I’ve been friends with Ryan and Amir for 10 years now – and close friends. We hang out. When I’m not touring with Linkin Park, I’m with Ryan and Amir. We have plans today where we’re hanging out at the pool. They’re more family than anything else.
Howard was on the list and said he was available to do it and work on it with me. I had met with a couple producers before. One I don’t want to name who it was because I don’t want to talk bad about him. It was the most uninspiring meeting that I’ve ever had. It was like, “Wow. I would rather cut my face off than to go through this again!”
The longer Linkin Park is around, the more difficult it is to find a place that we fit in best. Are we a pop band? Are we an alternative rock group? Are we a modern rock act? Are we a metal group? Or are we something else? Nobody knows what the hell is going on with us anymore, and I think that’s something that will propel us into being a better band in the future. I think it sets us apart. I do believe this [next Linkin Park] record is definitely going to help make that more difficult for people to understand. In terms of how it sounds, we’ve got 40 songs. A handful of them are amazing. A dozen or so are really good, and the rest could have potential. The ones that are pretty amazing and the ones that everyone is pretty much like, “As long as the lyrics are great, the song is a masterpiece” – they are really fucking good. It’s kind of nuts. From my perspective when I hear them, I can’t believe that I’m in this band. I can’t believe this is the stuff that I’m a part of making. I’m sharing the same stage as some of the most talented people in the world and have one of the best producers in the history of music. We’re making groundbreaking stuff, and it’s very strange to be part of that.
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