October 5, 2010 / 10:51 PM / 9 years ago

Linkin Park's Bennington says new album shows maturity

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - If there is one thing about fatherhood, it makes most men mature fast and that idea holds true for Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington.

Linkin Park's frontman Chester Bennington (L) performs at a concert in Shanghai August 15, 2009. REUTERS/Aly Song

The band, which mixes rock, hip-hop and electronica into an alternative sound that has earned millions of fans, saw its “A Thousand Suns” win good reviews and hit No. 1 on album charts when it was released in September And Bennington told Reuters many of the songs show a new maturity among the bandmembers.

“With this album, we’ve taken the microscope off ourselves and opened it up to the world,” Bennington said of himself and band members Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Dave “Phoenix” Farrell, Joe Hahn and Rob Bourdon.

“A lot of us are dads, we all have families and we’re much more mature than we were when we were 19 years-old, writing records,” he said.

“A Thousand Suns” was Linkin Park’s third album to debut at No. 1. Its single, “The Catalyst,” also quickly rose to the top of music charts, and MTV called “The Catalyst” video the “most exhilarating and most meaningful to date.”

The album’s second single, “Waiting for the End,” recently debuted on the radio and is quickly rising up the charts, too. On Friday, MTV will unveil that song’s video, which fans have been anxiously anticipating after a 30-second teaser was made available on the cable TV network’s website earlier this week.

Bennington told Reuters that unlike other songs, “Waiting” — part ballad, part reggae/rap — is “uplifting right off the bat” while the song’s message is “very intense.”

“The punchline of the song is ‘I’m holding on to what I haven’t got,’ and I think that everybody can relate to that,” said Bennington. “I believe that people have this idea of what they want their life to be like and they strive to achieve that idea as much as possible.”

The chorus — “I know what it takes to move on/I know how it feels to lie/all I wanna do is trade this life for something new/I’m holding on to what I haven’t got” — Bennington said was “very vulnerable, very down to earth, very human.”

“The song doesn’t get into ‘poor me’” said Bennington. “It just says, ‘This happened. I’m not gonna focus on (what) got me here. I know what I want. That’s what I’m holding on to.”

Bennington said the new record perfectly represents where the band members are as individuals today and how they view the world. The band’s frontman has four sons, and fatherhood really “chilled” him out, he said.

“When I was younger, I liked songs that got people wanting to punch others in the face,” he said. “Now, I don’t want to scream at people. I want to talk to people. I feel much more able to speak about how I view things in the world.”

He cited “The Messenger,” which he wrote, as one example. He called it “literally a letter from me to my children” about how much they are loved by their parents. He said he wants them to remember that fact if they ever feel alone in the world.

“That’s something I don’t think I would have been very comfortable singing about 10 years ago,” Bennington said.

Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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