Discussion in 'Linkin Park Chat' started by LPChris, Jul 5, 2012.
I think now they're just comfortable making whatever music sounds good to them. That's all.
Agreed with Brandon. Chester didn't say anything at all about coming back to the old LP style.
I have a hard time believing that outside pressure didn't shape Linkin Park's decision to go with a more familiar sound in LIVING THINGS.
A Thousand Suns is a phenomenal album, but it didn't sell/appeal to consumers as much as Linkin Park expected. IMO, they sacrificed their creativity in LIVING THINGS to meet consumer reach and sales objectives. After all, this is a business.
Part of the reason Linkin Park didn't go with the "ATS approach" with this new album is simply because it was too stressful and creatively exhausting for them, it's not the easiest thing to do to just step out of the box and get the fuck away from it altogether to create the next album, so basically during the LT writing they went like "you know what? We don't need to completely ignore what we've done in the past, we can take that energy and those experiences and make something fresh"
I voted for "they do whatever they want", simply because they do. If they didn't, ATS would've never been put out I think.
I didn't vote because I think it's a little bit of both. Warners wants them to sell more records, Linkin Park had way too much stress from A Thousand Suns (mainly due to Warners and pressure from fans, critics etc.) AND they wanted to get the pressure off, so they made a safer record.
It is ovious that they were a lot less stressed out about Living Things. But I doubt LP really wanted to do that kind of record. My guess is, Living Things is made partly because of the unfinished work of A Thousand SUns. They should've just scraped nearly all the demos and start from scratch.
I've analyzed this album so much and have paid attention to the interviews, making-of, marketing, and knowing that Warner has been either losing money or just fucking people over extremely hard within the past year and a half...so my hypothesis?
This is indeed "MeatyOkra". It's another label-driven album, but done with more balls.
The thing is, LP were signed as a rock/alt act. ATS was not a rock album and sold significantly less than every other release. I'm pretty sure that their bosses weren't happy. People are forgetting that LP have bosses that can screw them over whenever and however they want.
Brad says "the biggest misconception is that we are a rock band", while Joe is suggesting that maybe they should "focus on making dope ass rock songs"
Chester has said that he doesn't "want to write the same songs over again", while half of the album is about broken promises.
Mike posted about career regrets while in his post about the album, and if you listen to the depressing tune of the folk-ish songs along with the lyrics (especially Roads Untraveled), you'll know what the song is about.
So I think that they were probably given the task to make rock songs...and then they intentionally didn't, but made rockish songs.
So I'm pretty sure it's a mix of both
Also, one other thing I'd like to point out.
I've seen some posts that say that because Warner allowed A Thousand Suns to be released, that they don't influence LP's process. This is kind of simplistic thinking. Just because they let LP have one album of pure creative freedom doesn't mean that can't step back in on the next one. They're essentially Linkin Park's bosses, they're allowed to step in whenever they want.
It's entirely possible that after A Thousand Suns received such a polarizing reaction from fans, Warner said "see what happens when you don't do what we say?". Again, it's not like just because they backed off once doesn't mean they can't come back.
This is what I meant.They were stressed out after ATS, and wanted to make a safer record, which sounds a little more like their older songs.
That's really interesting...
The thing is there's around 4, at most 5 demos of ATS in the entire album. The rest was the stuff they were working on during tours, etc... Look at LITE, its demo, Holding Company, was this really mellow, melodic piano piece. They could've gone in that direction but instead the song only retained a very small vibe of its demo and became a rap/rock song.
What ones were the ATS demos? I'm assuming they were Skin To Bone, Until It Breaks, Tinfoil (Tinfoil and Powerless combined) and probably In My Remains.
To what? I don't want another A Thousand Suns, honestly.
My quote was about Warner Brothers. Just because Warner backed off and let Linkin Park do whatever they want during one album, does NOT mean they can't come back in on another.
And it's funny when people say they don't want "another A Thousand Suns." The point of ATS is that they were doing whatever they wanted. "Another A Thousand Suns" might not actually sound anything like ATS. It's the idea of being unconventional and artsy.
I find it funny how (some of) the people dissapointed with Living Things are trying to attribute the sound of LT to label pressure and things like that...
What if this time LP were just excited to use their old tools again? What if they enjoyed the rap-rock thing again? What if this time they prefered to have energetic and short songs over longer and more progressive one?
Also, I feel like there is a common misconception here. To me, ATS was certainly not more "whathever they wanted it to be" than LT is. They said it themselves: during ATS process, if something sounded like their older work , they abandonned the idea. They were avoiding some of their tools. This is not a creative thing. This is a restrictive thing, because it put boundaries in the music process. This time, they didn't avoid anything.
It was whatever they wanted, because they didn't want to make anything like their older work. Read any interview from that time period, look at any playlist Mike makes or any of the music they've been listening to recently. The guys are just not into music that is anything like their first two albums, they just do not like it.
I just find it hard to believe that in the 2-3 years since pushing so hard to distance themselves from their old tendencies, they all of a sudden found out that they like it again. It just all seems too coincidental for it not to be label pressure, OR a conscious effort of the band themselves to reach out to alienated fans. Which Chester just recently brought up in an interview, so that's probably it.
Well, I find the reference to Mike playlists interesting because I thought about it some times ago. Well, if you take any of the artists in those playlists, then yes, there aren't acts that sound like their first 2 records. But...now mix them all together. Mix the hip hop stuff/indie stuff/folk stuff, and throw in there a bit of the heavy things we already know he still likes (Thrice, NIN, Ministry, Refused, Metallica, ...). With all those influences mixed together, it's pretty possible to create rap/rock tracks without even wanting to make a rap/rock track.
Also, sure the band is not usually listening to nu-metal/rap rock stuff, but I'm also sure they don't totally hate it. For example, Chester and Phoenix have already said (both quite recently) that they like Slipknot, and Mike promoted a german rap/rock band which sounded very old-LP in 2008 or 2009, saying it was "killer rap rock from Germany". Don't sound like he hates the genre.
And finaly, indeed, if they had all suddenly found out that they liked their old work again, it would have been weird. I think it's more like: they never stopped to like it. They have never said they didn't like their old stuff anymore. During the 2007-2010 era, they were always saying "Because we don't make music like our old stuff, it doesn't mean we don't like our old stuff. We love it, for the most part. But we want to keep trying new things".
I think the most disappointing interview for me is the one where Chester says he did a long drive and listened to the bands entire discography front to back and realized they'd "become a different band" and he basically talks about how he couldn't see the through line in their music... which is... really disappointing.
I don't know why he says he can't see the through line in their music. The mash of genres that they've always prided themselves on is still very evident in A Thousand Suns. Heck, you can even still call them a rap/rock group with ATS. No matter what Chester believes, they never "became a different band." They just changed the way they approached the genre.
I think LT is a genuine album from LP, but in the way that I think Meteora was a genuine album from LP.
I'm hoping that with their next release, we see a true "using all the tools in the toolbox." While the latter half of LT is experimental, and highly enjoyable... I feel like a lot of the true potential of the songs is unrealized. Maybe this has to do with the short turnaround time for the album. I would love to see an LP album that mixes radio-friendly songs with longer, experimental tracks.
Yes, but I also have to admit - I think we are in such a ridiculous rush to place the blame on Warner Bros. for this. I think we have to understand a couple of things here - first of all, Meteora might have been the only record where Linkin Park was probably pressured to either produce the same sound or to stay in the same realm. We have to recognize that if Warner Bros is as pressuring as you would suggest they are, then Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns would have never happened. We wouldn't have either of those two records because they're so different (ATS being the mass departure, as Mike has described).
And I think you're wrong here - I don't think Linkin Park expected the album to appeal to a certain amount of consumers. The band has said in multiple interviews that they were aware coming out of the process that it was going to be an album that polarized fans - hell, there's a whole song on the album that basically recognizes this and insists people try to catch up. They were fully aware that a part of their fan base wasn't going to like where they were going - and they accepted it. More over, they embraced it. There were no expectations here, apart from the band trying to do something completely different than they had ever done before.
While I do agree that LIVING THINGS doesn't carry the same creativity that ATS did, I don't think it's fair to say that the band was told to do otherwise - 'cause that's not how the band functions anymore. They are arguably one of the most popular bands of our generation and so I don't think there was any doubt for anyone that they would be putting out albums that would sell. I legitimately think that as others have pointed out in this thread, the band just began to realize that, well, they have nothing more to prove. They've proven that they can make great nu-metal songs. They've also proven that they can produce records that are extremely different but are just as good (for me, 1000x better). They have nothing to run away from anymore and as such, they can make songs that are sort of all-inclusive - you get a little bit of everything.
And in a sense, that is creative - it's unique hearing songs with the Hybrid Theory structures and explosiveness but have the sounds that you'd find on A Thousand Suns. Is it as creative as we found on their last album? No, it's not. But what's important for the band and I think something we should learn to appreciate as a fan base is that the band is now comfortable making the music they are. I may not be the biggest fan of LIVING THINGS considering the absolute brilliance of A Thousand Suns, but I respect their decision to embrace everything they've done and create an album that represents that journey. I don't think Warner had anything to do with this apart from deadlines.
No, I don't think they were avoiding tools at this point. To be honest, it's hard for me to say that the band was really avoiding a lot. Most certainly, they were avoiding sounds and structures (yes, there's a difference between those and tools). They really scrapped power guitar chords and the typical structures we see on ATS - and while this might appear restrictive, it's not if the goal is to create something different. I feel that in a way, a level of originality has to be embedded into creativity. In other words, for something to be creative - there needs to be a level of uniqueness to it. I'm not saying it has to be a brand new invention - but something about it has to be like, "Huh, haven't seen / heard that before."
As such, I don't think you're right here. This is a creative thing, and it's not restrictive. Restriction implies that they were trying to do something and weren't allowed to. They weren't trying to make something they'd done before - they were trying to do something different. Those boundaries were there but they weren't restrictive. They were more of a guidance for the band - they had something to prove and needed that mentality of "Anything familiar is off the table" to get there. So, yeah, it was a very creative process for the band. LIVING THINGS, for me, wasn't as creative because it embraced things they'd done before. I know everyone has a slightly different perception of what creativity entails - but the band wasn't really restricted - by outside pressure or by themselves.
It seems like we're discussing different definitions of creativity. As you say, you're talking about creative in the sense of uniqueness and originality. And you're right, because in the art-field, when someone say "Wow, this music/drawing/... is creative", he probably means it's original and all. In that regards, ATS was definitely LP most creative work, because it was the more weird and unique.
Now, I was talking about a slighly different perception of creativity. I was seeing the term more or less as "the hability to create something". Looking at it this way, the more tools you have, and the more open-minded you are in the making-process, the more you will have possibilities to create different things. As boundaries are appearing (avoiding tools, time constraint, label pressure, ...), your amount of possibilies to create things will decrease. In that regards, the process of LT was more creative than the ATS'one (saying LT was more creative was maybe not the right thing, it's really more about the process). Because the LT process gave LP way more possibilies of creation.
Imagine you're making a track. Initially, this track can go in an infinite amount of directions. Now, imagine you suddenly say "Whatever happens, I'm not gonna use heavy guitars on this one, and I will not use samples either". The number of creative possibilies which was initially very high lowers with the above decision. And now, imagine you end up with an agressive track, with a palm-muted guitar. But what if heavy guitars would have suited the track better? It's impossible to know, because the creative process didn't allow that possibility. The final track will maybe be more different, and so you'll say the process was creative because it leaded to something original. But to me, the originality will not be the result of a creative process, but the result of a restrictive process that forces you to be different.
All in all, LT ended up being less original than ATS. But to me, the process was more creative during the LT era. Simply, their ideas leaded them to make something more familiar to their older work, and less unique. But with the same "Let's use whatever tool we want" spirit, they could also have endep up with something even more different than ATS. To me, their mind-state during the LT process is the best they have ever had. Even if the final product was maybe not their best.
Chester actually WAS very vocal about hating Nu-Metal back in 2006/2007. He once said ''I fucking hate nu-metal. I never liked any of the music, and I didn't like any of those bands I was friends with''. It seems they have softened up on that though, recently.
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