and the label are close to resolving the matter without any further ugliness.
“We’re resolving our differences and we’re looking forward to putting out a record next year,” guitarist Brad Delson tells Billboard.com. “We’re all focused on the creative process right now.”
In May, Linkin Park issued a statement announcing the band was halting plans for a spring 2006 album and expressed concerns about the competitive impact Warner Music Group aggressive cost cutting strategy and initial public offering.
Without revealing details of its business arrangements, MC/vocalist Mike Shinoda says the band has “been working on new stuff for at least a month.”
The new album will sport Shinoda’s first production credit on one of the band’s releases. “Of all the processes of Linkin Park, the guys all have their own special talents and the places they take charge and shine,” he says. “One of my favorite places to be is in the studio.”
The as-yet-untitled set will be the follow-up to 2003’s “Meteora,” which has sold 5.14 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The set featured the single “Breaking the Habit,” which topped Billboard’s Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock airplay charts and reached No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Shinoda said it was way too early to describe the direction of the new material, but one general idea has already taken hold. “Rap/rock and new metal have been used to describe Linkin Park,” he says. “But if you think of a song like ‘Breaking the Habit,’ it would be kind of difficult to describe that as rap/rock. It’s not very accurate. On the next record, we’re looking to break away from that label even further than we have in the past.”
And while Shinoda admits Linkin Park has “hundreds” of unreleased songs that could potentially be revisited, “We tend to not do that, simply because, the band is always evolving. We like the momentum created by coming up with new songs.”
While work continues, Shinoda is plotting a late January/early February tour for his hip-hop side project Fort Minor, which just issued its debut album, “The Rising Tied,” on Linkin Park’s Machine Shop imprint. The set debuted last week at No. 60 on The Billboard 200.
“[Linkin Park] DJ Joseph Hahn came to our show in Los Angeles,” Shinoda says. “He didn’t even say hi. He didn’t even say great show. He just walked straight up to me and said, ‘Listen to me. When you go on stage with your side project, it can’t be this good. You’re not allowed. It’s not fair.’ He was obviously joking, but we do take a lot of pride in our show and I hope people can see it soon.”