NEW YORK (Billboard) - After more than 14 months in the studio, Los Angeles nu-metal band Linkin Park will release its new album in the United States on May 15.
“Minutes to Midnight” (Warner Bros.) will be the follow-up to sophomore effort “Meteora,” which debuted at No. 1 in April 2003 with 810,000 copies. (The band released a chart-topping “mash-up” album with rapper Jay-Z the following year.)
The first single, “What I’ve Done,” hits radio on April 2; the band recently shot a video for the track in the California desert.
“This was a year-and-a-half long process of really hard work and experimentation in the studio that yielded about 150 rough songs,” guitarist Brad Delson told Billboard.com. The band recorded 17 tracks and is now deciding which ones will make the final cut.
Delson said the tune “The Little Things Give You Away” is “the song of which I’m probably most proud that we’ve ever done.” Another cut, “Bleed It Out,” sports “Motown drums, almost ‘80s rock guitar, rapping and an early hip-hop influence in terms of how it was recorded. I think it will be really fun to play live,” he said.
“Minutes to Midnight” will also include a track with two current working titles (“When My Time Comes” or “Leave Out All the Rest”) that Delson described as “a really moody, almost electronic-based song. Lyrically, I can definitively say this is our strongest record, and in particular, this song I really connect to personally. I think it’s a really touching song.”
The new album was co-produced by vocalist Mike Shinoda and recent five-time Grammy winner Rick Rubin, the man behind works by the Dixie Chicks and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“He can hear a rough idea, then point you in a direction like, ‘Check out this score by Ennio Morricone,”’ Delson said of Rubin. “You’ll listen to it and you’ll go, ‘That totally jarred my imagination.’ He was an incredibly helpful guy throughout the whole process.”
With “Minutes to Midnight” finally complete, Linkin Park is already in rehearsals for an extensive tour slate, beginning with a May 6 appearance at New Jersey’s Bamboozle Festival. Delson declined to reveal specifics, but Billboard.com has learned the band will reprise its Projekt Revolution tour later this summer, likely alongside My Chemical Romance.