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Linkin Park's Flat Tires, Scheduling Conflicts Keep Them Down-To-Earth As They Tour Globe


That's right, kids: Even bands like Linkin Park — whose Minutes to Midnight album just debuted at #1 in 15 countries — get flats. And though they probably didn't change it themselves, it served as a reminder of kinder, gentler times for the guys in LP, who, thanks to the phenomenal first week of Midnight, now find themselves in a rare position in the world of rock: It's not a stretch to say that they could be the biggest act on the planet.

"I think, if anything, we try and block that out a little bit," Farrell said. "We go into the writing process with the mindset of, 'This is not for the U.S. specifically, this is for Linkin Park fans.' And the idea of a Linkin Park fan is so broad and diverse, it's like a target you can't put your finger on, which is almost freeing.

"For me, personally, nothing has really changed," the bassist continued. "I almost felt like if that big of a label is being tossed around about the band you're in, there should be some moment when it became real to me. But I still feel the same. I don't feel these superhuman qualities that are supposed to be associated with [being in the biggest band in the world]."

Regardless, that hasn't stopped rather enthusiastic members of the media from anointing LP as perhaps the next U2, pointing out the former's newfound affinity for both grandiose arena rock and impressive humanitarian efforts. And while Farrell and his mates no doubt find the comparison flattering, they don't really buy it for a second.

"My immediate reaction is that there isn't going to be a next U2, just like there wasn't a next Beatles or a next Rolling Stones, or how there won't be another Metallica," he said. "Just being mentioned in the same sentence as them was a goal of this band, of course. We've wanted to be a career band, and we've wanted to be in the ranks of the greats, but from my perspective, only time will tell."

Linkin Park will only welcome more of those comparisons next month, when they take the stage in Tokyo as part of Al Gore's massive July 7 Live Earth concert series. When you think about it, LP's involvement was pretty much a foregone conclusion, given their charity Music for Relief, which they founded in the wake of the December 2004 tsunamis that ravaged Southeast Asia.

But, again, when you're a member of arguably the biggest band in the world, nothing is as easy as it seems.

"We started Music for Relief back then as a way to get to areas affected by natural disasters, to bypass the political issues and partner with organizations that are helping people," Farrell said. "And with all the new information out there, and the effect of climate change and the magnitude of natural disasters, [the concert] just seemed like a great addition to what we were trying to do."

"Doing Live Earth took a bit of logistical tweaking, though," he continued. "The reason we're playing in Japan is because our drummer, [Rob] Bourdon, is locked into a wedding as the best man on the 8th, so we had to figure out how to play the show and have him make it to the wedding. But we're booked, and we're going to play. And Rob will get to the wedding, too, which is important."

By James Montgomery, June 2007



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