Transcription de la conférence de presse du Linkin Park The Hunting Party Tour 01/09/15

Michael Waterlo [Lebanon Daily News]: Hi, guys. This question’s for Tim. Tim, I spoke to Joe yesterday and he was telling me about The Black Market album and he told me for the lyrics that you just kind of find your dark place and then transfer them over to the album. Can you just kind of take us through that process and what it’s like to see them play out?

Tim McIlrath : Yeah. That’s a good question and a lot of thematically what’s going on behind our most recent record, The Black Market. Even the title is referring to the idea, you know, a band like Rise Against, or even a band like Linkin Park, we’re playing all within a range of songs and lyrics that oftentimes have a lot to do with feelings of angst or sadness or anger. There’s a lot of emotion in what we’re doing and that emotion is sometimes coming from a dark place. To me coming into this record, which was Rise Against’s seventh record, I came into it from sort of a little more of an introspective place, trying to think, “Well, what have we accomplished as a band already? And where do you want to move forward?” And then a lot of just thinking about, like, “What is this crazy endeavor that we do?” We’re grown men who jump on a stage every night and scream into a microphone and people come and see us play and what a bizarre thing to do, you know? And so, a lot of the record was kind of talking about that. Like, what goes into the DNA of bands like Rise Against and how does that come out in lyrics? And then where do you find the positivity in that? Where do you find the silver lining? And for us, it’s just that simple process of creation and venting and getting it out of you and then also connecting with the fans. But it does involve confronting demons. It involves going to a place where you have to be real with yourself and look head-on to what you want to sing about and then do it in a responsible way in an attempt to connect with people who might also be feeling like that. So, therefore, you can feel less alone; they can feel less alone and then somehow you’re channeling something that can be a part of a bigger, more reciprocal process, I guess.

Chester Bennington: Beautiful.

John Serba [Grand Rapids Press]:   Hi. This is a question for Chester. The news broke about a month back that you guys were going to part from your management company and manage yourselves. And it seems like a mark of success for some bands when they can cut out some middlemen and achieve that type of independence. And I was just wondering if you could kind of talk about the decision behind doing that? And correct me if I’m wrong, but it just seems like instead of being on someone else’s roster, you’re not the employee; you’re the employer now, right?

Chester Bennington : Well, I think it’s important for everyone to be clear that all managers are employees of the band, and I think that sometimes needs to be made clear. Not in our case, though. We actually have a lot of respect for Michael Green and the company The Collective but I think for us we’re at a point where I think in terms of Linkin Park especially- we’re kind of a special situation. I mean, we’ve always managed ourselves. That was one of the reasons why we made the change in the first place from working with Rob McDermott to work with The Collective was that we wanted to do less of that; we wanted somebody else to do that for us but we found that we were best when we were doing it ourselves and we feel like we are at a place where we basically do know what we need, and we can function financially in a way that can support a team of people that can do what we need to do under the supervision of the band and some key heads of different facets of our business.

It’s weird to talk like this because I’m a dude from Phoenix who likes to play music for a living. This is what I did when I ditched school. When I talk to my kids about their plans in life, I say, “Do not look to your dad and think I’m going to do what he did, because please don’t do that.” Like, I basically have won the lottery and the fact that I am in a band that functions at a corporate level because of the massiveness of it is strange to me. I mean, I’m sitting in a tree house looking at the ocean staring back at fucking Los Angeles. I mean, this is like, this is not the real world. So, every day’s a blessing. We are actually able to be able to function in a way that we can really run our business the way we want to and, like you said, cut out a lot of the middlemen so that we can grow our business the way we want to and so that we can achieve the kind of success that we want to and also show bands that you can take your career into your own hands, which is basically what we do anyway. I mean, we are the ones who are creating the art that people are buying and we are in an industry that thankfully is collapsing because it’s an industry that’s full of criminals and people who do backwards business and it’s a great time for bands to take over the business of the music industry and it’s a great time for intelligent businessmen who have souls to come in and do business with us.

So, this is a great time for bands to take back the power that they have and work with people who are good people and honest people who want to make music and art and bring together people for sort of good reasons and not just for the sole sake of making money and sucking that off the artist as long as possible. Like Tim said, we make music and we bring people together and it’s about the music and what happens when you’re playing the shows and the experience and exchange you have with the fans. That’s what bands do this for. And so the fact that we can do this on a level where we can actually really take control of our business is pretty awesome.

Kris Dunn [CBS Radio]:     Hi. This question is for Tim. Tim, with so much deep and dark emotions behind not just your lyrics on The Black Market album, but pretty much all lyrics in this album, how do you prepare for your shows? How do you maintain that focus and energy level to go out there each and every day on stage?

Tim McIlrath : That’s a good question. Actually Chester and I were talking about that, kind of that transition you make from like home life, and for guys like Chester and I, that’s family life, because we have families and kids. Going onto a stage and becoming that person that created those songs that walks on that stage and that people are coming to see. And so, it’s a tricky transition to make. It’s a little bit of Clark Kent versus Superman. And you walk out there and, I guess, the honest answer is that I never have a plan. There is no plan. I wake up that day of the show not knowing how it’s going to happen or a game plan of how it’s going to happen or have a set of steps. But over the last 15 years, I can bet that when I walk onto that stage, it all kind of clicks; everything makes sense. You see it in the eyes of everyone in front of you. They bring you into it. If they’re there, you’re there. It’s like, if that emotion is there, then you can’t help but get all kind of wrapped up into it and that’s kind of key. That’s when from the moment before I’m on stage, I’m kind of wondering how was this going to happen again? How am I going to do what I did last night tonight? I’m not sure that I can, but when you walk out there it all just kind of washes over you and I think that for a lot of us that’s kind of what triggers it all.

Chester Bennington :  I like Tim’s answers way better than mine. He can just answer the rest.

Tim McIlratch : I’ll just start saying, “I’m Chester,”…

Derek Oswald []: This next one’s for Chester, but if Tim wants to take a stab at trying to answer it, he can! Something somebody said earlier actually made me think about back in the day. You guys have been touring for quite some time and back in 2001, you infamously were on the road for 300 out of 365 days, if I remember correctly.

Chester Bennington : (overlapping) I think we were on the road for 321 days out of 365, if I remember right.

Derek Oswald: Yeah, that’s right. Going back, what was it like being on the road for that long? And now that you’ve actually kind of became more successful as a band now, do you ever think that you’ll be on tour for that long again, given that now you don’t have to prove yourselves?

Chester Bennington : You know, it’s kind of funny, but I look back at the guy that was touring at 23 in the prime of my life with no injuries and I could drink and smoke and stay up all night and sing and I would complain. I was doing like 20 minutes and maybe half an hour max. I don’t even think we had 30 minutes of music to play. And I remember doing five shows- sometimes six- in a week for the entire year and that’s pretty much what we did.  I remember being like, “Dude,” when we went to 45 minutes, I was like, “I don’t know if I can do this, man,” you know? Then we got to an hour, and I was like, “I don’t know how these guys do it for two hours every night! I can barely make 45 and now we’re going to do an hour? This is like insane. I don’t know how I’m going to sing.” Now, it’s funny because literally in one night I’m doing more singing than I did in an entire week during that first year.

So yeah, it seemed like all that travel kind of sucked and you’re not making any money. It kind of sucks, but it was super fun and it was worth it, man. Like, every show we did was the most important thing in my life and every night, every person that we played for had never heard of us before and it was my personal mission to convert everybody there into a Linkin Park fan and with every band that played after us, I wanted them to go, “Fuck. I don’t want to get on. Like, I don’t want to go on after these guys.” And that was our goal. Our goal was to conquer everywhere we went and do it with our music, and I remember even the most aggressive person that we met had been pretty active taunting us during our show. And after the show, I confronted the person outside and was like, “Why were you doing that to us? Like, why can’t you just not like our music and that’s fine? Why do you have to dislike us so much that you distract from everybody else’s ability to even pay attention to what we were doing or have a chance to even make their own opinion? Why are you forcing your opinion upon everyone else in the room?” And by the time I was done with him he signed up with the Linkin Park Fan Club and became a Street Team member and it was just a fun time.

We were out to take over the world and I guess in a lot of ways we achieved that goal, but we still go out every night and think, “We have to earn our place to be where we’re at.” Once you have it, it doesn’t just stay here and once you’ve had success, it doesn’t just continue to come your way. You have to continue making records like it’s your first album and playing shows like every show matters and every fan you meet needs to be the most incredible experience of their life. And you have to be willing to be in the frame of mind of doing that every day. And that’s something that’s a blessing and it’s a pleasure and it’s a privilege for me to be able to do that.

Jim Gilbert [Upstate Live]: This message is for Tim. Having been involved in the punk scene for 20 years, can you describe how the scene has changed over the past couple decades and whether there are any emerging punk bands that are capturing your attention?

Chester Bennington : Eagulls.

Tim McIlrath : What’s that?

Chester Bennington : Eagulls.

Tim McIlrath : I’ve heard of the Eagulls band. I need to check them out.

Chester Bennington : E-A-G-U-L-L-S. It’s Seagulls with no “s.”

Tim McIlrath : Oh! Okay. Okay. I’ll check that out. So, the punk scene and how it’s changed. Like, oh my gosh, I don’t even know where to begin. This sounds like it needs to be a whole diatribe that Steve Albany writes and not me answering this question. But I think a lot of what punk was when I was growing up was a very underground sort of thing and one of the most significant changes to not just punk, but all forms of music, was just the access that came along with the information age and the Internet and social media. What was the underground thing that you found out by word of mouth, came into light because you had a friend somewhere who knew about a show and it was almost like an underground rave kind of thing. Now, it’s the kind of thing that everyone is sort of finding, which has been a cool thing, too, because you have all this access. And I think there’s a lot of guys involved in punk rock that sort of get frustrated when they see punk cross over into like a broader audience. And for me, that’s never really bothered me. I love watching punk crossover. It’s like commercial radio, all that kind of stuff. The only time it bums me out is when you see the superficial parts of the punk crossover and the guts of it stay behind. When people kind of leave all the substance at the door and walk into a whole different world and forget about what was behind the message and why they were making music in the first place. As far as the emerging punk bands, I’m really digging a lot of the – I don’t even know what this scene is – but bands like Balance and Composure and La Dispute and Citizen. I grew up in the Midwest in the 90’s and we had almost like a big hard core pre-EMO kind of vibe happening. And now, I’m hearing bands that sound like they came out of that era and those bands are kind of real exciting.

Bryan Corder [Ignite Music Magazine]: Yeah. This actually is for Austin. You’ve mentioned numerous times that Linkin Park was a huge influence in your music life. What is it about the music and the band that makes that influence so strong?

Austin Carlile: Growing up in high school, I listened to kind of a variety of music from my parents’ shelves, whatever they would basically let me, so the majority of my youth I got to listen to country music and blues and jazz and classic rock and contemporary Christian music, and just about everything that was not Linkin Park or anything similar. And I remember during early high school years and when I started getting into the older stuff, from Pantera, Korn, and started going towards Deftones, as soon as Hybrid Theory came out I remember it was during my track season and that was the album. That was the album – everybody on my team had – we all had it in our Walkman’s, on our CD’s. They had the skip protector on; that was the record for us and I was like, “Wow! This guy is so angry and he’s mad about, it sounds like, the same things I’m mad about and I don’t know what he’s really mad about, but I can relate to it because of this and that.” And from the melodies and the fact that it had hip hop and it wasn’t cheesy like Limp Bizkit and the fact that it was just so new and different, I related to it.

It’s cool to see that those people that I set my sights for when I was that young and those people that I looked up to and I admired musically when I was at that age that they’re down to earth guys and they’re great musicians. And then, like Chester was saying earlier, when I got on the press conference, they’re nurturing a new band and they’re keeping the rock scene and not making it a competitive thing now. They see it as, “Oh, there’s a band of a bunch of young kids who really love music, love playing music, and want it.” And I think that’s what Linkin Park sees in us. So, it’s a real honor to get to go and open up every night and to make sure that they can hear us before they go on.

Chester Bennington : It’s awesome; pleasure.

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