Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda: "We Broke Personal Boundaries"

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After a year-long tour that spanned over 100 cities worldwide, Linkin Park rapper Mike Shinoda sat down to unwind with RollingStone.com backstage at one of the final dates of their tour at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Casino.

RS: This is pretty different from most of the shows you've done on the tour. The Hard Rock's a much more intimate venue.
We've played here a number of times. We played in the parking lot. We played here for the VMAs. They treat us great. They're going to dedicate a case to us in their own little rock museum here at the hotel. I donated something that's actually really special to me. It's a keyboard controller. I bought it probably at the end of high school, and used it on everything we've done up until Minutes to Midnight. I remember writing "In the End" on it, as well as "Breaking the Habit." It's been sitting in my closet and I was like 'You know, people would enjoy seeing this thing. It should go somewhere." And just coincidentally, the Hard Rock called a week later.

The next step is the "Projekt Revolution" tour in Europe this summer. What can we expect?
We're taking it outside the U.S. for the first time. Jay-Z will join us in the UK, and we're trying to build it with bands that are popular over there too. I hope we'd be able to do some mash-ups. We've never done that outside the U.S., so it would be a lot of fun.

The band has time off for the first time in over a year. What will you do with your time?
I'll probably go see a few concerts and a couple basketball games. I'd love to see Chris Rock's tour. We don't have plans for the next record, but it probably won't take quite as long as Minutes to Midnight. I feel like we broke a lot of our own personal boundaries on that record, and now we've got this wide open playing field to work on. But I'm always writing. I can't go more than a few days without writing.

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