Linkin Park Team With Rick Rubin

Rap-metal outfit joins veteran producer on "Meteora" follow-up

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Their label issues with Warner Bros. behind them, Linkin Park are in pre-production for the follow-up to 2003's multiplatinum chart-topper, Meteora. This time around, the hard rockers are teaming with veteran producer Rick Rubin, who's worked of late with Neil Diamond (12 Songs) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (the upcoming Stadium Arcadium).

After a Grammy night performance with Paul McCartney and Jay-Z -- and a win with the rapper for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration ("Numb/Encore") -- Linkin told Rolling Stone of their plans. "Rick Rubin has produced everything from Run-D.M.C. to System of a Down to Johnny Cash," said MC Mike Shinoda. "And our whole style is based on the seamless mixing of styles. So who better to produce the next Linkin Park album?"

Linkin Park followed the runaway success of Meteora with a live release and a surprising mash-up collaboration with semi-retired hip-hop superstar Jay-Z, the Number One album Collision Course. But a very public dispute with Warner Bros. last May over Warner Music Group's new ownership caused speculation as to when the band might produce another studio album. While negotiations stalled, Shinoda's hip-hop-heavy side project, Fort Minor, released their debut, The Rising Tied. Linkin Park settled with Warner Bros. last month.

According to Shinoda, Linkin Park expect to release their new effort late this summer.